Black screen with cursor after boot


I have been getting an alert that I have updates to windows 7, but they never seem to actually install. Tonight it didn't seem like my audio drivers were working anymore.

On my other computer I realized that Custopack tools, which is a theme customization program that alters uxtheme.dll, wasn't working with the new service pack. So with this laptop I restored the default windows theme and rebooted, and got my audio back. However, I went to shut down, which would also install the update, and when I booted back up, Windows won't even start.

I get past the bios, and then there's just a blinking cursor. The door on the CD-ROM works but the caps lock and num lock do not.

I am at a loss as to what to do next, because I can't even boot in safe mode. What should I do?

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  1. It seems to me that if updates aren't even installing then you should find some way to completely reformat the drive. However if you have some utilities try to boot into them and run soem test, if you have the Windows disk then there's a fantastic tool in it called startup repair (or was it in the OS itself) that attempts to fix errors at startup so that Windows could boot.
  2. You know what? I had a friend's ipod plugged into my laptop to recharge. As soon as I unplugged this, my pc booted normally.

    I guess the lesson to learn here is that if this happens, disconnect everything first.

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