|F10 shows these System Recovery Options.|
> Startup Repair - says that there is nothing wrong
> System Restore - but I have no Restore Point (a hard lesson learned)
> System Restore - but I have no backup image (another lesson learned)
> Windows Complete System Restore
> Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
> Command Prompt
> Dell Factory Image Restore - which would wipe all my data but at least start with a fresh image
None of these options was appropriate so I took the plunge and installed Ubuntu windows installer which writes into c:\Ubuntu.
I launched Ubuntu but noticed that if I didn't press Esc quickly enough (6 seconds timeout) into a menu a full installation starts. I stopped it quickly by turning off power but not soon enough to see that I could no longer boot in safe mode.
It seems (from Ubuntu forums) that this is a problem dual booting with Ubuntu 10.10. on a shared partition since the MBR is overwritten.
However the good news is that if I quickly press Esc at the Ubuntu boot (two boots are shown, Vista and Ubuntu) I can select Ubuntu Demo mode get access to the file structure and the Internet. I'm sending this in Ubuntu mode.
I'm currently using Ubuntu to tidy up and back up my files onto a USB drive and then I'll progress to having dual boot, Ubuntu and Vista, in separate partitions rather than shared partition (as now).
If I shut down and try to logon to Vista in safe mode I get to the point where drivers are being loaded and then a blank screen shows. I'm hoping that the few seconds I had Ubuntu installing before I shut it down will not have caused too much harm.
So run in Demo mode before the full installation !!
Here is the Ubuntu world .. I'm new at using Linux but learning.