Subscriber John Paul Plauche wrote to ask about a problem with Windows Vista failing to boot properly:
May I please trouble you with a problem a friend of mine is having with her Acer laptop. She runs Vista Premium Home Edition, I think. After the computer has finished booting up – wherein the booting process seems on the surface of things to be functioning fine — the final screen displays completely blank, but with a pink background.
I am about as far from knowing about something like this as one can get, but I did startt her computer in Safe Mode, whereupon the computer’s desktop icons for her programs display fine. I was able to open about 3 or 4 of the programs, and they seem to work fine. That is done only in Safe Mode, however.
Then when the computer is re-started and opens in regular mode, it ends up again with a blank, but pink screen.
Do you have any ideas about this?
Thanks, as always for your time and information.
John Paul Plauche
I wrote back to John Paul to tell him that the basic difference between Safe Mode and normal mode is that, in Safe Mode, drivers are not loaded and auto-starting programs are not started. Safe Mode is designed so that it does not automatically load drivers and many of the auto-starting Windows Services and auto-starting user-installed programs.
I suspect that this problem is caused by a corrupted video driver.
A "vanilla" video driver from Windows is loaded in Safe Mode. You can usually uninstall video drivers from the Add-Remove Programs menu, and you should be able to do that from Safe Mode. Reboot to normal mode and see if that solved the problem. It could also be a video card (or circuit on the motherboard) that has gone bad. If you have a spare video card, you could try that.
Auto-starting programs could be the source of the problem.
To check them, go into Safe Mode (not normallly needed for this step, except that she can’t boot to a readable screen without using Safe Mode) and temporarily disable all the auto-starting programs. (I’d use WinPatrol (www.winpatrol.com) to disable them.) Reboot to normal mode. If that solves the problem, start adding back the programs one at a time until you find the problem one.
Other drivers could also be the source of the problem. You can address them similarly to the process for addressing the auto-starting programs.