Thank you for your response.
I probably should have closed this question as my problem was already solved, but hopefully your answer can help someone else looking a solution.
Here is how I solved my problem:
I took a 4 gigabyte USB flash drive and copied all its data onto another computer (so that I could format it) and then made it a bootable USB
with freeDOS installed as the OS and a couple of utilities to be able to recover the most important of my data (but not everything I didn't have backed up, as 4 gigs isn't too big). I booted from the usb and was able to access my data through the utilities I had installed on the usb (which I ran through a batch file I had written).
Then I went back to the other computer (which ran the same operating system, and was a similar dell model) and saved the data there, then reformatted the USB flash drive, copied the computer's explorerframe.dll file onto the flash drive and then went back to my computer and booted the recovery options command line, from which I replaced the explorerframe.dll and then booted into safe mode (which worked!) and ran a sfc scan and fixed everything. :)