WIN7 startup hangs at welcome or desktop blank.

my windows7 x64 will not boot completely. I get the welcome screen, with a continuous whirling circle or, sometimes, i get to the desktop, but no icons or task bar. I can't get any response from control/alt/delete to get to task manager. I have easy access to safe mode, and everything there seems normal. I have run AVAST, Malwarebytes, and a couple of other antivirus programs from safe mode, with no virus or malware identified. I have read every post in as many tech sites as I can find, and nothing seems to work. I have already tried going back to earlier restores, and am out of them.

Unless someone can help, I need to backup all my work files and reinstall Windows 7, I guess. I'm concerned that I will not have the drivers I need when I do that. I have a backup Macrium system image, but it's a year old, the external drive it's on clicks like crazy, indicating it's going bad, and I've got a LOT of work on my machine I don't want to lose.
I've already beaten myself severly with a rubber hose for putting off backups and restore disks, so save that...
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  1. I presume you've tried Safe mode (F8 right after the BIOS) and tried a system restore?
  2. teh_gerbil said:
    I presume you've tried Safe mode (F8 right after the BIOS) and tried a system restore?


    Yes. I'm out of restore points.
  3. do you use the likes of 'system mechanic' or other such registry cleaning applications?
  4. teh_gerbil said:
    do you use the likes of 'system mechanic' or other such registry cleaning applications?

    I use Registry Mechanic regularly, and have tried the registry repair in CCleaner (latest version).
  5. Ah, excellent, run that and revert the last registry clean you did. Very very highly likely that is what has broken your windows.
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