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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So here's the deal, starting from the beginning!
Note: I've been away for about a year, and I just got back today.

I'm pretty psyched about Starcraft 2, so I tried to install it a couple hours ago. The software failed to connect to the Internet to validate the installation. At the suggestion of a member of another forum, I ran ComboFix.exe. It totally fixed the problem.

I could have stopped there, but I was a little greedy. I then installed 87 Windows Updates on my computer, up to but not including XP Service Pack 3. I did this because SC II more or less asked me to. :smile:

I restarted upon completion and the problem began. After the Windows loading screen, the screen becomes black. Shortly afterward, there is no more input to the monitor (it turns off). I hear a beep every 40 seconds from my computer, but nothing else. This continues until I restart.

Safe Mode and Last Known Configuration do not work. I have the Recovery Console installed, but I don't know what to do with that. Unfortunately I disabled System Restore quite a while ago to save space.

I am fairly certain the culprit is these Windows updates. What I would ideally like to do is, well, uninstall them. I don't know how to navigate the text workspace of the Recovery Console, though... and I don't even know if it can be done.

I'd really appreciate any help at all. It's so unfortunate that my computer worked great after a year of sitting idle, and then I went and messed it up in an hour!
 

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Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

Use an XP Installation Disk to run chkdsk, and hope your problem is HD errors.

If Safe Mode, Last known good configuration and System Restore are all not working, the only thing left is a Repair Installation.

Do you have a XP Installation disk ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

I'm actually going to go get one tomorrow. I'll run chkdsk and report back.

Question: if I do a repair installation, does my C:\ drive basically get formatted?
 

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Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

I'm actually going to go get one tomorrow. I'll run chkdsk and report back.

Question: if I do a repair installation, does my C:\ drive basically get formatted?
No. If you are careful, and pay close attention to the menu options, it is possible to run a Repair Install (aka "In-place Upgrade") without losing any data, or even the settings, etc... of the installed programs. The only thing that would be different is that your system files would be reset back to the versions that are on the disk, and you would need to go to Windows Update and get the most recent versions installed.

You might have to reinstall Service Pack 3, etc....

HD errors can cause a Repair Install to fail, as can malware. Also a bad optical drive can screw-up an installation. It's a really good idea to have all of your data backed-up just in case something goes wrong. Also, at some point it is going to ask for your Product Key, and if, for some reason, the disk you are using to run the Repair Install doesn't like your Product Key, the process will freeze right there, and the only option you will have is to either re-run the Repair Install with a different disk that will accept your Product Key, use the same disk with a Product Key that it finds acceptable, or to format the drive (lose all the data) and run a New Install. You'll need a good Product Key - Installation Disk combination for that also.

Are you certain you have the Product Key recorded ? If not, there is software that can read a Product Key from a disk that is installed as a secondary drive. Also, don't try to use "just any" disk, because they are not completely interchangeable. There is some flexibility of disks, but it is limited. Some people say that a Dell OEM disk will work with any Product Key, and I have no reason to doubt that this is not true, but on the other hand I'm not willing to risk the time, effort and data loss if it doesn't work.

There are technically demanding ways to ensure that the disk you use (create) will work with a particular Product Key, but there is information on the Hard Drive that would need to be retrieved in order to create an Custom Installation Disk that will work with the Product Key you are currently using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

Well, that suddenly sounds very undesirable...

I do know my product key but I've lost the original CD that I used to install XP on that computer. I actually planned on getting a bootable XP CD from a nearby university and just using that, and putting my product key in. Or should I use the key that comes with the new CD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

Thanks for your help so far, guys!

I just used Hiren's mini-XP to boot into my hard drive. I can access all of my files, which is great - I'll back them all up.

More importantly, however, is there a way I can uninstall all of the recent Windows Updates, seeing as they are probably the culprit? I can't access Add/Remove Programs, but I can access C:\ and D:\, my hard drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: Black screen after Windows loading screen

Aha, that worked!

I uninstalled the hotfixes in batches of 5 and then restarted the computer to see if it worked. When I uninstalled the hotfixes stored in the following folders, the computer booted up normally! I'm listing them here just in case somebody runs into this post in the future and has the same problem I did.

windows\$ntuninstallkb959426$\
windows\$ntuninstallkb960225$\
windows\$ntuninstallkb960803$\
windows\$ntuninstallkb960859$\
windows\$ntuninstallkb961118$\

Thank you SO MUCH Albert_MC2, dai and Ben Her!!
You've all saved me a lot of trouble.
 
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