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Computer won't turn on; freezes on black screen at startup (help needed ASAP)


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#1 blackscreenofdeath

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 01:56 AM

Pretty much everything seems to have broken or failed on me this week and now the thing I need most, my computer, appears to have followed suit. When I turn it on it gives me the normal blue HP screen followed by the normal Windows XP startup screen and then...black. Nothing. No noise, no cursor, no keys do anything, just a black screen and nothing more. Tried manually shutting off and turning back on again, same thing. I *really* need to use this computer within the next 12 hours or so for some time-critical tasks so it would be MUCH appreciated if I could get some help fixing this.

More details:

The computer is an HP Compaq dc7800 Convertible Minitower PC running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3

  • A week ago I had a computer tech guy install an Asus Xonar DG sound card inside the tower. It worked fine after that.

  • Three days ago (Monday night) I left the house for a brief trip and just returned now (Thursday night). I left the computer on so that my security camera's software would stay on running and recording while I was gone.

  • When I came back tonight the computer was still on but a bunch of errors were popping up about how "Disk Write Failed" or "Delayed Write Error" with the path being the external hard drive that the security software saves the video feed to. I checked the drive and all my normal files were still there but there was no recorded video for any of the three days I was gone as there should have been. At this point I restarted the computer and that's when the black screen of death first presented itself.

  • I did figure out that I'm able to boot into Safe Mode by tapping F8 repeatedly on startup, but once it boots onto the desktop in safe mode my mouse randomly stops working and I have no way to navigate the screen other than arrow keys, which is incredibly frustrating and I'm not sure what I should even be doing while in Safe Mode anyway. When attempting to restart in Safe Mode the computer will go its typical Windows XP screen that says "Windows is shutting down..." but will just hang there and 30 minutes later will still be displaying that same screen.

  • The computer is (and has been) plugged into a battery back up.

  • There's no disc in the CD-ROM drive.


So what do I do? What is the problem likely to be and how can I fix it? I googled "black screen startup" and was overwhelmed with results and I have no idea which of the potential causes could relate to my situation so I figured I should ask on a place like this. Again, any help or info would be *much* appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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#2 .X.

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 02:41 AM

Try doing a system restore in safe mode. You can bring up the start menu by pressing ctrl + escape.

Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\System Tools\System Restore

#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 22 July 2011 - 05:10 AM

Try disconnecting the external hard drive, and then attempting to start Windows normally. Success?
AustrAlien
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#4 blackscreenofdeath

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:28 AM

Try disconnecting the external hard drive, and then attempting to start Windows normally. Success?


Sorry for the late response; just wanted to update this thread to say that disconnecting the external hard drive and then turning the computer on again solved the problem. No issues at all with the external HD disconnected. Once the computer had booted to the desktop successfully I plugged the external HD back in and everything seemed to be working fine and I tried restarting and there were no more issues. So clearly having that external HD plugged in was the cause of the problem, but I still don't understand what exactly was going wrong that originally made the computer unable to boot with the external hard drive connected?

#5 hamluis

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 02:43 PM

See response by William Donovan, http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110104160037AALLbND .

Louis




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