.... dilemma! my 6 month old dell inspiron series 3000 laptop windows 8.1 won't boot up? it gets to the black screen with the windows logo on and at the bottom of the screen it says "Preparing Automatic Repair" but it sticks there...? It hasnt got a built in cd/dvd drive so I tried a windows 8.1 repair disc run on an usb mounted external cd/dvd writer but it doesn't get thru to the repair discs options although it does seem to be picking up the external writer (shows up in the f2 menu screen if accessed during the dell splash screen at start up)... please any advice on what to do would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance
Tracy

Small world. Similar banged up OS but I was lucky as my brother had been runnig W10. That meant I could use Microsoft's Media Creation Kit and start over. I wiped the drive and booted up the W10 USB stick. I installed and a few drivers later it was all good. Due to the new W10 activation, I didn't have to enter a code. So what was it? Never looked any deeper but it looks like the HDD data got a good scramble.