You are on page 1of 16

Black Screen of Death

When Windows works properly, it's relatively easier to ignore the wirings inside the PC and the processes that take place while your PC is booting. When WINDOWS is loaded and when your favorite desktop wallpaper appears you concentrate on the work you're trying to do. At this point, you probably don't even notice any of the things that might have happened with the operating system and inside your computer casing. You just wait for the desktop to appear so you can start using your computer.hhh One of the things that happen without your awareness is that the system checks what's called the boot sector on your hard disk. This is a physical location where it finds the necessary magnetically encoded information to get Windows loaded so that you can use it. We will discuss more about that a little while. But when something goes wrong, it often requires an experienced guide to solve the problem and restore the computer to working condition. However I am into saving money and I do not like seeing people waste their money by getting a professional to repair their computer when the problem is actually very simple. Hopefully your problem will fit into this category. I used to work on hundreds of computers that had black screen problems, as they were second-hand and came to me in dead condition. This is how I made my money. If I could bring a computer back from the dead, it was an absolute bargain because people had branded it as useless. The purpose of this manual is to simply make you aware of the possible causes and hopefully solutions to your black screen computer problem. There is absolutely no guarantee that you will be able to repair your computer yourself but if you are willing to give a few simple tests a try, you never know your luck. Please note that this is a sample version of the original Ebook Recover Your Computer From a Black Screen.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Black Screen of Death

Sometimes when you turn on your PC and nothing happens, all you see a blank dark screen then you come to know that something has gone wrong, the boot sector gets compromised. It might be caused by a virus infection. Or it might just be physical degradation of an aging hard disk. These are some of the more difficult causes to diagnose but it also could be something as simple as having the wrong device plugged in. When you turn on your machine, nothing happens. All you see is a blank gray or black screen called the Black Screen of Death. Like black screens we do have blue screens called as Blue Screens of Death (BSODs), or just Blue Screens, here we have one advantage that it displays text on a solid blue background. When the failure is so complete that it interferes with the computers ability to display an error message, the screen goes completely dark and we have this menace a black screen error. When your PC torments you with a black screen (or, more accurately, a blank screen), all you know for sure is that the startup process has failed at some point. Unlike with a Blue screen, theres no crash file to analyze, no tools you can use to figure out the root cause. The first step in the troubleshooting process involves figuring out where the problem lies, which can be anywhere in the chain of events that begins when you push the power button. It might be a bad system configuration, faulty hardware, defective thirdparty software, a buggy driver, a race condition or hang in a system service, corruption in the file system or registry, or malware.

If you see a black screen you should ask yourself these questions:
1. Did you install any programs or new drivers onto your computer? 2. Did you install any updates to programs? 3. Did you install any new hardware on your computer?

Free Black Screen of Death Report

4. Has your computer been transported from one place to another? 5. Has your computer recently been shut down the wrong way? 6. Did your computer show any signs of a virus? 7. Have you left something plugged into your computer that should not be there?

Common things that can happen when your computer has a black screen:
At boot up, it sound like it is booting as the CPU fan is running and the lights are on. It also finds the CD ROM but it wont boot from a CD either. Sometimes the computer has a black screen and the power switch light will be green and then turns to orange or amber. Everything is running. Everything seems to be running but you cant see anything on the screen, not even a flashing cursor. You thought Windows was loading but all you see is a black screen and a flashing underscore or cursor. Your Windows has loaded but there is no desktop and you can see your mouse and move it around the screen. The screen is black.

Common causes of a black screen:

Black Screen of Death is displayed when the operating system fails to boot due to a missing file, corrupt startup. Black Screen of Death can also be replicated when you enable file compression on all files resulting in the compression of the operating system. A black screen with boot failure may also be caused by bios corruption. Hardware malfunctioning. Software/application/driver incompatibility.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Another common cause is malware that has installed itself using windows vulnerability. Another potential cause would be a corrupt user profile. You did not shut your computer down correctly.

