Computer Boots to Black Screen

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

Hi Good Folk,

I'm unable to use my own custom-built machine, so am writing at a
relative's.

After using my new computer for 4-months without major incident, it booted
to a black screen on the morning of July 6th. On the 7th I sent it back to
the tech who assembled it in March and naturally it booted perfectly for
him. He ran a virus scan and defragged it saying it looked like I had a
defective keyboard or mouse. I replaced the keyboard (which had one sticky
key and a heap of sawdust and sand in it--detritus I hadn't been able to
vacuum or shake out) and all went well until July 14 when after moving some
files Windows Explorer caused a fault in "SDHelper.dll"

I could not close that error dialog so switched the computer off, waited a
minute, then powered up again--which got me another black screen. Other
occasional good boots resulted in the computer freezing up after 10 or 15
minutes, each time with a different program operating--so at the further
suggestion of my tech I tried all sort of remedies--changing the mouse,
changing the circuitbreaker to 20 amps, even blowing cool air across the
processor. Each remedy allowed me one good boot after which the ensuing
boot brought me another black screen. Since my tech has moved and comes
back my way only once a month now, I left the thing unplugged until August 7
when I powered it up to show a friend (who'd built his own computer) what
was happening to mine. Of course the thing instantly booted to Windows! I
left it running day and night for three and a half days--taking care of
email business during that time. It ran without incident until the last
time I invoked the resource meter (something I'd been doing on occasion
since it was down in the 50%'s) and the computer instantly locked up solid.
Of course it rebooted to a black screen--and I've been unable to boot to
Windows since last Wednesday.

Throughout these weeks I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup, not
even with the Me boot disk--which loads without the option available. So
yesterday, in desperation and ennui from waiting for help, I powered the
thing up and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there that
looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen, I found
that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D
drives(!)--but was seeing both secondaries (I have 3 hard drives and one CD
reader/writer).

I run avast! AV and the last program I installed (July 3) is one I've used
without incident with other computers I've had running Me. Any insight into
this mess much appreciated!

carol
3 answers Last reply
More about computer boots black screen
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Trying to sort the wood from the trees :-

    carol wrote:-

    > ... and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there that
    > looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen, I
    > found that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D

    That would "appear" to indicate a PC/Hardware issue rather than a WinMe
    problem, however, you 'should' also be able to 'see' them in the Main tab -
    although, if set to Auto, you may have to hit the Return key on each drive
    to refresh and enumerate more fully.

    If still no sign, check the IDE cables to the C: and D: drives have not
    become dislodged (at either end of the cable!!) especially the motherboard
    end (both drives missing sounds like a common issue) - The fact that you can
    'see' both secondary drives (IDE1) also suggests a dislodged cable to
    primary controller (IDE0)

    You also said :-

    > .... I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup, not even with the
    > Me boot disk--which loads without the option available.

    You can't get into Safe Mode (nor WinMe at all) using the WinMe Startup
    floppy, however you 'should' be able to 'see' the C: and D: drives (subject
    to the possible issues mentioned above)

    At the A:\> prompt, type C: and then Return
    The prompt should change to C:\>
    If so, type dir /p at the C:\> prompt and you should see a listing of you C:
    disk

    Try the D: also, by typing D: at the A:\> or C:\> prompt and confirm the
    listing of your D: drive.

    Come back with your results/error reports and someone here should be able to
    continue and talk you thru' the next steps.

