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#1
smichael

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Hello,
I am running a 4-5 yr old Sony vaio- OEM XP, p4 2.0, 1g ram, w/ an ATI AGP vid card (9800 pro?). The computer turns on and does the initial start up routine and then it gets to the Windows insignia with a small bar at the bottom as usual but right after that my screen goes black. The HD indicator light flickers for a bit but that is about it. Now I can start it in safe mode but I am not sure what to do next. How do I determine if I am looking at a Vid card problem or a software problem? All advice is welcome.
Thanks in advance
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#2
Guest_rushin1nd_*

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can you go to you control panel..system...harware...device manager click on plus and check for yellow network or video adapters exclamation marks right click choose update

do you have xp cd for your computer this may come handy to preform a repair

Edited by rushin1nd, 31 August 2006 - 04:42 PM.

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#3
smichael

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While in Safemode I checked both network and vid card in the device manager and there are no exclamation marks.

The only XP software that I own is the discs that came with the comp. They appear to have XP on them along with all the other junk software that came loaded on my comp. I am running a OEM version of xp that has been updated with SP2.

I don't know if this matters but I have tried the system restore but had the same result.
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#4
Chimpy

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oops u already tried system restore: i missed that part, sry

when you press F8 and chooose safe mode...instead of safe mode select Enable VGA and hit enter and let it boot..............I know it seems weird but it has worked before in some cases.

Edited by Chimpy, 31 August 2006 - 08:31 PM.

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#5
smichael

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ok I tried the f8 restart in VGA- still ended up with a black screen...

I would be willing to go and purchase the XP Software (versus the OEM bundle the I currently have)if doing so would allow me to get my comp going again.
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#6
smichael

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So does anybody else have a take on this problem? I realize that it is a holiday weekend here in the states but a guy can hope right? I am still trying to figure out the nature of my problem here and I don't know how to pin it down. If it was a hard drive problem would I still be able to run in safe mode? Or could it be a hard drive problem that leads to a software problem? What would be a good approach to rule out hardware issues?
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#7
silverbeard

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When you use F8 for safe mode can you boot to normal startup?
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#8
smichael

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No, I can only get into safe mode, "last working configuration", and normal windows start up leaves me with a black screen.
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#9
silverbeard

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Have you tried reloading the ATI Drivers from safe mode? If you have another video card you might try to start with it and see if it will let you in to normal start up.
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#10
smichael

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hmm, I tried to do that and I am getting a message that it could not locate any drivers then I am getting an error msg "set up was unable to complete the installation. Try to set up your display adapter with a standard VGA driver before running set up". When I tried to download an adapter online from ATI, I get a message saying that I have to have the .NET framework first. So I tried to DL and install that and I got an error message. So it appears that pretty much everything I touch results in an error message. :whistling:

I realize this is turning into the wrong forum for this but do you have an suggestions for a quick way to update the drivers?
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#11
Retired Tech

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What error message did you get with .net framework
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#12
smichael

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the message is " windows installer service cannot be accessed...."

Is this because I am running in Safe Mode? If so then I am at a loss since my system will only run in SM.
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#13
Retired Tech

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Start the PC and keep tapping the delete key until it enters set up, look for the option to use onboard graphics, press F10 to save, type Y to confirm, press enter
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#14
smichael

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ok I have no idea what happened but I'll describe what I saw- I restarted from safe mode- during the restart I was hitting "delete" It did stop on a dos looking screen with a number of options however there was no onboard graphics option. So I chose to start normally and kept hitting delete thinking perhaps that the screen with that option was further along. Instead of getting anymore options the windows just started up normally. Well my drivers were missing for some unknown reason. I was not doing anything with them when the system bugged out. So now after updating drivers the comp appears to be functioning again. While I was stuck in safemode I did defrag the drive, would that make any difference? I just cannot tell what happened here. Oh and one more question. In my earlier desperation I had borrowed an XP disk and started loading it but it was not the exact same type. I stopped the process and removed the disk. Now when the comp restarts I get to a black background screen and have to choose which OS to start with - the option of installing the new XP version that I aborted or my OEM version. Any idea how to eliminate this? I just want it to restart as usual.
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#15
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Click Start then Run, type msconfig then press enter

Click on the BOOT.INI tab

Click on Check All Boot Paths

If Windows finds a corrupt or additional install of XP, it will ask you if it's okay to delete the entry for the unused/older/corrupt version. Click Yes / OK and then reboot
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