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Windows loading - stops at black screen with cursor (Virus?)

by FrustratedToshibaUser / October 3, 2009 4:26 AM PDT

I. I have a Toshiba Satellite A215 that operates on Windows Vista. The problem: Windows will not boot normally...the stopping point is a black screen with a white cursor. It only works in "Safe Mode with Networking".

A. Here is how the problem started: An error messaged popped up on my computer yesterday saying "Windows [Something] Serrogate has stopped working." and my only option was to click "Close". Another error message dialog box came up and said something about another Windows program that had stopped working. Again, the only option was to click "Close". I am wondering if this was a message that caused the virus when I clicked "Close", or if the message was the result of a virus disabling certain programs. Or something else. ?

B. I was somewhat worried that this could be a virus, and I clicked restart. My computer shut down as usual, but when it began to restart, I saw the Toshiba "Leading Innovation" screen, then the "Windows loading..." screen with the loading bar that looks similar to a green caterpillar (Haha), then it got to a black screen with a cursor (that you could move) and the computer halted all progress. My computer would not let me use Ctrl+Alt+Del so, I held down the power button and forced a shutdown. Now, I have to run my computer in "Safe Mode with Networking" to access anything.

II. To make things more clear and to specify, here is EXACTLY what happens now:

A. I have forced my computer to shut down. I turn on my computer. I get the Toshiba "Leading Innovation" screen, then the "Windows Error Recovery" screen. The options are to choose "Safe Mode", "Safe Mode with Networking", "Safe Mode with Command Prompt", or "Start Windows Normally".

1. If I choose to "Start Windows Normally", the next screen is the "Green Caterpillar" loading screen, then the following screen is only black with a cursor. The computer sounds like it is doing something (clicking and humming), but nothing ever happens no matter how long I wait.

2. If I start it in "Safe Mode with Networking", it works fine. I get the "Loading Windows Files" screen (the black screen with white text that shows all loaded files), then I get a black screen with a cursor, BUT THEN, I get the Windows logo screen, the Windows Vista "Welcome" screen, and finally, the desktop (although it is the "Safe Mode" desktop with no personal settings, it works for everything I need).

B. **How do I get my computer to start correctly in normal mode again?**

1. Is this a virus?

2. Is this a result of a Windows update?

3. Is this because of something else I have not mentioned?

III. I think it is a virus, but I could be wrong. I have the explanatory abilities of a young child when it comes to computer terms, so hopefully, you can help me out! (I hope you liked my "Green Caterpillar" reference.) I am definitely not a computer expert, so any help is GREATLY appreciated. Thank you!


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Re: can't boot.
by Kees Bakker / October 3, 2009 4:37 AM PDT

I think it was Windows COM Surrogate (not Serrogade). Here's an example that links it to certain video programs: It also contains a few possible fixes (that might or might not have worked with you).

You can try to do those fixes (or other google might be able to find) while in Safe Mode.

If that doesn't work, it depends on what CD's/DVD's came with the machine. The idea is (a) repair install of Vista, (b) clean install of Vista or (c) System Recovery back to factory settings. The main question is if you have a Vista DVD, a Vista DVD + driver CD, a System Recovery DVD or (only) the option to do a System Recovery from a partition on the hard disk.


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The black screen lives on.
by FrustratedToshibaUser / October 3, 2009 5:03 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: can't boot.

The black screen problem still persists.

But, I think you are right: the message did say something similar to Windows COM Surrogate (not Serrogate, as I previously mentioned).

I have checked out the site you mentioned and it seems to help people who constantly get that error message when opening a folder containing video/media files. I only got that message once before I restarted my computer, but I decided to look into the site and try a few things. After trying multiple tasks provided on the site (including downloading a newer version of Nero), I still cannot boot normally. I am thinking the problem lies somewhere else and I still cannot rule out a virus as a possible cause of the black screen.

Thank you for reading and thanks for your suggestion! I will continue to look for solutions.


