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black desktop background after logging into Vista home premium (SP1)

Hi experts,
I've got a Toshiba laptop with Vista and Ubuntu installed.

All of a sudden after a reboot, after logging in, all i can see is "my documents" on top of a black desktop background.

I tried a few things before posting here:
1) I successfully booted into Ubuntu and the desktop there is good as usual; so i assume there's nothing wrong with hardware
2) I booted into windows safe mode and got exactly the same issue
3) I booted into windows safe mode with command line and issued the command "chkdsk" and i hereby attach screenshots here. It says "errors found but chkdsk cannot continue in read-only mode".

What caused the problem? Why did "chkdsk" say "error found"? how can i fix this?
More points will be awarded to helpful comments.

thanks
Eileen

I attach 3 screenshots here.
First one shows what it looks like after logging in;
second and third one show the command line window after issuing "chkdsk".
IMG-0414.jpg
IMG-0411.jpg
IMG-0413.jpg
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eileen_fong2001
Asked:
eileen_fong2001
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1 Solution
 
Michael PfisterCommented:
boot into windows safe mode with command line and enter

chkdsk /f

to fix the file system problems. Then boot to Vista and check if the desktop problem is gone.
keep us updated how it goes
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fishadrCommented:
If the above does not work then you may need to try running a system restore within Vista as per the following instructions:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-system-restore/

This restores the settings back to a earlier point, it does not delete any of your data. If you cannot run the Sytem Restore, press Ctrl+ALT+DEL and select START TASK MANAGER, when this loads, select File New Task (Run) and type in Explorer. This should bring up your menu bar and you should find the System Restore option under All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

If this does not work you will need to follow the instructions in the above link, boot from the Vista CD and choose "Repair your Computer" and follow the instructions here:

http://vistasupport.mvps.org/windows_vista_repair_options.htm

This may alter the Ubuntu boot loader and you may need to fix this.
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
I'll give it a try and let you know how it goes.

Any idea what could be the cause? virus?

Thanks!
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fishadrCommented:
Sounds like you have some data corruption on your disk, could be caused by various issues, hopefully that is all it is!
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
after issuing the command "chkdsk /f" i got the following:
chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process. Would you like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts(Y/N)?

I chose Y and restarted and nothing happened. I issued "chkdsk /f" again and got the above again.

What should i do now?
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fishadrCommented:
Try running through the following to get the chkdsk running, normally you have to boot from the recovery console to resolve but one of these shoudl fix the corruption:

http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/67612-checkdisk.html

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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
there are 4 methods there, which one should i use?

also, i've created recovery discs, but when i tried to boot from them, it failed and booted into vista...

seems i'm getting more and more problems now. what should i do?
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
ok  i've successfully run "chkdsk /f" but after booting into vista, i still got the same problem---black desktop background.

anything i can do now?
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
I've increased points to 350.

Any prompt help would be appreciated.
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fishadrCommented:
Yes, you have some files corrupted. The Fdisk will have tried to resolve this but obviously has not fixed all the files.

You therefore need to run through the previous steps I posted:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/using-windows-vista-system-restore/

This restores the settings back to a earlier point, it does not delete any of your data. If you cannot run the Sytem Restore, press Ctrl+ALT+DEL and select START TASK MANAGER, when this loads, select File New Task (Run) and type in Explorer. This should bring up your menu bar and you should find the System Restore option under All Programs, Accessories, System Tools.

If this does not work you will need to follow the instructions in the above link, boot from the Vista CD and choose "Repair your Computer" and follow the instructions here:

http://vistasupport.mvps.org/windows_vista_repair_options.htm

This may alter the Ubuntu boot loader and you may need to fix this.

This should resolve the problem, it works in most cases. However sometimes the corruption is so bad that you will need to do a full re-install of the O/S. I don't think this will be the case here though.       
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
"press Ctrl+ALT+DEL and select START TASK MANAGER, when this loads, select File New Task (Run) and type in Explorer."

