Fallout 3 does not recognize integrated graphic cores like the old Intel GMA 4500 graphics core, and the current Intel HD 2000 / HD 3000 graphics core in their Sandy Bridge Core i CPUs. There's a work around, but I'm kinda tired and need to go to sleep now.
You need install a D3D9.dll file into your Fallout 3 directory. It was originally developed for the Oldblivion project. I see if I can find it later...
it's an Inspiron N5010,
intel core i3 cpu (m370 @ 2.40GHz, I dunno what that means)
4 gb of RAM
I'm kind of a console gamer, so I'm not well versed in this kind of stuff.
By looking at your laptop model, it seems you have an intel HD integrated graphics card. as jaguarskx mentioned, there is a way you can get it to work. You need to download a d3d9.dll to here the fallout 3 is installed (the fallout 3 directory) where your fallout 3.exe file is located.
You can find the full steps here... hope that helps...
Use the search bar to find where you installed Fallout 3.
Warning!!! The Search feature is moronic at best in Win 7. Way to go Microsoft advance the OS a little bit overall, but take 3 steps back in some basic features....
Type Fallout3.exe in the Search bar. Click the Windows logo in the lower left corner. Win 7 will give you "No items match your search". Click "See more results".
A window will open up to allow you to "search again in....", click Computer. Fallout3.exe should now show up and it will also tell you the path to where the file is located. Go to the game directory, then drop in the D3D9.dll file in there. Be warned though, people have complained about performance with the GMA 4500.
it gets partway through character creation, freezes, and then two error messages, "The specified module could not be found. LoadLibrary(pythondll) failed" and "C:/Program Files (x86)/Uniblue/DriverScanner/PYTHON26.DLL" pop up.
I suggest you go to the link that dai_katana and register at OldBlivion t0 try and get help since that thread is specifically for getting Fallout 3 to run on a laptop with an Intel GMA 4500 graphics core.
Fallout 3 is well known for its bugs which puts a dampener on what is a great game. I suspect it is running out of memory on your limited GPU. See if there is a way of assigning more system RAM to the GPU. If you cant you may well have to abandon all hope.