My computer is in a coma. Whenever I turn it on, it stays stuck on the "Please Wait..." screen and does nothing else, regardless of time. I have kept it on for as long as 6 hours to no avail. I have tried Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, and Safe Mode with Command Prompt; they all also have the "Please wait..." problem.
At the suggestion of one website, I used a Recovery disk. It didn't work. (There is a slight possibility I used it incorrectly.)
I can't recall doing anything radically out of the ordinary in the weeks preceding all this. However, a day or two or three before, my roommate's IP had been blocked by the server, so he asked me to download a program for him. I did so, and transferred it by zip drive, but when he put it on his computer, his antivirus program flagged it as a virus, so he had me download another program which was not a virus and solved his problem. I am under the impression that as long as viruses are not opened (this was a .exe file), no harm is done in their simply being on your desktop. I never clicked it. Regardless, as soon as I heard it was a virus, I deleted it.
I have Vista Home Premium 32-bit on a Dell Inspiron 1525. I haven't installed any new programs in weeks, and I have an anti-virus program, although I'm unsure whether or not it was particularly active.
Much as I would like to simply clear the hard drive, I have several years' worth of photographs (not to mention music) which have not been backed up (a stupid move, I'll admit).
I would be extremely grateful to anyone who could help me with this.