|So, I forgot to report that I ran Startup Repair prior to posting my reply over trying to access the recovery partition.|
So, I ran the startup repair, then after a few mins it finished then resumed to restart the system. I received one of the blue error screens (the one with the Stop code 0x0000007E). That was followed by a prompt to attempt another Startup Repair. I thought why not, and selected that. This time though, the startup repair process took longer than the first, then it notified me that Startup Repair could not could not repair this computer automatically, and asked to submit information about this problem.
Looking at the problem details, the Problem Event Name is StartupRepairOffline (if that says anything).
As for bringing it to the school, that's no longer an option as my brother recently graduated from it, and had him sign an agreement releasing the school of any liability over the notebook which he had to sign if he wanted to graduate. Devious, no? It's entirely understandable, but still, devious.