I am new to the forums and I'm here out of desperation.
I bought my wife a Dell Inspiron Zino HD with Windows 7 Home Premium preinstalled about 3 years ago. It has been working well since, with a few hiccups here and there.
Three days ago it started behaving really badly: it would boot normally up to the welcome screen, but when I click on one of the users icons it simply stays there with the rotating icon forever. It won't even show me the usual box to insert the password.
If I boot to a safe mode (no matter which) it boots without problems, but I see nothing wrong with either the device drivers or anything else.
I tried a registry clean, I tried to go back to a couple previous restore points, all without success.
Tonight I found this thread which seemed relevant, so I tried the solution outlined in this post.
After applying the steps (disabling WMI and renaming the directory) I was able for the first time to get the password box when clicking on my user icon in the welcome screen. But after typing my password and pressing enter, I got again the eternally rotating icon screen.
One thing to note is that I cannot even choose the shutdown button (lower right corner in the welcome screen): it will change to the "shutting down" screen and hang there forever.
Another thing: I have a job scheduled at 1:00 AM every night that does a backup of all user directories to a NAS. It starts even if no user is logged in, but now it isn't starting anymore (I can see it because no data gets sent to the NAS).
The computer has a maintenance partition which hosts a few testing tools. I ran all the test a few times, but everything looks OK in the HW.
It _seems_ the problems started with an automatic update firing during the night three days ago, but even going back to a previous restore point does not cure the problem.
I have visited a lot of thread on various forums and I'm really out of ideas now. Can someone help me out please?
Thank you in advance.