I have tried to help a friend with his Dell Inspiron 1525 with Vista installed, all original. I was working fine then one day it slowed way down with the following other symptoms...
1. Automatic updates appear to download but will not install, and cannot be made to.
2. Almost all control panel icons are non-functional.
3. Another friend of his in Florida installed Regworks to clean it up. I have no clue as to what that did.
After I got to it...
4. Confirmed that there seemed to be control over any Control Panel item dealing with the Hard drive or accounts.
5. Confirmed no updates possible.
6. Installed Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, with errors, in safe mode. It did not seem to find anything.
7. His Norton antivirus did not deem to find anything .
8. Tried to run the Dell PC Restore using the proper sequence, I found it blocked by an "Other User" login that looks like a Vista login screen. No known account name/password/non-password combination can get past this login to start the Image Restore to factory fresh install. I get the error with every attempt "The specified domain either does not exist or could not be contacted" I know for a fact that this should not happen during a Dell PC Restore. I have three Dell Laptops with exactly the same restore system on them and they all work as they should. There is no "Other User" login. Also, the "Recovery" partition is visable in windows explorer and should not be as far as I recall.
9. When going into Computer Manage (right clicking Computer/manage) then Disk Management, there is no hard drive or partitions. Just the CD drive. The same goes for Device Manager, no hard drive. Yet it will boot into windows in normal mode as well as safe mode.
10. I suggested that he try to order a Dell Restore disk for his system but I do not know if the will do it as it is no longer under warranty. Waiting to see now.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.