    Mart


    "PMetroplos" <metropat@spamfreecenturytel.net> wrote in message
    news:e6Kdncs5Kuzc-Z_eRVn-2A@centurytel.net...
    > Hi Good Folk,
    >
    > I'm unable to use my own custom-built machine, so am writing at a
    > relative's.
    >
    > After using my new computer for 4-months without major incident, it booted
    > to a black screen on the morning of July 6th. On the 7th I sent it back
    > to the tech who assembled it in March and naturally it booted perfectly
    > for him. He ran a virus scan and defragged it saying it looked like I had
    > a defective keyboard or mouse. I replaced the keyboard (which had one
    > sticky key and a heap of sawdust and sand in it--detritus I hadn't been
    > able to vacuum or shake out) and all went well until July 14 when after
    > moving some files Windows Explorer caused a fault in "SDHelper.dll"
    >
    > I could not close that error dialog so switched the computer off, waited a
    > minute, then powered up again--which got me another black screen. Other
    > occasional good boots resulted in the computer freezing up after 10 or 15
    > minutes, each time with a different program operating--so at the further
    > suggestion of my tech I tried all sort of remedies--changing the mouse,
    > changing the circuitbreaker to 20 amps, even blowing cool air across the
    > processor. Each remedy allowed me one good boot after which the ensuing
    > boot brought me another black screen. Since my tech has moved and comes
    > back my way only once a month now, I left the thing unplugged until August
    > 7 when I powered it up to show a friend (who'd built his own computer)
    > what was happening to mine. Of course the thing instantly booted to
    > Windows! I left it running day and night for three and a half
    > days--taking care of email business during that time. It ran without
    > incident until the last time I invoked the resource meter (something I'd
    > been doing on occasion since it was down in the 50%'s) and the computer
    > instantly locked up solid. Of course it rebooted to a black screen--and
    > I've been unable to boot to Windows since last Wednesday.
    >
    > Throughout these weeks I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup,
    > not even with the Me boot disk--which loads without the option available.
    > So yesterday, in desperation and ennui from waiting for help, I powered
    > the thing up and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there
    > that looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen, I
    > found that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D
    > drives(!)--but was seeing both secondaries (I have 3 hard drives and one
    > CD reader/writer).
    >
    > I run avast! AV and the last program I installed (July 3) is one I've used
    > without incident with other computers I've had running Me. Any insight
    > into this mess much appreciated!
    >
    > carol
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Hi Mart :-))

    Thanks muchly for the information. Because of the intermittancy of the
    booting, I'd been wondering myself if there wasn't a loose connection
    somewhere since every time it did manage to load it, Windows Me would run
    fine and all programs and data on all my drives would be available. One of
    my tech's thoughts was that there could be something amiss in the boot
    records--but mightn't that cause the computer not to ever load Windows at
    all?

    Amazingly (and I'm astonished at how often something like this happens),
    while I was at my relatives' yesterday writing my plea for help here, my
    tech was leaving me voice mail at home! I dropped the box off for him to
    work on a few minutes ago and am now revisiting my relatives to check my
    mail--so have only just found your reply and will not be able to apply your
    instructions myself! I'll let you know though what Jamie finds this time
    now that I've told him about the C and D drive "non-detection" issue (which
    he couldn't have known about the first time he looked at it because he never
    got a black screen) and what he does to remedy it (at the moment he's
    thinking he might replace the motherboard and cables--which are all still
    under warranty).

    I'm certainly glad the hardware is the suspect--I'm so tired of hearing my
    beloved Millennium bashed!

