Windows Vista PC won't boot. BIOS issue?

Dell / XPS 410
February 3, 2011 at 16:09:18
Specs: Windows Vista, Intell Core 2 Duo @ 2.33 GHz / 4 GBs of RAM
My PC started refusing to boot early yesterday morning. I was experiencing some notable slowdown so I tried to reboot my machine. I haven't been able to get it to come back up since then. The computer makes it to the second startup screen and then hangs. I can make it to the setup (F2) or boot (F12) menus, but what I've tried so far hasn't worked. A HDD diagnostic from the boot menu says that the drive is okay, but neither booting to my utility partition nor using a boot CD seem to help. Trying to boot to the utility partition causes a hang similar to booting normally. I was, however, able to get the Vista startup disc (from Neosmart) to run.

The first option I tried using the Vista recovery disc was "Startup Repair" but it didn't detect anything wrong. So I tried to use "System Restore" to try and restore my PC's state to a few days before this issue started. It said the process was complete, but the original issue persisted after restarting. I checked the "Startup Repair" log and it said all three times that it managed to get the OS to boot successfully so now I'm looking elsewhere.

Other things I've tried:

Left the computer to sit for an hour at the hang (didn't get past it, no error message)
Checked the boot order (floppy, CD, HDD)
Checked the cables
Cleaned the inside of my machine
Ran a memory diagnostic (all passed)
Ran a quick hardware diagnostic (all passed)

Could my BIOS have been affected by something? What sort of fix would be available to me?

EDIT: I'm not really sure if Vista / Software Issue is the right forum for this, but I wasn't sure what to label it using the options available. Sorry.

See More: Windows Vista PC wont boot. BIOS issue?

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February 4, 2011 at 07:31:40
Check your CPU fan to make sure it is spinning and that there is no dust in the cooling fins.

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February 4, 2011 at 07:37:11
CPU fan is running and I can feel air moving.

There was dust in the machine when I first opened it up, but it has since been removed.

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