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Windows vista black screen after boot

I normally don't have problems fixing computers or laptops, but this one has plagued me for a couple hours now.

I have a friend's lenovo laptop with vista on it and it boots up, but after the loading screen, I get a black screen. I have the mouse pointer, but I can't ctrl alt del, or ctrl shift esc. I have done 2 system restores to dates before the problem, but still no luck. I have run the lenovo restore and recovery module and unfortunately he never used it to backup his system. I could do a complete system recover, but I would like to avoid that option if possible.

This problem just started yesterday.

If I can't avoid the complete recovery, will I lose files and important information on the computer already? This computer is used for his business. Any advice is greatly appreciated.
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lpxtech
Asked:
lpxtech
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2 Solutions
 
chilternPCCommented:
can you start it in safe mode?  (press <F10>  at the start of 'startup' several times)
then it will offer you a choice either choose sage mode or "system restore" where you can choose a date a few days ago to return to.
see if this allows you to log on - then back up the user data.
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chilternPCCommented:
sorry just read your post - forget the restore option - but try the safe mode.
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
Actually, it's F8 not F10 and yes, I have tried Last Known Good Configuration, I have tried safe mode, I chose "Repair your computer" and did 2 system restore's. The only thing I have not tried yet is Complete System Recovery, which i want to avoid if possible.
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chilternPCCommented:
just testing....
the black screen - prompts the following....
can you boot into VGA mode in Vista? (an option ith XP when pressing <F8>)

or have you tried attaching an external screen (laptop powered off) then power on and switch the display to external  while booting up  (<fn> key plus one of the ones atthe top?
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chilternPCCommented:
I say attached while its off as it may only detect the external screen at power up
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
It's not an issue of not being able to see the screen. The screen works and is on, and I can see the mouse pointer. The issue is that windows does not start. The screensaver works, the mouse works, I can't get task manager to come up or anything else for that matter.
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chilternPCCommented:
oh eck.
if you can't get the task manager to run - it sounds like a start up task is not completing and stopping the statup of explorer.exe. - probably norton.
any of the keyboard short cuts work (windosw+r) ?
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willcompCommented:
It wasn't clear to me ---- can you boot into Safe Mode?

I recently had a PC with the same problem and it turned out to be an incomplete install of XP Antivirus 2009 (which is malware).
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chilternPCCommented:
actually some of these newer sonys and HPs when you go to a full restore it offers to back up the user data.
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
Well, I broke down to do a complete pc restore, but now it says No valid backup locations could be found.
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chilternPCCommented:
do you have a vista install CD and see if you can epair it the old XP way ?
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willcompCommented:
You cannot do a repair install in Vista like you could with XP, W2K, and Win9X. You can do an upgrade install but the PC must be bootable.

Can you boot into safe mode?
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the responses,

I do have a windows install disk, and I tried to do the repair, but it was the same repair dialog that is installed on the system on the boot menu. I used the startup repair numerous times, I have done 3 system restores to older dates. It seems that this is a lost cause. I can use the command prompt in the repair dialog though. But have no luck at fixing anything.
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chilternPCCommented:
in the cmd prompt you could copy files ?

copy c:\users\<user name>\documents\*.* d:\

(just a guess but hey..)

the sony usualy comes with the disc partitioned into 2 (os and data)  maybe copy c:\user\documents to the other disc?
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chilternPCCommented:
then restore to factory
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
First of all, it's not sony, it's lenovo. Secondly, I can't restore to factory as I stated above "Well, I broke down to do a complete pc restore, but now it says No valid backup locations could be found."! I am out of options.
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willcompCommented:
This is a long shot but may work. Boot from the Vista DVD and go to the command prompt. Run chkdsk /f /v

The /v switch provides a list of files that are repaired, if any.

If no luck there and you have an XP CD with SP1 or later, create a UBCD4Win CD. It can be used to backup files to a USB device, another hard disk, or another partition.
http://www.ubcd4win.com/howto.htm

I'm assuming you cannot enter safe mode since you never answered my question.
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful. I will split the points for all of the assistance.

Thanks
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lpxtechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your help.
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xterratuffCommented:
I have the same problem with a Dell Latitude runnign Windows Vista Ultimate. Bios boots, Windows boots to the login, accepts the login and then continues to load to a black screen with a mouse pointer. I can lock and unlock windows and move the cursor, but that is as far as it goes.

I am not sure what caused the failure, but I had used the Ebassy suites software to encript some folders on the drive and then the laptop went into hibernation due to closing the laptop up. Once at work when I tried to restart the laptop... the black screen appeared.

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bmccutcheonCommented:
Im dealing with the same issue right now. After trying everything here and on other posts I have hooked my drive up to a usb/sata adapter and copied all of the data to a large external drive. I am performing a complete reload with the factory disks now and will just restore the data. I really wish Microsoft would hurry and work the bugs out of the Vista Program. This is exactly why the company I work for refuses to upgrade from XP Pro.
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chilternPCCommented:
The Dell Laptop - try going into safe mode (press F8 during the Dell  boot screen) and choose safe mdoe OR
during Boot force a bootup failture but holding down the poewr key while its loading and then restart - vista should see this as a startup failurer and offer you options to repair and restore - choose the restore and use a date before the problem
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