If in both normal boot and Safe Mode you see just a black screen with mouse pointer you can try several things to resolve the issue.
For me all was well until I ran through a series of reboots for Windows Updates and my Windows 7 64 bit Professional PC had a problem with one. I have seen this problem before and this time I tried everything listed below but in the end the fix for me was to CHECKDISK with repair switches (/F /R) the drive as detailed in number 5 below:
- Unplug EVERYTHING you can from the machine: printers, wireless NIC’s… and try to boot up
- Try LAST KNOWN GOOD in the F8 boot menu.
- press the left SHIFT key 5 times quickly. This should load the STICKY KEYS, EASE OF USE tool and will tell you if your operating system is responding at all.
- press CONTROL + ALT + DEL, bring up a TASK MANAGER, END TASK on EXPLORER.EXE if it is in the PROCESS LIST, then click FILE, RUN and type EXPLORER.EXE . Perhaps Explorer has just crashed and you need restart it.
- Get your PC / Laptop into REPAIR mode (one way to do this is to boot from the Windows DVD, and choose the small REPAIR link at the bottom left), then bring up a COMMAND PROMPT and run CHKDSK D:\ /F /R (note that in my case D:\ was the drive letter for my primary partition when booted from the DVD).
- Get your PC / Laptop into REPAIR mode and try to restore to a PREVIOUS VERSION.
UPDATE: It turns out that the hard drive is bad according to Seagates SEATOOLS and so I used EASUS TODO BACK UP to clone (ghost) the disk onto a new disk and now all is well. The CHKDSK was at least good enough to get my Windows operational so I could easily clone it.