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Vista boots to black screen and blinking cursor in upper left hand corner

Posted on 2011-09-21
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am workng on a Compaq laptop with Windows Vista. On boot, I get the Compaq logo and then just a black screen and blinking curson up in the left hand corner of the screen.  There is nothing plugged into the computer.  I have tried repair from a Vista boot disk and it says nothing is wrong.  Ran full diagnostics and all is ok.  I installed Ubuntu and if I now choose to Boot from Windows on the opening screen then it boots fine.  What is wrong here?  I want to now remove Ubuntu and have it boot to Windows.  FYI- It would not boot to safe mode and system restore did nothing.
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Question by:waytron
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by:justgrand19
ID: 36577948
You will need to use a partition tool to set the windows partition to active again, grub and other boot loaders used by Linux change the windows partition. This is why you only see a black screen after removing Linux. I have had success with acronis disk director from a boot-able CD to fix this issue. Vista does not have many partition tools available. If you have a windows 7 machine and a external connector you can also use computer management and the disk management tool to set the windows partition as active.
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by:waytron
ID: 36577967
Thanks, I will try that in the morning.  I have Disk director or I will connect the drive to one of my Win 7 machines.  I will get back to you.
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Ian Meredith earned 500 total points
ID: 36577984
Sounds like a broken/corrupt boot loader (in Vista).  So when you installed Ubuntu the boot loader has been bypassed.


If it's not too inconvenient I would format, get a copy of Win 7 and install that (Vista is not stable enough).  Otherwise a fresh install of Vista should fix the problem.

Alternatively you can follow the steps at this site to perform a boot loader repair.
http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Vista+Bootloader+from+the+DVD

A program called EasyBCD should be able to help you out with any further boot issues.

See this link to remove Ubuntu
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-safely-uninstall-ubuntu-in-windows-dual-boot-environment/

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Expert Comment

by:Jim-R
ID: 36578185
If you follow Ian_Admino advice regarding Win 7, make sure the model you have is Win 7 capable.  I know of one person with Vista x86 and hardware that logically should have run Win 7 (having 3GB RAM and a Core2Duo 2GHz processor), but the video drivers refused to work (in spite of NVidia listing them for Win 7 x86 for that specific video adapter).  As it turned out, the laptop was NOT supported by the manufacturer for Win 7.  They had to go back to Vista because of this.

I'm pretty certain there is existing information at Experts Exchange regarding the removal of Ubuntu.  This should get you back to where you want to be.
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by:waytron
ID: 36579583
I tried, making the Windows partition active but that did not help.  Booting to a Command Prompt using the Windows Vista disk and using bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot  worked perfectly.  Thank you so much.  Not sure what happened here but I suspect a virus?
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by:waytron
ID: 36579593
Perfect, worked like a charm, Now all I have to do is reclaim the partition that I had Ubuntu installed on.  Thanks again.
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