Vista Black Screen with curser

I have a laptop which the owner does not want to format. Basically when going to boot it one morning it came up with an error that was something like:

Windows Boot Manager

File: \Boot\BCD
Status: 0xC0000001
Info: An error occured while attempting to read the boot configuration data.

So I ran a startup repair and that seemed to fix the boot.ini file. The machine now boots, but after the Vista loading screen it just goes to a black screen with a white curser. Pressing CRTL + ALT + DEL does nothing. The same thing happens in safe mode.

I tried booting off the Windows CD and doing a system restore, but there are apparently no restore points. I used an MSDaRT CD to get a bit futher, there are no hotfixes to uninstall, it wont run an SFC because it says there is an error.

Any ideas?
Who is Participating?
Chris MillardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First of all, I would remove the drive from the laptop and attach it to a desktop PC. Take a complete backup of it using Acronis True Image (or similar). Then run a chkdsk on the drive in case it's got any file system or surface areas...
James7285Author Commented:
I already have a backup of the drive.

I tried running a chkdsk, it did find some problems which it said it corrected, but the problem is still there.
Boot from the cd again Choose repair computer then choose command prompt then run
bootrec.exe /fixmbr
bootrec.exe /fixboot 
James7285Author Commented:
It turns out it was a hardware problem with the original drive.

Thanks for the help.
just to say, sometimes you may be able to login and get black screen if thats the case..

1) Use the vista DVD to go to the repair mode.  
2) From the same screen where you do the system restore, there's an option to open an administrative command prompt.
3) That should open in X:\Sources or something like that
4) Go to the windows drive by entering C:
5) Now go to the windows event log folder on your machine (C:\Windows\System32\winevt):
cd c:\windows\system32\winevt
6) ren Logs Logs_bad
7) mkdir Logs
This will create an empty folder for new event logs.

Restart the system and cross fingers.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.