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black display after updates wednesday on XP

OK...I updated my ancient 2003 HP Pavilion a330n desktop running WindowsXP SP3 on Wednesday. I had 6 updates (two were DIX products, one was Picasa, one may have been Crap Cleaner, can't remember the others.) Then I saw an ad for C-Net update thingy and downloaded that and left my computer scanning it's software to see what CNET thought needed to be updated. I had to go to a kids' program. When I got back, the screen was black. It won't be normal even after rebooting. It DOES show, just for a flash, a normal screen when I jiggle the mouse or hit the enter or arrow keys, and quickly goes back black before I can DO anything to it. So it is booting up and going somewhere, the display just won't SHOW me. I don't see ANYTHING, just a black screen without a cursor or any words. So I can't get task manager to show up, I can't get it to go into safe mode or CMOS or anything. I can't restore because I can't see what I am doing! help?!?! -- Tabitha

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Two ideas.

1. By now the Mcafee issue is well known.

2. Read;forum-threads where we are looking at a black display even after we remove the hard drive. Since Windows is not on the machine, the problem is "something else."

And finally you're run XP for so many years you know about SYSTEM RESTORE. Just boot SAFE MODE and go back in time. And yes, some turn it off but how will they fix issues like this?

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but can't get into safe mode

As I said in my original post, I can't get into safe mode --- otherwise I would have restored already. (I have never turned off any abilities to get into it.)

I thought the McAfee malware problem only affected corporate users...according to the media reports. I will read the article you suggested.

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There is malware that

Corrupts SAFE MODE. It does that to thwart removal. Let's say that you see the BIOS screen and it's just Windows that has failed. If so the news is not grim. We execute our disaster plan. If we forget to backup files we get our files out now (we have many discussions on how so ask if you haven't found them.) Then we restore the OS with recovery media and put our files back on.

This sounds like a factory supplied install so repair options are very limited.

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