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Need help- troubleshooting Black Screen of Doom after Win7 logo

Last response: in Windows 7
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June 19, 2011 11:10:00 PM

Hey all,

I have been googling for hours, finding many different threads similar to my problem- I even found one on here but the solutions I've been seeing are so varying that I thought maybe if I described my situation specifically, I could get some tailored advice.

I am guilty of ignoring a problem that's been happening, increasingly, for the last month: I'd hang on the windows 7 logo as it flies up (it freezes on the colored balls) and then it goes to a blue screen, hinting at hardware-related problems. After a restart or two, I am usually able to make it to the desktop like normal. I just took this easy route, assuming that ignoring it would make it go away.

Well, this morning, it happened again, but then when it made it passed the windows7 logo, I got to a black screen with just my mouse. This is a common enough problem- plenty of complaints and advice out there.

When I try running safe mode, it hangs on AVG-named drivers. So i went and deleted them all through a thumbdrive linux boot (Can't I just reinstall AVG or another program once my comp is working?) but now it hangs on a new driver so I stopped deleting them. CLASSPNP.sys, which is another hugely common problem. Safe mode is out.

Put my digital copy of Windows 7 on another thumb drive and booted to that to try and use recovery mode. No recovery images, memory check didn't yell at me, chkdsk seemed to run fine (unless running it in the X:/ or "boot" drive is wrong and I have to figure out how to navigate to the C or D drive in cmd ...but even then, what do I do with the result of chkdsk, especially when it will probably show no problems?) so I THINK recovery tools are out, unless I failed to use them correctly.

So now I'm faced with re-installing windows, in which case I have no idea what my activation key is, being that it was a digital copy and I don't have the student access to where I originally downloaded it.

TL;DR:
1) Can I find my win7 activation key with a key-finding/decrypting program while using my linux boot?
2) I've read that my GPU (nvidia 460) or even PSU (Corsair 650) could be to blame- are there ways to troubleshoot/verify that if I don't have other parts to replace them with?
3) WAT DO?

I'm prepared to wipe/re-install, which is probably the least stressful method- if I can find my activation key.

Thanks for any advice- I'll be back on in a few hours if there are any initial details you need from me.

Update:

Tried swapping my RAM around, running with one at a time, and even replacing my GPU with an old one (that produced the same problem) So I think I can rule out that Hardware as the cause.
June 20, 2011 3:16:19 AM

1) answered my own question- took the config folder through my linux boot onto my laptop and used ProduKey to look for the activation key- unfortunately, since I got my copy of Windows through the Microsoft Academic Alliance, they key isn't stored in the registry so I'm SOL there!

i am seriously getting crushed at every opportunity. any advice out there?
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June 20, 2011 3:21:20 PM

(should I move this to the general discussion?)
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June 21, 2011 3:19:16 PM

Well, if anyone stumbles upon this with the same problem- I ended up backing up my data and re-installing windows via thumb drive (I got a hold of my activation key through the contact at my school)

Unfortunately, I never got to the bottom of things, but this was the quickest way to resolve the stressful issue.
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