Si - If your computer will not boot from the hard drive or external media (CD) you may have a corrupted BIOS....Obviously your machine is not locating any boot source..can you access BIOS (by pressing F2) and have a look at the settings, especially for hard drives and boot options? Make sure the active drive is enabled/switched on....will usually be drive 0.
If all else fails you may still be able to invoke the 'return to factory settings' option (I'm nearly sure that would be available on your laptop) rather than perform a full re-install. To try and return to factory settings...press ctrl+F11 repeatedly during BIOS boot (as soon as the Dell logo appears). BE AWARE that invoking this option will erase all of your data.
my laptop was running normal and like it normally has for the past year since i got it. today and this week i have done nothing different or downloaded any new software or updates.
so tonight i was using my laptop when the internet went off. okey its probably just the isp or something.(it happens every now and again) then i get a message such a log file is corrupt, i started checking around my OS to see if everything was okey. first thing i noticed was that the side bar in my documents or my computer was missing. then i went to the start menu and 4 out of 20 or so programmed where listed. i got an other corrupt error message some log file in the windows folder this time and it suggests do a check disc. i knew something is not right.
first idea was to restart my computer in safe mode and run a virus/ spyware scan. so i said to my computer restart. as it shutdown 20 or so corrupt messages came up saying this file is corrupt do a check disc. and the windows theme changed as i was logging off to the old 98 theme from the xp one. so as it restarts it goes through the bios and then blank black screen with a blinking cursor line at the top.
and thats as far as it gets. doesn't load up anything. so i can't get into the os to run a check disc, to do a scan of any sort or to do a system restore to early today or yesterday. so i'm pretty much stuck. anyone got any ideas before i wipe it and reinstall xp.
also it is a dell and so i have direct media( for those of you that don't know about it, its a small linux based media center which boots out side of the main os from a separate button on the laptop.) and i tried to boot into this just to see and that just comes up blank.
my system info.
dell inspiron 6400(1505, i think thats the American version of it)
any other info u need just ask and as usual thanks for any help in advance.
ps. i'm in england and so will not reply quickly because its nearly midnight here.