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Windows 7 - Black Screen w/ Active Cursor on Startup


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#1 HorsieJuice

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 12:45 AM

I've seen a bunch of threads with similar issues, but most seem to get piled on with people either dealing with or addressing situations with slightly different details, so I figured I'd start my own thread.

 

The story: 2 weeks ago, my Windows 7 64-bit system was working fine. The morning of June 30, I powered it down, packed it into my car and relocated about 400 miles away. I moved the computer into my new apartment on July 2, and there it sat unused until the evening of July 11. (I used my macbook pro in the mean time). When I powered it on this evening, the initial boot process seemed normal until Windows started to load. I got to the screen that says "Copyright Microsoft Corporation" below the animated progress bar. That window stays up for 5-6 seconds, and then the screen flickers and goes blank. A couple seconds later, the mouse pointer appears. All I can see on the black screen is the white mouse pointer, and that's where I'm at now.

 

Some details that seem relevant and that may differentiate my situation from some of the others:

 

  • The mouse pointer responds as it normally would.
  • I cannot pull up the task manager. (i.e. CTL+ALT+DEL and CTL+SHIFT+ESC do nothing)
  • The Num Lock key toggles the NumLock indicator light on the keyboard.
  • Safe Mode exhibits the same problem (black screen, active cursor), but at a lower screen resolution. - Safe Mode and Safe Mode with Command Prompt both do this.
  • Running Last Known Good Configuration did not help.
  • When I start the computer and hit F8 to run the Repair your Computer option, I am able to get to the System Recovery Options menu.
  • Restoring a System Restore Point from 3 days before I moved did not help.
  • Poking around the system from the system recovery command prompt and from the file browser in notepad, it appears as if all my files still exist on the hd.
  • Just for grins, I tried launching explorer.exe from the system recovery command prompt and got this error: "The program can't start because EXPLORERFRAME.dll is missing from your computer."
  • I've disconnected everything from the machine aside from the keyboard, mouse, and display, and it's made no difference.

 

 

Additionally:

  • At least some power saving features appear to be functioning - the display will go to sleep after however long it normally waits to go to sleep. Wiggling the mouse wakes it back up.
  • Some people have seen that this is just a really slow boot cycle the eventually corrects itself if you leave it long enough (~20 minutes). I've left this for an hour and have seen no progress.
I've heard some people mention that this could be a psu problem - it certainly wouldn't be the first time I had a psu fail after transporting a computer - heck, it wouldn't even be the first time this summer I had that happen. But it seems to me like if this were a psu problem, then I wouldn't be able to do anything in the System Recovery Options window. I'm open to it being hardware or software. My system is typically pretty clean as far as viruses go, but I did think I caught something 6-8 months ago that and was never sure I got rid of it completely (I suspected I had malware/virus, because my Microsoft Updates began failing for no apparent reason).
 
Thoughts?
-Dan.

Edited by HorsieJuice, 12 July 2014 - 12:47 AM.


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#2 czarboom

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:09 AM

The best method to fix this is from a Windows bootable CD or DVD.  Do you have that?  Can you get into Command Prompt if you do not have it?  Does someone else you know have a Windows 7 OS?  You can make one from any windows 7 OS.

Once you get to Command prompt, do the following:

in C:\ type

chkdsk /r /f 

then hit enter.  This will try to repair the corrupt files For Windows 7 using repair method can get you to the CMD prompt. 

 

If you do not have this then you can use a boot disk from another company.  I use Kaspersky Rescue Disk  and following the instructions.  This will boot to a OS that will allow you to get your files off your HD, and then scan and fix issues with it.

 

Overall the EXPLORERFRAME.DLL is more than likely the issue.  So get your files first, you can also do this by disconnecting the HD and plugging it into your other computer as a USB device.  or by using the Rescue Disk and doing it that way.

 

If both do not work, then you need to reinstall your OS.

 

If you have questions please ask.

cz


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"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#3 czarboom

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 01:11 AM

re read the post again, if you can get into command prompt, do the command line fix.  IF that will not work, use the Recovery Disk.


CZARBOOM 
 
"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#4 HorsieJuice

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:19 AM

Thanks. I got to the command prompt and chkdsk is running now.

 

I'm not sure I understand your second set of instructions though - assuming that explorerframe.dll is the culprit, how do I go about repairing it if chkdsk doesn't fix it? Is that sort of repair just one of the things that the Kaspersky rescue disk does?

 

Thanks,

-Dan.



#5 czarboom

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 02:31 AM

 

I'm not sure I understand your second set of instructions though - assuming that explorerframe.dll is the culprit, how do I go about repairing it if chkdsk doesn't fix it? Is that sort of repair just one of the things that the Kaspersky rescue disk does?

