Thanks for all your quick replies.
If I reboot my computer, it goes through the regular steps (with screen that says Microsoft Corporation), then it goes to the black screen with the arrow cursor. If I hit F8 when I reboot, I get the options of opening in safe mode, resume windows normally, etc, etc. No matter what option I choose, I still get back to the same black screen. As I said, it seems to be doings something because the screensaver comes on, but once I touch a button, back to the black screen with arrow. Unfortunately, my DVD/CD drive stopped working about 2 weeks ago (unrelated), and I don't have a boot disk anyways because Vista came pre-installed on my computer. My computer is an HP Pavillion DV6000, about a year and a half old. When I hit alt-ctrl-del, it has absolutely no effect... still black screen with arrow cursor. Very frustrating. All comments appreciated!!!