I apologise in advance for the very long post but I want to be sure you're fully informed of everything I've tried! I have tried looking my problem up on other threads here, but I couldn't find one where their problem was quite as extensive as mine. I tried all the advice found in those threads, and my problem persists.

Laptop: Dell Inspiron 1545
OS: Windows 7

For the last week or two, each time I turned on my laptop it would freeze up completely a couple of minutes after startup. I'd try turning off any none necessary startup programs to see if it made a difference but if happened every time. I couldn't shut it down or anything, because the computer would not respond. The only way to fix it was to turn it off via the power button and restart it. On restart everything would run smoothly, but the problem would happen again whenever I turned it on for the first time after being switched off for a bit.

Like I said, this problem occurred for two or three weeks, and then yesterday when I tried to turn it on it gave me the option to do a startup repair or start Windows normally. Neither works, and now my laptop will not start up at all.

Startup repair goes to the "Loading Windows Files" screen, taking a VERY long time before loading the screen with the Windows Login background with a moveable cursor but then stays there indefinitely (Image 1). The Start Windows Normally option gives me a bluescreen with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error and then restarts back to the beginning (Image 2).

IMAGE 1 ---- IMAGE 2

I am unable to start in Safe Mode, unable to run the repair/installation disk as it gets only so far and then freezes up. I am unable to successfully start it using any method via pressing F8. Everything just freezes before doing anything useful.

I ran a PSA diagnostics test on recommendation from the Dell support site and various forums where people have a similar problem and was given the follwing error: IMAGE 3

According to Dell Support, this means replacing the hard drive, I think. I've tried removing the hard drive and booting the installation disk and, while it still takes ages to load up, it does not freeze like it does with the hard drive installed.

I just wanted to know if anyone has had a similar experience? And if replacing the hard drive has worked for you? I really don't want to fork out for a new HDD if its not going to make a bit of difference. If I have an external HDD, is there any way I could use that to test the theory using it connected by USB?

If anyone has ANY other advice or recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.