    carol

    "Mart" <mart(NoSpam)@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
    news:eUeOwkroFHA.3304@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    > Trying to sort the wood from the trees :-
    >
    > carol wrote:-
    >
    >> ... and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there that
    >> looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen, I
    >> found that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D
    >
    > That would "appear" to indicate a PC/Hardware issue rather than a WinMe
    > problem, however, you 'should' also be able to 'see' them in the Main
    > tab - although, if set to Auto, you may have to hit the Return key on each
    > drive to refresh and enumerate more fully.
    >
    > If still no sign, check the IDE cables to the C: and D: drives have not
    > become dislodged (at either end of the cable!!) especially the motherboard
    > end (both drives missing sounds like a common issue) - The fact that you
    > can 'see' both secondary drives (IDE1) also suggests a dislodged cable to
    > primary controller (IDE0)
    >
    > You also said :-
    >
    >> .... I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup, not even with the
    >> Me boot disk--which loads without the option available.
    >
    > You can't get into Safe Mode (nor WinMe at all) using the WinMe Startup
    > floppy, however you 'should' be able to 'see' the C: and D: drives
    > (subject to the possible issues mentioned above)
    >
    > At the A:\> prompt, type C: and then Return
    > The prompt should change to C:\>
    > If so, type dir /p at the C:\> prompt and you should see a listing of you
    > C: disk
    >
    > Try the D: also, by typing D: at the A:\> or C:\> prompt and confirm the
    > listing of your D: drive.
    >
    > Come back with your results/error reports and someone here should be able
    > to continue and talk you thru' the next steps.
    >
    > Mart
    >
    >
    > "PMetroplos" <metropat@spamfreecenturytel.net> wrote in message
    > news:e6Kdncs5Kuzc-Z_eRVn-2A@centurytel.net...
    >> Hi Good Folk,
    >>
    >> I'm unable to use my own custom-built machine, so am writing at a
    >> relative's.
    >>
    >> After using my new computer for 4-months without major incident, it
    >> booted to a black screen on the morning of July 6th. On the 7th I sent
    >> it back to the tech who assembled it in March and naturally it booted
    >> perfectly for him. He ran a virus scan and defragged it saying it looked
    >> like I had a defective keyboard or mouse. I replaced the keyboard (which
    >> had one sticky key and a heap of sawdust and sand in it--detritus I
    >> hadn't been able to vacuum or shake out) and all went well until July 14
    >> when after moving some files Windows Explorer caused a fault in
    >> "SDHelper.dll"
    >>
    >> I could not close that error dialog so switched the computer off, waited
    >> a minute, then powered up again--which got me another black screen.
    >> Other occasional good boots resulted in the computer freezing up after 10
    >> or 15 minutes, each time with a different program operating--so at the
    >> further suggestion of my tech I tried all sort of remedies--changing the
    >> mouse, changing the circuitbreaker to 20 amps, even blowing cool air
    >> across the processor. Each remedy allowed me one good boot after which
    >> the ensuing boot brought me another black screen. Since my tech has
    >> moved and comes back my way only once a month now, I left the thing
    >> unplugged until August 7 when I powered it up to show a friend (who'd
    >> built his own computer) what was happening to mine. Of course the thing
    >> instantly booted to Windows! I left it running day and night for three
    >> and a half days--taking care of email business during that time. It ran
    >> without incident until the last time I invoked the resource meter
    >> (something I'd been doing on occasion since it was down in the 50%'s) and
    >> the computer instantly locked up solid. Of course it rebooted to a black
    >> screen--and I've been unable to boot to Windows since last Wednesday.
    >>
    >> Throughout these weeks I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup,
    >> not even with the Me boot disk--which loads without the option available.
    >> So yesterday, in desperation and ennui from waiting for help, I powered
    >> the thing up and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there
    >> that looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen,
    >> I found that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D
    >> drives(!)--but was seeing both secondaries (I have 3 hard drives and one
    >> CD reader/writer).
    >>
    >> I run avast! AV and the last program I installed (July 3) is one I've
    >> used without incident with other computers I've had running Me. Any
    >> insight into this mess much appreciated!
    >>
    >> carol
    >>
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsme.general (More info?)

    Carol wrote :-

    > Thanks muchly for the information. .....

    You're welcome and good luck Carol.

    Bit surprised that there was no error message on your 'black screen' (like
    'system Disk not found' - or similar message) however that *might* depend on
    just how dislodged the IDE plug could be, I suppose. The IDE plugs need to
    be pushed firmly home onto their headers.

