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Vista won't go past blinking cursor, no BIOS access...

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My wife has an 18 mth old Inspiron 1525 running Vista Home Premium. She has had intermittent issues with random shutdowns and the somewhat frequent BSOD. This past weekend, it appears that she was running an update that crashed Vista and now on reboot, there's literally nothing but the blinking cursor. I've searched all over and it seems that most with this issue can at least access the BIOS and attempt a restore of some sort, I've got nothing. No esc, f2, f12, f8, nada. I even purchased and installed a new hard drive and still, blinking cursor. The new HD was obviously blank so I have no idea what's going on in her hardware that's causing this but it may be unrelated to Vista altogether. I've inserted the OS disc and it spins up but I can't access it or boot from there. For what its worth, I was able to put the old HD in a USB case and access everything just fine so at least I have data and I know that the HD works. Also, it seems that nothing is working (ie I tried to increase screen brightness and nothing happens).

Has anyone encountered this and is there a solution short of buying another machine? This is her work machine (home based business) so I'd owe you guys and ladies huge for any help at all. Thanks in advance.

Edited by namasste, 15 September 2009 - 07:54 PM.

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