Windows 7 won't boot (blank screen with cursor after MOBO screen)

I had to shut down my computer yesterday and let Windows install updates while I did so. When I tried to boot it up later, I got a black screen with a flashing cursor after the motherboard splash screen. I rebooted and entered the system BIOS and nothing appeared to be wrong. I then popped in my Windows 7 install disc and tried to repair the system, but the system repair couldn't find any problems. I went into the command prompt and tried chkdsk /f, and no errors were found. I tried system restore, but Windows can't find any restore points (I have System Restore on and there should be multiple points).

I'm a touch out of my depth at this point. If I don't press a key to boot from the DVD drive, Windows 7 will load from my DVD, prompt me for a password, and let me into Windows under my profile. Everything appears to be there, save for my second HDD (Which I disconnected so I would do System Repair as per answers in Microsoft's KB). There are no restore points from within Windows (though I figured that was a longshot).

I also tried the bootrec tool about this point. Without the Windows disc in the DVD, I still get the same black screen with cursor. At this point, Google isn't giving me useful search result anymore.

I really would like to avoid reinstalling, but it's looking inevitable. Still, any help would be appreciated.
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  1. Happened to me and the only solution I could get to work was a reinstall.
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