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Old 02-25-2009, 04:16 AM
k007 k007 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Default Dell Inspiron 5160 laptop has a "Isass.exe system" error...

Dell Inspiron 5160 laptop has a "Isass.exe system" error...

by Cyber Baby

Q: This is atually one of a few problems I'm having and I'd greatly appreciate some help in sorting this mess out!
I have a Dell Inspiron 5160 laptop which has generally been running very well for 2 years. Recently I bought an EMU 1616M interface which is a PCI based system. I reformatted my computer at the same time, about 2 months ago. I also use a Linksys wireless card in the PCI slot. I was logging off when switching between the two but this crashed the system so I system restored and reinstalled the EMU, this time switching the laptop off completely when switching the PCI cards. This worked but then stand by mode packed up, that is I wouldn't be able to get back into Windows once in stand by and would have to restart.
Then last night, with the wireless card in, the computer went to stand by. I restarted but this time windows didn't load after the initial screen. Tried several times with and without the wireless card, no luck. Contacted Dell who told me to do a repair installation of windows.
When doing the repair installation I got the message 'An invalid parameter was passed to a service or function...Isass.exe System error.' I am unable to tell if the first letter is i or l, but it looks exactly the same to me as I have typed it here. The computer would then reboot, attempt to repair windows, get to the system error message and go on in a 'loop of death.'
Ran a test on the hard drive with no detected problems. Then went to recovery console. To the best of my knowledge I have never assigned a password to the computer. However, when I leave this space blank and hit enter it keeps asking me for one.
Is anyone able to tell me what is going on and what is the best way to remedy it? Have I been hacked?
Dell seem to know nothing, any help would be greatly appreciated.

A: What also may have happened is either your Hidden Restore Partition got infected/corrupted and/or your BIOS is compromised and infected. I would lean towards restore partition being infected/compromised.

I would contact Dell and tell them that you want them to send you REAL windows discs as the hidden restore partition on your hard drive is not functioning properly and that you are going to wipe the whole hard disk drive and start over from scratch without relying on the hidden restore partition. You can obtain a copy of DBAN or KillDisk in order to wipe the drive. Once wiped do a clean install. Hold off on wiping the hard disk drive until you have the REAL windows discs in hand.

Dell should only charge you for shipping and handling. Once you have the REAL windows discs in hand follow the instructions on this Clean Installation Sticky Note.

Also be sure to assign an administrator password to your administrator login so in future you can access the Recovery Console if need be.

Let us know how it goes.


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