I am having a problem with my computer which it seems is relatively common but doesn't have any straightforward solution because it could stem from a variety of causes.
PROBLEM: My Windows 7 Asus laptop shows me the typical startup sequence (Win logo, takes longer than normal) then just gives me a black screen with a cursor on the login screen. The cursor works fine and actually has my preferred (non-default) mouse sensitivity. The problem is the rest of the computer isn't working.
Things I've tried:
-ctrl+alt+delete on the black screen does nothing
-booting in safe mode gives me a black screen with a working cursor, as before
-ditto for safe mode with command prompt. Here I'm trying to run "sfc /scannow" to see if it repairs something. This is a solution I found via some Googling.
Other solutions I've seen suggested which won't work for me:
-Asus has a system recovery function which was working fine, but it wants to delete one or both of my HD partitions. This is simply not an option, likewise with restoring to factory settings. I spent like 20 hours playing Skyrim in the past couple days and I would just be devastated without that save file.
-One internet tech whiz talks about how he just whipped out the HD and attached it to another computer, from which he was able to scan/save data or whatever. This is a laptop, that doesn't work.
-I don't have any recovery disks lying around and I don't have burnable CDs on hand
-I do have a flash drive which I could use, but the solutions I've seen involving flash drives are mainly based on virus removal. I really am not sure if this is a virus. I've had problems recently with deteriorating battery life which led to some accidental shutdowns due to power running out. I think I may have hardware complications due to this, but I don't know anything, so feel free to tell me I'm wrong.
Intel Core i7-3610QM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 670M --- have had problems in the past with video driver repairing and then recovering. That's what I thought this was at first but it didn't recover.
16GB RAM IIRC
HD is two partitions of 500GB each I believe. The C drive is full almost to overflowing, the D drive is nearly empty except for a couple folders of a TV show. I would be willing to wipe Drive D.
The laptop has been carried around in a backpack, used in a variety of places, exposed to steam from being in the same room as a shower occasionally, run out of power unexpectedly every once in a while due to battery deterioration. I've had it for a year so it's seen some use.
I open it regularly to clean the fans, although I don't do anything special, just wipe down the filters which can get some dust on them. I have noticed a loose piece of aluminum or something was bouncing around detached in there last time I opened it, but it didn't come out easily so I let it stay rather than poking my important computer parts.
All help is REALLY appreciated here, I would love to be able to get back to Skyrim ASAP. Thanks.