Quick step action plan

Check all your cables 1. Check to see that or you're plugs are securely plugged in and there is nothing connected that should not be there. This includes hav ing a small USB flash drive plugged in while you are try ing to start the computer. Check for faulty devices 2. Check for bent pins or faulty dev ices. Unplug pr inters and external hard drives. Also check the ends of connections to see if there are any bent pins. For example a bent pin on the end of the keyboard cable can cause a black screen. Check hardware 3. Check your internal hardware. Check to see if your hard drive and CD drives are plugged in correctly and securely. If you have recently transported your computer from one place to another this could dislodge the CPU all loose certain cables. Also check your computer memory as this is one of the number one reasons for a black screen. Last known good configuration 4. Restart your computer and press F8 to get to the advanced options menu. Choose to start with the last known good configuration. Enabled low resolution video or enable VGA mode 5. If you are play ing a game on your computer and it shut down and when you restart you only have a black screen, you need to restart the computer. When restarting press F8 to go to the advanced options menu, and choose enable low-resolution v ideo or enable VGA mode. Connecting a TV or another monitor 6. If you have recently changed monitors or connected your computer to a TV try restarting and pressing F8 to get the advanced options menu, then choose enable low-resolution video or enable VGA mode. You can also try pressing the Fn key on your keyboard and F5 or F6 at the same time. Start in safe mode 7. If you can start your computer in safe mode you should be able to choose to do a system restore, prov iding you have not disabled this feature.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

On-board video vs install video card 8. If you are just set up your computer when plugged all the cables in, check to see if the monitor is plugged into the on-board v ideo plug when you actually have a PCI or AGP v ideo card installed. Trust me I have done this myself. Simply move the plug to the correct position. You can also diagnose and fix boot errors with a diagnostic POST card.

Computer has a black screen in Windows and will not boot or start up
This article is from the Tips4pc website. Rarely do I come across a problem with a computer that I cannot diagnose, however when a computer has a black screen in windows it can stump me sometimes. A black screen on startup is a challenge for me and I always try to trouble shoot the problem manually, without using those fancy programs, because I believe it is the only way to learn. There are two types of black screens that can appear in Windows. One where the computer will not boot up but you have a beep sequence sounding to let you know what the problem could be, and the other has nothing at all. No beeps, no cursor, no logo screen, and no choice to boot to safe mode or access the bios. If your computer will not boot up and you get a beep sequence, I am not saying it is good news, however it is a step in the right direction towards solving this problem. This is a message from your computer that can be understood by looking up your bios (the brand) beep code. For example you may have an Award Bios, Ami Bios, Phoenix BIOS, Compaq, Dell, or Acer Bios. This list goes on and on. You can search for Bios beep codes in Google. Here is an example of results in Google search Search results for bios beep codes If you heard a single beep, then the computer posted, and the CPU is OK. POST= Power On Self Test A procedure the computer goes through on starting to ensure all is well. When your computer has a black screen in windows, and absolutely nothing else, this is where the challenge begins. Sometimes the fans and the CPU seems to be running. When this happens to me, I have an instant advantage as I have a replacement part for basically any computer component at my fingertips.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Common things that can happen when your computer has a black screen in Windows:

When the computer will not boot up, it sound like it is booting as the CPU fan is running and the lights are on. It also finds the CD ROM but it wont boot from a CD either. Sometimes the computer has a black screen on startup and the power switch light will be green and then turns to orange or amber. Everything is running. Everything seems to be running but you cant see anything on the screen, not even a flashing cursor. Your black screen in Windows has occurred before the Windows logo screen.

Some common causes of a computer black screen in Windows:

I have to be honest, there are literally hundreds of reasons why your computer might have a black screen. Hopefully your problem will be something relatively basic. If you see the screen that tells you your computer had an error, do not choose to start normally, choose to start in safe mode now. See what is safe mode. This is your chance to go the safe way. Many people rush and press to start Windows normally and sometimes this causes a serious problem.

Where is your Monitor plugged in?

The first and most obvious reason for a computer appearing to run but you cannot see the video is the monitor. A common mistake is to plug the monitor into the on-board video plug when you actually have a PCI or AGP video card installed. Trust me I have done this myself. Simply move the plug to the correct position. If you see two blue monitor plugs at the back of the computer or even a blue plug and a HDMI port then try using a different plug.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Obviously you should also check to see if the monitor plugged is actually in firmly. It could have been knocked out if it was not correctly positioned in the first place. This is the simplest computer black screen you can get.

