Nowadays, most Dell's don't come with a recovery disk, but with a recovery partition. Just press ctrl-F11 at boot and tell it to go back to factory conditions. Your user manual or the help on support.dell.com will tell what to do if ctrl-F11 is the wrong key for your laptop.
And Dell might be able to send you recovery disks in less than a month.
Info: Dell Inspiron 546, Windows 7 Home SP1, AMD Phenom II Processor x4
I live in two states and update this computer regularly remotely using LogMeIn Free. Before returning, I noticed a problem with Firefox - first it lost my tabs, slowed down, then wouldn't start at all. When I got here to this computer, first thing I noticed was my screen saver gone. Then browsers wouldn't start, even after multiple reboots. Firefox was completely dead, Chrome is crawling and gives a lot of error messages. System Restore failed several times, then finally restored after I was able to start computer in Safe Mode, but starting in Safe Mode was near impossible, too. Ran MalwareBytes, Super Anti-Spyware, CCleaner (all updated), nothing showed. HiJack this will not let me save the log. Then did a hard drive check, which took more than 60 hours! It was fine. Deleted Firefox. Disabled several programs from Startup. Avast Antivirus updates throughout the day. Windows Defender is clean. I am totally out of ideas, and don't know what to do next.
I run exactly the same programs on the other computer, and it runs just fine. I do not have a recovery disc, and the Windows 7 disc is 2500 miles away, not to be available for another month. Please help!!!! And bear in mind that though I'm not a newbie, I am not all that savvy, so please tread gently!