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I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 running Windows 7

When turning on my PC I keep receiving a black screen with the option to use System Repair or Start Normally. Both options lead me to the System Repair background except no matter how long I wait the system restore options never show up.

Choosing F8 and running all of the options including safe mode encounters the same result above.

I tried to to use 2 system recovery disks 32x and 64x I downloaded and both lead to similiar results. When I choose System Repair running from the disk the System Repair Question asking to select a language pops ups but after this no matter how long I wait no other options appear.

Next after restarting and selecting F8 (after hitting f12 and running from CD) I choose 'Run From Safe Mode with Command Prompt' I am able to run all of the options from System Restore with differing results:

  • Startup Repair: Choosing this ends up in system repair indefinitely (left running 12 hrs)

  • System Restore: Does Nothing. PC thinks for a second and then stops. When selecting ShutDown I see an error message stating there are no restore points.

  • System Image Recovery: Service Cannot be started in Safe Mode

  • Windows Memory Diagnostic: Runs test but then leads to system repair background which never loads system repair

Command Prompt:

  • chkdsk /r -Cannot Lock Current Drive...write protected.
  • chkdsk /f -Cannot Lock Current Drive...write protected.
  • bootcfg - Cannot open Boot.Ini file
  • bootcfg - Ran all 3 (rebuildBcd, FixMbr and Fixboot) but PC still goes to System Repair background with no repair options popping up upon restart (without recovery CD).

I'm on the verge of purchasing a boot utility disk for $50 unless there is anything else short of "take it to a computer shop" that somebody can suggest I try.

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Sorry meant i ran all 3: rebuildBcd, FixMbr and Fixboot from bootrec. – Mark Sep 30 '12 at 4:54
Have you tried accessing the drive from another machine? – user3463 Sep 30 '12 at 5:31
When you say command prompt... you mean from the recovery console from a windows install/boot disk? – hydroparadise Sep 30 '12 at 5:32
Have you tried running the Dell diagnostics (available by pressing F8 during POST) to rule out a hardware issue such as a failing HDD or bad RAM? – Kez Sep 30 '12 at 10:22

In my experience this problem is caused by a bad hard drive 90% of the time. As far as diagnosing, I would use an usb adapter to connect to a working machine and try running chkdsk from there or running dell diagnostics as was mentioned in the comments. If you have a know good drive you can also try booting your laptop to that. In my experience as a pc tech more often then not the hard drive ended up being replaced

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