I did this and i got my usual desktop back.

but the thing is: i still got the same problem after a reboot!

what do you suggest now? do another "restore"?
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fishadrCommented:
I have had this problem a number of times before. Your profile environment / files are corrupt. If you use the Task Manager process you can get your normal environment back but only on a temporay basis. This allows you to then run the System Restore to recover to an earlier restore point which hopefully will fix your problem.

If not you will have to boot from the Vista CD and do a repair.
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
OK for now i'll try a "restore" to an earlier restore point.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Also, i don't have vista installation CD cos it's pre-installed. But i do have 2 DVDs as "vista recovery disc". Does that help?
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
Also, what caused profile environment/files corrupt? will i be able to prevent it from happening? This wasted a lot of my time and i just don't want it to happen again......
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fishadrCommented:
The recovery disc should help - however, it may run a full recovery (formatting and reinstalling the disk, in which case you may lose everything), check the support pages for whoever supplier the recovery disk and also copy your data off the laptop prior to running this.

The file corruption could be due to a number of issues - bad blocks on the disk, dropping or knocking the laptop, hardware failure during writing data, virus, electrical interference etc. There are so many options that could have caused this.

It is more than likely just an unlucky experience. If you ensure that you have regular restore points and backups of your data should be safe. I have used the recovery method many times successfully and only twice has the Black Screen Of Death caused me to have to re-install the O/S from scratch.
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
Thanks.
I ran "restore" to an earlier date and rebooted and everything is fine now!

but i still need to ask a few questions:
1) I've noticed that a few downloaded files and installed programs are missing now. You said all my data will be safe but it seems this is not the case...
(i restored to Feb/08 restore point; some files that i downloaded in the last 24-48 hours are missing)

2) how can i ensure that "i have regular restore points"? Would you suggest that i do it on a daily basis?

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fishadrCommented:
Excellent news.

1) If you installed any additional programs since the last restore point you will have to re-install these. If you have downloaded them they should be on your disk, unless they are in a location that has been removed or if they were downloaded using a specific program that has had its settings reset during the system restore? Sometimes installing updates, patches and new software can corrupt your environment. Using the restore allows you to restore your environment to a previous state (prior to installing files and registry changes etc). This is something that you will come across again I expect.

2) The system restore points are created automatically every day, and just before significant system events, such as the installation of a program or device driver. You can also create a restore point manually if you are about to do a major change (installing software or changing the configuration).

The following site has some good reference material in relation to the restore points and how to configure them:

http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/help/517d3b8e-3379-46c1-b479-05b30d6fb3f01033.mspx

I normally leave the standard ones on and if I am doing major changes, or installing new software / major patches I will create a system restore point myself.

Also remember to backup your data to external media DVD etc in case you have a total failure.

As you are working at the moment, reboot your PC, log back in and then manually create another system restore point. Run Windows Update and install all the latest patches, reboot and create another restore point. Then install the additional software you require, reboot, and create another restore point. You will then have a number of points to roll back to in the event of another failure.
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
Thanks for that.
I'll reply again tomorrow as it's getting late here and i need some sleep.

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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
ok you are right---the downloaded files are still there but the installed programs are gone. I had to install them again.

Another quick question: i bought my laptop with vista pre-installed and it came with no installation DVD or CD. I was able to make 2 DVDs as "recovery discs" but obviously they are not installation DVDs. How can I make installation DVDs from that vista partition which has been pre-installed?

Thanks

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fishadrCommented:
Some suppliers do not supply the installation media and will just supply a recovery disc that will erase your hard disk and re-install everything to the state it was when you first purchased this. I would check with the suppliers website to see if there are additional software that you can download to avoid this and run the repair. Sometimes they install additional tools/utilities to do this.

Other than that it might be an idea to ask around and see if someone has a disk that you can copy and use for running repairs.
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eileen_fong2001Author Commented:
Thanks again!
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