My computer only starts in safe mode!

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mizfiesta | 09:28 Tue 19th Jul 2011 | Technology
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Hi all, I hope someone has some information that will help me solve my computer problem. Everthing was running well on my Vista ran pc it till last night when it 'froze' a few times. I tried the old 'Ctrl, alt delete' and tried restarting it but it was totally unresponsive. I had to turn it off at the mains eventually. This happened a few times. After that it wouldn't start normally - the screen just went black so I booted it into safe mode. I automatically thought the computer may be infected with a virus and ran my Mcafee virus scan. Nothing detected. I noticed however that Mcafee real time scan was disabled and try as I might to switch it back on, it reverted back to disabled. I ran two other programmes at that point to see if Mcafee wasn't catching whatever was infecting pc - I think they were called Malaware and SuperAnti Spyware. One of the programmes caught a few things but the computer still didn't work. I tried to 'restore' my computer and a few other tests using microsoft to no avail. Does anyone have any idea what else I could try? I can't afford to be paying someone so that's a last gasp option for me. Thanks in advance.


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So what does actually happen when you start it in normal mode then?
Question Author
It goes through the usual boot up screens to a certain point then the screen goes on standby, as if I've actually put it in sleep mode.It's totally unresponsive and won't let me shut it down. I've got to turn it off at the wall. Yet it boots up in safe mode with networking.
If Safe Mode works, to me that implies a driver corrupted or overwritten. Although I'd have hoped a 'restore' would have worked, if you went back far enough.

Have you installed something lately that may be the cause ?

BTW malware/spyware searches differ from virus searches, although these things do seem to overlap. It's not surprising that one flags up something the other ignores.
How do you know it's unresponsive if the screens blank (the normal test for this is does the caps lock or num lock lights still work)

First thing I'd try is boot into safe mode, then lower the screen resolution down to minimum and restart, as it's possible it's trying to start up in a resolution your monitor can't display.

Other than that also try unplugging every thing that is not needed (so any USB devices..)

if still no joy then it's time to start trying to figure out what is causing the problem, which is almost certainly a driver, the first one I'd go for is video driver, so try uninstalling it from device manager in safe mode and then thing would be to enable boot logging and check the boot log after trying to start it in normal mode.
Question Author
No I don't recall installing anything new of late. I only went back a week or so on restore. Do you think it's worthwhile going back further and if so how long?
If you went back prior to the date you started noticing the problem you should have gone back far enough. Me, I always try a little bit further just in case.
Question Author
Chuck I've only limited knowledge on pc repair and just follow advice on forums etc. I think messing about with drivers may be too risky for me?
It may be poisoned, first you can scan and kill viruses with anti-virus software, otherwise you must reinstall the PC system.
^ don't listen to them!

Changing the screen resolution is very simple..

Removing the display driver if needed is also pretty simple and reinstalling it isn't a big problem either... but try the resolution change first.
Question Author
Tried to restore to factory settings but it's still not working. I am going to reinstall vista but I've put the disc in the wee drawer thing and nothing happening. Should I try running it in safe mode?
You probably either need to boot off it; or run the executable that starts the installation from it.

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