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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    HELP: Boots to blank screen

    XP-SP3 froze during a game.

    Rebooted, and got as far as a mouse pointer on a blank screen.
    No icons, nada. Random clicking on black space does nothing.
    Ctr-Alt-Del does nothing.

    Booting in Safe Mode has the same result.
    Mouse pointer on a blank screen - with writing in the corners.

    I am suspecting the ATi Graphics Driver, but how to operate on it when I can see nothing?

    Luckily the Main HD is dual-boot with Win-7 which works, but how to repair the XP partition from Win-7?

    Any ideas gratefully received!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    How far do you get with the Safe Boot. If you can get to the boot options screen you can select "Last Known Good Configuration" and give that a try.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  4. #3
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    It sounds like the driver is partially loading, if you have the Safe Mode writing in each corner. So, if Last Known Good Configuration doesn't work, you could try modifying the boot.ini file on the XP partition from within the Win7 partition to force the vga driver to load.

    From within Win7, navigate to the root folder of the XP partition and locate boot.ini (you'll likely need to enable hidden files from Windows 7). Open the XP boot.ini with Notepad and add an extra switch to the end of the boot string: /BASEVIEO. Save from notepad - making sure you save as boot.ini rather than boot.ini.txt. Reboot the XP partition and it should load the system default vga driver. If that works, you can then repair the ATI driver.

    Edit..... that should read /BASEVIDEO as per my post #5. Sorry!
    Last edited by Tinto Tech; 2012-09-26 at 04:03. Reason: typo last night
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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  6. #4
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the suggestions folks.

    Last Known Good Configuration - just the pointer on black screen, no change
    Adding /BASEVIEO - just the pointer on black screen, no change

    So, presuming that XP really IS switching to the VGA driver (How can I tell with a black screen?), it's not the ATi drivers.
    Could it be the Desktop itself that is crashing possibly?
    It seems as if the PC has booted properly, but is not displaying the Desktop, just the pointer.


    Since I can see the XP Partition from Win-7 I am able to rescue stuff I need, but if the suggestions on here don't work, I'm gonna have to a fresh reinstall of XP.
    Bummer! Damn MS!

    The other annoying thing is ATi Catalyst Control (the config panel for Graphics) is crashing under Win-7, and there are lots of frustrated Forum users with horribly complex ways to try to make it work, most of which DON'T work! The driver is running OK, just no Control Panel.

    Oh the Joys of PC's!

    ...and how I'm enjoying my Android phone more these days...

  7. #5
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    Oops, just noticed a typo in my suggestion earlier. It should read /BASEVIDEO rather than /BASEVIEO. It might work with the corrected switch in the boot.ini file - sorry for the trouble!
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  8. #6
    Star Lounger
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    OK, using the /BASEVIDEO switch didn't work. Still boots to a black screen with mouse pointer.

    I still somehow feel this is a Graphics issue, but obviously I could be wrong...

    Tomorrow I'll try bunging a different graphics card in, just to see if that jolts the system into action!

    Any other suggestions from the kind folks on here I could try?

    Many thanks to all!

  9. #7
    Uranium Lounger
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    You might try to unplug any usb devices, except keyboard and mouse, while computer is on with blank cursor. Then hard power off. Leave off for a minute or so. Leave usb cables unplugged, and power computer back on. Cross fingers.

    But, if the system boots to the Win 7 installation it would seem logical that it must relate to the graphics drivers for XP. Can you boot to the XP CD and do a repair install on a dual boot system ?? I'm not familiar with them enough to offer advice.
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  11. #8
    Star Lounger
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    Thanks Doc I'll try this today.

    I have no idea why USB devices (which haven't changed) might be a problem, but anything is worth trying to resurrect an OS!

    Thanks to the folks who have replied with suggestions, but I'm surprised no-one has said "I've had this happen to me, it's caused by this, do this to repair it".
    Maybe this is a totally original, unique fault....

    Onwards and - ummm.... - uhhh....

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