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  1. #1
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    Win7 nondestructive reinstall -> black screen

    My Win7 laptop has been getting more and more sluggish, so I decided to try the nondestructive update Fred described in http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...ive-reinstall/

    I got an SP1 install DVD and ran through the process. It ran for about 2 hours and apparently completed all the steps, then it rebooted. And woke up with a black screen. But it was still doing something; the disk light was flashing fairly continuously. It rebooted at least one other time that I saw (& back to black screen) but I wasn't watching it all the time. It's now been running almost 10 hours, most of that time with a black screen and flashing disk light.

    BTW it's a TOTALLY black screen. No backlight. And if I plug in an external monitor, it says "No Signal."

    I'm reluctant to kill it because it's still doing SOMEthing. But if it doesn't wake up by tomorrow morning, after running over 20 hours, I'll give up and kill the power.

    Does anybody have any suggestions before then?

    Thanks!
    Gary
    Last edited by garyfritz; 2014-11-10 at 22:38.

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    I would leave it until then as killing the power may result in not being able to boot up even with the install disk or do anything else with it - but at some time you will have to say, "Enough is enough".

    My system got screwed up once - won't go into details, but instead of restoring with a system image I decided to use the restore points.

    It was taking a lot longer than I knew it should have been so hit the power button and all I was left with on the reboot was a black screen with a big white cursor.

    The only way I was able to get out of that was to run a Kaspersky Rescue 10 Disk.

    That took a little over 9hrs for it to scan C: and when it completed I clicked on shutdown - went away and came back to find it was running a chkdsk which got it working again - then I used the system image.

    If Windows can repair itself, it will - but there are times when it needs some help.

    With an OEM machine I would have opted for the factory reset, even though it means a lot of backing up and reinstalling - not to mention Windows Updates.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-11-11 at 04:54.

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    ?Quite possibly, the nondestructive repair, since it probably does not do away with the nonWindows-caused problems onboard, cannot do any better, rather do worse, than the Windows OS already present on the hard-drive?
    That happened some time ago to me, the only solution for me, because I did have copies of the desktop folders, was to boot either the MS-created-usb stick or the MS-DVD -- and do a complete clean reinstall. Afterwards, I copy'd my desktop folders back onto the desktop, and used them as the roadmap for reinstalling everything in their proper place.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Well, it is not looking good.

    By the time I went to bed last night, it appeared to have quiesced -- the disk light was off. But this morning it was still in black-screen mode.

    I tried sleeping it & waking it up -- no change.

    I tried rebooting -- no change.

    I tried booting into safe mode w/networking. It displayed the "Preparing your system for first use" page that it's supposed to display at the end of the repair process, but then it said "Windows cannot complete the update in safe mode. Rebooting to normal mode." or something similar. And of course when it rebooted to normal mode, it was right back to the black screen. It's hitting the disk again so maybe it's doing something, but I suspect it's no different than yesterday.

    So I may have bricked my laptop. I backed up all my crucial data before I did the """nondestructive""" reinstall. If I don't have any success with this, I'll get a recovery CD and pull off a few other files, then reinstall from scratch. (I don't think a virus-cleaning app like the Kaspersky disk would help. I really don't think this is caused by a virus. I ran several scans on my system before doing the update and everything was fine. I think it was the update itself that broke something.)

    I suppose I could reinstall using the OEM (HP) image on the recovery partition, but I'm not sure a 2-yr-old HP image (with all the HP crapware) is that much better than a fresh generic SP1 install.

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    It wasn't a virus that caused the initial problem for me, but someone Teamviewering in and changing the registry so that it wasn't starting up or shutting down the way it should and I think the reason it hung on the restore point could have been because they were corrupt.

    I'd tried to get it to boot up with an install disk but it didn't want to know and the Kaspersky disk was the only thing that could get in as even my OEM Recovery Disks couldn't break through. http://support.kaspersky.co.uk/4162

    I haven't a clue how the chkdsk was initiated, I can only think that Kaspersky invoked it as it was unable to repair the files.

    An alternative is the Paragon Rescue Kit which has various bits to repair the MBR+ but you could have an incomplete install on your system http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-free/

    It has its own burner so you just need a DVD and a free product key will be e-mailed to you to activate it.

    If you can get it to factory reset with the HP image then I'd go for that - look at the fun you had when you first got it

    The PC Decrapifier could help you get rid of the bloatware. http://pcdecrapifier.com/ and then you can enjoy sitting through Windows Updates, but you'd have those anyway with a clean install - pity it wasn't a full system image you'd created instead of just backing up your personal stuff - at least that way you may have been able to get back to square one if the repair went awry as it has done.

