My Inspiron 6000 blue-screens when I try to boot it.
I have tried to follow the Dell instructions on how to restore it to factory settings, but neither of them work.
One set of instructions tells me to do Control + F11 when booting starts. This should take me to a menu, but it has no effect.
Another set tells me to press F8 repeatedly to get to a menu screen. This does work. The instructions say to choose option "Repair My Computer", but there is no option remotely like this.
Dell supplied no media disks with this laptop, and they will not do so now because it is out of warranty.
I have checked that the hard drive is working and has its files intact, using a Linux live CD.
What should I try now?
In the US, see
Outside the US, call Dell - they WILL supply discs (there may be a charge for them, as is industry-standard with all PC vendors now).
I'm based in the UK. A couple of years ago I asked Dell via their "contact us" form to send me the installation disk that they should have supplied with the laptop, and the respondent said no because it was out of its support period. Now there doesn't even seem to be a way to contact a human being at Dell electronically without a recent bit of Dell kit's service tag.
If I can't borrow a DELL installation disk I will try calling them as you suggest. I rather expect they will only be prepared to sell me a disk, and I would consider that depending on the price, but it annoys me to pay for what should have been included with my purchase in the first place!
You can thank Microsoft for that - they were the ones who decided not to allow OEMs to supply Windows discs with new systems. It's not Dell -specific -- all the major system vendors have the exact same policy.