Failing Display adapter or video card can cause a black screen in windows:
Most of the time you can tell if your computer video card is deteriorating by seeing little tell tale signs. Lines appearing or flashing can sometimes occur, however sometimes nothing happens at all. You might turn your computer on and have the dreaded black screen. You can try removing your video card and using onboard video, or replacing the video card to see if that is the problem. People often also see a black screen when they have plugged their computer into a different monitor or even a TV where the screen resolution is not compatible. Is a simple black screen on your computer and also a simple problem to fix, but unfortunately people do not realize this problem and start troubleshooting, which actually gives the computer are serious black screen. When I know that my computer is showing a black screen on my Windows computer and I know that I have just connected it to a different monitor, I immediately restart and press F8. This will take me to the the menu where I will choose enable VGA mode or something similar.

The next reason the computer will not boot up is RAMor memory:
This can be the cause when your computer has a black screen in Windows. If your memory is not seated properly (not in), is damaged, or even absent altogether, this can cause a black screen. If you have no memory installed at all, some computers make no sounds and just show a black screen on startup. Other computers go crazy and beep their head off. I am an expert at this one, as I build so my computers. When your computer gets a black screen only sometimes, it usually means your ram is on the way out..For example if you boot your computer and it doesnt work, then go back an hour later, and it does work, your memory is playing up. You can try taking the ram out, gently cleaning it with an antistatic cloth, and replacing it. This may solve your

Free Black Screen of Death Report

problem. If it does not, then you should try running your computer with another compatible stick of ram installed. If you plan to open your computer case and remove the ram please read these articles on how to open computer cases safely and Upgrade Memory

Black screen on startup with an amber flashing light

A flashing amber light along with your black screen on startup can be a few things. 1. Not enough power getting to the motherboard. 2. A dead power supply. 3. A bent pin or shorted out USB port causing a problem.

Computer has a black screen after installing new hardware

Often when computer users install hardware in order to upgrade their own computers they run into problems. If you have just performed an upgrade and then get a black screen, the answer is obvious. Some hardware components may not be compatible with the others in your system. And of course there is always the risk of static electricity damaging your components when you are not an experienced computer repair person. You might just be installing a new piece of RAM but the best way to troubleshoot this is to go back to where you started from. Always start from the beginning. If your computer was working and you installed something, then take it back out. Think about what you are doing and try again. This has nothing to with getting a black screen in Windows, as sometimes you have not even installed Windows yet. The hardware must be compatible together and also must be installed correctly.

Leaving a bootable usb flash drive connected to your computer

Yes this can confuse your computer and it wont know where to boot up. When your computer has a black screen on startup from doing this and you realize this is the problem and remove the USB, the computer just continues to boot normally..this sometimes happens because a computer sometimes recognizes a USB as a CD drive and tries to boot to it. This is the easiest cause of a black screen in Windows as you can simply just take it out and restart your computer.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Corrupting the Boot Sector

A black screen on startup can be so many things! I have learned this lesson the hard way. Never turn off the computer when it is half way through the boot procedure. Even when it is taking forever, or having a major problem you must let it run through if possible. Interrupting it once may be ok, but twice or three times is a no no. After you have carelessly restarted and shutdown a few times the black screen may appear. But this time it may be beyond repair for the average computer user. How to repair a damaged boot sector by replacing the master boot record (MBR) in Windows XP

Black screen on startup Your CPU is not correctly seated

If your computer has a black screen after transporting one place to another, this is the first place I look. Transporting a working computer, and then not working with a black screen = dislodging the CPU. You can fix this easily by removing the CPU fan and carefully replacing it back in its spot. You may also have to replace some thermal paste between the cpu and heat sink as it stops the cpu from overheating. Be very careful not to bend any pins when dealing with your computer CPU.

Keyboard Faulty
This one surprised me because when there is a problem with the keyboard the computer still boots and says that there is no keyboard detected on the screen. Well this didnt happen for me. I had a keyboard with a bent pin on the cable, so when it was plugged into the computer, it just plugged in normally. Then the computer had a black screen on startup, you could here it starting up but no posting beeps, no display, nothing. I even swapped monitors around until finally I tested the keyboard and found the bent pin. I never thought to look there because of the usual default message that appears on the screen when there is something wrong with your keyboard. This is why having a black screen in Windows as a crazy amount of causes and solutions. I really did not expect this one to come out of the woodwork.

