I have a Dell Inspiron 531 desktop with Vista 32 bit operating system. Thursday evening, with computer functioning correctly, I was prompted to install two new updates from Windows, which I did. Also, I opted to remove my current antivirus software and replace it with McAfee 2012. After determining that a couple of items weren't functioning to my satisfaction, I prompted the system to return to a system restore point and the system performed as it normally would after that instruction.
When the computer rebooted itself, following the system restore, the screen was totally black and the only visible thing on the screen was a white arrow. The mouse is movable across the screen, so it's indicating that the mouse is not frozen. The problem is that I now have a totally inoperable system and it will not boot up, or perform any functions.
I have spent the past day and a half researching any possible fixes. There seem to be thousands of solutions and ways of repairing the system online but none of the ones I have tried have worked. I still don't know if this is a hard drive, or software, problem. I contacted a software repair organization and they advised that they were unable to assist me as they believed the problem was with specifically with the hard drive and its inability to connect with the software on the Operating System. I have attempted to reboot by inserting the original O.S. disc into the drive but, again, nothing happens.
I am in desperate need of help and direction in determining the root cause of the problem a possible repair solution. As of the present time, it appears as though the hard drive will need to be replaced but, then, I need to recover what I can from my desktop/old hard drive.