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Computer won't turn on; freezes on black screen at startup (help needed ASAP)

This is a discussion on Computer won't turn on; freezes on black screen at startup (help needed ASAP) within the Windows XP Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Pretty much everything seems to have broken or failed on me this week and now the thing I need most,


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Old 07-21-2011, 11:49 PM   #1
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Mistake

Pretty much everything seems to have broken or failed on me this week and now the thing I need most, my computer, appears to have followed suit. When I turn it on it gives me the normal blue HP screen followed by the normal Windows XP startup screen and then...black. Nothing. No noise, no cursor, no keys do anything, just a black screen and nothing more. Tried manually shutting off and turning back on again, same thing. I *really* need to use this computer within the next 12 hours or so for some time-critical tasks so it would be MUCH appreciated if I could get some help fixing this.

More details:
  • The computer is an HP Compaq dc7800 Convertible Minitower PC running Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3
  • A week ago I had a computer tech guy install an Asus Xonar DG sound card inside the tower. It worked fine after that.
  • Three days ago (Monday night) I left the house for a brief trip and just returned now (Thursday night). I left the computer on so that my security camera's software would stay on running and recording while I was gone.
  • When I came back tonight the computer was still on but a bunch of errors were popping up about how "Disk Write Failed" or "Delayed Write Error" with the path being the external hard drive that the security software saves the video feed to. I checked the drive and all my normal files were still there but there was no recorded video for any of the three days I was gone as there should have been. At this point I restarted the computer and that's when the black screen of death first presented itself.
  • I did figure out that I'm able to boot into Safe Mode by tapping F8 repeatedly on startup, but once it boots onto the desktop in safe mode my mouse randomly stops working and I have no way to navigate the screen other than arrow keys, which is incredibly frustrating and I'm not sure what I should even be doing while in Safe Mode anyway. When attempting to restart in Safe Mode the computer will go its typical Windows XP screen that says "Windows is shutting down..." but will just hang there and 30 minutes later will still be displaying that same screen.
  • The computer is (and has been) plugged into a battery back up.
  • There's no disc in the CD-ROM drive.

So what do I do? What is the problem likely to be and how can I fix it? I googled "black screen startup" and was overwhelmed with results and I have no idea which of the potential causes could relate to my situation so I figured I should ask on a place like this. Again, any help or info would be *much* appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:21 AM   #2
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Im not sure but it could be either your driver or OS. Could you boot into safe mode?
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:28 AM   #3
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Welcome blackscreen.

When you start your system and after the Windows XP loading screen, when it goes black, if you press keys such as caps lock (or num lock, etc.), does the light on your keyboard go off and on (if you have on)?

If you have a restore point, use system restore to go back a few days. Possibly this started after some Windows updates where installed, so try a point before those (if you have those on automatically install and they downloaded when you were away).

You could try using Safe Mode with Networking to download and install new graphics drivers (it can be done using just the keyboard).

Edit:

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaming_wiz View Post
Im not sure but it could be either your driver or OS. Could you boot into safe mode?
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackscreen View Post
...
  • I did figure out that I'm able to boot into Safe Mode by tapping F8 repeatedly on startup, but once it boots onto the desktop in safe mode my mouse randomly stops working and I have no way to navigate the screen other than arrow keys, which is incredibly frustrating and I'm not sure what I should even be doing while in Safe Mode anyway. When attempting to restart in Safe Mode the computer will go its typical Windows XP screen that says "Windows is shutting down..." but will just hang there and 30 minutes later will still be displaying that same screen.
...
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Old 07-22-2011, 12:49 AM   #4
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If you could get your mouse working here is the site to download the graphic driver
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Old 07-22-2011, 08:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Bowles View Post
When you start your system and after the Windows XP loading screen, when it goes black, if you press keys such as caps lock (or num lock, etc.), does the light on your keyboard go off and on (if you have on)?
I just tried this and no, the keyboard lights don't go on or off when pressing the caps lock or number lock keys. What does this signify?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Bowles View Post
You could try using Safe Mode with Networking to download and install new graphics drivers (it can be done using just the keyboard).
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaming_wiz View Post
If you could get your mouse working here is the site to download the graphic driver
I was able to open Firefox in Safe Mode with just my keyboard but there's no internet connection. I know the internet connection in the house works since I'm using it now on a relative's macbook. I downloaded that graphic driver on the borrowed laptop I'm using now and put it onto a flash drive and then put the flash drive into the PC but the PC isn't recognizing the flash drive.

I'm currently trying to do a system restore in safe mode with just the keyboard but haven't had any luck yet. Also, just wondering, but how would a new graphics driver help solve this problem? I'm not sure how they're related.
Thanks for the help so far, hope we can fix this soon!
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:36 PM   #6
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Boot off of the XP CD Or download the Recovery Console ISO. Burn it to CD with IMGBurn and get to the Recovery Console. Here type chkdsk /R and press enter. The Check Disk utility will try and fix any file errors.
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