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#393403 - 05/25/13 01:12 PM Anyone here do PC tech support for $?
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10670
Loc: Central NH
I downloaded a screen capture program (BSR Screen Recorder to do a job for an attorney that needed it right away.

Started capturing video from the screen. After 12~15 minutes, I notice the screen has gone black.

BSOD comes up (recovered from a serious error).....

I get the PC to come up in safe mode. Several times. System won't come up in normal mode.

I go to system restore to restore it to a point two days ago.

System won't do anything. Black screen, with only the mouse pointer visible. After 15~20 minutes, I get a screensaver, which had never been set before.

Forcing a shutdown only brings me back to this point whether I choose safe mode or not. I have no visuals to try another restore point or anything.

I'm wondering if, when I forced a reboot after several minutes the first time the screen showed black only, the system WAS restoring itself at that time and I seriously effed things up by forcing a shutdown in the middle of a restore.

It's my main business computer (others were tied up or WAY more expensive) but of course I need it back as it has all my accounting, etc....

I'm willing to pay someone who is qualified to help me out here.......
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#393430 - 05/26/13 04:51 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
SirQuack Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 01/29/04
Posts: 13309
Loc: Iowa
I assume this is a laptop, during boot up can you hit F10 (or esc, or whatever) takes you into BIOS. There are usually some tools you can run for memory and hard disk test, to see if the hard drive passes. You could also try going into Safe Mode with Command Prompt and from CHKDSK /f to check main partition and fix any bad sectors.

At the top of the BSOD, does it give a filename or anything that is failing. Sometimes that will clue in to how to resolve. There is one that I have seen often with Symantec Endpoint Protection, but not sure your using that application.
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#393436 - 05/26/13 06:30 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10670
Loc: Central NH
Hi Randy-

Thanks so much for the input!

This is an HP desktop. It seems as though I've explored every option there is from the boot up, except "restore system" as I'm saving that as a last resort.

"Safe Mode" or "Normal Windows" makes no difference; I get a black screen with the mouse pointer visible; nothing else.

I'm beginning to think it might be something malicious in that nothing seems to be working to get me past it. Or maybe something went awry with the video driver.

I _DO_ run a backup weekly onto an external drive and I'm really getting to the point where I'm wondering if I should just restore the system to factory-new and then see if that backup drive and software actually works!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#393437 - 05/26/13 08:05 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17695
Loc: NoVA
Mark, I think that's where you're at at this point. Safe mode uses a failsafe video driver (not the same one you normally use), and if safe mode isn't working, you're done.

One possible alternative is to boot up with a Win7 DVD (I hope you're running 7; if you're running XP at this point, well... um... yeah.) and either try to repair the system or do a system restore with that. You should have some kind of Windows boot disk somewhere; if not, go buy the cheapest OEM version on the shelf and use that.


Edited by Ken.C (05/26/13 08:07 PM)
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#393455 - 05/27/13 12:29 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6614
Loc: PEI, Canada
Hi Mark,

My guess is that BSR Screen Recorder replaced or tweaked your video driver completely or it tweaked some registry settings in that area. As above, Safe Mode should use a generic video driver and get you going, so I also suspect something more complex happened as well.

One unlikely solution.
Somebody SUPER-technical regarding Windows could use a Linux startup CD or thumb drive to boot up your PC and poke around the registry, looking for something that could be preventing video in safe mode. Hard drive/data integrity could also be checked in this manner. That being said, spotting something helpful in the registry is more than I would have the patience to do. You need a true Geek before they would be able & willing to go that deep without further clues, at this point.

If it were me, I'd have given up by now and re-installed everything and grabbed my data from my backup. If you don't have a backup, see below for an alternative.

Last Resort data retrieval.
I wouldn't sweat too much about at least retrieving your data. You can use the same 'boot into Linux' method to get access to your hard disks, without having to fix Windows. (Note: this is why your windows passwords are meaningless.)

You could then use Linux to transfer all your data to a portable hard drive. Once your data is safe, you can feel better about any further Hail Mary troubleshooting.

I'm hardly a LINUX Guru but that much, I could probably walk you through over the phone. There are also lots of guides online that step you through this.

It's actually not that hard. I'd be happy to try to walk you through it, although honestly, there is nothing like having a an expert on sight who can actually see what's happening.

One caveat, if you have encrypted your hard drives..... this won't help.

Sorry, not much useful but I hope this helps as a last resort strategy anyways.
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#393460 - 05/27/13 12:53 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10670
Loc: Central NH
No, Murph. Everything is helpful at this point! Thank you for responding!

I'm pretty much at wits end. At this point, I'd LOVE to have to restore the system to factory and try that back up to recover all the rest of the files since the computer was new.

At the moment, I can't even get to the option of "restore" from the boot up (F11 I think?) because every time I boot it up, and choose ANY of the options (Diagnostics, Restore, etc) it goes to the screen "Windows was not shut down properly" with the options for starting Windows normally or using one of the safe modes. In other words, I'm not even able to GET to the screen to restore the system.

I thought that if I could maybe attempt to shut Windows down normally, I can get back to options at bootup. So, I just tried hitting the Windows key on the KB, than the right arrow, then enter. If Windows is running back there somewhere, that SHOULD shut the system down normally. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working.

To Ken's points earlier (Thank You also Ken!) it's a Vista 32 system, and didn't come with a Windows disc....just the recovery partition. I don't seem to have a series of Recovery / Rescue discs anywhere, though I'm surprised because I'm usually good about those things (though admittedly disorganized of late).
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#393461 - 05/27/13 12:59 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17695
Loc: NoVA
Oh, Mark....


Maybe someone on Freecycle can give you a Vista CD? I think those should have some of the same recovery options.
_________________________
I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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#393463 - 05/27/13 01:12 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10670
Loc: Central NH
That's a good idea, Ken.

My ignorance really embarrass me on this: For a repair such as this (as opposed to an installation) does it matter if it's a "used" CD as opposed to a disc that has not been previously registered?

In other words, can I simply borrow one from anyone? And does it have to specifically be 32bit v. the 64bit version?

You guys are saving my life here!
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#393466 - 05/27/13 01:46 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 10670
Loc: Central NH
As a long shot idea:

Since I'm not having any luck doing a shutdown with the "hitting the Windows key on the KB, than the right arrow, then enter" sequence, is there some OTHER Keyboard sequence that will shut down a computer?
_________________________
::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#393467 - 05/27/13 01:49 PM Re: Anyone here do PC tech support for $? [Re: MarkSJohnson]
Ken.C Online   content
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 17695
Loc: NoVA
Yes, you can borrow it from anyone. I'm not sure if 64 bit vs 32 bit makes a difference.

Also, dammit, you made me shut down my VM inadvertently when I was trying command sequences for you. Mnech.
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I didn't do it, no one saw me, you can't prove anything.

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