SOLUTION AT BOTTOM OF POST
I recently got a Dell XPS M1530 laptop.
It came with Dell Media Direct 3.5 and Windows Vista Home.
Immediately after I got the laptop, I updated to Vista Business. The upgrade reformatted the HD, so Media Direct no longer worked (I wasn't complaining...). Over a week, several shut down/start up cycles went fine. However, after Windows Update downloaded some update no one wants/needs and shut down the computer, it would no longer boot Windows.
Instead, the same Plug & Play error (error 0x000000CA...) with a nice blue screen that everyone's been getting popped up after the Dell Media Direct logo screen was displayed.
I called Dell Tech Support, and the guy couldn't figure out the issue in the hour and a half we talked, and Dell is sending a new computer. Booting from Windows Installation DVD's produced more errors. Also, when trying to boot from the HD, the computer indicated "Windows XP Embedded" was displayed. Strange...
Anyways, I tried inserting the Media Direct Installation CD later and booting from that. IT WORKED. After reformatting the HD for Media Direct (all instructions were on screen), I was able to boot from a Windows DVD successfully. Windows is starting, booting, operating successfully.
Sorry for the long post.
SOLUTION for everyone to try: Insert the Dell Media Direct CD/DVD into the computer. As the computer is starting up press F12 repeatedly. Choose Boot from CD/DVD at the menu. Follow the directions.
Good luck, and Dell: stop factory installing terrible programs and screwing upyour own computers. Also, give your tech support people this information.