A note relating to your computer has a black screen in Windows:

If your computer has black screen but you can see one small flashing cursor, I see this as a good sign! It usually means your computer is ok to be formatted. It can also mean that you should try to repair the boot sector first. How to repair a damaged boot sector by replacing the master boot record (MBR) in Windows XP

Free Black Screen of Death Report

Here is an error specific article about A black screen with a flashing cursor.

Lets face it.. Having a black screen on startup is a common symptom for so many problems. Sometimes you can repair a black screen in windows or fix boot errors using a post diagnostic card.

More options when dealing with a black screen:

Buy the Ebook Recover Your Computer From a Black Screen

If your computer has a black screen, please research your possible problem and be patient as fixing this error is usually left to the experts.

My Computer Boots Up To A Black Screen With A Flashing Cursor

Amazingly, when it comes to computer errors, getting a black screen with a flashing cursor is far better than just a plain old black screen. We have to look on the bright side here and presume that the fact that you can see a flashing cursor is a good sign. At least we can treat this as a bit of clue on what to try when troubleshooting this black screen.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

When the average computer user sees a black screen on their computer monitor panic immediately sets in. Both black screens and blues screens are known disasters that are dreaded by most. But as I said, seeing a black screen with a flashing cursor is not that bad. Please note that this particular error has stopped your computer from entering Windows. It is not a black screen with a movable mouse cursor on the screen it is a black screen with a flashing cursor that has not entered Windows yet. If this error does not suit your symptoms please see My computer has a black screen and will not boot for more information.

What causes a black screen with a flashing cursor on a computer?

There are many possible causes for a black screen with a flashing cursor and I will try to mention as many as possible. Some causes of a black screen are incorrect shutdown of your computer, not waking from sleep mode, not knowing where to boot to, corrupt software, damaged start up, and the list goes on.

The last sleep transition was unsuccessful:

This is one that I have had a lot of experience with. People have the Windows sleep mode enabled on their computer and after to going to sleep, the computer does not wake up. This sounds crazy, I know. I have written an article on The computer will not wake up from powering saving sleep mode. When your computer will not wake up try starting your computer in safe mode. Simply start your computer and hit either the F2, Del, or sometimes the F10 key on the keyboard. When you enter Safe mode you should then shut your computer down correctly. A clean shut down. This should wake up the computer. Then you should

Free Black Screen of Death Report

disable the power saving mode as soon as you can because it will most likely do it again next time. To adjust your power saving sleep mode go to the control panel, then choose the power options icon. Why doesnt the mouse and keyboard wake up the computer. Please see this The computer will not wake up from powering saving sleep mode.

A device connected to the computer can cause a black screen with a flashing cursor:
Did you leave a USB flash drive connected to your computer or maybe an external hard drive? Either way, the computer might be trying to boot to this device but it is not a bootable device. Remove all devices and try to start your computer again. Another cause could be that you have a faulty device such as a DVD drive or CD drive. The computer is trying to find all devices connected to the computer and comes across a problem device. This often causes a black screen with a flashing cursor. If you disconnect the faulty DVD drive your computer can start without errors. People are often aware of a faulty DVD drive because you might have had previous problems removing discs or opening the contents of a disc. When you see a black screen with a flashing cursor you can almost come to the conclusion that your actual computer is fine because it is still running but just not loading into Windows. As we have seen, there are a number of causes which also equally creates a number of solutions.

Your boot options have mysteriously changed:

Its probably not a mystery, however for some reason your computer is trying to boot to other devices and not your hard drive. You can restart your computer and get into your bios to change these settings. Heres how to get into your bios and change settings. When you are in your bios, change the boot order or boot priority to the first being the hard drive. Exit and save your settings. This error can happen when the computer is not shut down correctly or you have another device plugged in.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

You recently installed new software, updates, or drivers:

