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Black screen with white cursor after upgrading to Windows 8.1 Pro?

Long story short, I was prompted earlier today to install 8.1 and various other updates. The installation was fine, and there weren't any problems. After the installation ended, I had to choose my color palette and a wifi network to connect to. At first, everything was going fine, but after I chose my wifi network and hit continue/next, I was brought to a blank black screen with a white cursor.

I contacted Microsoft Support, and they were clueless on how to fix this issue. I spent over 2 hours talking on the phone with them while they ran by me different fixes. Upon boot up, I was told to do various things such as press F8, F12, or the Delete delete key repeatedly. We also tried to bring up task manager on the black screen, but nothing seemed to solve my problem. Eventually, he just gave up, and he said they would continue to investigate the issue and would call me back later once they found a solution. Like WTF?!

EDIT: He also tried having me insert the Windows disc that came with my computer. It had no effect.
15 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Best answer
    Including a tutorial below which may be of some help. This is definitely a problem on Microsoft's end, but there are workarounds.

    You'll need a recovery disc. Hard boot from the recovery disc and once loaded, go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Command prompt.
    At the command prompt, type:

    bootrec /fixmbr

    Wait until it says “The operation completed successfully.”
    Reboot, remove your USB stick or disc and try to boot regularly.

    Hope this helps!

    -JP
    Access Windows 8(.1) Safe Mode from a system not booting to Normal Mode
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  2. Weird problem!! You sure that you installed it properly?
  3. jpishgar said:
    Including a tutorial below which may be of some help. This is definitely a problem on Microsoft's end, but there are workarounds.

    You'll need a recovery disc. Hard boot from the recovery disc and once loaded, go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Command prompt.
    At the command prompt, type:

    bootrec /fixmbr

    Wait until it says “The operation completed successfully.”
    Reboot, remove your USB stick or disc and try to boot regularly.

    Hope this helps!

    -JP


    Having tried everything else that I could find on the web, I tried this solution and I STILL have the black screen problem! I have reinstalled Windows 8 three times, having had to go back to my factory installation (Windows 7) and then upgrade to Windows 8 from there. This last time I upgraded to Windows 8.1, I made sure to turn off automatic updates, as I read that this is caused by a display driver issue. I also made sure that my Nvidia driver was up to date. Then I did the 'important' Microsoft updates, but when my laptop restarted, I had the black screen issue AGAIN!

    System restore doesn't work when I boot into 'Advance Options' and neither does system image recovery.

    I've tried plugging in a monitor, as suggested elsewhere on the web, but this makes no difference - both laptop and monitor just have the black screen - not even a cursor is visible.

    Ctrl-alt-delete does nothing and also booting to Safe Mode (F8) doesn't work (despite following this: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/enable-the-f8-key-in-windows-8/)

    Many, many hours - actually DAYS - wasted!!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  4. I had the same problem. I went into my BIOS and looked and my Boot order. First was the optical drive, and second was the printer that I had installed, third was my ssd. I changed the boot order to make the ssd the second option and it had worked fine.
  5. I found that the computer was not locked up and the desktop was just greatly delayed starting (5-10 minutes). Not a problem, as long as I let the puter just sleep.
  6. I've had the same blank screen with cursor after three upgrades from Win 8 to 8.1 over the past six months. I've tried the solutions posted and none have worked for me. What I HAVE found is a workaround that is enabling me to stick with 8.1 and not roll back once again to Win 8.

    Each time I boot up this desktop computer (I leave this machine running/sleeping so rebooting can be weeks apart), after I log on, see the Welcome message, and then end up on the blank screen, I do this:
    1. On the black screen, press Ctr+Shift+Esc to bring up the Task Manager (or Ctrl+Alt+Del and click Task Manager).
    2. In Task Manager, click the File menu, click Run New Task.
    3. Type "explorer" in the Open text box (but do NOT also click the check box below it about administrative privileges), then click OK.
    4. Within a second or two all lights up and stays that way until the next reboot.
  7. jpishgar said:
    Including a tutorial below which may be of some help. This is definitely a problem on Microsoft's end, but there are workarounds.

