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Computer won't turn on- I get a black screen where my user account

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My laptop, a Dell Inspiron 1525 which runs on Windows Vista, will not turn on.
It goes through the regular start up processes, but also asks me if I'd like to run my computer in safe mode or normal mode. I have chosen both when I tried to fix my computer, but they both got me the same result- a black screen instead of the screen where I would normally log onto my user account. The black screen has a cursor on it with a loading circle next to it. The screen saver still appears. I'm hoping thats a good sign. My computer was working normally until it shut off randomly by itself. I had figured it just overheated, which happens a lot, unforunately, but when I tried to turn it on again, I got the aforementioned black screen.

My question is, is there anything I can do to fix my computer, or should I go to a specialist? Also, has anyone else encountered this problem before? Thank you to anyone who can help

Also, sorry if I posted this question in the wrong place.

Edited by npug, 09 December 2009 - 08:25 AM.

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That doesnt sound to good, sounds like when the computer "shut down by itself" you might have either damaged critical Windows files or corrupted your user profile. Honestly though, it sounds like you have corrupted critical Windows files. I suggest you try to repair the operating system files by using either your recover partition (if you have one) or using the Windows Recovery Disc to reinstall the operating system using the repair option. This will not damage any personal files or data, it will simply rebuild the Windows files. Worst case scenario of this, if that doesnt work, is that you will have to reinstall the operating system all together.

Hope this helps!
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