This is the message I receive- "Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause."
Booting in safe mode, Dell data safe restore, and directory services restore mode all relate back to this error message.
I have no created restore points and no system image recovery. Also my computer did NOT come with a windows 7 disk. Which is a crock in my opinion.
When I do Startup Repair, this is the only problem detected in "View diagnostic and repair details"......
Root Cause Found:Failure while setup is in progress.
autochk run= 0
Number of root causes= 1
I have requested a windows 7 disk from Dell months ago. I received nothing (surprise!). Thinking maybe I input the info wrong, I re-submitted a request today. But I will not hold my breath. What options do I have left at this point? The cost of bringing it to a professional isn't far from the cost of replacing this laptop as it is. I will be thankful for nay help or advice!
There are many issues with requesting the Reinstallation DVD at present. You may see the following idea on IdeaStorm for more details: Windows 8 Reinstallation Media IdeaStorm leave a comment and add your vote to it, the more votes it has the more weight it will carry. This is for Windows 8 but the earlier idea for Windows 7 is merged with it.
For Windows Vista and Windows 7 my Windows Reinstallation Guide lists complete alternatives which should get you back up and running a lot faster.
You first want to run the F12 Pre-Boot diagnostics (page 409)
Ideally you should make a bootable diagnostics USB or CD and run the diagnostics including the extended diagnostics from that as instructed in case the diagnostics partition is corrupt. We are looking in particular to see if you get an error such as 2000-0142 or 2000-0146 (hard drive failure) to see if the fault is because of a failed hard drive or whether it is exclusively a software issue. If you get the above errors let us know. If not proceed with the clean installation.
To do this you want to follow A Clean install of Windows 7 (page 8).
On another computer follow the Step 1b and 2 to make a bootable USB which has Windows Vista with Service Pack 1 installation files in addition to the Dell Windows Vista System Locked Preinstallation key.
If you need to backup data and files carry out the Step 3 the section on Data Recovery of the Harddrive using Fedora. I don't know the status of your files as you have already tried to install Windows Vista. If you don't have any data to recover skip this step. You cannot do the rest of Step 3. Download Windows Standalone Updates and Drivers using another computer (Step 4 and 5). Step 6 should not be needed for this system with the installation files which contain Service Pack 1 but you can carry it out just in case.
I would advise carrying out Step 7a and securely wiping your drive; this is advised in case there was a virus problem which corrupted your initial Windows install.
Ideally Step 7b should be carried out on this system as it is a Media Direct system however likely your Media Direct DVD is lost alongside your Dell Windows 7 DVD so you can skip this step. Just make sure you never power up using the Media Direct button otherwise it could corrupt the OS.
Step 8, install without the product key. Step 9 and 10 install the latest Service Packs and standalone updates such as Internet Explorer 9, Microsoft Security Essentials and its latest definition. Then install the system Drivers. Carry out Step 11b to input the Dell system Locked Preinstallation Key and activate Windows Vista (in the same manner as the Dell Windows Vista Reinstallation DVD). Ignore the rest of Step 11.
Carry out the checks in Step 12. Install additional Microsoft Software in Step 13 such as SkyDrive for Windows and Microsoft.net Framework and Office if you have a license. Install additional Dell preinstalled software in Step 14. Step 14a is the Media Direct application (only do this if you have carried out Step 7b).
Step 15 you should ignore as you have securely wiped the drive.
Step 16, you should update Windows and other Microsoft software fully.
Step 17 is optional and might not be necessary for you.
Step 18 and 19 are optional notes for other software. Step 20 is advised.