If you happen to have a suitable Windows Vista DVD, you can try a non-destructive (re)install of Vista. Might help.
If not, the factory image restore is your only option. There's no need to be afraid of it. It should work. But you'll lose everything you put on the hard disk yourself; so let's hope you have a backup (or are capable of making one now by getting the disk out first).
My computer restarted with the error message "windows cannot repair this computer automatically" I tried the options available - Startup Repair, System Restore, Mmeory Diagnostic tool to no avail. I am afraid to try Dell Factory Image Restore
What can I do?
Inspiron 530, Intel core 2 CPU, 4400 @ 2GHZ, 2GB RAM with Vista Home Premium SP2 32 bit operating system.