If you got any data on your HDD you might try repairing system from original installation CD. Sometimes it help but takes a lot of time. Another way is restoring last working config - to do that press F5 before windows starts booting.
Which version of Windows OS has been installed on that laptop. I know that if you have Windows 7, 8 or 10, you can use your product key to download a iso from Microsoft. Which can be use to reformat your laptop, or you can use it try and repair it.
It's an old laptop running windows vista I believe however could of been upgraded not a 100% sure tho as its a family members old one they believed to be ruined so they brought a new one, I know tech is pretty much always salvageable these days...when I get the chance I'll see what the Microsoft website says, I'm fairly positive they have wiped the whole system and would need to locate the vista disk to restore it to factory conditions if I'm thinking along the right lines
If it vista, and you have no worries losing what on it, then it might be better to reformat and either installed win 7 or win 10. They are faster than vista, and both should be able to find drivers for your system automatically.
I would download Hirens boot cd and try hddregenerator to rule out bad sectors on the hard drive this fixes them really well. If that fails You could retrieve any info You want using the ultimate boot cd, then reformat and put on windows 7 as already said. Remember You will need to go into bios and make sure first boot device is cd.
If you want to recover the data, remove the HDD and use getdataback or something similar. But you will need a separate HDD that is double the size to store the data on, whilst the process is completed.
first hdd broken then you could check with - Check Drive 2016- for broken patterns and repiar it
second is other than hdd that other hardwares are broken then you could either check your pc -MemTest-
or download -UltimateBootCD- with this you can also check for it and also recovery your files.
thirdly it can be that your MBR is broken. than you need to press F8 on startup and have your installations cd on hand. than open with it your recovery console and type FIXMBR.
Attention with this there can be losses on data so recovery with UltimateBoot CD your data.