    I haven't used Decrapifier but prefer IOBit Uninstaller to get rid of the crap on the odd times I've had to a do factory reset. http://www.iobit.com/advanceduninstaller.html

    I tried a repair install just for the hell of it and my Toshiba didn't like it as it got to what I think was almost to the end when it told me it had failed because of something or other and then I had to wait for it to revert to the old volume.

    Don't know if something similar has happened with your HP but something has gotten screwed up.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-11-11 at 12:17.

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    PMFJI (& repeating myself) but:

    I'm adding this note to several threads, because I don't feel it's been adequately discussed:

    For a successful reinstall, one needs to ensure that
    a.) All libraries (reparse points) are pointing to the original locations on the C: drive, and
    b.)The C: drive must have free space equal to the Windows partition size + 9 GB.

    Zig
    Last edited by Zig; 2015-06-12 at 14:14.

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    Arrrgghhhh, it's so close I can TASTE it...

    Sudo15's comment about Teamviewering gave me an idea. So I TV'd into the laptop, and I AM able to connect to it. The screen is still black but I can see the mouse sprite moving around on the TV display. Unfortunately when the sprite moves it just updates a small square around the sprite, and mostly it garbles what's supposed to be on the screen. I can just-barely-sorta see what's on the screen, but not enough to be able to drive.

    So it's alive. I just have to turn on the @%@#%!! display.....
    Last edited by garyfritz; 2014-11-11 at 15:10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfritz View Post
    ...So it's alive. I just have to turn on the @%@#%!! display.....
    Sounds like corrupted display driver to me.

    If you can get into Safe Mode you might be able to uninstall the display driver in Device Manager. Either Windows will re-install it, or will install the basic Windows driver.
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  10. #9
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    I think you should give that Paragon Rescue disk a try.

    Using the Normal or Low Res Safe Mode can determine if it is your graphics drivers - it can also find your OS and has a series of fixes under the Boot Corrector.

    You can also use the File Transfer Wizard if you want to pull some more files off the HDD.

  11. #10
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    Too late. Last night I gave up. After copying off all critical data I hadn't already backed up, I wiped it and installed a fresh Win7. The HP recover options included a "minimal image" with just a few HP utilities and no crapware, which was nice.

    So this morning I finished patching it to current updates, made an image backup and a repair disk, and started copying my data back onto it.

    And it promptly bluescreened.

    LOVELY. Just f***in' lovely. That never happened before.

    Coochin, I agree it sounded like a messed-up display driver. But I couldn't run in Safe Mode. It would tell me "Can't finish install in Safe Mode, rebooting to normal mode," and then it was back to the black screen. I was painted into a corner.

    Hopefully the new install will be leaner and quicker than the old 2+ yr old version, which was suffering from pretty bad bit rot. Assuming, of course, it doesn't bluescreen every time I try to do something...........

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    How did you get in to copy the rest of the files and what data were you copying back on ?

  13. #12
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    There is a platform update that kind of goes along with I.E. 10, either of which have been known to wreck havoc with the graphics subsystems; black screens, blue screens and such. Mainly it affected some of my older systems.

    http://www.infoworld.com/article/2613638/microsoft-windows/microsoft-pushes-another-botched-automatic-update.html

    I steer wide and clear of this update and I.E. 10 and have not encountered problems on any of those systems since so something to keep in mind and check if your's does.

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    Sudo15, I used a PartEd Linux on a UBCD boot disk. Wasn't especially speedy but it got the job done.

    What was I copying back? All my backed up data! Not sure what you're asking?

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfritz View Post
    Sudo15, I used a PartEd Linux on a UBCD boot disk. Wasn't especially speedy but it got the job done.

    What was I copying back? All my backed up data! Not sure what you're asking?
    I was wondering if in what you are loading back could have conflicted with your graphics and caused the BSOD.

    If you can boot up into Safe Mode with Networking you could download WhoCrashed which could give you some inkling of the conflict.

    If you can't boot up into Safe Mode the normal way, tapping the spacebar as you switch on can get you in on some models.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-11-13 at 06:19.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by garyfritz View Post
    ...Assuming, of course, it doesn't bluescreen every time I try to do something...........
    There is a setting you can change to have the BSOD message stay on screen, instead of Windows immediately restarting. This lets you write down the error in the BSOD so you can Google it.

    Go to Control Panel/System. Under the "System failure" section of the "Advanced" tab, un-tick the "Automatically restart" checkbox (see below screenshot).
    AutoRestart.jpg
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