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Black Screen with Pointer - Windows Load Stuck Here

Hello all,

Having the most major issue I've had with my laptop, and returning to work in several days -- so all help appreciated.

My battery is a bit old, and windows does not correctly read the remaining %. It stays at 97%, and thus (with no warning) the computer powers off when the battery is depleted. I was working without AC power today, apparently a bit too long, b/c the computer powered off instantly. I also suspect it may have been a thermal shutdown (b/c upon restarting, it powered off instantly - so I let it cool).

In any case, when I now go to start the machine, I get the familiar list of startup options (Safe, Normal, etc.). If I choose 'normal,' the Windows progress bar appears, then I get the windows logo, and finally the teal splash screen. Then it goes black, and I have just a cursor. It stays there forever.

I read a few other threads, but none of the fixes worked. A few of the threads were above my level of technical expertise. However, I learned the following: alt+ctrl+del does not function, but 5xshift for sticky keys does.

I am running Vista Home Premium 64-bit on an HP HDX-16. I have a recovery DVD (and the data on a partition), but I do not want to do recovery and lose work data not yet backed up. I tried to do system restore, which I accessed through the 'esc' startup menu on the boot page, but it says that there are no system restore points! Not sure how that can be :(

Any help greatly greatly appreciated. Standing by to provide more info as needed.
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. It could be worth selecting "Disable automatic restart on system failure" from the Advanced Boot menu or simply "Repair my computer" to see either the blue screen with a Stop Error message or for the system to fix itself.

    You have a Vista recovery DVD so you could use a Linux operating system to allow you access to the User folder and others to remove your data. It can run as a Live CD without impacting on the hard disk but can allow full access to it.
  2. Thanks Saga - I'm not able to find the "disable automatic restart" option, or the advanced boot menu to select "repair my computer." When I press ESC at the initial HP startup screen, the options are:

    1. System information
    2. System diagnostics
    3. Boot Device Options
    4. BIOS Setup
    5. System Recovery

    1. System information is just that
    2. I have run all diagnostics in the menu (memory and HDD tests), and all the components pass all tests.
    3. Just HDD boot vs. CD boot
    4. Looked through the BIOS page and can't find those options
    5. Allows me to select from restore, recovery, backup, checkup. As mentioned earlier, it says there are no restore points.
  3. Should I look into this? This user on another forum describes an IDENTICAL hang up point. In the first answer, there is a claimed solution. Problem is that my tech level may be a little too low to perform it. Can anyone dumb it down just a tad? I'm not exactly sure what the solution means, and more importantly, what the ramifications would be. But I do seem to be able to get to a CMD prompt through System Recovery>Advanced Options>Command Prompt

    Here's the thread: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windows/en-US/193b7008-ce4b-4d03-acc3-b8d7ffe610d5/vista-black-screen-white-mouse-pointer
  4. Best answer
    Thanks Saga - I'm not able to find the "disable automatic restart" option, or the advanced boot menu to select "repair my computer." When I press ESC at the initial HP startup screen, the options are:

    You need to let that part go and then tap Function 8 as Windows starts to load. That shows up the Advanced Boot menu.
  5. Should I look into this? This user on another forum describes an IDENTICAL hang up point. In the first answer, there is a claimed solution.

    You might fall over at first base if you don't have a Vista DVD.
  6. Thanks Saga - I'm not able to find the "disable automatic restart" option, or the advanced boot menu to select "repair my computer." When I press ESC at the initial HP startup screen, the options are:

    You need to let that part go and then tap Function 8 as Windows starts to load. That shows up the Advanced Boot menu.


    OK - disable automatic restart, and tried "repair." When it tries to diagnose and fix the startup problem, the main window's heading is "unable to detect a problem" and the text of the window instructs me to disconnect any recently added cameras or portable music players (there are none). So...nuts.
  7. and now via command prompt, I tried:

    C:
    cd c:\windows\system32\winevt
    ren Logs Logs_bad <-- this is where I have the problem. When I try to rename "Logs" it says it can't find a file with that name. So the procedure mentioned above isn't working for me. Assuming it was even an event log problem. But I don't seem to have a file with that name.
  8. The fact that disabling auto restart didn't find anything doesn't mean it failed - it told us there isn't a start up problem. It's getting past that stage and is actually running. In the command line syntax you reproduced above, did you press Enter after the change directory command? Logs only appears in the folder you're changing to but it doesn't look as though you actually got there. Can you actually see that file in the directory of that folder?

    While you're back in command line, navigate to c:\windows\system32\config and see if there are recent Registry backups - files named SYSTEM, SOFTWARE and SECURITY with filename extensions BAK or OLD.
  9. The fact that disabling auto restart didn't find anything doesn't mean it failed - it told us there isn't a start up problem. It's getting past that stage and is actually running. In the command line syntax you reproduced above, did you press Enter after the change directory command? Logs only appears in the folder you're changing to but it doesn't look as though you actually got there. Can you actually see that file in the directory of that folder?

    While you're back in command line, navigate to c:\windows\system32\config and see if there are recent Registry backups - files named SYSTEM, SOFTWARE and SECURITY with filename extensions BAK or OLD.


    thanks again Saga. I agree, seems like it is actually running. After all, sticky keys actually works.

    I did press enter after the cd command, and the directory changed. I didn't see that file in the directory (and am not sure how to do that in cmd prompt).

    I couldn't wait any longer (supposed to have a work meeting monday morning), so I used a linux-based OS to access the HDD. Backed up all my data (and will have to sort through it for hours later on), and started system recovery. Unbelievably, system recovery is now failing. When I do it from the vista DVD, it gets to 99% and stops forever. When I do it from the partition, it gets as far as installing the factory HP software, then restarts the machine, and then starts recovery (format HDD, copy files, etc.) all over.

    Unmitigated nightmare at this point. Will advise with further if I can get a clue what's going on here. Thank you again.
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