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Windows 7 Black Screen of Death

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 24, 2010 12:28:35 AM

Hello, I have a real problem. My computer has recently started to get the Black Screen of death every time I try to log in. It boots up and goes through the bios and the Windows 7 logo but after that, rather than loading the 'log-in screen' it simply stays as blank, black screen. There is no cursor, mouse, error message, etc. and Ctrl, Alt, Del does not work here either. It will however allow me to log in via 'safe mode'.

I have tried the following fixes: I have restored the computer to a known working date; I have tried repairing the MBR, as well as the Boot sector; I have run a 'Check Disk' with no errors coming back; I have tried the 'Prevx Black Screen Fix'; I have run a 'Memory diagnostics test' via Windows 7 live cd, which returned no errors; and I have also tried the 'Repair' option in the menu on the Windows 7 live cd.

Now, every once in a while, it will actually make it to the log-in screen and let me log into Windows like normal, which then proceeds to work just fine. But, if I restart the computer, it will again get stuck at the Black Screen right before the log-in screen and just sit there. And all the fans are working, the green light comes on on the motherboard, and everything seems to be in working order as far as hardware goes. What could be the problem?? I am out of ideas at this point.

Please help, thanks in advance.
a c 215 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2010 1:33:15 AM

Get into Safe Mode, create a new user account and reboot the machine. Log into the newly created account and see if you get the black screen again. If not, move any and all important data out of your current user profile (not the temp account you just made.... I'm referring to your current account) located at C:\Users\(your account name), to somewhere else on the hard drive (say C:\Backup for example). Then remove your current user account, making sure the folder for it is completely gone - the one in C:\Users\(your account name). Re-create the account and try to log in again. If it works, move all of your data back.
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February 24, 2010 1:35:50 AM

Ok thanks, I will try that but just to clarify, I am getting the black screen before it even lets me log in. Ergo, I am ONLY able to log in via safe mode.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2010 1:40:58 AM

Bah.... my apologies, I must have glazed over when reading the post.

In that case, reboot your machine hitting F8 until you get the menu where you can enter Safe Mode. At the top of that list should be an option called Repair Your Computer. Choose that and let setup run. When prompted, pick the option for Startup Repair. The script should run a bunch of diagnostic checks to verify your system can start properly.

If that checks out ok, download and burn a copy of MemTest86+. Use it to test your RAM out. I'm not a huge fan of the built in memory diagnostic program Windows comes with. MemTest86+ is, in my experience, much more reliable at detecting RAM problems.
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February 24, 2010 2:17:39 AM

Ok I am running the MemTest right now. But in the mean time I have a quick question. Is it possible for a computer to not boot all the way (normal boot) if the power supply is not getting enough power from the outlet/power strip? B/c I am trying to fix a friends pc and when I was at their house it wouldn't boot up unless I was in safe mode. Well now I'm home and I turned on the computer and it booted right up perfectly. Right now I'm 3 for 3 as far as "normal" boots.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2010 2:30:24 AM

Interesting.... reboot it a few more times to be sure.

The power strip won't have any problems supplying the power needed, but while doing so, it may not be providing clean power to the computer's power supply unit. The other alternative - if this is indeed a power issue - is detailed below:

Have your friend plug an outlet tester (standard 3 prong plug with 3 LED's that light up to show whether that plug is wired properly) into each outlet on the power strip, and then into the wall outlet the power strip is plugged into. Computers plugged directly into wall outlets (and even some power strips) that are not wired correctly can produce all sorts of strange results.
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February 24, 2010 2:32:34 AM

Alright. Yea that's what I was thinking (about testing the outlets) cause it's absolutely bizarre. This computer isn't even a month old yet. So far no errors on the MemTest.
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February 24, 2010 12:33:04 PM

reinstall video drivers. or just uninstall the ones you have now. if you get video up until windows and you can still see the pc running then more than likely you are getting a corrupted video driver
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February 24, 2010 1:56:39 PM

^^^ +1

Are you using a graphics card? If your motherboard has integrated grapchics switch to them instead.

As said above update the drivers.

If you are unsure of which driver you need, download SIW (standalone version) to a flash drive. Boot your PC into safe mode and run SIW from the flash drive, scroll down to video on the left and have a look at the adapter name. Research this for the most up-to-date drivers.

