9 times out of 10 on boot up i just get a black screen.
every now and then it boots up and offers me options prior to freezing up. such as refer to earlier config and safe mode on a black background but does not let me acess these menus.
Or it boots into windows and then goes to a black screen.
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Unless you took the time to create your own boot/recovery media (CDs) when you first got the computer, your only option would be to get on another computer and check for the availability of them on the vendor's website. (A real pain due to the many different models and configurations)
Have you tried a boot-up in *Safe Mode*? This will only be possible if offered as a failed, boot-up option screen, though. Sometime, if the boot files that are missing or have error are not too damaged they can be rebuilt when booting up in Safe Mode.
It might be possible to boot up into the BIOS - power it on and then repeatedly type the correct function key. (Check your manual for the right one.) Some BIOS configurations have an option to run Checkdisk - a DOS program which can sometimes rebuild boot files.
If we are talking about Windows 7 or Windows 8, the next time you boot your laptop, it will display an option to fix the booting problem. Please make sure that you plug in the ac adapter, and the battery is charged around 10% (please charge it for 1 hour).
1) You can set your boot options in your bios, watch as you laptop boots, you should see something like "Hit F2 to enter setup". Hit F2, select boot options then choose to boot from CD, HDD or external drive. Take care because you don't want to mess up your Bios. So read the screen carefully before changing anything. When you're happy, select save and exit then reboot, you should then boot from the device of choice in the order of choice.
2) Windows boot options, windows has several options for booting from, including safe mode. To do this, hit F8 several times while the laptop is booting, you should come to a screen with the several options on offer.
Many errors in Windows are caused by corrupt files. Those files could have become corrupt because of errors on your hard drive. The Check Disk tool checks for errors and attempts to fix any it finds.
Warning: Use Check Disk at your own risk. On rare occasions I've experienced problems when using check disk in Windows Vista. Here are a few things to watch out for:
If you run check disk and your computer has to be restarted to scan your computer and your computer hangs at a black screen when it boots up, do the following:
Turn the computer off and back on and immediately start pressing F8 on your keyboard repeatedly. A black screen with different boot options will appear. Select to use the Last known good configuration (advanced) boot option.
Never stop check disk once it has started. It could take hours to days to scan your hard drive depending on its size.
How-to Use Check Disk
Using the Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Open the Start Menu and click Computer.
Right-click the drive you want to perform a check disk on and select Properties.
Click the Tools tab in the drive Properties window.
Click Check Now under error checking.
To perform a complete check of your hard drive for errors check off both options in the check disk window that pops up.
Click the Start button to start the process.
If you are trying to check a hard drive that has open files you'll get a message similar to the one shown below.
Click Schedule disk check. Disk check can't check a hard drive that has open files. Your computer will reboot and check the disk before Windows Vista boots up. If you want to cancel the scheduled disk check for any reason, check out this guide.
Using the Command Line Interface
Check Disk can also be run using the command line (DOS) prompt.
Open the command prompt with administrative privileges by typing cmd in the search box in the Start Menu and right-click cmd.exe in the search results and then select Run as Administrator.
Type chkdsk followed by one or a combination of switches listed below in the command prompt.
If you run the check disk (chkdsk) command from the command prompt by typing just chkdsk check disk will run in read only mode. All it does is check for errors. It will not fix any errors it finds unless told to do so. This is done by adding switches when typing chkdsk in the command prompt.
A switch looks something like chkdsk /F. Notice the switch /F after the chkdsk command.
Below is a list of most of the switches used with the check disk command. You can use one or a combination of switches with the check disk command.
D: If you want check disk to scan a drive other than the C: drive, add the drive letter after chkdsk to tell it to scan that drive. If the drive is called X: on your computer it would look like chkdsk X:.
/F: The /F switch is the most common of the chkdsk switches. It tells chkdsk to fix any errors it finds. Chkdsk can't fix errors on a disk that has open files. If chkdsk asks you if you want to check the drive next time Windows Vista boots or dismount the drive choose to check the drive next time Windows Vista boots. Never choose to dismount the drive. That option should only be used by a professional.
/R: The /R switch tells chkdsk to attempt to recover any bad sectors of the hard drive if any are found. A bad sector is a spot on the hard drive that can't hold saved data anymore.
/I: The /I switch tells chkdsk to perform a less detailed but faster disk check.
/C: The /C switch tells chkdsk to skip the checking of cycles within a folder structure which reduces the scan time. Don't ask me what this means.
An example of an exhaustive disk check using the command line interface is:
chkdsk D: /F /R
The check disk command shown above will fix any errors it finds and also attempt to recover bad sectors of the D: drive if any are found.
If all else fails, try 3rd party tool SpinRite.
does it offer you the option of pressing F1 to continue?
try that if you can, if its not there, it means the Windows Master Boot Record is broken and needs to be rebuilt. Windows itself is likely to be ok. If you have a Windows disk (if you are running Vista, the vista cd, and likewise with Xp, using the XP CD) - start the computer with the CD in the drive, and press any key to boot from CD when offered. If it doesnt offer this, you need to change your boot order in the BIOS. the BIOS is the screen right before the screen where you are getting that error. it is the screen that counts up the RAM, around the Time the PC beeps jsut after turning it on. there should be a prompt on that screen to get into Setup or BIOS by pressing a key. on Dell machines, it is F12, on IBM is often F2, and on my PC (an ASUS) it is DEL key you press to get into the BIOS.
once in there, you need to find the boot order sequence entry. ensure the order has CD Rom before the primary hard disk.
save that and boot the PC, hopefully the CD will boot this time . when the CD starts up, you get an option to repair Windows, Install Windows, or enter the Recovery Console.
Press the key (i think it is ' R ') to Select Recovery Console.
once it loads up the DOS screen and is waiting for your input, just ype
this does assume your Windows installation is sitting on your c:\ partition. refer to the following site if your windows install is NOT on c:\
Press Y to confirm and reboot the PC.
it should now load your copy of Windows.
Microsoft site has an article on the Recovery Console, so please refer to this for more information.
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I would just run a full reinstall if I were you but try this first:
Boot and insert Vista install or recovery DVD (any Vista disc will do for this)
Reboot and hopefully it will offer the option to boot from the DVD. Take this option and follow it through until you are offered the option to install Vista or repair your computer. Just follow things though from there and it MAY repair the problem.
If it does not offer you the initial boot option then look on the initial boot screen for the boot options key - probably F11 or F12 - and press that during initial boot to obtain the boot options screen
After that its a full reinstall by the sounds of it - save your data to a stick or DVD first though