There are a few ways to get to the C: of your drive to try and repair it.
The first thing to try is to get to the C prompt, when the computer starts press F12 to get to the "safe mode" commands on a dell. If this fails then you can go to
which will let you download free boot recovery disks that you can then use to gain access to your machine. Once there look for the i386 folder in windows which can then be used to repair windows.
If all else fails get an XP cd which will allow you to repair Windows, or you can try and use the setup of XP from a Dell recovery disk by exploring it.
Try these and if they still don't work then put up another post and I'll try and help you out.
You say Microsoft are soooooo good?
Do you work for them?
IE 7....a rip off of Mozilla Firefox.
Windows 98...so bad at the beginning they had to bring out Version 2.
Windows ME....so many bugs.
They don't get it right everytime. If they did they would never need so many support pages for when their software goes wrong.
I use Microsoft products all the time, but spend more time helping people who have problems with Microsoft software.
BTW I have been working with computers for 20 years....have you?