Getting a black screen with a flashing cursor is very common after installing new software, downloading updates, or even installing new drivers and devices. If this happens and you have either Windows Vista or Windows seven, your first port of call would be to insert the operating system disc. Although Windows xp is a bit more difficult to deal with, both Windows seven and Vista will repair most problems for you. This is why you should try this method first. This can happen after installing almost any piece of software including Windows updates, believe it or not! The problem is, if there are two programs clashing, there is not much you can do to stop this..One has to go. For this reason, when installing absolutely anything on your computer, including a simple toolbar, I recommend you create a restore point for safety reasons. Imagine if everyone actually stuck to that rule??? Anyway, if you see that flashing cursor you are almost guaranteed that your computer will boot from a CD or DVD. After all it is looking for something to boot to. Of course at this stage, when you see the flashing cursor, it is too late to insert the CD, and it is too early for other remedies. When you insert your operating CD you must restart your computer. See the following instructions.

Restore your Windows 7 computer after having a black screen with a flashing cursor?
If you get the black screen of death using Windows 7 you can always try to recover a working system by using your Operating system disc! 1. Boot from the Windows 7 operating system disc. If your computer is not set to boot from cdrom first then you need to be able to enter the BIOS to change your boot options. 2. Choose your language from the list. 3. Choose the Repair your computer option on the install now section. 4. Choose the System restore option. 5. Choose a restore point. If you have installed a program today that caused a problem choose a restore point prior to that?

Free Black Screen of Death Report

6. Let it take you back to when you didnt have a problem. These instructions above will work for Windows Vista as well. Also see this article on How to repair Windows XP without formatting.

Notes on having a black screen with a flashing cursor:

This black screen tutorial has been split up into separate sections as people are getting confused with what to try for their actual problem. This tutorial is not about a black screen with a movable mouse cursor on the screen it is about a black screen with a flashing cursor that has not entered Windows yet.

Computer restarts after loading the Windows Logo screen

Have you ever had this happen to you? You try to start your computer. Everything seems fine until it gets to the Windows logo screen and then restarts again. If you let it go it will possibly go on forever. From my experience with repairing computers I have found two main causes for this problem. Not saying that these are the only answers for this problem, however these are the most common for me.

Faulty random access memory (ram)

Having faulty memory can cause a number of symptoms including a continual restart of Windows. I have tested this theory in a number of computers, including Acer and Dell computers. The computers were working fine until I installed the faulty memory. As soon as the bad memory is removed and the working memory is replaced the computer is fine again. Faulty memory can also cause your computer to show a complete black screen or even the blue screen of death. Also see Computer has a black screen and will not Boot or Startup If you have two sticks of memory in your computer, remove one and then start your computer. If this doesnt work then swap them over and try the other one. If the computer still restarts after loading the Windows Logo screen, then try the next option.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

The hard drive is dead or the boot sector is destroyed

The computer will not boot or start if there is no hard drive to go to. I repaired a computer with exactly this problem. It loaded the windows logo screen and then kept restarting. I first thought it was a memory problem, however it turned out to be the hard drive. I removed the hard drive and placed it in an external case, and still could not access it. I fitted a new hard drive to the computer and put a Windows Xp disc in the cd drive. And away it went, formatting and installing Windows XP. The odd thing is that you always presume that the computer will come up with an error message saying that there is no disk present. But this doesnt always happen.Here is an aritce on what to do when the boot sector of the hard drive is damaged. So next time your computer loads the Windows Logo screen and then restarts be sure to check for these two common problems before investigating the problem further.

Hardware problems seem to be the most common cause for a computer to continually restart. If it is a software problem it can sometimes be a bit harder to pin point the problem. After trying to repair with a Windows cd, or trying the Windows restore feature, the final option is to format. Sometimes it can get past the Windows Logo Screen and the computer will work for a short time, then shut down or restart itself.

Need help with your problem?

I am having trouble keeping up with answering comments about this subject and have re-opened the tips4pc forum so people can ask questions there. It is too hard to keep track of a particulars persons problem in the comment section. Please visit the forum and we will try and give you a more targeted answer. 1. Register for the forum. 2. Click on the link in your email to confirm. 3. Go to the Blue Screens Black Screen problem section and post your question in a new post.

Free Black Screen of Death Report

4. Another option is to get loads of helpful information now by buying the Recover Your Computer From a Black Screen Ebook for $7.

Kind Regards Mitz Pantic

Free Black Screen of Death Report