TechSpot

Blank Screen on PC Startup

By Smartkid
Feb 6, 2010
  1. I hope someone can help me with this one.

    When I start up my PC, it loads up to a blank screen (with the arrow from the mouse which I can move around the screen). I have no idea what could be wrong. I left it on for hours hoping that Windows would finally appear but it doesnt.

    I tried running in Safe Mode and Last Known Configuration. Both result in the same problem. (For Safe Mode, the words "Safe Mode" appear on all four corners of the screen by the rest remains blank.

    Any idea what the problem could be? I can get into System Recover. Would that solve the problem? I really need to get into the my system soon!
     
  2. jgf

    jgf TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Can you access Task Manager? If so, try starting explorer from there. Otherwise, I would try system restore or system recover.

    This happened on my XP system a few weeks ago, had to resort to a boot CD to access the drives. Seems some malware had edited the registry, so XP was running but I had no input (trying to invoke task manager got me a message stating it had been disabled); it also trashed a 320gig slave drive (from which I'm still trying to recover files). After several days of cursing, trying to restore registry backups, system restore, etc. I could never get a useful start from the HD; finally gave up, reformatted, and reinstalled XP. Hope you have better luck.
     
  3. Smartkid

    Smartkid TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    I've been trying to do some internet research to find a solution, but there are so many threads on so many different sites with different solutions that its impossible to know what to try.

    Here are some further updates:
    I tried to right click and pressed CTRL+ALT+DEL but nothing happens.

    I tried booting up up Safe Mode and Last Known Good Configuration as well, but still get the blank screen. When I load Safe Mode, the words "Safe Mode" still appear on the screen corners. The top of the screen says "Microsoft ® Windows XP ® (Build 2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090804-1435:Service Pack 3)"

    I have an HP system, which did not come with a Windows XP CD for me to try to repair the system. I can press F10 to get into HP System Recovery, but am not even sure if that will solve the problem.

    Right now, I'm just really worried about the files on my hard drive. I really cannot afford to lose them. I have a feeling there are were some registry problems because I just recovered from an infection and had to use Combofix.

    Please help!!
     
  4. jgf

    jgf TS Rookie Posts: 31

    At this stage, if you can access system recovery, I'd try it. (I didn't even have that option.) (Since you didn't get a CD, not uncommon for many new systems now, your original XP install files are on a recovery drive, usually the D drive, on your system.)

    Otherwise, if you can get an XP install disc and have access to another computer, go to UBCD4Win.com and get their files for creating a boot CD (you copy all the files from the XP CD onto the HD, run UBCD4Win and point it to the location of those XP files; it will create an iso that you burn to CD). This will start the system and contains numerous diagnostic and repair tools, including virus scanners, registry editors, recovery software, etc. Not for the faint of heart, but if nothing else you can access the HD and copy critical files to an external device.
     
  5. Smartkid

    Smartkid TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 25

    Thanks for the suggestion jgf.

    I've figured out that its definitely Windows that is the problem. What I ended up doing is downloading a Ubuntu boot CD and put that into my PC. Ubuntu booted up with no problems and I can access my harddrives. Everything is still intact! The next step is to go out and buy an external harddrive to back up all my files. After that, I'll the Ultimate Boot CD as you suggested. I think its safer for me to just transfer everything via Ubuntu before playing around any further.

    Now.. does anyone have suggestions on a cheap external harddrive? I'll need at least 1TB.
     
  6. jgf

    jgf TS Rookie Posts: 31

    Be sure to run a full malware scan before transferring any files; if there is a virus, trojan, etc. you don't want to give it a new home.
     
  7. macsking

    macsking TS Rookie

    blank screen on startup

    I had all of the previous problems - eventually it twigged that my monitor was dying. New monitor solved the problem
     
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