    Mart


    "PMetroplos" <metropat@spamfreecenturytel.net> wrote in message
    news:MOmdnZ2dnZ1WVaqGnZ2dnS8_nt6dnZ2dRVn-zp2dnZ0@centurytel.net...
    > Hi Mart :-))
    >
    > Thanks muchly for the information. Because of the intermittancy of the
    > booting, I'd been wondering myself if there wasn't a loose connection
    > somewhere since every time it did manage to load it, Windows Me would run
    > fine and all programs and data on all my drives would be available. One
    > of my tech's thoughts was that there could be something amiss in the boot
    > records--but mightn't that cause the computer not to ever load Windows at
    > all?
    >
    > Amazingly (and I'm astonished at how often something like this happens),
    > while I was at my relatives' yesterday writing my plea for help here, my
    > tech was leaving me voice mail at home! I dropped the box off for him to
    > work on a few minutes ago and am now revisiting my relatives to check my
    > mail--so have only just found your reply and will not be able to apply
    > your instructions myself! I'll let you know though what Jamie finds this
    > time now that I've told him about the C and D drive "non-detection" issue
    > (which he couldn't have known about the first time he looked at it because
    > he never got a black screen) and what he does to remedy it (at the moment
    > he's thinking he might replace the motherboard and cables--which are all
    > still under warranty).
    >
    > I'm certainly glad the hardware is the suspect--I'm so tired of hearing my
    > beloved Millennium bashed!
    >
    > carol
    >
    > "Mart" <mart(NoSpam)@nospam.nospam> wrote in message
    > news:eUeOwkroFHA.3304@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl...
    >> Trying to sort the wood from the trees :-
    >>
    >> carol wrote:-
    >>
    >>> ... and peered into the BIOS to see if there was anything there that
    >>> looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE Configuration sub-screen, I
    >>> found that the auto detect function was not seeing the primary C and D
    >>
    >> That would "appear" to indicate a PC/Hardware issue rather than a WinMe
    >> problem, however, you 'should' also be able to 'see' them in the Main
    >> tab - although, if set to Auto, you may have to hit the Return key on
    >> each drive to refresh and enumerate more fully.
    >>
    >> If still no sign, check the IDE cables to the C: and D: drives have not
    >> become dislodged (at either end of the cable!!) especially the
    >> motherboard end (both drives missing sounds like a common issue) - The
    >> fact that you can 'see' both secondary drives (IDE1) also suggests a
    >> dislodged cable to primary controller (IDE0)
    >>
    >> You also said :-
    >>
    >>> .... I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup, not even with the
    >>> Me boot disk--which loads without the option available.
    >>
    >> You can't get into Safe Mode (nor WinMe at all) using the WinMe Startup
    >> floppy, however you 'should' be able to 'see' the C: and D: drives
    >> (subject to the possible issues mentioned above)
    >>
    >> At the A:\> prompt, type C: and then Return
    >> The prompt should change to C:\>
    >> If so, type dir /p at the C:\> prompt and you should see a listing of you
    >> C: disk
    >>
    >> Try the D: also, by typing D: at the A:\> or C:\> prompt and confirm the
    >> listing of your D: drive.
    >>
    >> Come back with your results/error reports and someone here should be able
    >> to continue and talk you thru' the next steps.
    >>
    >> Mart
    >>
    >>
    >> "PMetroplos" <metropat@spamfreecenturytel.net> wrote in message
    >> news:e6Kdncs5Kuzc-Z_eRVn-2A@centurytel.net...
    >>> Hi Good Folk,
    >>>
    >>> I'm unable to use my own custom-built machine, so am writing at a
    >>> relative's.
    >>>
    >>> After using my new computer for 4-months without major incident, it
    >>> booted to a black screen on the morning of July 6th. On the 7th I sent
    >>> it back to the tech who assembled it in March and naturally it booted
    >>> perfectly for him. He ran a virus scan and defragged it saying it
    >>> looked like I had a defective keyboard or mouse. I replaced the
    >>> keyboard (which had one sticky key and a heap of sawdust and sand in
    >>> it--detritus I hadn't been able to vacuum or shake out) and all went
    >>> well until July 14 when after moving some files Windows Explorer caused
    >>> a fault in "SDHelper.dll"
    >>>
    >>> I could not close that error dialog so switched the computer off, waited
    >>> a minute, then powered up again--which got me another black screen.
    >>> Other occasional good boots resulted in the computer freezing up after
    >>> 10 or 15 minutes, each time with a different program operating--so at
    >>> the further suggestion of my tech I tried all sort of remedies--changing
    >>> the mouse, changing the circuitbreaker to 20 amps, even blowing cool air
    >>> across the processor. Each remedy allowed me one good boot after which
    >>> the ensuing boot brought me another black screen. Since my tech has
    >>> moved and comes back my way only once a month now, I left the thing
    >>> unplugged until August 7 when I powered it up to show a friend (who'd
    >>> built his own computer) what was happening to mine. Of course the thing
    >>> instantly booted to Windows! I left it running day and night for three
    >>> and a half days--taking care of email business during that time. It ran
    >>> without incident until the last time I invoked the resource meter
    >>> (something I'd been doing on occasion since it was down in the 50%'s)
    >>> and the computer instantly locked up solid. Of course it rebooted to a
    >>> black screen--and I've been unable to boot to Windows since last
    >>> Wednesday.
    >>>
    >>> Throughout these weeks I've been unable to get into Safe Mode at bootup,
    >>> not even with the Me boot disk--which loads without the option
    >>> available. So yesterday, in desperation and ennui from waiting for help,
    >>> I powered the thing up and peered into the BIOS to see if there was
    >>> anything there that looked strange. On the Advanced tab, IDE
    >>> Configuration sub-screen, I found that the auto detect function was not
    >>> seeing the primary C and D drives(!)--but was seeing both secondaries (I
    >>> have 3 hard drives and one CD reader/writer).
    >>>
    >>> I run avast! AV and the last program I installed (July 3) is one I've
    >>> used without incident with other computers I've had running Me. Any
    >>> insight into this mess much appreciated!
    >>>
    >>> carol
    >>>
    >>
    >>
    >
    >
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