Richard Waldron wrote:
> I checked with my tech support and they confirmed that I had no hardware
> problems with a diagnostic programme (conflict errors etc). This would
> also be bourne out by the fact that I circumvented the problem my system
> was fully functional.
If your tech support people didn't test the hard drive (and other hardware
components) with a diagnostic program run outside of Windows, then the
hardware testing wasn't adequate. If your tech support people are
long-distance, you may wish to take the machine to a local professional. Do
not use someone from a BigComputerStore type of place. If your tech support
are local and they tested correctly, then the issue is being caused by
> When the indicent fist occured I received not message at all, however,
> when I reinstalled Vista I received a message informing me that Microsoft
> could not verify my version of Windows automatically (this was noted in
> the bottom right hand corner of the screen). I then verified windows
> manually on the internet via micorsoft security centre, rebooted the
> message did not reappear but the screen remained blank.
The fact that you were not able to activate Windows over the Internet is
completely understandable and does not mean you have - or were told you
have - a pirated copy. It simply means that the key was still in use and
all you needed to do was choose to activate by telephone and stay on the
line to get a human. You would tell the human that you reinstalled Windows
and they would activate Vista.
> Even with the Black Screen you can access all programmes, drives etc but
> through the drop down menus, you simply do not have access to the windows
> explorer and the article posted on the internet indicated that you could
> manually access explorer via the same menus?
Something you are running has caused the issue. It could be viruses/malware,
it could be a legitimate program, it could be bad drivers for the video
card. There is simply no way for me to know without seeing the computer.
Here are a few suggestions:
A. First, of course you will make sure that your computer is not infected.
Even though you did a clean install of Windows, there is always the
possibility that you are then reinstalling some program that is malware and
thus reinfecting yourself.
B. If the computer is clean, you will boot into Safe Mode. Do this by
repeatedly tapping the F8 key as the computer is starting up. This will get
you to the correct menu to choose Safe Mode. If the problem doesn't occur
in Safe Mode, you have something starting with Windows that is causing the
issue. It could be a driver (probably the video driver) or some other
B1. Make sure you are using the correct drivers for your hardware. See this
general information about drivers:
Never get drivers from Windows Update. Get them from:
1. The device mftr.'s website; OR
2. The motherboard mftr.'s website if hardware is onboard; OR
3. The OEM's website for your specific machine if you have an OEM computer
(HP, Dell, Sony, etc.).
Read the installation instructions on the website where you get the drivers.
To find out what hardware is in your computer:
1. Read any documentation you got when you bought the computer.
2. If the computer is OEM, go to the OEM's website for your specific model
machine and look at the specs (you'll be there to get the drivers anyway)
3. Download, install and run a free system inventory program like Belarc
Advisor or System Information for Windows.
- Belarc Advisor
- System Information for Windows
B2. If all drivers are correct, then do clean-boot troubleshooting to see
what is running to cause this issue.
How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista -
The free Autoruns program is very useful for managing your Startup -
C. You can also see if repairing winlogon helps, although if you are getting
this issue on a clean install of Vista, something is damaging winlogon and
fixing the underlying cause is preferable.
From MVP Rick Rogerts - The shell entry may be damaged in the registry. From
Task Manager, click 'new task' on the applications tab. Type regedit and
click ok. Agree to the UAC prompt, then expand the branches to reach this
Click on the Winlogon key, then on the right find the "shell" string. Double
click it, change the value data to read "explorer.exe" (without the quotes)
and click ok. Then close the registry editor and restart the system by
entering another new task as 'shutdown /r'.
That should give you plenty to work on. Standard disclaimer: I can't see and
test your computer myself, so these are just suggestions based on many
years of being a professional computer tech; suggestions based on what
you've written. You should not take my suggestions as a definitive
diagnosis. If you can't do the work yourself (and there is no shame in
admitting this isn't your cup of tea), take the machine to a professional
computer repair shop (not your local equivalent of
BigComputerStore/GeekSquad). If possible, have all your data backed up
before you take the machine into a shop.
Elephant Boy Computers