Unfortunately, I have only one backup set of SAM, Security, Software and System and it is about 3 years old. Nevertheless, I attempted to rename these in windows safe mode but I suppose I need to become familiar with Linux LiveCD to do this.
I began the format c:\ then reinstall Windows as a solution. Thinking Saga's original answer might solve the problem, but both before and after the installation of the ATI CCC driver the boot problem remained the same.
For the time being, during the first am boot I let the machine run for a few minutes instead of an immediate hard cold boot. After the machine is warm, I hard boot it and get the error screen that goes something like, Windows was not shut down correctly. Option to use last good configuration or (default) load windows normally. Windows then starts and runs normally.
I'm concluding that this is an "early stage" hardware problem that will one day evolve into a major PSU, motherboard, graphics card failure. Would like to know beforehand which, if any, it is but the Dell motherboard doesn't allow advanced diagnostics like an ASUS or Gigabyte MB.
I will update when, if ever, this major failure occurs for others that are experiencing the same problem.