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Windows Black Screen with a Difference

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a three pc's in my workshop currently. All three of them start to load windows then stop at the stage where it switches to GUI mode. The monitor does not go to sleep so it is still getting signal from the graphics card.

When this happens the hard disk stops attempting to load anything. I have come across the vista black screen of death many times before but unlike that in this one you do not even get a mouse cursor.

I can access them in safe mode.

Tasks I have performed already are as follows:

Complete malware and virus scans on the disks using combofix and malwarebytes antimalware.
Hard disk full diagnostics.
Memory Diagnostics.
Removed graphics drivers.

The computers are of the following spec:

Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5GHz
2GB RAM
Windows XP Pro SP3
Seagate 500GB Sata HDD
ATI radeon X1300

Intel Duel core 3.2GHz
4GB RAM
Windows VISTA SP2
2 x Seagate 250GB in a raid 0
Nvidia 8400GS

Toshiba laptop
Centrino processor
Intergrated ATI mobility graphics card.
Windows Vista SP1

Any help would be greatly apprecited since I am stumped on this one
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Question by:jgearhart
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6 Comments
 
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Accepted Solution

by:
Arman Khodabande earned 1336 total points
ID: 36504159
The strange thing is that the 3 computers act the same! ?

Are they new or they've worked before? Did you install these windows system the same time on three PCs?

Disconnect all of unneeded devices from one of them and then try to turn it on. (only one) (Network cables, usb devices, . . .)

Try the System restore option to go back to the original settings if they worked earlier.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jackie Man
Jackie Man earned 664 total points
ID: 36504870
I just wonder three machines use the same anti-virus software.

Try to disable or remove the anti-virus software in safe mode and check whether you can load windows vista in normal mode.
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Author Comment

by:jgearhart
ID: 36510093
All three are previous working systems. One uses Mcafee another NIS 2011 and another trend titanium.
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LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Arman Khodabande
Arman Khodabande earned 1336 total points
ID: 36511712
Did you take my advice and experiment on one of them only?
Did you turn it on with all the external devices disconnected?
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Author Comment

by:jgearhart
ID: 36524523
The problem seems to be the registry corrupted. On the windows xp based computer I restored both the system and software hives and the computer started working again properly. The first time I did this it only booted once then went back to the way it had been. I repeated the process and then ran combofix on the boot. The computer has worked ever since. I can only think a rootkit or some other form of malware had hijacked one of the system drivers.

The vista based ones did not have system restore enabled so I have had to wipe them and start again.

The odd thing is system restore could not get it working.

For anyone else that comes across this issue here was my fix:

1) use a rescue cd to boot the computer,]
2) access the system volume information folder and find a backup of these from before the problems started.
3) replace the system and software hives with the backups and boot the computer normally.
4) run combofix.

Thanks for all the help people.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Arman Khodabande
ID: 36525119
Happy to know that you restored them!
We couldn't help you with that little information you provided, but anyway you found the solution!
Thanks for the points.
Good luck
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