I am running Windows 7 Ultimate (64bit) on a Dell Vostro 1520 with a 280GB hdd and 8GB of RAM.
I set my laptop to shutdown on a timer last night and when I awoke this morning it was off. Thinking the operation had been successful, I booted my laptop into Windows to try and check that everything had transferred to my SugarSync account as I had desired. When I noticed some files didn't make it, I tried to wait until the internet connected so the files could finish transferring. All of the sudden, my laptop screen went black and started rebooting. There was no BSOD or error. It booted back up fine, but here's where the issues started.
My computer was acting very slow and the blue ring kept popping up next to the cursor and disappearing rather quickly. I opened the Task Manager to find that only 45 of the normal 70 processes had started since I logged on. I wondered if this might be a virus, so I tried to open up Malwarebytes. Clicking the desktop shortcut didn't open it. I tried going to the .exe file for Malwarebytes, but clicking that led to nothing. It wouldn't even start the process when I watched in Task Manager. Then I tried starting it via the Task Manager as a New Task, but that failed as well.
I figured I should just reboot into Safe Mode, but my computer has trouble doing that. I know for a fact that when I change the Safe Boot type to Minimal under MSConfig, it has worked for me in the past. Doing that left me with an "Invalid Partition Table" error at boot.
I did some Googling and found that people found success when they used Startup Repair or a third party tool to correct the Master Boot Record. I first did a Startup Repair and tried rebooting. I would get through the Dell screen and get stuck on the blinking DOS looking screen (kind of looks like that, but normally it only lasts for a few seconds on my laptop when I turn it on). Then I did a System Restore to a day ago when there were System Updates performed. Same blinking DOS screen.
I saw in the Google results that it might mean the hdd is failing so I ran a diagnostic and that found nothing.
Next, I used Hiren's Boot CD 15.1 to boot into Safe Mode Successfully. I was presented with the message that my System Restore completed successfully. I started up Malwarebytes and ran a Full Scan on my computer. That ran and found nothing. I also took the opportunity to turn off the Safe Boot mode to see if that was causing an issue. When I rebooted, same DOS screen.
I then popped back in my Windows 7 disk and ran a "chkdsk /f /r" and that completed and rebooted to the same endless blinking DOS screen. Then I tried another Startup Repair. That ran for like two seconds and told me that it found no issues, so it could not repair anything. Instead, I tried doing a System Restore to two days ago and was told that completed successfully. Rebooting brings me to the same screen.
When I am at the blinking DOS screen, I see no LED error codes. My hdd LED is not lit up at all, but my Bluetooth one is solid. Since I am past the Dell screen, I figured that the error codes do not apply anymore. Just thought I'd mention it. Is this the wrong assumption?
Does anyone have ANY idea what to do next? I'm at a loss...