Vista OS Migration causes Black Screen of Death (with mouse)
Posted on 2013-02-04
I have a Dell Laptop running Vista Home 64bit. The hard drive is getting bad sectors, so I'm trying to move everything to a new hard drive. The problem is that after the migration, the new hard drive boots to a black screen with a mouse. None of the usual tricks get it to finish booting (hitting Shift 5 times, Ctrl-Alt-Del, or Ctrl-Shift-Esc)
I prepared the bad drive for the clone by running a chkdsk /F /R C:, using msconfig to boot into diagnostic mode, and configuring the system for auto logon.
I used Paragron Drive Copy 12 to clone the drive, and performed a raw hard drive copy to preserve the Restore partition. I do receive IO errors during the copy (because of the bad sectors).
The only difference in the boot sequence between the two drives is that the original will pause for 2-5 seconds after the green bar, then I'll see the Windows logo, followed by the desktop. With the new drive, I get the green bar, and then I'm dumped into limbo with the mouse cursor. No 2-5 second pause, and no windows logo.
Safe mode doesn't work, and neither does Safe mode with Networking or Command Prompt. I also tried booting with a boot log, but I am unable to locate the log file in the Windows directory, so I'm guessing it wasn't saved before I hit limbo.
I even tried attaching the bad drive to the laptop via USB, thinking Windows is specifically looking or it (via driver, or service) during boot up, but no luck.
I'm out of ideas, and can use a fresh perspective that doesn't involve reinstalling Windows :)