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Black screen problem after reverting to 8.1 from 10


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#1 somnomania

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 03:00 AM

I'm at my absolute wits' end. This has happened before, and something I tried then finally broke it loose, but I can't remember what it was. I took advantage of the last several hours of the free upgrade to Windows 10, and tried it for a few hours today and couldn't stand it (and also couldn't tell that it had any improvements that I couldn't manage in 8.1 with third-party programs), so I got it started reverting. As far as I can tell, the reversion went just fine, but now I can't get into my computer. It starts up, I see the Acer splash screen with the twirling dots, and then it goes to the black screen where I can see my pointer if I move the mouse. I've tried everything I can think of:

  • sfc /scannow
  • Sitting on the black screen without having tried any key combos, for at least an hour
  • Sitting unpowered and not plugged in for at least an hour
  • Hard reset of the battery (laptop unplugged, battery taken out, power button held down for 15 seconds; not an easy task with this laptop)
  • All three types of Safe Mode, which all also end up on the black screen except that it says "Safe Mode" in each corner of the screen when the mouse is moved
  • I have a recovery drive on a flash drive, but it won't do anything when I select that from the Recovery options except restart to a screen where I pick my keyboard language, and then it puts me back out to the Recovery menu.
  • The trick with pressing Control on the black screen and then typing in my account password and hitting Enter does nothing that I can see.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del does nothing that I can see.
  • Accessing System Restore via the Recovery menu tells me there aren't any system restore points, even though I made sure there was at least one before I started the reversion process.
  • I've done the power on > power off via button while it's still booting > repeat until the recovery menu shows up enough times that I wouldn't be surprised if something else has gotten borked in the meantime.

I really don't know what else to do. I remember from the last time this happened that I read about how it's sometimes a problem because of the system having a discrete graphics card, and drivers not being up to date. I think last time I did manage to get into the Task Manager and from there into where I could uninstall the last few updates to Windows, which I believe fixed it that time. But I can't get anything to open on the black screen. I'll do a "refresh your PC", but I really really don't want to. It's such a useless thing to me; the only Microsoft product I use is Windows itself, and things like WordPad, and I have a bajillion other installed programs, many of which are games that are 10+ GB in size. Almost all of my personal files are kept in the cloud. Yes, I would be able to use my computer again, but I'd also spend a week or more reinstalling everything, and I'd lose things like saved game files, some of them an accumulation of hundreds of hours of playing. No, I don't have a backup. Yes, I know I should. I don't have spare drive big enough to back up on in one chunk, and that's a moderate chunk of change that I don't have.

 

I can use the command line via the Recovery Menu, so if there's anything else I can try from there I'd be glad to try them. I'm sure otherwise I've probably missed some things I could try; I was attempting to troubleshoot earlier from the browser on my Nintendo DS, which is slow and tiny. I hope someone has some suggestions.



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#2 usasma

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 06:39 AM

Here's some repair/recovery/restore options (in this order):

Most can be done in the Startup Repair screens like Command Prompt, System Restore, etc.  (those that can't may have workarounds - so post back if having difficulties)

 

1 - Startup Repair.  Run it 3 times, rebooting in between tries.

2 - System Restore to a point before this started happening.

3 - DISM/SFC repair (DISM doesn't work with W7, although SFC does)  - doesn't work if you're not able to boot to Windows (let me know and I'll post a way to do it from Startup Repair)
    

 

Then please run the following DISM commands to see if there's any problems with the system (from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt).  Press Enter after each one:
   
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
   
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
   
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
    FYI - I have repaired systems using the last command even though problems weren't found with the first 2 - so I suggest running them all.

    From this article: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824869.aspx

    You can also run sfc.exe /scannow from an elevated (Run as administrator) Command Prompt to check for further corruption.


4 - RESET using the "Keep My Files" option (W8 calls this a REFRESH; W7 and earlier doesn't have this function)

5 - Repair install of the OS (Thanks to FreeBooter!):
   

 

"How To Perform a Repair Installation For Windows 8, 8.1 and 10"
    https://www.winhelp.us/non-destructive-reinstall-of-windows-8-and-8-1.html

    "How to Do a Repair Install to Fix Windows 7"
    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/3413-repair-install.html

    "How To Perform a Repair Installation For Vista"
    http://www.vistax64.com/tutorials/88236-repair-install-vista.html

    "Non-destructive reinstall of Windows XP"
    https://www.winhelp.us/non-destructive-reinstall-of-windows-xp.html


6 - RESET using the "Remove Everything" option (W8 calls this a RESET; W7 and earlier doesn't have this function)

If using W7 or earlier, this can be accomplished by resetting the system by use of the recovery partition/recovery disks/recovery drive.
If you don't have them, you can usually order them from the OEM manufacturer of your system ( US points of contact here:  http://www.carrona.org/recdisc.html )

7 - Wipe and reinstall from the Recovery Partition (if so equipped)

8 - Wipe and reinstall from Recovery Media - to include deleting all partitions.
If you don't have them, you can usually order them from the OEM manufacturer of your system ( US points of contact here:  http://www.carrona.org/recdisc.html )

Edited by usasma, 31 July 2016 - 06:40 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 somnomania

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Posted 31 July 2016 - 09:30 PM

No offense to you, but your signature says Microsoft MVP, and I can tell; your second suggestion is something I very clearly said in my post was not an option. :wink: But here's the rundown of the results for your suggestions.

