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Windows boots to blank screen

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by tbmcneill, Nov 23, 2005.

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  1. tbmcneill

    tbmcneill Thread Starter

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    I was recently playing CS:S online when the computer froze up entirely. I powered off.

    Upon restarting, the computer got through POST and the Windows (XP Pro SP2) loading screen. At this point, the monitor went black, excepting for the mouse cursor, which is responsive. This has been the behavior in restarting since then. I've left it in this state for over an hour without any progress.

    Using a Windows boot floppy disk and/or using Safe Mode does not help.

    I'd like to retrieve my files at the least, and preferably get this computer back in working condition so that I can enjoy it over Thanksgiving.

    Let me know if you've got ideas as to how to fix this.
     
  2. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    If you can boot to the command prompt only F8 option type "SFC /scannow" at the
    prompt for one system file verification utility to go to work. This is if you can not get
    up to the desktop. Another utilty is called Check Disk that usually annoys people after
    a bad shutdown from XP's crash control. RUn one of these at a manual prompt could
    be the ticket for a needed system file repair of replacement. "chkdsk /f"
     
  3. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    "needed system file repair or replacement"

    Hmmm, maybe you'll answer here.

    Chkdsk "really" replaces files??
     
  4. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    tbmcneill

    "Using a Windows boot floppy disk and/or using Safe Mode does not help."

    What happens when you attempt to get to safe mode?

    Similarly, when you try to boot with a boot disk?
     
  5. Magueta

    Magueta

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    It could be a misbehaving process. When the screen is frozen try using ctrl+alt+del to get at the task manager then start killing processes. One process I would try killing then restarting is explorer.exe. If you get to the task manager click on the explorer.exe process and end it. Then, click in file then new process. In the resulting dialog box type explorer.exe. That's what fixed a similar problem a client of mine had. If any of this works then you need to troubleshoot the items in your startup directory because an application is being bad.
    The stuff above is just a guess because it could be many things. However, data recovery might be a little simpler. You can try putting your hard drive in another computer and transferring the files to that other computer temporarilly. You can try booting a Windows Live disk like Bart's PE to access the information and perhaps burn it to CD, however, creating the PE disk would require another computer and some work. You can try a repair install or even a clean install into the same directory. As long as you don't reformat or repartition the drive your data should be fine but you'll need to reinstall most or all of your applications.
    Hope that helps.

    Joe
     
  6. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    The system reaches the F8 menu to choose the safe mode to boot. That is when to
    choose the command prompt only to enter one or both there.
     
  7. tbmcneill

    tbmcneill Thread Starter

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    When I boot into Safe Mode or use a floppy disk, I get the exact same result as before. Blank screen, with only the mouse responding. Safe Mode has the "safe mode" labels in the corners of the screen, though.

    Trying to boot into Safe Mode w/ command prompt does the same. That is, I get a blank screen with safe mode labels. No command prompt is offered.

    I cannot access Ctrl+alt+del. The task manager also does not respond.

    Am I more or less screwed here? Would a repair install get rid of my saved files? I backed up the majority of my stuff, but there's some work I did recently that I don't want to lose...
     
  8. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm will give you more detail on
    how to perform and how much is actually involved by this partial reinstall to repair and
    replace needed system files. More programs may even run. Sound and video softwares
    would more likely have to be reinstalled. That has been seen here.
     
  9. tbmcneill

    tbmcneill Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I'll try this.

    First, though, I need to find my Windows CD!
     
  10. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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    Here's a tip! create a folder for the files on the cd and drag them in there. Two little
    changes in the system registry can prevent the need to have the disk there to redo XP
    in a partial reinstall for repair. When all files are on the drive in a contained folder, just
    tyoe in the "winnt.exe" name while in the "i386" folder then on the drive. That will get
    the ball rolling without the cd.
     
  11. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Have you actually tried this. Pretty sure it wouldn't work. It doesn't and gives an error "Windows File Protection could not initiate a scan of protected system files?".

    Since it seems to be being posted a lot, you might want to make any necessary corrections before posting any more.
     
  12. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Yikes...that's not right either. It will start an entirely new install. Not a repair. And since they can't boot to XP, there's no way to do any of it in the first place !

    If you need to reinstall WindowsXP and want to keep all your current installed applications and settings, and can boot to XP:

    1. Start WindowsXP
    2. Go to the location of your source files
    3. Run WINNT32 /unattend - Not WINNT

    If you can't boot and need to do a repair install of XP:

    1. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP CD
    2. At the second R=Repair option, press the R key
    3. This will start the repair
    4. Press F8 for I Agree at the Licensing Agreement
    5. Press R when the directory where WindowsXP is installed is shown. Typically this is C:\WINDOWS
    6. It will then check the C: drive and start copying files
    7. It will automatically reboot when needed. Keep the CD in the drive.
    8. You will then see the graphic part of the repair that is like during a normal install of XP (Collecting Information, Dynamic Update, Preparing Installation, Installing Windows, Finalizing Installation)
    9. When prompted, click on the Next button
    10. When prompted, enter your XP key
    11. Normally you will want to keep the same Workgroup or Domain name
    12. The computer will reboot
    13. Then you will have the same screens as a normal XP Install
    14. Activate if you want (usually a good idea)
    15. Register if you want (but not necessary)
    16. Finish
    17. At this point you should be able to log in with any existing accounts.
     
  13. PC TECH250

    PC TECH250 Banned

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  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    And not a single one recommends the method you did !!!

    But they all do recommend booting to the XP CD .. even Microsoft.

    Hopefully some admins start to take a look at all the misinformation in this and other threads soon. It's almost to the point of being destructive.
     
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