|The vista boot configuration has nothing to do with booting up to the Bios. |
It sounds like your graphics adapter is not working in alphanumeric mode (black screen and characters only)
When you power up a PC (any PC),the bios is in control and the graphics card and monitor should be running in alphanumeric mode. In that mode only characters can be sent to the monitor.
When windows takes over it switches the card and monitor to graphics mode. That allows each pixel on the screen to be accessed individually.
Since you do not see anything on the screen until windows starts up, it appears that alphanumeric mode of your adapter is not working.
If it's a desktop, try reseating or replacing the graphics card.
FWIW to XP users: When you click on the 'Command Prompt' you are just causing the 'Command prompt' to be displayed. This prompt gives you access to NTVDM.EXE, the 'NT Virtual DOS Manager'.