Black screen with cursor [Solved/Closed]

 kkk -

I have exactly the same problem I was doing a system restore and everything seemed to going fine until this black screen with a cursor comes up and I cannot log in!!!!! please help I need my laptop xxx

24 replies

Hi im having the same problem, and I partly fixed it.. My computer (windows vista buisness 32-bit) got a BAD virus that would create a new virus everytime a program is opened, and give me an error message something like "Runtime error access is denied, press OK to termiate the process". I scanned my comp, it deleted 1121 viruses, and asked me to restart my computer, I restarted, and ended up just like you, a blank screen with a mouse. this is because no processes are running. press control alt delete and select task manager. under Applications select "new task" type in explorer and press enter. you should see your background image and the taskbar as well as your icons. but other processes arent running. for example, I normaly get widows sidebar when I start, nowi dont. my plan is to back up everything and re-install the OS because it is all screwed up. then ill be okay. hope this helps.
Thank you

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I really appreciate this! It has been going on for months and I'm only 12!!! So thanks so much.
But it is temperoray, when i restart it is same blank with cursor
For those with windows 10 click run new task and type explorer
This pertains to a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop that crashed due to a virus. I reformatted harddrive from startup recovery command prompt option using Vista install CD, reinstalled Vista and still got the black screen with mouse cursor. I then rebooted and entered bios settings by pressing F2 key. I changed the SATA harddrive option from AHCI to ATA. Before I could do this I had to disable the Flash Cache module. I saved the changes rebooted and Windows Vista Install finally completed. Hope this helps someone.
Changing the SATA hard drive option from AHCI to ATA in BIOS allowed me to finally access the Vista Recovery Console on the Dell Studio 1735 I am fixing. As stated above before doing this you have to disable the Flash Cache module in BIOS as well. Prior to making these changes repair attempts would only get me a black screen with a big cursor on it. I couldn't do anything. Now I can at least see the normal recovery screens to do the fix.

Thanks this worked for me too. Brilliant!!! Do I need to change the settings back or just leave well alone?


Thanks, this worked great and also allowed me to finally eject a CD from my XPS 1530. I can now access the repair functions.
thanks. works great. change the bios settings from AHCI to ATA in BIOS. no more death screen. black with cursor. no no we wont go.
i've got black screen and mouse cursor on my screen even in normal or safe mode. and I cant move the cursor unless I use external mouse. I cant open task manager either... pls help me!!! I use compaq presario laptop and window 7.
Unplug any usb devices while computer is on with blank cursor. Then hard power off. Leave off for a minute or so. Leave usb cables unplugged, and power computer back on.
Thanks a lot for the suggestion, this worked for me, it was a stupid usb hard drive I had plugged in, I just disconnected it an rebooted my laptop, it worked just fined. Thanks for the tip, I should've known better...
Worked for me too, thank you very much
Hey Everyone,

I've been struck with the black screen of death using Windows 7 while booting normally and in safe mode. After several days of work, found a way to recover!

1. Boot from the Windows 7 install disk
2. After choosing your language, choose the "Repair your computer" option on the "install now" screen
3. Optional step: if you need special drivers to access your hard drives (SCSI, etc), follow the "load drivers" onscreen instructions to read them from an external source.
4. When prompted, choose the "System restore" option
5. Choose one of the previous restore points (I chose the second one down on mine just to be sure)
6. The system will roll back installs to that restore point; reboot only when prompted

Once I did this, my system was able to boot and worked normally again! I hope this is helpful to you.

Try this, I got it from Microsoft and it worked perfectly on my PC
I have your solution, it is registy problem, boot up your pc,
When it stops at the black screen with my documents open hit cntr+alt+delete and then task manager
Run a new task called regedit
Now in the left hand collum navigate to HKEY_local machine/software/microsoft/WindowsNT/Currentversion/winlogon.
Click on the winlogon folder
Now in the right hand panel click on shell.
The data value should only be explorer.exe so delete anything after that,
Do this by double clicking on shell and edit the value and hit ok
Restart and thats it!
this works!!! tenetsam is absolutely right!

this wroked for me as well. What a lifesaver.
but my comp can't seems to access ctrl alt delete:( sooo howw???
When you press the shift key 5 times and you hear the noise, do you get a popup asking if you want to turn sticky keys on? If you do, click the link in the center that says "go to the ease of access center to disable the keyboard shortcut". This will open a new window. In this window, you can type c: into the address bar and you will get an Explorer window. Navigate to c:\windows\ and launch explorer.exe. Now do a virus cleanup
you are god I am soooooooo happy thanks
It didn't work, got any other suggestions?
definitely didn't work
dan-PRO_XP: Too late, I'm telling your mom =P