Yes, it will try, if it cannot, you can grab this file from another windows 7 computer,

Rename the old one explorerframeold.dll

place the new one in the same folder, and reboot.

If all goes well windows will grab the new one and boot.

 

If not then using the rescue disk will allow you to get into the system and grab all your files, etc.  that you need.  From there you have to make a reinstall disk or use any Windows 7 (same versions e.g. Pro, Ultimate etc).  And install the OS again.

 

But you should have one, or can make one from the control panel in Windows

 

did that help?


CZARBOOM 
 
"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#6 HorsieJuice

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:08 PM

Just an update: I had two separate full-disk image backups on a separate hard drive - one from 6/29 and one from 6/27. I've tried restoring from both of those (not just the data - full disk restore) and neither fixed the problem, so maybe this is a hardware problem or maybe it's a software problem that goes to a much lower level than I realized. Or maybe the problem existed in both of those backups, but for some reason didn't manifest itself during whatever restarts happened after 6/27.

 

I'm going to do a full reinstall right now. I was trying to avoid that so I could avoid the hassle of reinstalling all my software, but I think that at this point, I've invested more time in fiddling with this than I would've in reinstalling things.

 

If the reinstall doesn't work, I'm not sure what I'll do - I may have to start over with a new build.  :(

 

-Dan.



#7 sflatechguy

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:37 PM

Have you tried booting into safe mode? What happens when you do?

 

It could also be your video card or drivers.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-hardware/windows-7-blank-screen-with-cursor-hangnvidia/4deb1a2e-1a5c-4f96-bc61-2824d2f26447

Are you using the onboard video adapter? If not, try checking the video card to make sure it's snug in the PCI slot. It may have been jostled during the move. If you are, trying adding a video card and see if the problem persists.



#8 HorsieJuice

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 12:47 PM

Booting into Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, and Safe Mode with Command Prompt all exhibit the same problem that booting into regular Windows does: black screen w/ a mouse pointer and no ability to pull up task manager. The only difference is that the display resolution in Safe Mode is low-res (640x480, I assume), whereas the resolution in regular Windows mode is my regular HD (1920x1080). I can tell this my looking at the size and resolution of the mouse pointer.

 

I'm pretty confident that it's not the video card. The guy in that link was able to get it running in safe mode, whereas I'm not. Yet for me, booting off a cd works fine - I've used a Windows rescue disk, a Kaspersky rescue disc, an Acronis restore disk, and a Windows 7 install disk. While I haven't yet gotten far enough in my install to switch out of low-res graphics, every one of these has displayed properly in low-res.

 

-Dan.


Edited by HorsieJuice, 13 July 2014 - 12:50 PM.


#9 sflatechguy

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:08 PM

That does rule out video card/driver issues. The fact that you can boot from a CD makes it clear it's something in your OS, most likely a corrupt file or files.

You may also want to try sfc /scannow from a command line prompt. chkdsk will scan the hard drive for file system integrity errors and bad blocks on the hard drive. sfc will look for missing or corrupt system files and will try to restore them.



#10 HorsieJuice

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:21 PM

I'd already done that before trying the image restores - no luck. I'd also tried restoring just explorerframe.dll from one of my disk images. That didn't work either.

 

-Dan.


Edited by HorsieJuice, 13 July 2014 - 01:21 PM.


#11 sflatechguy

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 01:31 PM

Sadly, a reinstall is really your only option at this point. Back up what you can off the hard drive.



#12 HorsieJuice

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 02:09 PM

Reinstall seems to have done the trick. I wish I knew what the underlying problem was that wasn't corrected by restoring from a disk image.



#13 czarboom

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:12 AM

Reinstall seems to have done the trick. I wish I knew what the underlying problem was that wasn't corrected by restoring from a disk image.

If it comes back or has some weird issues, you then need to do a clean install of windows.  This is doing the install, but wiping and reformatting the HD during the process.  It is the most clean copy of installing a OS. 

Click HERE for a guide with pictures and common issues.

 

Before you do this make sure you have the info you need, and all drivers for everything just encase.  Remember when you install new drivers do the CHIP SET FIRST then a BIOS if needed, graphics and on and on.  This is according to Dell.com

 

Also, I would advise after you get the system going again to make a Image for repair.  The best one I found and use is Clonezilla.

If you never used it, it can be a little complicated the first time.  Watch this video here by JoshW, its the best one I can find for using Clonezilla and should be watched beforehand

 

good luck

cz


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"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?




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