Software Issue (Windows 7)

Last night, my computer decided to freeze the screen, then black out, but everything was still running (i.e. I still heard the music I was playing at the time, as well as the game's special effects). When I reboot, the Windows logo appears as usual, then immediately after the Windows logo disappears, the screen goes pitch black, and I know I am at the login screen because I can type my password in, and then I hear the login sound. The screen is still black even at the desktop.

I am able to see the display and such on safe mode. So first, I tried system restore but nothing was fixed. Since it was already late at night, I stopped trouble shooting online, so I decided in the morning I would go see a store that diagnoses and fixes electronics. The guy told me it was most likely a software issue and said I should reinstall Windows 7. I just downloaded malwarebytes, and I am now running it, in hopes for a quick fix. If, however, that does not work, would you guys say my laptop will likely be fixed through a reinstallation of Windows 7?

Also, I would do this immediately, but... I cannot find my Windows Vista key they gave me with the laptop, as well as the Windows 7 upgrade key they sent me a couple months after. This laptop is like 2-3 years old... Is there any way of identifying my product key so I can reinstall? Like, could I call the Lenovo support to check my laptop model number and such? (I do not know if it can get specific enough to tell them the EXACT laptop via the underside of the laptop...)

Sorry for all the really newbie questions, but I am quite frustrated at myself for not keeping track of where I left my product keys... I think when I installed Windows 7 via the upgrade disc, I wasn't even sure if I could reinstall Windows 7 by itself (i.e. I think I would have had to reinstall Vista and upgrade into 7... or am I wrong?)

Any information would be greatly appreciated,

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  1. You're right on all counts.
    Yes, a reinstall might help. It's a 80-20 chance...
    Yes, you will need to call Lenovo Tech support and figure it out with them, of course they will ask you to prove you are the rightful owner and the keys might be mailed to you at the registration email address that you gave to them during, Registering your PC and when you upgraded the OS.

    And yes, you will need to first install Vista and then Upgrade to Win 7 like you did before, the upgrade disc will not carry the entire copy of Win 7, it's just the upgrade pack.
  2. Thanks for the reply alyoshka.

    Okay, so I actually looked at the underside of my laptop, and I found the Windows Vista Product Key that it came with (I am so dumb...). Another good news is that I found my Windows 7 Upgrade disc hidden in my random storage box of computer sh---stuff. Now for more questions...

    How do I reinstall Windows Vista without an installation CD? I assume I can download it off Microsoft website? Or Lenovo? I can reinstall in Safe Mode, right?

    I am trying to think of more questions... but nothing is coming up at the moment...

    Again, information is appreciated!

  3. Does your laptop have a recovery disc or partition?
    That would be the best way to go, it's usually just a few clicks of keys and the Laptop goes back to the day it was bought.....
    Everything goes.... you'd be a lot better off if you had one of those rigs.
    Just check.... the manual ought to tell you.
  4. A recovery disc? That is the one disc I could not find. A partition? Or a recovery partition? Not sure what those are... so could not find them either. Is it supposed to be a .exe in one of the prepartitioned Lenovo drives?
  5. Yes, it will be an exe in one of those partitions, but the recovery partition is usually hidden. What sort of programs has Lenovo given to you preinstalled by them?
  6. Read through these 2 Help and Support methods from Lenovo themselves, try them out and see if any of them work with your Laptop.
  7. I managed to find the full restore at start up. I executed it and my laptop is now at stock condition. (Windows Vista)

    There is still a major problem. When I boot up my laptop, it gets to the login screen just fine now, and I can enter my password. But once I get a hazy glimpse of my desktop (which I noticed had all my original Lenovo icons, so I knew it was restored to stock condition), the screen freezes for a brief moment, then a blue error message covers the screen. I do not know how to save an image of it to show you. I am currently in safe mode trouble shooting online, but I would really appreciate some more help.



    EDIT 1: This is what I am getting: "When your computer experiences an unrecoverable hardware or software problem, Windows Vista shuts down or restarts your computer. When this occurs, Vista will sometimes display a blue screen that contains a message that states that "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer." At other times, Vista displays a message after you log in that indicates that Windows has recovered from a serious error or an unexpected shutdown. Then Vista prompts you to check for a solution to the problem. These errors are known as BlueScreen or STOP errors, and they can be caused by several things."