    You'll need a recovery disc. Hard boot from the recovery disc and once loaded, go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Command prompt.
    At the command prompt, type:

    bootrec /fixmbr

    Wait until it says “The operation completed successfully.”
    Reboot, remove your USB stick or disc and try to boot regularly.

    Hope this helps!

    -JP
  8. Shutdown windows 8 with keyboard only (from the Startup Screen)

    Sometimes I am asked to deal with a computer that I need to restart that has no useful mouse, or no useful display, or both. Keyboard navigation and the Narrator auditory accessibility feature can help you out in this situation. You will need speakers or headphones.

    The following set of steps is for navigating to shutdown from the Windows 8 startup splash screen, but in principal this method can probably work in other Windows versions and at other starting point situations.

    This keystroke sequence will allow you to access the shutdown button if you don’t have a mouse, or mouse control:

    1. Press Win-Esc to dismiss the Startup splash screen and reveal a login screen.
    2. Press repeatedly Tab until the Shutdown button is highlighted.
    3. Press Spacebar to reveal the shutdown options.
    4. Press Tab until the shutdown option is highlighted.
    5. Press Spacebar to select shutdown.


    If as the result of a boggled update process you are experiencing the “black screen with a cursor only” situation (which I have seen recently with some frequency,) or have no useful display try this:

    1. Press Win-Esc to possibly dismiss the Startup splash screen.
    2. Press Win-Enter to turn on Narrator (Win-Enter will also turn Narrator on at step 1. Win-Enter can be used to turn off Narrator too.)
    3. A Narrator dialog may have opened – you will hear it and maybe see it – press spacebar to continue if you are prompted to do so.
    4. Press Tab until you hear the Shutdown button announced.
    5. Press Spacebar to select the Shutdown button.
    6. Press Tab until you hear shutdown.
    7. Press Spacebar to select shutdown.
  9. Hey
    I tried your solution of using bootrec but now iam even unable to goto that advanced troubleshoot option again, plus all my queries are still in place

    blank screen after login
    taskmgr entry point not found error
    cannot create/ initiate new task from task manager
    earlier, I was able to browse internet via help or search online option in details tab of task manager, now after using boor rec, even that trick is not working anymore.
    please somebody help
    jpishgar said:
    Including a tutorial below which may be of some help. This is definitely a problem on Microsoft's end, but there are workarounds.

    You'll need a recovery disc. Hard boot from the recovery disc and once loaded, go to Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Command prompt.
    At the command prompt, type:

    bootrec /fixmbr

    Wait until it says “The operation completed successfully.”
    Reboot, remove your USB stick or disc and try to boot regularly.

    Hope this helps!

    -JP
  10. HI Just had the same issue after loading latest Microsoft updates. Tried a lot of fixes posted (i.e. graphics drives, boot locations etc.) eventually booted holding F9 to access troubleshooting routines. There you can role back your system prior to recent updates. Now works fine (Haven't been brave enough to re-install update since)
  11. Open task manger, in process tab there is a multi colored box labeled Microsoft based script or Microsoft based screen. end that task. screen should come back up
  12. joooosh said:
    Open task manger, in process tab there is a multi colored box labeled Microsoft based script or Microsoft based screen. end that task. screen should come back up


    Managed to get Task Manager open, but found nothing like that listed under ANY of the tabs. Any more ideas?
  13. eebo_uk said:
    HI Just had the same issue after loading latest Microsoft updates. Tried a lot of fixes posted (i.e. graphics drives, boot locations etc.) eventually booted holding F9 to access troubleshooting routines. There you can role back your system prior to recent updates. Now works fine (Haven't been brave enough to re-install update since)


    Managed to get restore function up and running, but had no restore points intact from before Windows 8.1 update. WTF?
  14. I also had the same issue; spent two days looking for an answer. I finally found a copy of DaRT 8.1 and got the system to boot off the disk. I ran SFC first with no issues found. I also ran a few other diagnostics and found no issues so as a last resort I un-installed the last two MS Updates: KB3000850 (4/20/15) and KB3035583 (4/15/15) and rebooted the system. It took a little bit to finish updates but the system right now is running fine. I haven't attempted a restart yet. (backing EVERYTHING up first)
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