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Vista Error Recovery

I received a hand me down Dell Inspiron laptop. It has Vista on it. I'm not sure if it's 32x or 64x. When I power the laptop on I get the Windows Error Recovery Screen. "Launch Startup Repair" won't work: it just keeps going back to the same screen. "Start Windows Normally" takes me to the windows startup screen but just loads and loads and then the computer resets.

I'm not interested in saving anything file wise. I just want to use it to write. So I really only need access to the word processor and internet access. Even if it needs to be stripped down software-wise and I have to add what I want that's fine. I just want to get this thing working. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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  1. Best answer
    If you press F8 on startup, do you get the system restore option under "Repair my Computer?" This would restore the laptop to factory default. If this doesn't work, you'll need to find a Vista disk; assuming the product key sticker is still legible use that to activate. If you have a good key for Windows that isn't in use on another PC that will work too.

    If a re-install still gives problems, it's the hard drive. You'd need to replace it (and then install an OS on the new HDD

    There's also the Ubuntu option if you can't restore, read the product key or get another key. That's 100% free and includes the LibreOffice office suite (Office does not come with Windows and if the factory software for that laptop has office, it's likely a limited-time trial)
  2. I don't have the system restore option. Get the Vista disk is a longshot but I will seek it out. Hopefully I won't have to buy a new hard drive. I got Ubuntu and it worked briefly. But then I had a Kernel Panic error screen and upon searching for answers online I found most of the answers went over my head as I am not familiar with the coding or commands of Linux, or much else for that matter. Thanks for the help.
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