Vista Ultimate won't boot up (black screen of death)

Discussion in 'Recovery & Backup' started by slycer2002, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. slycer2002

    slycer2002

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    Okay, bear with me, as this may be a little long. A friend was going out of town last weekend, so he shut his computer down and unplugged it before he left. It was working fine at that point. When he got back home, and started it up again, after the BIOS loaded, it went straight to a black screen and wouldn't budge.

    Anyway, he called me for help, and I figured it would be a simple fix, just use the Vista cd and do a Start-up Repair on it. Easy, right? Wrong. I forgot that the DVD player in his system has an issue and won't read disks. So, I took his computer to my house, removed the HDD, and installed it in my computer. Before I go on any further, the computer that was having the issue is a Dell Inspiron 531 running on an AMD Athlon X2 (not sure of the exact speed, but it came with Vista pre-installed from Dell, so I'm assuming it meets the minimum requirements), and the one that I was going to use to fix the issue is a Dell Dimension E510, running a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz and 2.5Ghz of RAM.

    So, I put the Vista cd in my DVD player, changed the boot sequence, and booted off the cd. Now, when it got into the repair utility, it did NOT list the Vista OS for me to repair it. It said something about (paraphrasing) "... if your OS is not listed, load the drivers for your HDD. Please select the source of the drivers for your HDD to install..." or something to that effect. I have no idea what the drivers would be called, or where to look for them. Besides, it was my understanding that Vista didn't need HDD drivers to run. So, I hit the 'Next' button, and went right to the next page, did a Start-up Repair, and the computer finished and restarted. I went back into the BIOS, readjusted the boot sequence, and restarted again. This time, it came up and said "Drive 2 not found, SATA (something or other) Pri IDE Master. Press F1 to continue or F2 to run the setup utility..." This can't be good. If the HDD isn't showing up, does this mean that the drive is fried?

    I was going to use my DVD drive in my friend's computer, but my DVD drive uses the old fashioned parallel ribbon cables, whereas his uses the SATA data cables.

    ANY help on this issue would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
     
    slycer2002, Sep 4, 2009
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  2. slycer2002

    WAW8

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    OK, if the OS gets removed, when trying to boot, you'll generally get an error message across the top of the screen saying something like "no operating system". So, no message is a good sign.

    So, which did you do: (1) connect the hard drive to an internal cable, or (2) connect the hard drive via USB port?

    Those specs will run Vista just fine.

    The Vista DVD does not contain drivers for all SATA controllers, so if it doesn't see your particular drive, it means that it didn't load the SATA driver needed. In that case, you will need to obtain the driver for the controller in question, load that to a USB stick, and when you boot from the DVD, see if it offers you an option to load the driver. If so, insert the USB stick and select the proper SATA driver.

    No, it most probably means that you repaired the existing Vista OS -- the one it found -- not the one on the other drive (the one you intended to repair).

    You can buy SATA-to-IDE connectors that will allow you to plug your DVD drive into your friend's machine, but somehow, you're going to need to run Startup Repair on their machine, not yours.
     
    WAW8, Sep 7, 2009
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  3. slycer2002

    slycer2002

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    Thanks for replying!!! I understand where you are going, its just going to be getting that DVD to run in his computer that's the problem. To answer your question, I used an internal cable to hook his HDD into my computer. I think I'm also going to have to get my friend to pony up the dough and buy a new CD/DVD burner. Its not like they are exhorbitant anymore, right?

    Also, I may have done something entirely stupid, but I'm not sure. What would the result be if the computer I was trying to use to troubleshoot this Vista issue was actually a WinXP machine? Would that screw up my XP OS? Or would it be fine? Hypothetically speaking, of course.. :ermm:
     
    slycer2002, Sep 8, 2009
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  4. slycer2002

    WAW8

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    Probably wouldn't do anything. Startup Repair only works on Vista and Seven machines. So, attempting to run it on an XP machine won't change anything.



    Booting to a command prompt and running fixmbr or fixboot is different. The first will make no difference; the second, again, will only work for Vista. But, if you force the installation of the Vista boot loader into an XP partition, that might present problems, but the most that is likely to happen is that you get a menu when trying to boot and have to choose XP from the menu.
     
    WAW8, Sep 8, 2009
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  5. slycer2002

    slycer2002

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    Okay, the reason that I ask is that ever since I tried to use my XP system to run the Vista Start-up Repair, I have been having issues with my XP system. My antivirus won't load, saying that it cannot communicate with the kernel. None of my USB ports work. I cannot access the internet, as all of my Network locations are now gone. I cannot uninstall anything, because it says the Windows Installer is not installed correctly. The Microsoft IntelliPoint software keeps crashing. I could go on, but I won't. I tried to use the XP Recovery Console to fix the problem, but it was still present after reboot. I tried to do a repair installation of XP over my existing one, but it said that the version of Windows on my computer was newer than the one I was trying to install. Its like some part of the Vista files were installed over the XP system on my computer. I am at wits end. Any ideas? I know this is the Vista forum, and if I need to post this somewhere else, I will. I'm just confused and bewildered. Thanks again.
     
    slycer2002, Sep 8, 2009
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  6. slycer2002

    WAW8

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    I have no way of knowing exactly what you did, but if ALL you do is boot from the Vista DVD and run Startup Repair, all it will do is search for a Vista installation, and once found, overwrite the boot loader files.



    If your XP install got overwritten by Vista, then you did a reinstall ontop of XP, not a startup repair. The general way to fix that is what you already attempted -- nondestructive reinstall of XP over itself. If that doesn't work (as you claim), there is no option other than to back off your files and settings and reinstall XP from scratch.



    And, you're right, we're a Vista forum, not XP, and while we're willing to help with an occasional XP problem, we can't take on debugging XP machines.
     
    WAW8, Sep 9, 2009
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  7. slycer2002

    slycer2002

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    That's fine, and I appreciate the help. I was able to (sort of) do a repair install of my XP, but ran into another issue. I'll address that in an appropriate XP forum. Thank you again for the help.
     
    slycer2002, Sep 9, 2009
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