I'm using XP Home on a laptop which has AVG virus guard and Zone Alarm installed. It's about 6 months old and has given no trouble like this before.
Yesterday I got an unusual message when sending/receiving my mail, which I didn't look at too carefully, but I thought it was an AVG message concerning not being able to initialise something, and the E-mail wasn't updated. So I thought rebooting the computer would probably fix the problem, but it was just the start of it!
On restarting, Windows XP screens appear as normal as far as the logon screen. I'm the only user and I don't set a password, so I just hit enter here. The window then comes up saying "loading your personal settings" as usual, but then the screen goes blank (all blue) and the computer stops loading Windows. However the cursor still responds to the touchpad. If I leave it, I see a few flashes of the hard disk light, and then everything seems to stop.
There's an occasional little flicker of the hard disk light, and then after a couple of minutes I get a Windows tune and the light flashes a few more times, but the screen is still blank.
If I press Ctrl+Al+Del, nothing happens for about 20-30 seconds, and then Task Manager appears. There are 19 processes running, and the memory usage values shown change occasionally. On the Performance tab, the CPU usage is zero apart from a spike a few minutes previously.
I don't have any Windows XP CDs as the laptop came preloaded, I was just able to buy the reload CD that resets everything to how it was delivered. Si if push comes to shove I can initialise the machine with the rebuild CD and then load back an Acronis image (assuming it works - I've not tried it before!) but I'll lose a few weeks' work since I last did an image, so I'd very much like to avoid all that.
Can anyone please suggest what's wrong and how to fix it?