Windows 7 starts to boot but after splash screen fails to continue with black screen and white moveable cursor- how can I resolve this please

Prior to doing a Microsoft W7 course I set up an installation of Windows 7 professional installed in partition C of a new two partition drive.
I have my XP professional installation set up on my original drive and simply booted from W7 by either selecting the alternative drive from the boot menu on firing up the PC, or actually disconnecting the XP drive and connecting the W7 drive. This worked fine during my course, but when I tried to load up the W7 drive a few weeks ago it black screened as above.

I have looked at the experts suggestions for this type of problem and tried all the remedies as far as I can see, but no luck.
I have my Adobe CS4 installed on this drive and wish to de-register it so that i can use the software on another machine but unfortunately can't get at it as windows does not boot.

I've tried the fixboot/fixmbr/rebuildbcd etc, tried repairing using the Windows7 DVD, even tried sfc but wouldn't complete as waiting for completion of the repair, and needs to run from within windows.

Alt/ctrl/del or esc doesn't come up with anything.
Safe mode gets as far as classpnp.sys before going to a black screen (which may be normal)  but then hangs with the same problem.
I couldn't restore to any earlier point as I usually do a backup using Acronis. Recovery of the last backup using Acronis  results in the same black screen problem.
I have recovered the Acronis images to two different drives- same black screen problem arises.
I've tried two different PCIe graphics cards- still same problem so not likely to be graphics memory. Drive tests as ok as does memory.
I have successfully restored my first Acronis backup taken just after installation/updates so think it may be a subsequent update. It was working ok last time I booted it up earlier in the year but cannot remember if any updates were installed on closing down.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions as to how to resolve the problem.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have not had any updates that caused my Windows 7 system to break.

>>> I tried to load up the W7 drive a few weeks... <--- Might there have been a licensing or activation issue? And if so, did the time to fix it expire?

You might call Adobe Support and see if they will allow you to re-active a new install of CS4 - "My hard drive crashed and I cannot de-activate it".

.... Thinkpads_User
Feeble hope: What about using "enable low resolution video?"
How is the drive set in the BIOS? AHCI or IDE?
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

Iain MacMillanIT Regional Manager - UKCommented:
is there any security software installed, including any endpoint security like Safend?  also had you already applied SP1 to Win 7 prior to your known workign backup, or could this have been done afterwards and resulted in the Black Screen you now have with a later image.

Adobe should be ok if you inform them as ThinkPads says, I have done it before when we lost system drives for our Photoshop/Acrobat users.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
At black screen does it react to Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination?
techtrampAuthor Commented:
Hi All,
Thanks for the suggestions.

In answer-
I was intending to activate windows 7 after I'd got eveything installed that I wanted, so wasn't activated. However the earlier Acronis image booted up ok but said I need to activate so the later image should have been ok as well. I'm going to move over to W7 anyway so have all my licence details to confirm.

If I can't get W7 to boot then I'll try Adobe as suggested.

Can't change to low res video as I can't get beyond the black screen for access- I'd hoped a change of graphics cards might resolve a possible graphics problem.

AHCI or IDE drive settings- I'm at work at the moment so can't check, but works on XP and the earlier Acronis image so guess it should be ok on the later image.

W7 was fully updated inc SP1- I then did an Acronis image (verified) and then continued using the drive without any problem.

Security software- probably Norton IS 2011. I have a log of most things installed but can't access until I'm home

Alt/Ctrl/Del  or Esc - no effect

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
There are a couple of links for startup repair. You need the drive to be primary, I think.   and

... Thinkpads_User
techtrampAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the links thinkpads_user.
I've gone through all  the options on the system recovery screen includling going into cmd and trying the fixboot / mbr /rebuild bcd.
When running the repair- it reported that it was the third or fourth repair that had been run!
(View diagnostic and repair details)
Looked back on my install log- Norton NIS 2010 installed not 2011, also Norton Utilities 14 and Office 10. Clipmate, Adobe CS4 and Lightroom 1.4
All working ok after last Acronis image created.
I haven't carried out any BIOS updates, and can't think of any changes/installs that I made that could cause  this problem.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
At this point, the wisest course of action may be to rebuld this Windows 7 system. It will likely be more reliable this way, and it may also be time to build it as your production system and not test system.

... Thinkpads_User
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Is there onboard video controller on your motherboard?
techtrampAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately no onboard video, and two different PCIe cards gave the same problem.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Try to disconnect the video card, try to start PC without it. Turn it off - connect the card again and boot. Does it load desktop?
techtrampAuthor Commented:
Hi Noxchp,
At the moment I need to use the PC so have to use my XP drive- I'll try your card removal/refit tomorrow and report back.
techtrampAuthor Commented:
Hi noxcho,
Tried removing/ refitting the video card as suggested but same problem.

Looks as though it might be a fresh install + a phone call to Adobe to see if they will transfer my CS4 reg  code to another installation.

Unless anyone else comes up with any suggestions, then I'll close this question next week. my thanks to all who have suggested possible solutions.


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techtrampAuthor Commented:
No solution but my thanks to all who contributed.
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