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Vista won't start up, black screen before login screen.


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#1 charlie0198274

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:22 PM

Background: A week ago on vacation, I opened my HP Pavilion dv7-2173cl (a laptop running Vista Home Premium SP2) and suddenly, green and black lines began forming across its screen. I was later told this was a pressure crack, although that is not what I'm posting about. Freaked out, that day I turned the computer off and on several times using only the power button, once foolishly interrupting a "Startup Repair" process.

Problem: When I got home I hooked up the laptop to my TV so I could see what was going on. After attempting to turn it on many times, I eventually got the BSOD with a STOP:0x0000c1f5 error. I couldn't access the Recovery Module (even to backup) or Safe Mode. Going into personally uncharted territory, I booted from a Linux System Rescue CD to delete the $TxfLog file that was apparently the cause of the problem. I no longer get the BSOD, I get a black screen (KSOD?) (sometimes w/mouse, sometimes w/o) after the "yellow bar" loading screen. I still can't get into Safe Mode but I was able to use a Vista repair CD I downloaded to (finally) backup onto an external hard drive.

What I've Done So Far: I've run chkdsk, checked the memory and hard disk from BIOS options, and run Startup repair. I did the kind of Windows backup where everything goes to one file.

I'd prefer not to start from scratch if I can avoid it. Thanks so much for any and all help guys, I appreciate it a lot.

Charlie

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#2 TheShooter93

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:58 PM

I couldn't access the Recovery Module...

Do you have a Recovery CD, Windows Vista CD, or Recovery Drive (partition)?

What happened when you tried to access it?

------------------------------------------------------------

You said that you were able to backup onto an external harddrive, so important data is safe.

The best option right now would probably be to re-format.

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#3 charlie0198274

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 05:34 PM

My laptop was sold from Costco without any CDs, so I downloaded a Vista Repair CD from the internet. I can now access recovery options. I originally could not access the recovery partition either, but now I can. The recovery options work, although whenever one of them requires a restart I end up getting a black screen.

------------------------------------------------------------

Right, I have my important data, but I've never used the Windows Recovery Module to back up anything. All my stuff is saved in one file, apparently. Would I have everything in the same folders if I re-formatted and restored from this backup? I lose all my programs and settings, correct? That is the thing deterring me from re-formatting. And the fact that I don't have a Vista disc, lol... :mellow: Isn't there anything else I could do?

#4 TheShooter93

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 05:57 PM

Would I have everything in the same folders if I re-formatted and restored from this backup?

I'm not certain. My guess is that if it all saved in one folder, there would be many folders (your folders) inside of it. Then you could disburse them to wherever you want after reformatting. But yes, you would lose all your programs and settings. Backup utilities don't work for those.

Now when you use either the Recovery DVD or Recovery Partition, what happens exactly?

If you're formatting the drive, a restart shouldn't be required until the process is finished.

Also, are you getting any error messages during all of this? If so, what exactly do they say?

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#5 charlie0198274

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 06:31 PM

I'm not certain. My guess is that if it all saved in one folder, there would be many folders (your folders) inside of it. Then you could disburse them to wherever you want after reformatting. But yes, you would lose all your programs and settings. Backup utilities don't work for those.

Now when you use either the Recovery DVD or Recovery Partition, what happens exactly?

It'll take a few tries to boot to the DVD, sometimes I'll end up with a black screen and have to restart and try again. Eventually I'll get to System Recovery options, with the following:
Startup Repair - get the same message every time (below)
System Restore - haven't tried, the last restore point is 6 months ago and idk if that will help
Windows Complete PC Restore - I assume that's for the backup file I created
Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool - didn't do anything
Command Prompt - I don't know what would help from here

When I boot to the Recovery Partition, it loads Vista then opens "Recovery Manager" (with HP logos all over it).
It says, "Use this program to recover your computer to its original factory condition". It also has "Advanced Options":
- Computer Checkup

- Launch Check Disk for Windows Partition (already done)
- Launch Check Disk for the WinRE Partition (already done)
- Open a Command Prompt

- Microsoft System Restore
- File Backup Program - what I used to backup everything
- System Recovery (restore to original factory condition)

I've exhausted most of these options...the only causes for this problem I can think of would be 1) hard drive damage somehow coming from the pressure crack in my laptop (I'm still plugged into a TV now) or 2) hard drive corruption from turning off the computer in the middle of Startup repair...both these seem implausible to me, though, lol.

There are also a few utilities from my BIOS module...do you think anything there would help?

If you're formatting the drive, a restart shouldn't be required until the process is finished.

Also, are you getting any error messages during all of this? If so, what exactly do they say?

Oddly enough, I'm not getting any error messages or error codes, not since the BSOD. The only I've gotten is in Startup repair, I get the "If you have recently attached a device to this computer..." one. Startup repair has been decidedly useless.

To clarify, to "format the drive" I could use the "System Recovery" option I'm getting from the Recovery Partition, right? And then c: would be blank and d: would be the same?

Thank you,
Charlie

#6 TheShooter93

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 06:47 PM

Go ahead and access the Recovery Partition.

Select the option that says System Recovery.

If it works, this should format your C drive like you suspected, and return the PC back to factory conditions.

Though again, this will erase all programs, files, settings, etc. on the harddrive.

You do have a backup of important files, right?

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#7 charlie0198274

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:58 PM

Go ahead and access the Recovery Partition.

Select the option that says System Recovery.

If it works, this should format your C drive like you suspected, and return the PC back to factory conditions.

Though again, this will erase all programs, files, settings, etc. on the harddrive.

You do have a backup of important files, right?


I guess that's looking like my best bet right now...I have a backup that I made using HP's Recovery Manager (from the Recovery Partition). It has all my pictures, music/audio, videos, docs, spreadsheets, ppts, favorites, and internet settings, apparently. That sounds like a pretty good deal, although I'm still worried about my folder hierarchy. I'm checking that part out right now on another computer to see if the hierarchy is preserved. I'm skeptical because the Recovery Manager automatically saved GB's and GB's of .xml's, .wav's, and such from games I had on the other computer, making this process extremely slow (after 45 minutes, I'm at 6%). It works, though. Basically, I have a 200GB file presumably with all my stuff and one 3 MB file (an unpacker?).

I'm trying to figure out either:
1) If I can selectively pull out files, higher-priority stuff than game data, stuff that I actually want?

- Right now it's going through "Need For Speed Most Wanted/Support/European Help Files". It saved all this crap because it saved all my .htm files <_<

or
2) If I can download some backup program to run from a disk in my laptop so that I can selectively back up only the stuff I want, something with a Windows Explorer-esque interface maybe?

#8 TheShooter93

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 11:57 PM

I'm still worried about my folder hierarchy. I'm checking that part out right now on another computer to see if the hierarchy is preserved.

I don't know the answer to this. You can either do some Googling, or wait for the results of your test on the other computer.

If I can selectively pull out files, higher-priority stuff than game data, stuff that I actually want?

Once the backup is finished? I'm sure you can, that's the point of the backup.

If I can download some backup program to run from a disk in my laptop so that I can selectively back up only the stuff I want, something with a Windows Explorer-esque interface maybe?

The laptop that's broken? If you're not able to access Windows, then there isn't anything other than the Recovery Partition that's going to help you here.

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