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Solved: Black screen of death at startup, all began with a blue screen

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by civilmeszaros, Feb 27, 2009.

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  1. civilmeszaros

    civilmeszaros Thread Starter

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    Hi, thanks for checking my question. I haven't found an answer to my particular situation:

    Dell xps m1430 laptop w/vista (32).

    It all started with a blue screen w/scrolling text after the fated restart. The blue screen text said "if this is the first time you've seen this message..." and then comp restarted, again showing the blue screen, then restarted into windows repair mode, after repair mode tried to fix the problem comp restarted, then the screen went black / blank right after the little windows loading animation (where the bar keeps moving from left to right and there's a small windows logo).
    It all happened fast, so there may have been steps I forgot, but that's the jist of it.

    Now screen always goes black / blank during startup after the windows loading animation, so I can't start windows in normal mode.
    I can start in safe mode if I manually force shutdown by holding the power button, so I'm not imploding with fear... ok I am.

    Possible causes:
    1. This occured right after installing 11 vista updates (that restart was when I saw the blue screen)

    2. Also occured the restart after running a patch called "Vista TCP/IP and UAC AutoPatch 6.0" I downloaded it from softpedia, the developer was listed as defcon, and their website listed was securevista.net, but the site is down(I found this out after the problem occured). The patch had lots of positive reviews, and lots of people on other sites also suggest using it to remove the limit of tcp connections which windows unnecessarily imposes. Removing the limit supposedly increases P2P filesharing speeds, so it's a common approach to slow utorrent problems etc to patch the tcp sys file.
    I have since "unpatched" it, using the unpatch file which came with it, but I'm suspicious of the software developer now. The patch originally disabled UAC (user account control) which is suspicious to me, but I'm not highly tech savy, so I dunno if that's common or not.

    3. I did also remove mcafee's security center. I was busy I guess, that was a mistake, should always restart after each big change. I apologize for the complication this creates in identifying the problem. It's possible I did something else before the fatal restart, if none of these three could be the culprit, then I'll think harder about what that could be, but for now these changes stand out in my mind.

    I'm assuming that windows repair mode's changes didn't cause this problem, but I don't have any factual reason to believe that.



    What could this be? What can I do?

    Thank you

    p.s. This is the last time I ever install software from a company that doesn't have an active website, even if this wasn't the problem's cause.

     
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  3. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Are you familiar with "System Restore", that would be the first thing I would do >>

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/936212/en-us

    Does it make a difference if you choose VGA mode on startup instead of Safe Mode? If so, it's a display driver issue.

    You can also try a "clean boot" >>

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135 << written for Vista, but applies equally well to XP



    If necessary I can take a look at the minidumps created by the original BSODs, but if you are no longer getting them, it probably won't help.

    I can run a debugging utility on the dump files if you do this:

    1 > create a new folder on the desktop and call it "dumpcheck" or whatever you like
    2 > navigate to c:\windows\minidump and copy the last few minidump files to that folder. *this assumes 'c' is your boot drive, if it is not, subsitute accordingly
    3 > close the folder and right click on it and select Send to Compressed (zipped) Folder.
    4 > use the "manage attachments" in the "advanced" reply window to upload that zip file here as an attachment.

    This might point us to a non Microsoft driver causing the error, if one exists for it.
     
  4. civilmeszaros

    civilmeszaros Thread Starter

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    Thank you R'Rog, I'll be a lot safer now that I know how to do that, that's a relief. (I saved your post to text just in case this reccurs)

    I ran Avast all night, it got stuck at 4% for hours, and I had to keep waking up to tell it what to do with the viruses (very tired today...) of which it found 5, yikes. Deleted them since they couldn't be repaired/vaulted, and restart worked, though funky.

    Eventlog shows a LOT of errors (drivers/files not found) after the bad restart, is there anything I should do to ensure that all drivers/files are back where they should be?
     
  5. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    It depends on what drivers or files are not found -- if they are "system" files you can try running sfc /scannow

    See the following >> http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833

    You may be prompted for a disk or it may find cached versions to replace them with.

    If they belong to installed programs, then you need to reinstall the program they belong to.

    Any that you cannot resolve and which continue to repeat, let me know what the errors are and whether they actually seem to affect anything you do.

    Since you have had a malware infection it is possible that the errors may have pertained to those that were removed at one time, so be sure what you see does not refer to those.

    Pay attention only to the recent repeating ones.
     
  6. civilmeszaros

    civilmeszaros Thread Starter

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    Thanks. Seems most system errors/warnings faded down after the malware went away, still got one reocurring but it's "commonly missing" according to the number of threads which popped up on google for them.
    I'll have to keep reviewing the applications log and finding progs to reinstall, thanks.
    Still functioning ok as of now.
     
  7. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Good to hear :)
     
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