 

1. Startup Repair x3 – The first time it immediately said the attempt failed, but the other two spent several long minutes on the Acer splash screen with diagnosing the pc and attempting repairs, only to end up back at the blue Recovery Menu screen with a message about how Startup Repair couldn't repair my PC. I also feel like the rebooting between repairs wasn't great or useful, since the rebooting was me powering up and powering down during the boot process until it offered the Recovery Menu again. I don't know what that kind of interruption does to the system, but I feel like repeated uses of it can't be good in the long run.

 

2. The system can't find any restore points even though I made sure there was at least one before I started the process to revert from 10 back to 8.1.

 

3. The first DISM command gave me an error (code is 50), and said that DISM does not support servicing Windows PE with the /Online option. Attempts to run the same command without /Online in it told me the /Cleanup-Image option is unknown (error code of 87). SFC /SCANNOW gave me "Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them, and that the system file repair changes would take effect after the next reboot. Exiting command line and going to 8.1 gave me the same problem I've been having, as did holding the power button until it powered down, and then powering it back up.

 

Here I stopped with your suggestions, because as I said in my initial post, I really don't want to have to do the refresh option if at all possible, but in case I do have to, I'm going to take the hard drive out right now and see if I can shove my installations onto a different disc while I wait for your response.

 

Something else I attempted last night after I posted was based on a post about this same problem on a different forum, which was to go into the F2 boot menu and switch from UEFI to Legacy, which gave me the following on a black screen when I continued to boot from there:

 

Intel UNDI PXE-2.1 (build 083)

Copyright © 1997-2000 Intel Corporation

[several patent numbers here that I didn't bother to make a note of]

Realtek PCIe GBE Family Controller Series v2.60 (06/04/14)

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM

No bootable device - insert boot disc and press any key

 

Additionally, also from a post elsewhere, I ran chkdsk C: /F /R /X, and in stage 4 I had "disk read error occurredc0000185, disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters detected in file 108 of name \hiberfil.sys". I also ran bootrec, and /rebuildbcd finished with "total identified Windows installations: 0".

 

I'll carry on with your suggestions, but in the meantime I'm going to yank the hard drive and see if I can salvage my programs in preparation for a refresh.



#4 usasma

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 05:00 AM

The list of options is a canned speech that I use.  I apologize if you're offended that I did not edit that particular option out before posting.

1)  I have severe vision problems - I am 100% blind in my right eye, 30% blind in my left eye, and what vision I have left is sometimes blurry due to tear flow, tear composition, and the eye drops that I use.

2)  I mostly get online in the early morning - and usually end up running over the time I have available.  I'm due at work at 7am (eastern time in the US).  With the limited time I have available, I try to help others as much as I can.  As such, I may rush through things at times - and forget to mention/edit things.  Just prior to this, I found that I had mentioned a link in a post, but forgot to post the link.  The original poster didn't chastize me for this - but I apologized anyway for my mistake.

 

I wish you luck in salvaging your programs.  I've been doing this for stuff for many years and have yet to find anyone who can reliably salvage programs from a hard drive.

 

As you chose to call my competency into question here, I have decided to unsubscribe from this topic and will not reply to further posts by you.

I wish you luck in your future endeavors.


Edited by usasma, 02 August 2016 - 05:01 AM.

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 Condobloke

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 05:40 AM

And just so you really do get the message......have a look at the number of people now following this topic......it now amounts to 1..............yourself

 

Calling someones competence into question when their time is freely given as a volunteer, does not 'cut the mustard' at BC.

 

usasma is an expert in his chosen field.

 

Good luck.


Condobloke ...Outback Australian  

 

fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

 

Microsoft gives you Windows, Linux gives you the whole house...

It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. Time - the mind, protecting its sanity - covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone. Rose Kennedy

#6 somnomania

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Posted 02 August 2016 - 06:42 AM

In case anyone in the future finds themselves here with the same problem I had: I did end up having to refresh my PC, after I spent a solid ten hours moving everything in Program Files and Program Data off onto other hard drives. After the refresh, it turned out it had shoved everything into Windows.old, but after moving all of that back where it belonged, several of my key installs were broken and had to be reinstalled. I also developed a problem where the NVIDIA Streaming Service was grabbing focus every two seconds, which made it very hard to type/search for things/deal with dropdown menus. I finally disabled the service, and have spent several more hours reinstalling things and running Windows Update and attempting to get things back to normal.

 

I also PMed the two respondents here, since apparently I offended without meaning to. I was attempting to make light of the fact that on the Microsoft support forums I often see support staff suggesting things that have already been tried. I meant no offense by this, and was attempting to poke fun without venting the full depth of my frustration with the situation.






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