i'm locked out of a 1545, laptop ignores reinstallation disk, ignores f2 and f12 prompts. i have no idea how this happened. please help!
A quick check, is your keyboard defective?
Have you tried an external USB keyboard?
Power down the system. Remove the AC adapter and the battery. Hold down the power button for 10 seconds and try again.
If you can boot into Windows it may be advisable to update the BIOS to the latest revision. A14: http://ftp.dell.com/bios/1545_A14.EXE Once the BIOS is updated, let it restart a couple of times and then try again.
If that doesn't work remove the hard drive, see instructions here: ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_inspiron_laptop/inspiron-1545_service%2...
Allthough it is unlikely a virus issue will prevent the F12 and F2 buttons from working at BIOS without a hard drive installed there should be no infection in your system. Power up and try again.