    Am I supposed to update my BIOS? Drivers? Not sure why it would want me to do that if I restored it to factory condition... (as in, if it worked in factory condition the first time I received this laptop, why doesn't it work now?)

    EDIT 2: I came across this "solution" but I do not have Windows XP, nor do I have a disc version of Windows Vista... so not sure how to use this method...
  8. OK. Now boot it up and boot straight into safe mode, by using F8 during the post process.
    See if it comes on totally for a little while and tell us what happened.
  9. Okay so I went to the electronics people again, and they found out there was no "hardware" issues... but was most likely a software issue. Then they swapped out the RAM, and tested each stick to see if either or both were defected. Neither of the two were defective. At this point, they said "oh, this could be a bit more serious than we thought," and went on explaining it could be a video card or motherboard problem. I brought the laptop back home, tested some stuff, managed to get it to work pretty well. I checked dxdiag, and only my intel integrated chip was running as my current display driver (the one on the CPU?). Usually, my ATI FireGL v5700 is the one running on switchable graphics mode when it is on high performance. So I downloaded all the drivers, and tried downloading ATI Catalyst software and it would not download because of the following error:
    "AMD Catalyst Mobility cannot be downloaded due to incompatible hardware/software on your computer.

    The version of your graphics adapter is not supported.

    Please contact your notebook manufacturer for a graphics driver update."

    From this, I suspect my v5700 or my motherboard is defective now. (Or maybe there was a corrupt file in the software installation?)

    Any insights into my current predicament?
  10. Ok, now check the BIOS version you have and the latest BIOS version available for the laptop from the lenovo site.
    There is some sort of an option in the BIOS to turn the switchable graphics on.
    Check to see if that is done in the BIOS.
  11. The switchable graphics have been on.
  12. And the BIOS?
  13. What Vista Version do you have installed? 32bit or 64 bit?
    Why can't I find the your GPU in the drop down list at AMD? it only shows it upto FireGL V5600?
    Reconfirm the model of the GPU pls.
  14. Just so you know, I have already upgraded to Windows 7, 64 bit.

    I do in fact have a FireGL V5700 (which is equivalent to a Radeon Mobility HD 3650). My particular graphics card is specifically produced by Lenovo. As such, I already downloaded and updated my drivers (or at least tried to) from the Lenovo website.

    For now, everything is working fine. The only problem, and for me in particular, is that the switchable graphics card no longer works. To clarify, my Intel integrated GPU runs fine, however, I want my ATI FireGL v5700 to run instead. And that is the problem, the v5700 appears to not be able to run properly. The AMD Catalyst software does not install as mentioned above, which is what I used before to switch GPU's.

    And I tried updating the BIOS already too.
  15. What's your model and part number?
  16. Laptop is a Lenovo ThinkPad W500
    Model is LENOVO 4058CTO

    Windows 7 64bit
  17. BIOS Update Utility for 64-bit Windows
    README for BIOS Update Utility

    This is a must:
    ThinkPad Switchable Graphics Driver for Windows 7 (32-bit, 64-bit) - ThinkPad
    Intel GM45 Display Driver
    README for Intel GM45 Display Driver
    ThinkPad Switchable Graphics Driver
    README for ThinkPad Switchable Graphics Driver

    All these I have got from
    After Selecting the exact model which you have specified...

    After you install the Switchable Graphics Driver, you should be able to install the v5700 ..... Using the AMD drivers....
  18. I have already downloaded all of those before. Each one gives me an error saying the hardware or software does not match, including the BIOS update. This is why I am stumped. I read in the BIOS readme saying I need to update my v5700 first via the switchable graphics driver, but again, it does not work. I am so lost!

    By the way, thank you for your replies.

    EDIT: I am looking at a support/drivers page on Lenovo, and I see a list of Windows updates. I checked some of the ones I have, and compared it to that list. I do not have some of them. But at the same time, my computer is still installing and updating Windows 7 every time I shutdown (and I have shutdown several times already). Is this normal? Why isn't it updating all at once? I assume it requires a previous update to update further...?
  19. All updates cannot be installed at once. Some of them require updating of critical files that are running during the update process and may require a reboot. Some updates cannot be applied before other updates are already finished, thus again require reboots and long update time. And the present day updates have run into quiet a big total.
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