At first my startup stalled at the "Please wait..." screen with the activity ring turning. My mouse curser was present in the form of a second ring, not turning but I could move it with my mouse. It would hang up here for hours.
With some help, from this forum, I was able to get into the setup with my reinstall disk and run "Startup repair" It reported that it couldn't repair the computer automatically. Problem details show a lot of #s?? and 3 statements, "AutoFailover, NoBootFailure, and NoRootCause. Not sure what this means. The Diagnosis and Repair details log shows a whole slew of tests "successfully completed" but the end report is "Startup repair has tried several times but still cannot determine the cause of the problem."
Advanced System Recovery options are "Startup Repair" which results as above, and Dell Factory Image Restore" I really want to salvage some data if possible before I do a full restore.
The other options at this point, if I don't select the others, are "Shut Down" or "Restart" ... which brings me back round the buoy.
At one point I was able to run a Dell POST test that reported no problems found.
At another point I was offered the option to restore to a restore point. I selected the oldest one, prior to the problem, but it failed to restore. Next time I tried all of the restore points were gone.
With all that said, I don't know if my laptop sees the harddrive or not. With my limited knowledge I assume not.
Any thoughts on my way ahead.