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Then try one of the antivirus CD's ...
by Kees Bakker / October 3, 2009 5:08 AM PDT
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Continuing the search...
by FrustratedToshibaUser / October 3, 2009 8:23 AM PDT

Thank you so much for responding so quickly! I am still trying to figure out what the problem is, but I feel like I am making a lot of progress.

I have done a System Restore, but it didn't help. I updated the VGA driver, but it didn't help. Now, I am creating the Antivirus Rescue CD you mentioned and I will let you know what happens. I think you definitely know what you're talking about and I really do appreciate your help!


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Problem solved! SOLUTION...Yay!
by FrustratedToshibaUser / October 3, 2009 3:17 PM PDT

Thanks for your assistance, Kees. I tried your methods and I think your CD idea would have worked. I made the CD and I was on my way to find a way to boot from it when I stumbled upon a fix. Without your suggestion, I would not have made it to that point and would probably still be stuck in "Safe Mode". I'm glad to be rid of the black screen problem AND the virus that caused it!

An explanation/solution...just in case anyone else ever has this problem...

I searched high and low on Google and Ask to find how to boot from the CD (that I created as Kees told me to try) instead of booting as normal from the hard drive. I never found anything, but I saw various hot keys to access certain menus and I decided that I would try some of these to see if I could find how to boot from the CD. I restarted my computer (attempting to find a "Boot from CD" option), but ended up stumbling upon a way to fix my computer.

1. I came to the Toshiba "Leading Innovation" screen. The options present on the screen were F12 and F2.
2. I knew that one of the shortcuts I had seen said, I pressed F8. This took me into "Advanced Boot Options". (If you accidentally press F12 or F2 and want to start over, hit Ctrl, Alt, Del.)
3. The first option presented on the screen was "Repair your computer". I pressed enter since it was selected and that launched "Startup Repair".
3. "Startup Repair" stated that "Your computer was unable to start" and it searched for a problem.
4. It then asked to perform a "System Restore" (which I had already done), so I decided to let it try again...

I had little hope, but after about 10 minutes, another message popped up. This message stated, "If System Repair was successful, after restarting, Windows will run normally, but if System Repair failed to fix the problem, System Repair may run again." I waited. There was the Toshiba screen, the "green caterpillar" Microsoft Corporation screen, then the dreaded black screen...but then the Windows logo came up! The sound played, the Vista welcome screen came up, and my personalized desktop appeared.

Awesome! I was so excited! I then downloaded an anti-virus software (AVG) and scanned my computer for a virus. I had 2 trojan horse viruses on my computer that had been downloaded under "disguised" names. I had opened one or both of those files that contained viruses and they had began to corrupt my system. That is what had been causing my problems. When I had performed the System Restore, the computer was restored back to the way it was before I had opened those files. (The second System Restore must have restored to a point further back than when I tried to do the System Restore myself the first time.) Then, when I scanned my computer, the anti-virus software removed the viruses from my computer.



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(NT) Good job! Thanks for telling.
by Kees Bakker / October 3, 2009 11:12 PM PDT
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Just sharing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 3, 2009 11:55 PM PDT

Many get back from "the brink" and still have no backup or restore plans. Let me share that we only lose what we don't backup.

For some of us these are just photos, emails and so on. Others need a full system backup. Try Clonezilla noted at

Your lessons in making and using bootable CD/DVDs make you ready for this.

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Windows logo loads - stops at Black screen and moving cursor
by ymreid / October 19, 2009 10:32 AM PDT

desk top (generic cp)
operating system - windows xp

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Please HELP if someone can!

