Windows XP black screen on bootup with only mouse working

– Can’t load Windows XP GUI, all I get is my mouse on a black screen.
– Can’t load “Safe mode with command prompt”
– Can’t do a repair install or use the repair console to fix the problem.

What happened:
It wasn’t my computer and I wasn’t there when it broke down, but apparently someone was playing World of Warcraft and they got a message box (probably outside of the game) asking them a question, to which they responded “yes” (or whatever positive answer there was) which led to a blue screen and wouldn’t allow the PC to boot into windows. There was an error message that said something roughly like “cannot load windows”. I got an explanation of what went wrong from people who don’t know much about computers so it’s hard to explain in detail. They did a repair install without me and that led to the problem this post is based on.

– Backup data using another PC and format.

Important Tip:
– When you have a catastrophic failure, don’t do a repair install of windows until you’ve tried the recovery console via “Safe Mode with Command Prompt”. Repair installs sometimes won’t work! When you do a repair install, it immediately deletes all restore points so you have no hope but to reformat if the repair install doesn’t work.

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