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computer loads slow, black screen w/ only cursor. clicking, ctrl+alt+del don't work


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#1 joey v

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:28 PM

So yesterday I got a blue screen of death. I didn't read it, I just restarted teh comp. Well ever since then, teh computer loads slowly and when it does get to windows, it just has a black screen w/ just the cursor that I can move around.

Here are things I've tried

a) booting to safe mode (same thing, but with safe mode written in the corners)
:thumbsup: booting to command prompt (doesn't work, it boots to safe mode w/ black screen)
c) ctrl+alt+del to run explorer.exe (can't ctrl+alt+del)
d) right clicking (doesn't work)
e) windows cd -> repair an installation using recovery console (didn't know what to do from here), but explorer.exe is in the folder

Anyother options?

A few things I've noticed

a) the screen saver still comes on
:flowers: rarely it will get all the way to the "log in" screen. I think this happens if I let it sit for hours.

Memory issue?

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:30 PM

System manufacturer...and model?

Louis

#3 joey v

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 07:39 PM

System manufacturer...and model?

Louis


custom

Processor ( AMD AthlonT64 X2 6000+ Dual-Core CPU w/ HyperTransport Technology )
Motherboard ( MSI K9N4 SLI-F NVIDIA nForce 500-SLI MCP Chipset w/7.1 Sound, Gb LAN, S-ATA Raid, USB 2.0, Dual PCI-E MB )
Memory ( 2048MB [1024MB X2] DDR2-800 PC6400 Memory Module Corsair-Value or Major Brand )
Video Card ( NVIDIA GeForce 7300GT 512MB w/DVI + TV Out Video )

ok, just went to check on it.. it's at the login screen that says "starting windows". So I guess it doesn't stop at the black screen, it's just running incredibly slow.

Edited by joey v, 23 September 2010 - 07:42 PM.


#4 Broni

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 08:32 PM

Possibly, some hardware issue.....

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 (or http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/ind...ive+diagnostic)
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.
For Toshiba hard drives, see here: http://sdd.toshiba.com/main.aspx?Path=Serv...ties#diagnostic

Note : If you do not know how to set your computer to boot from CD follow the steps here

===============================================================================================

A. If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting/running computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-....iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-....iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-....iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run.

The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.

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#5 joey v

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 09:53 PM

^ unfortunately I can't do the first half because I can't get to windows. At any point, the only 3 states...

black screen w/ cursor
screen saver
login "windows is starting up" screen

and the second part... I have 2 memory sticks. Have tried each one individually, and they both boot up the same way (to the black screen)

#6 Broni

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 09:58 PM

You don't have to boot to Windows to run hard drive test.
Appropriate diagnostic tool will create bootable CD.
Please, re-read my instructions.

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#7 joey v

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:12 PM

So because my other computer is a netbook (no cd drive), I was unable to run any tests.... however I think (hope) I figured out what was wrong.

In setup, I noticed that SMART check was not enabled. So I enable it and get

"IDE Channel 5 Master Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T. Status Bad"

So I disconnect the non-system harddrives, and it boots up no problem. Guess one of my HDD's is toast :/

Now gotta plug em back in one by one to figure out which one.

#8 Broni

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 10:28 PM

"IDE Channel 5 Master Hard Disk S.M.A.R.T. Status Bad"

It doesn't look good :thumbsup:

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#9 cryptodan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 05:00 AM

You may want to try changing cables and see if that clears the issue. Sometimes cables go bad for unknown reasons, and need to be replaced. I have been through that where my hard drives would no longer be detected by the BIOS or by Windows, and a hard drive cable replacement fixes it.

#10 Gabrial

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:31 PM

No crytpodan, a SMART failure on a drive usually means a bad drive, as the drive's self diagnostic is saying it's gone (or going) bad. I don't think a cable is going to fix it.

#11 cryptodan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

No crytpodan, a SMART failure on a drive usually means a bad drive, as the drive's self diagnostic is saying it's gone (or going) bad. I don't think a cable is going to fix it.



How do you think the computer gets the SMART Status? It gets it through the cable which is connected to the the IDE/SATA/SCSI Port on the motherboard/controller card if the cable has any signs of wear that communication can be crippled thusly reporting a false positive. I Have had it happen numerous times on various computers I have fixed and built for myself and others.

If they replace the cable, and it still reflects a bad SMART Status then yes the drive is bad. It is always best to start troubleshooting at the least costly level which in this case is the cable.

#12 Gabrial

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 04:39 PM

Wait, your saying that somehow by replacing the cable the drive suddenly looks at it's own failure records and says "Oh, I'm good now"?

SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) status doesnt change becuase you changed a cable. The ability to read the SMART status might change, but the status itself won't. SMART only has to do with the drive itself as an independant component and has nothing to do with the communication with other devices, like ATA controllers.

If you look at the article on Wikipedia. you can count for yourself the number of drive attributes tracked by SMART which have to do with communication with other devices.

Perhaps you got a drive to talk to the chipset on your drive controller by replacing a cable, changing no SMART status read to "SMART: GOOD", but not "SMART: BAD" to "SMART: GOOD". It just wouldn't happen.

#13 cryptodan

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 06:10 PM

Actually what I am saying is that a bad cable can produce false positives regarding errors due to the fact that communication from drive to controller then to the SMART Software is being corrupted. I know what SMART is and I know what it monitors. I bad cable like with anything can cause issues and false reporting of such errors. I have sent drives to IBM and Western Digital that I thought were faulty only to be told that the drives were in fine working order. I got the same drive back, and they suggested changing cables. I did this, and guess what the drives worked well for a little bit and then they failed on their own accord.

Just an FYI I don't take much faith in anything on Wikipedia. I take for a grain of salt.

#14 Gabrial

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 07:06 PM

I'd take more salt with advice I got from a random person on a help forum than from a well referenced wikipedia article. Just saying.




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