So I am having almost the same exact problem with the annoying black screen after load up except mine doesn't work in any of the safe modes. I have tried the usual CTL+ALT+DEL, didnt work!! I have tryed the FN keys hasn't work!! I have even tried to take the battery out and put it back in along with running the laptop on ONLY the power cord.
I have a Y530 Lenovo laptop running Windows Vista with Dual cord processors, it gets kinda hot, I have an extra fan running under it at all times when its on so over heating isn't a problem. I was having trouble in the Google Chrome Browser so I decided to De fragment and get rid of the temp files to speed up the performance. I also had deleted my history files.
I have tons of memory on this comp so overloading shouldn't have been an issue either. Any way I shut it down for the night after it froze on me and I couldn't CTRL+ALT+DEL because it was just FROZE, nothing worked!! I didn't Download anything. So at this point I had it!! I just left it off.
I went to go turn on the comp the next morning(with more patience) it loaded the Lenovo screen fine then it came up with the gray windows screen (with the options Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking and load windows Normally I think theres another one but cant remember what it was lol)so I clicked load windows Normally it flipped to the next screen witch is a plain black screen with only the words Microsoft and a loading bar under it at the very bottom of the screen I waited then the dreaded back screen with the single white movable arrow. I Figured I would allow it to let it do its thing it was making sounds and everything I thought it was slow on load up because it wasn't shut down the correct way. This happened to me one other time but after shutting it off tons of times and taking the battery out and waiting it worked again.
So Stupid me, waited and waited and waited NOTHING HAPPENED ...I left it on for SERIOUSLY the hole day to see if anything would happen, of course nothing again. Thats when I decided enough is enough and took out the battery tried the FN keys along with CTRL+ALT+DEL. I talked to my brother in law who knows more about the comp then I do ...he said it was a false Hibernation file he told me to shut it off take out the battery and hold the power button for 10 seconds and that should fix it. I did that and still nothing but black screen of death.
Now frustrated and pissed I called my IT friend he said take the battery out for an hr and put it back in. I did that as well and now I am about to toss it out the window because nothing I do seems to be working PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!

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Small world.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2011 3:55 PM PST

I own a y530, my brother has one as well. Usually if you lock up a machine during defrag you run the risk of a corrupted hard drive. No hardware is harmed but you may get to learn why you have those restore DVDs.

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Re: small world
by SassynSweet88 / March 3, 2011 2:27 PM PST
In reply to: Small world.

The sad thing is it froze after the defrag was done everything was completed successfully and I went to go get back on the internet and of course it froze on me. so thats when i shut it off =(

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Need the Right Boot CD
by There_Is_Always_A_Way / April 18, 2016 2:21 PM PDT

My Toshiba L675 had a similar bad bad crash a couple weeks ago. Crashed in the middle of installing a large application, would not reboot via any Windows Safe Mode or via the Windows Install DVD or Recovery CD.

This is not suppose to happen, it was a real head scratcher, because theoretically the Install DVD or Recovery CD should get past anything wrong on the Hard Drive. However I learned that this is not entirely the case. I'm not sure if the design flaw is unique to Toshiba (from threads around the internet complaining about this similar problem it seems like it's usually Toshiba) but I learned that some boot CDs/DVDs reference the MBR (Master Boot Record) and Windows boot block on the hard drive before booting themselves, and so if the MBR is badly written in the right way, such boot CDs will not load correctly. This was learned just from observation, and I can't explain exactly what is going on, but I did learn how to get around it.

The solution is simply to use a better boot CD that makes no reference to the MBR or hard drive at all when loading itself. Note, some 3rd party boot/recovery CDs are in this class and some are not. The Boot CD I found works absolute the best is Hiren's Boot CD:

But booting to a recovery CD is only the beginning. Then you have to figure out what to use/do. What I found was that for whatever reason the Windows XP load on Hiren's could not mount the C: drive (main hard drive partition), but the Linux load on Hiren's could. So I was able to retrieve all the data from my hard drive through mounting via Linux. I tried pretty hard to fix the MBR and go back to booting to my Windows install on the hard drive, but ultimately this would not work. None of the MBR fix tools made any difference, the problem persistent so that any Windows boot would crash before a login screen (even when off the Windows Install DVD and Recovery CD).

So what I finally had to do was use one of the Hiren's BootCD DOS MBR tools to complete erase the MBR, then I was able to finally boot the Windows Install DVD. But if I repaired the erased MBR and used the same partitions of my original install, same problem. So I had to erase the MBR and completely reinstall to cleanly written partitions.

It was a real pain in the backside and took 3 days, but it was a recovery of the computer and hard drive, which I'm afraid some users have said in threads they were never able to accomplish.

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