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.