Good evening,

I have the blasted 'We apologize for the inconvenience...' screen.

There are 3 safe mode options, 1 'last known working' option, and 1 'start normally' option.

None of these work. The whole laptop freezes.

The laptop did not come with a start up disk, which might make things a bit complicated. :(

If there is any advice, I'd be pleased to listen!

Many thanks!

what is the operating system

keep on tapping F8 while restarting ur laptop and select the option safe mode.
Once booted to safemode go to start-->Program-->Accessories--system tools---Slectect system restore and try to restore to date when it was last working

assuming you are using windows, this, type of error is often from a corrupted MBR record on the hard disk.

as you have not got a repair disk etc if you get to safe mode you may be able to go to the repair console and fix mbr from there. If not get hold of an installation disk by borrowing one and boot from that... it should allow you to repair;

Finally if all that does not work see if you can get a linux type boot disk and then using that to boot off, and then look at the MBR record ( and using a pattern from google etc) you may be able to change it to something that will work.
otherwise reformat and reinstall windows but you will need to get a copy of windows to do this (or refer to the manufacturer of the machine for one)