Tech Puzzler!Eli 15.2 has a Dell laptop from his old school, running Windows 8.1
This morning, when he booted it up, he got a "Preparing Automatic Repair" message with the Windows logo above it.
He let it run, but it never completed.
Whenever he boots up, he sees the same screen and the same endless loop that never completes.
I'm able to get into the BIOS and run hardware diagnostics, which show that the hardware is fine.
Difficulty: there's no CD drive in this system, and I don't have an external CD drive. He didn't get a Windows CD with the system, anyway. So I can't just boot to the CD/USB drive and reinstall Windows. No floppy drive, either.
There are Google guides on fixing these, but they all talk about getting into an advanced boot option menu. I can't get to that, no matter what combination of keys (all function keys tried) or procedures.
Any ideas are appreciated.