Vista Black Screen Of Death

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Vista Black Screen Of Death

Postby dharbert » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:39 am

I have Vista installed on a computer that I normally have running 24/7. The power went out for a few minutes the other night, and when the computer restarted, I logged in as was greeted with only a black screen and a mouse cursor.

I can CTRL+ALT+DEL to get to the screen where you can change users, shut down the computer or enter the task manager. I chose to enter the task manager, but it doesn't even show up. Still only a black screen.

However, I can boot into safe mode with networking and I can see my desktop just fine and use the internet without a problem.

I've googled this problem and apparently it's one that many people have had. Usually it's associated with pirated copies of Windows, but I bought this computer from Best Buy and the operating system is still the factory installation. Even more people have had this happen to them on legit copies of Vista and even Win 7 after installing a windows update and rebooting.

I've seen several methods of "correcting" the problem (which Microsoft denies that there even is a problem). Some are registry edits, and some suggest doing a factory restore. I do not want to do a factory restore, I don't even consider that to be an option.

So, has anyone here had this happen to them, and if so, how were you able to correct the problem?
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Postby bdub » Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:39 am

yep.... seen this on my machine in signature with win7 home (and it is legit)... i was able to find the user icon to click on, and password logon line to enter password just flying blind (clicking a bunch and moving mouse slightly around to find these areas i needed), which allowed me into the OS and everything looked fine. then i rebooted, and on next reboot everything worked fine, so it was kind of finicky, i never tracked it down to what was the problem, but i haven't seen it on my machine for a few months now...
but i know and experienced what you are talking about, and it happened on more than a couple of occassions for a couple weeks time, i think.

machine has been running fine since...

now that i think about it, it may have occured around the same time i was trying out the new version of spyware doctor, but i'm not totally sure.
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Postby Mr T » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:34 am

One of the latest patches causes this under certain configurations of hardware and also spy ware/security software... If you can get into SAFE MODE (press F8 before the coloured square appears), try rolling the system back to a previous restore point, or uninstall the last 6 or 7 patches... What virus scanner are you using?
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Postby dharbert » Wed Apr 04, 2012 3:02 pm

Mr T wrote:One of the latest patches causes this under certain configurations of hardware and also spy ware/security software... If you can get into SAFE MODE (press F8 before the coloured square appears), try rolling the system back to a previous restore point, or uninstall the last 6 or 7 patches... What virus scanner are you using?


I am able to enter safe mode, and I've tried a few restore points with no luck. I do not use any active antivirus. I rarely ever get a virus so I just run Malwarebytes every once in a while to make sure nothing got by me. I've ran Malwarebytes and checked to make sure there is nothing fishy in the startup config that is trying to run when I boot the machine.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, I have not had windows automatic update enabled for a very long time, so I shouldn't have received any updates to install.
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Postby evasive » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:56 pm

power cuts can kill (part of) your power supply. Do you have another power supply to test with?
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Postby dharbert » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:00 am

Thanks for the replies but, having tried everything else, I was forced to do a factory image restore. Now the factory restore has caused more problems than I anticipated, but at least I can use the machine again.

I was dreading having to wipe out that particular machine because I had literally hundreds of programs installed on it over the past 4 years that would have taken me forever to find where I put the serial numbers to everything at.

Anyway, that turned out to be the least of my problems. It has now taken me almost 8 hours to get the system to a point that I can even begin to install Vista Service Pack 1. In fact, I had to do a factory restore AGAIN and start over because some other windows update deleted a couple of critical services that are required to install SP1 in the first place.
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Postby dharbert » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:15 am

Well, 12 hours, 2 service packs and 186 windows updates later this system is almost back to being usable.
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Postby dc3 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:59 am

dharbert wrote:I was dreading having to wipe out that particular machine because I had literally hundreds of programs installed on it over the past 4 years that would have taken me forever to find where I put the serial numbers to everything at.


Just for a future reference, you can use an operating system like Ubuntu to recover your data.

Please download Ubuntu, you will need to burn this to a CD in order to make a bootable disc. To do this please download ImgBurn.

When you open ImgBurn you will see a page like the one below.

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Click on Write image file to disc outlined in red.

The next page to open will be like the one below.

Image

Click on the icon of the folder and magnifing glass outlined in red to the right of Source to locate the Ubuntu ISO file. Place a CD in the optic drive and click Burn.

In order to boot from this disc you may need to enter the BIOS and make your CD/DVD-ROM the first device in the boot order.
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