Ok so just recently started having this problem. Don't know what started it, except i previously unplugged the power unintentionally while my laptop was in hibernate. Turned it on today, it gets to the login screen, and when i enter my password all i get is a black screen. I have googled some solutions, but the thing is, I CANT DO ANYTHING. I boot up in safe mode, black screen. safe mode with command, black screen, no command prompt. I hit shift 5 times to bring up the dialog, as found here http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/itprovistaannouncements/thread/f9f1f00e-eea9-4bda-b9c3-e97e817f27c7/#page:2 but when i click on the link, nothing happens and the dialog disappears. There appears to be nothing I can do. I would try to reinstall vista, but my laptop came with vista and I either lost the cd, or the damn laptop didn't come with any install cd (don't remember there being one.). WTF can i do here or am i just screwed. any help appreciated

ok wish i would have kept trying before i posted. I kept trying the solutions above, pressing shift 5 times to get to the dialog, and it wouldn't work. kept trying and trying, pressing shift 5 times and finally clicking the link in the dialog worked, and i could get to the address bar and start up msconfig. disabled windows event log in the services and it works good as new. So I guess im still wondering, this seems like a temporary fix. Do I need windows event log, will it be ok to leave it disabled ?

I pull the plug after hibernating all the time - so it isn't that. If you didn't mean hibernate but you meant Standby, then pulling power should ordinarily have no adverse effect until CMOS battery runs out.

My first step would now be re-enable the Windows Event system. You want events to be managed. You can delete the logs (they are likely to be corrupt), they'll re-create. Chances are that corrupt log files send poor code in Windows Event Manager screw that application. You'd figured that out anyway.

Since you have a way back to quasi- normality if this approach fails, you've little to fear.