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start up issues

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The wise sage CompCav suggested I come over here for some assistance. This is what I told him:

On startup it begins with the 4 colors that form the Windows logo. Next it change to the "welcome" screen. It shows Windows 7 at the bottom of the screen during this time. The next step should be my desktop. Instead I have a blank black screen with the cursor only. This is where it stays. I rebooted and selected F8 for the safe mode. Ran a diagnostic and it worked fine for 2 or 3 times. Now even that does not change it back to the proper mode. Is my computer dying? It is about 2 1/2 yrs old.

Something else that may be of no value is that I have a Nano IPod. A couple of days ago I noticed that I can load songs on to it but it does not play. When I plug it back into the computer the "Play" symbol is grayed out.
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