SIW freeware standalone version link:
http://www.gtopala.com/siw-download.html

There will be a warning that SIW is not designed to work in safe mode, but I have never had any issues running it this way.
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February 24, 2010 3:34:13 PM

The motherboard has integrated graphics, and the only drivers I installed are the ones that came with the motherboard disk. But, the MemTest is STILL going (it's been running all night), with no errors, so until that finishes I can't really do anything else.
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a c 215 $ Windows 7
February 24, 2010 4:58:47 PM

If it's been running all night, it's safe to say that your RAM is fine. You can stop the test.
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February 24, 2010 5:09:14 PM

If you had a true ram problem your computer wouldnt do much of anything. with most modern mobos they do an inital memory test. The reason i think its a video driver issue is that you are getting the windows logo which means it sees the hardware but the advanced driver hasnt loaded yet. but once it does load your pc goes black because theres something corrupt in it. on board graphics of what brand? intel or does your board have better i could tell you more if you give us the mobo model and i could prbly find the driver error that you are getting. my best guess is that the driver isnt designed for 7 so when you did the restart after the initial install it said ill load it but i wont work right.

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February 24, 2010 5:13:20 PM

Ok so I stopped the MemTest and no errors. But what I don't understand is that yesterday when I went to my friends house to work on it, I could only boot normally 2 times out of probably 25-30 times I rebooted it. That's when it would only boot into safe mode. BUT ever since I brought it home and plugged it in and started it up, I haven't had a SINGLE problem with it. Right now I've rebooted it a total of 6 times and each and every time it boots perfectly fine!? The weird thing is that aside from the MemTest, I haven't done anything to it. It's the same as it was when I turned it off at my friends house. What the heck is going on???????
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February 24, 2010 5:15:18 PM

Oh, and it's a AMD ASUS mobo with on board graphics. The model is M4A785TD-M EVO. Also, it has a AMD phenom II quad core cpu and 4 gig of ram (crucial).
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February 25, 2010 12:46:15 AM

Ok guys so I truly believe that I've figured out the real problem (or lack of, whichever way you look at it). So my friend who owns this computer is not real "tech savie" if you know what I mean. And he was the one who hooked the computer up at his house, all I did was build it for him. But anyway when he hooked up his new monitor he hooked up both the VGA and the DVI cables to the computer. So the monitor had both cables hooked up. Well his wife didn't know how to wake up the computer so she just started rebooting it lots of times.

Well I believe what happened is that during all (and there was a ton of them) forced reboots, the computer and the monitor got confused as to which cable saw "monitor 1" (which would have had the log in screen) and "monitor 2" which wouldn't have. Well tonight I took the computer back to their house, as I was unable to reproduce the same problem they were getting (it worked fine for me and I tried it at 2 different locations: my house and the office, with multiple monitors and keyboard setups etc).

Well when I went back to my friends house and hooked up the computer, I only hooked up one of the monitor cables thinking nothing of it (it wasn't until tonight that I learned that he had hooked up both cables). Then I booted it up, and wouldn't you know it, everything worked fine. I then reinstalled any software that had gotten erased when I did a system restore (which was only anti-virus and open office) and still everything worked fine. At the end of the night, everything still worked fine (I still had only one monitor cable hooked up).

Then once I got home it hit me. When I switched cables (which I did at his house) from VGA to DVI, the computer wouldn't recognize the change of signal until I rebooted the computer. Once I rebooted it, it saw the monitor and everything worked fine.

So long story short, I believe that my "non-computer smart" friend inadvertently cause the problem by hooking up both monitor cables to the computer LOL! Ahahahaha I will be laughing about this one for a long time lol. Thanks to all of you for all your help. It's people like you guys that enable me to continue to use microsoft products rather than totally switching to linux haha. Again thanks for your help.
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February 25, 2010 12:52:47 AM

Best answer selected by rdwing3000.
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Anonymous
a b $ Windows 7
November 1, 2010 6:40:02 PM

ok I am haveing the similar problem. I start my laptop up and it goes through the whole starting windows logo and evrything just fine, but when I get to the log in screen I get black screen with the cursor just sitting there taunting me like I can do something, I have done the startup repair with no luck, I hav run all the safe modes and evrything on F8, I have even tried to hack my own computer by command prompt by trying to open files just to see if it might work. Sometimes when I go to F8 and go to safe mode it will freeze on the loading files menu, I have called support and they told me to try and take the battery out and unplug the power cord and hold down the power button for 10-15 secs then put the battery back in and start it in safe mode and let it sit for at least 2 hours, tht still didnt work and he suggested hitting F9 but I am not doing a factory restart bc tht will delete all the pictures movies and music I have, I never got to put them on a backup drive. How can I fix this problem, or id there a way I can do a backup drive through command prompt so I can get my stuff off this computer safe and sound? I really hope I dnt lose my stuff My life is in this computer.
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a b $ Windows 7
November 1, 2010 11:24:06 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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