Black screen after "Starting Windows"

For some reason, my computer did not shut down correctly last time, and now when I boot up the system, a DOS-style screen pops up saying "Windows did not shut down successfully..." and prompting me to start it in Safe Mode or start it normally.

Regardless of what I choose, it goes to the "Starting Windows" screen, and shows the Win7 animation, then it shows a black screen with just a mouse cursor I can move around, but nothing after that. Normally it shows the Win7 login screen. Ctrl + Alt + Del does nothing... I've tried powering off the tower entirely and unplugging and then powering back on, but I always get the same Safe Mode prompt, and the same black screen.

I'm not sure whether the OS files are damaged, or whether my video card might be messed up, or my RAM, or what. My mobo is an ASUS P6X58D Premium and my GPU is a Radeon HD 5770, if that helps.

I should note that I've had problems when Win7 comes out of hibernate/sleep. I always hear a click in the computer case a few seconds after user input wakes up and it shows the Win7 login screen. Most of the time it continues to work fine, but sometimes right after the click, the computer will shut down and reboot... And I'm not sure if it's related, but just before the current error message, I got a similar DOS-style prompt on bootup saying that Win7 "did not leave hibernate mode correctly" or something. Then this problem started happening...

Any idea what's causing the problem here? It will boot the Win7 install disc, if that helps...

UPDATE: MemOK!, the on-board memory check function, says the memory's fine. Also ran Win7 Advanced Boot options > Repair system > Startup Repair... says the system "booted successfully" under repair log : ? What's happening here...

UPDATE 2: Ran System Restore, to see if it would boot to two days ago (3/25) prior to Windows "Critical Update." Result: "System Restore did not complete successfully. Your computer's system files and settings were not changed. Details: An unspecified error occurred during System Restore. (0x800700b7)" ... Dunno what to do next. : /
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  1. Most likely a bad motherboard.
    You can try loading the windows 7 disk, and select "upgrade"
    This restores the OS without erasing your personal files. But most likely it may work for a while then fail again.
    According to my own experience, I was happier switching to a Gigabyte board.
  2. Best answer
    Also run some tests on your hard drive, make sure you have no bad sectors. I honestly think sayings its the Motherboard is going a little too quick. I have never heard of a MOBO causing windows not boot in this manner.
  3. We tested the entire hard drive and there were no bad sectors. I don't think it is the motherboard - it posts fine.

    Since my Win7 install disc is OEM, I can't do a "real" repair install. I guess I could try to using the "upgrade" feature - although I'm worried it will format the HD and erase my old files.

    I searched online and found a forum post by a network admin who thinks it might be a virus that deletes the administrator groups in Win7, causing it to hang on the black screen. I'm going to hook up the HD to another computer that has updated virus protection and run a scan. I'll let you know if I find anything...

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  4. Have you tried selecting "Safe mode" in an attempt to get into the system at all? Once in like that, bring up the "Event Viewer". That should tell exactly what is happening at system start and provide clues as to what to check next.
  5. I did try starting in Safe Mode, but when I do that (or Safe Mode with Networking), it still starts the same as if I had chosen "Start Windows Normally". It gives me the "Starting Windows" screen / animation, then screen seems to turn off very briefly, then turns back on with solid black background and a mouse cursor... No response... :/
  6. UPDATE 3: Hooked up HD to a family member's computer with McAffee installed and up-to-date. Found one virus - a trojan called Artemis.

    However, this was on a very old file that has not been opened for a couple of years now - and not since I built the comp to which the HD was installed and transferred my files (which was last May), so while it was there, I don't think it was active...

    Anyway, the file was removed and we are going to plug the HD back into the original hardware to see if it works. Before I do that, I want to double check to make sure it's not an issue with the permissions / administrator privileges, which might have been damaged...

    Possible Solutions At This Point:

    - Buy another HD, back up all my data, and reinstall Win7 on the original computer using the original OEM disc. This should either establish or eliminate the OS as the source of the problem.

    - Run a diagnostic test on the hardware. I'm not sure how to do this, to be honest. It's possible that I may only be able to be do it through Win7 - which would be a problem. There might be diagnostics we can run through the BIOS though... I'll look at it.

    - Reseat all the hardware in the box. This might solve the issue, even if only temporarily.

    Not sure what else to do at this point. But if I don't hear any other suggestions, I might just have to reinstall Win7 after backing up the data.... :/
  7. Best answer selected by Waterfiend33.
  8. nocheese said:
    Have you tried selecting "Safe mode" in an attempt to get into the system at all? Once in like that, bring up the "Event Viewer". That should tell exactly what is happening at system start and provide clues as to what to check next.

    I have this starts up and after "starting windows" screen goes black. I've done what you said and go into event viewer and see "error" how do i fix it? katie.d19 at html is my email pleasee help lol
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