I own a Dell Inspiron 5559 that's only got the "preparing automatic repair" message and then black screen every time I started it since Saturday. I tried many methods available: rebooting it 3-4 times, turning it on without battery, whatever key combinations to take me to advanced startup (so far only f2 and f12 takes my anywhere.)
Media Creation Tool USB only goes to black screen.
Can updating my BIOS via USB do the trick? (there's a new version just out)
If it's USB, it either will or won't function whatsoever. Internal drives can be a little less telling, but generally any free software will report overall health (S.M.A.R.T). Said software can be ran from a bootable USB thumb drive if you don't have access to an OS desktop.
Should've brought it up, but how do you test a boot drive to assure it's working?
I should also bring up how the laptop got to this state: I've gotten issues with the HDD in the recent months (I began to get "100% disk usage" and "Event 7, disk" often, to a point that I had to shut down before I sleep) but I didn't act on it because some of the tests I tried ended up mixed, so I didn't bother with backup. One day, it stalled too frequently and I forced too many hard boots, and here I am. I installed a windows update a couple days beforehand, could that have made it all worse?