[WIN7] Lenovo W500 Win 7 64-bit Boots to Grey Screen Laptop was working normally, but yesterday I installed DataRAM and was experimenting with RAM disk after doing a memory upgrade to 8GB.
Today, I'm reading messages in a forum, and an error message to the effect that some service as stopped/crashed appears. A minute later, my screen turns solid grey and some random letters embossed in the upper left corner like "Gwiyi" or something similar.
I reboot, but after the desktop loads, the whole screen turns grey again and no explorer, no menus, no start menu. CTRL-SHFT-ESC won't bring up Task Manager. I'm locked out.
I rebooted and hit F8 and tried to use System Restore. Tried two different restore points, but System Restore encountered an error and could not complete.
I also did a repair off that boot menu after that. But the system continues to boot to grey screen.
I then concluded that my new RAM failed and ran Memtest86+, expecting to find problems, but the RAM passed testing.
I've run out of ideas. Googling this problem results in almost no other people reporting such a problem. Others are able to get to Windows functions to do various diagnostics, but with no start menu and no Task Manager, I cannot do anything to diagnose the problem.
How can I start Explorer if I cannot start Task Manager? Has my hardware died?
Grants Pass, OR
I don't see where you tried to boot into safe mode. Try that, if you haven't already. Could possibly be a video card problem.
Eventually, I discovered that the problems were caused by a "Moneypak" virus, which I must have picked up while browsing a web forum that had ads on the sidebar--one of the ads probably contained malicious code. This is disturbing, considering I was running Windows 7 pro 64-bit RC1, fully-patched and with Windows Defender and Firewall installed and running. On my other PCs, where I run Windows XP SP2, I cannot recall ever getting a virus in the past ten years. The last virus I can remember getting was back in the mid 1990s, when connecting an unpatched Windows 3.0 to dialup internet, where it got infected before I could download updates.
All of the methods for removing 'moneypak' did not work, and even HitMan didn't detect it, booted from a USB drive. It is said to be a rapidly morphing virus; seems to learn all the removal methods and get updated to prevent removal methods from working. I ended up reinstalling Windows from scratch. It's in the configuration and downloading updates stage. After the updates are downloaded, I plan to disable internet access completely. I will use a junky old LINUX computer for web browsing and forums from now on.
reply to disconnected
It shouldn't be disturbing. It happens all the time on 7, and in my experience it's even more common with XP.
I've personally seen that bug several times and it is no big deal to get rid of. At least it wasn't real ransomware like gpcode or something that had some real R&D time put behind it, like Virut or Sality.
I spent the whole evening researching and trying each of the remedies that were said to clean up this virus. After four hours and no results, I decided to go to my Norton Ghost backup on the firewire portable drive. About 4 seconds into restore, the drive vanished, never to return, even after rebooting. Tried the drive on 2 other machines and 2 other FW cables, and none of them detected it. Case of the classic Western Digital electronics failure. So I chucked the drive and am still doing a clean install of Windows 7, which I started around 4am this morning. This installation is full of problems. Missing PCI and other low level drivers. A 2 hour download of hundreds of Windows updates, but still the system is "!" in Devices and Printers and is missing essential drivers. It freezes for long periods and then becomes responsive again. Deleting a few files took longer than I could wait (15 minutes) because the HDD access times are like that of a floppy. The dialog that was up during file deletion said the transfer speed was 0Kbps.
Now I'm trying to download yet another set of drivers for Lenovo W500. Lenovo's site is confusing as heck. Why are there a DOZEN driver packages just for the LAN? About 80 files (1.11GB) in all to download. The last set of drivers I downloaded for the W500 proved to be wrong in that clicking on the .exe files resulted in 'this software is not for this computer' or this hardware does not meet the requirements' etc. Why does Lenovo put incompatible drivers in the W500 downloads? I'm going crazy with this. My desktop PC was a breeze to install on, once I got past the quirk of Windows not being able to find the SSD to install on (had to move it to first boot device). But this laptop is another story. So many things are not working and I am now convinced I downloaded improper drivers, though they were marked for Win 7 64-bit.
I can't wait til there's an M-Disc available in a 50GB format, so I can have a reliable backup. Portable hard drives just die at the worst possible times!
If you download the ThinkVantage System Update tool from Lenovo's site, it will automatically detect the appropriate drivers and install them in the proper sequence.