This was a Dell-remanufactured laptop that I traded for an old motorcycle. I don't have that CD. I had to replace the HD a month after I got it, but since then it has been perfect for a year... until now.
Safe mode isn't an option. It loads the bios, I get five or ten clicks from the HD, then a blank screen with a cursor. Its not a prompt... I can't type anything. No amount of F1 or F8 does anything. Its not like I can interrupt windows loading to try safe mode, there is no loading of anyting at all. After the bios loads, there is NOTHING. No error message telling me that there is no HD installed, no error telling me that there is no OS, just nothing. It doesn't even start loading windows. If it did, I could F1 into a boot menu and choose safe mode, but I can't. There is nothing. Its as if the computer is satisfied with just loading the bios.
Its not a video display problem because I get a blinking cursor in the upper left hand corner.
I can F12 to a boot menu with diagnostics, but that tests bios. It gets to the HD diagnostics and says "no diagnostics partition was found; insert the dell diagnostics CD and reboot." I don't have that CD, so I need a way of GETTING it.
What I really want is a way to download the diagnostics CD and burn it so I can pop it in the laptop and figure this out.