When I clicked on the icon to enter my password to log on in my user name, everythig disappeared from the log on screen except the background. Nothing came back. (It's possible that the Exit buttons etc. at bottom left and right were there but I don't remember them.)
I used a soft reboot and had a similar problem; this time I was able to start entering text into the password box but then the computer apparently stopped responding to the keyboard. I say apparently because it may just have become excruciatingly slow.
I then tried to start in Safe Mode, and this time was able to click on the icon and enter the password. However, once into Windows, clicking on any of the desktop shortcuts did not result in Vista running the program. This is where the slowness became obvious; I would lose the computer for over a minute while the blue ring went round and round, and then the ordinary cursor would come back but no program was running. I pressed Ctrl-Alt-Del to bring up the Task Manager (to see if the programs were running - er - invisibly) and everything seemed to freeze again. I did another soft reboot into Safe mode and this time went straight into task manager, and it came up. I then tried to run a program from its shortcut, got the whirling blue ring, the normal cursor returned and Task Manager showed nothing. I went into the Processes tab, and couldn't see anything I didn't expect to see. Then I tried to look at the Performance Monitor and everything seemed to freeze again.
At some point I also tried to access 'My computer', and both the C and D drives from destop shortcuts and again, no folder windows opened.
This time I used the Vista installation disk and booted from the DVD drive. I tried to restore to a previous Point; this seemed to work OK, but when I tried to start Windows again, same problem - everything really, painfully slow and couldn't run programs.
Tonight (when I get home) I shall try running programs from the task bar, and typing them into the Start menu.
Has anyone got any idea what this could all be about?
The only thing I've installed recently was Skype, and that was a week before everything went wrong. I have a virus detector and a malware detector both set for on-access detection; that's not foolproof but I don't really suspect an infection. On the other hand - what do I know? Something's gone wrong, innit?
I'd be very grateful for a solution; but tips and tricks would be equally welcome.
Could it be a memory issue? No problem is flagged in the boot screens.
Any way of avoiding a re-install? Will a re-install definitely solve the problem?
Thanks for all help.
Edited by faithless, 11 August 2009 - 08:18 AM.