dreaded black screen of death

I was on another forum that mentioned your Windows Recovery CD. I would hate spend the money if it can't help me. I wasn't allowed to copy/paste the entire string from the other forum, but here is some of it below. Would someone be able to please let me know to if you are familiar with this problem and if the Windows Recovery CD will definitely work for me? The laptop in question has Windows 7 (French version) and AVG anti-virus (free version). I don't have any software CD's or anything backed up. Unfortunately, I am not very tech savvy. Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any advice,

So my boyfriend gave me the laptop over a year ago. The laptop started to surf slowly. And, no matter what I was clicking on, any mouse click could cause strange websites to open up. I downloaded the EEK and then was led to the emsisoft support forum.
According to Emsisoft puter dude, Kevin's instructions I was to downloaded AdwCleaner, Junkware Removal Tool and Combofix. I emailed him the logs generated by the first two. However, when I downloaded ComboFix, my computer froze. I thought it was asleep, but I could not wake it up.

  • Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:44 PM

Push and hold the power button until the laptop turns off. Then restart.

Once logged on, turn off sleep mode and hibernation.

Then try running ComboFix again.

  • Posted 27 July 2013 - 05:56 PM

I have tried that a few times now. When I press the button to restart, I only have a black screen, so I cannot log on or do anything at all except for power it back off.
I will keep trying.


Posted 27 July 2013 - 06:01 PM
When you switch ON your computer, start tapping the "F8" key to get "Windows Advanced Options"(if boot menu appears, press "Esc" key and keep tapping the F8 key)

Select "Last known good configuration"

  • Posted 27 July 2013 - 07:29 PM

Hi Kevin,
Pressing F8 upon powering on works, but I still end up at the dreaded black screen.

The laptop is made by Acer, so I when I tap F8 upon powering on, I get a screen that says Acer in big letters, and something like "press F2 for setup" in small letters at the bottom. That screen only lasts a moment, like a flash, I see a screen that says "Windows was not shut down correctly" and I have four choices of modes to restart the computer. Last known configuration is not an option. This screen has white letters on a black back ground. I've seen it several times in the past and would always choose the fourth option "start Windows normally". ESC did nothing from this screen. The only thing I can do is highlight one of the choices and enter. They all take me to the dreaded black screen.
Please help.

  • Posted 27 July 2013 - 08:20 PM

At the black screen press CTRL+ALT+DEL

The Task Manager should start.

Click on New Task

type: explorer.exe

Click OK.

The desktop should start.

Run system restore.

  • Posted 27 July 2013 - 11:25 PM

Hi Kevin,
I just wanted to say that I still cannot get past the black screen. I tried CTRL+ALT+DEL several times including prior to my earlier posts. Once I get to the black screen, nothing works, not even CTRL+ALT+DEL. I cannot get past that screen. CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing. The only thing I can do is hold the power button down to turn the laptop off again. I also tried taking the battery out, waiting a few minutes, and putting it back in. That made no difference. I'm starting to feel hopeless. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

I don't know if it makes any difference but Windows 7 is in French (the laptop used to belong to my boyfriend, who speaks French). So the screen I can get to upon start up (with the white letters on black background) says "Récupération d'erreurs Windows" with these four start up options:

  • Mode sans échec
  • Mode sans échec avec prise en charge de réseau
  • Invite de commandes en mode sans échec
  • Démarrer Windows normalement
I'm guessing there is nothing different from its English equivalent, but just thought I'd mention that it's in French.
Treva (using secondary laptop)

  • Posted Yesterday, 08:42 AM

Good morning,
I just wanted to let you know that I did not get any prompts about Microsoft Windows Recovery Console. I have no idea if it is installed on the laptop. Combofix was doing a scan, making a log when I walked away.
Any suggestions you may have today would be appreciated.


Posted Yesterday, 12:45 PM
Windows 7 does not employ the Recovery Console. Windows 7 has a Recovery Environment.

Looking at the menu options, I don't see a "Repair your computer" menu item. There should be one.

The other option is to restore using the Acer eRecovery by pressing ALT+F10 at system start. If no backups were created, then the only option you willbe presented is to restore the system to factory defaults. That will restore the system to the same a the first time it was turned on. You will lose all data, and have to reinstall all programs with this option.

  • Posted Yesterday, 02:13 PM

Losing all my data is not acceptable. Would the ALT+F10 also result in all my files being lost, if no backups were created?

  • Posted Yesterday, 02:17 PM

When I get the press F2 for setup, it shows "Insyde H20 Setup Utility". I haven't changed any settings since I'm unfamiliar with what they are. There is something that says F12 Boot Menu (disabled). Would that menu be of any use, if I enable it?


Posted Yesterday, 07:44 PM
The F12 Boot menu only allows you to choose the boot device. So, that won't help in the particular instance.

Do you have a Windows 7 CD?

  • Posted Today, 07:32 AM

Nope, I don't have a Windows CD.
Before I try it, would Alt+F10 result in all my files being lost, if no backups were created?


Posted Today, 11:53 AM
treva, on 29 Jul 2013 - 07:32 AM, said:
Before I try it, would Alt+F10 result in all my files being lost, if no backups were created?

Neosmart makes Repair & Recovery CDs, available for a fee. https://neosmart.........


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
It sounds like you have a severe malware infection.
Several viruses will intercept attempts made from the infected system to fix the problem.
You should download any malware cleaning software from a different PC, as the infection may deliberately spread itself from your infected PC into the downloaded media.
Our repair CD is for fixing problems with a broken boot process on an otherwise healthy OS.
It's not what you need to deal with the problem you have.
It will help you copy your personal data off the infected OS (as will any free Linux distribution).
Your choices are
1-Search the web for a bootable virus cleaner and download it on a completely clean PC (do not carry any USB flash drives from your infected PC to the other - they might be used to carry the infection to your friend's PC too). Boot it on your PC and let it attempt to clean the OS partition (and your flash-drives, or just reformat them if the data isn't valuable)
2-Get a bootable Linux distribution, boot it on your PC in "run from the CD" mode. Save all your personal data on clean external media, then "factory reset" the PC to remove all traces of the infection.
Then install MSE on the clean PC to protect you in future.
Hi Terry,
How would I boot a virus cleaner (or a bootable Linux distribution) on the infected PC? How can I save all my personal data if I can't even log on?? Excuse my ignorance, but I how do I do this with the limited options I described in my earlier post that are available on the screen when I power on? I didn't see any "run from CD" mode.


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
The clue is in the "bootable" adjective.
If you download Ubuntu from the link (on another PC obviously) and burn it to a CD, then it's not dependent on anything other than your PC hardware. The corrupt OS residing on your HDD will be bypassed.
Power up the PC and interrupt it at the BIOS splash-screen (you should see a message telling you what to do to enter the BIOS setup)
The following list should also help if you don't already know, or didn't get time to read it.
How to access/enter Motherboard BIOS
In the "boot" section of BIOS setup, ensure that CD comes before HDD in the boot priority.
Then boot again with the CD in the tray as you power up, and you'll go directly to the CD.
That's what will give you the option either to install Ubuntu on your PC, or to "run from CD"
That's much slower obviously running the entire OS from a CD-ROM rather than a HDD, but it's completely non-destructive, and will enable you to look around and rescue data.
Likewise a bootable virus cleaner burned to disk will be able to scrub the HDD clean without ever letting the infected code on the HDD execute.
The bootable CD's are running in lieu of your broken Windows.


New Member
Thanks for your explanation, Terry. It helped me understand much better, but I decided to let a pro handle it, and took the laptop to a shop. They were able to remove my hard drive, back up my files, reload new Windows and new MS Office and put my files back on. It wasn't very expensive. Case closed.
Thanks again for the information and for responding so quickly!


Knows where his towel is.
Staff member