This problem is wicked frustrating... My Acer laptop gets to the login screen wicked quick, but then hangs in the black screen for 501 seconds before explorer.exe loads... trying several of the fixen mentioned here, will report back ;¬)
theres nth but close,cancel and settings. no ease blah bla bla
thank you so much, I did not try this and as I said I restored my drive finally, It seems a good way really,

Thanks again for your kind attention :)
ergga mine is a black screen with an x as a curser and I cant seem to fix it. help?
oh my gosh nathan thank youuuu soooooooo much the alt ctrl task manager trick worked perfectly my computer has been running flawlessly for days now and there were no viruses found with avast or windows defender so im guessing its completely back to normal I couldnt thank you enough!!!!!
hi dear I have the same problem I have no idea whats going on seem to me a virus in all computer ....? or some one send the black screen program to all
any solution
I have your solution, it is registy problem, boot up your pc,
When it stops at the black screen with my documents open or blank, hit cntr+alt+delete and then task manager
Run a new task called regedit
Now in the left hand collum navigate to HKEY_local machine/software/microsoft/WindowsNT/Currentversion/winlogon.
Click on the winlogon folder
Now in the right hand panel click on shell.
The data value should only be explorer.exe so delete anything after that,
Do this by double clicking on shell and edit the value and hit ok
Restart and thats it!
What if you can't even get to the windows logo? I tried starting a new topic and no one has helped me yet. I just have a blinking cursor in the top left corner on my dell inspiron 6000 windows xp. I've tried a hardboot, recovery console, changing bios order, and a repair installation, which only gets me as far as the point where it needs to restart and then its the same problem. Can anyone please help me?
Have you tried a hard drive diagnostic utility for your brand drive? Also the Dell Diagnostics utility on Resources cd. Dell may have a DOS utility partition can access with a DOS boot cd - Windows 98 for example. I had to replace over Windows XP, leaving user files intact.

I've been having this same problem with a clients computer running XP. I seemed to happen after doing Windows updates. In order to fix the issue oddly enough all I had to go into safe mode and install IE7. IE is awful but windows will screw up without the right one apparently.

My symptoms were black screen movable cursor after the black loading screen and before the welcome screen. I could not open task manager or the Sticky keys as others mention. Hitting shift 5 times just made the noise.

Side note: I had another computer with what seemed to be a crippling virus on it. The last computer guy said it was toast and they needed another comp. Turned out to be IE8 that came with a windows update. Uninstalled it and everything worked fine. Just one more reason to love Firefox.
yeh my desktop pc, its Vista Basic, is having the same problem, it will run up to the loading screen where the bars go across if you get what I mean, and after will just display a black screen with a cursor on it. I've read the forum and have gone into normal and safe mode pressing shift 5 times. This didn't work for me, the noise came but nothing on my screen changed, you mentioned about uninstalling internet explorer 8 I was just wondering how to do that if all I have is the prompts at the beginning to start up computer in certain modes?
> Rreed_08
Hello. I was wondering if you ever found a way to solve this problem. My computer was working about 2 hrs ago then I came home and it was like that. ive took the battery out and it still did the same thing. also ive tried the sticky keys thing and it doesnt help.
please email me back.
I saw your post. I have the same problem. Hitting the shift key only makes a beep. I am running xp. I can't figure out how to uninstall ie8. spuninst.exe returns no command. I don't have permissions to cd into c:\program files\. I can only run command prompt from booting from original xp disk. safe mode w/o original cd hangs. I see safe mode, but the cursor is hung. Can someone help me get this darn thing uninstalled?
I am having the exact same problem. Black screen with only the mouse cursor which you can move around the screen but that's it. This happen after a virus scan using AVG.

Here is what happened, AVG found 3 infected files...
AVG then said it needed to reboot. When it reboot it went through post and the Windows XP logo splash screen. Then the black screen with only the mouse cursor which you can move around the screen, it never gets to the login or welcome screen. Same thing with any other mode except safe mode. In safe mode you get a black screen with the words SAFE MODE in all 4 corners and the mouse pointer.
I tried booting from the Windows CD and repair mode installation from the CD but once it copies files to the hard drive and reboots from the hard drive it still has the same problem. A black screen with movable mouse pointer.

Using a other computer and a hard drive to USB adaptor I connected the this drive and found the files....
Missing from the c:\windows\system32 folder so I replaced these files from a known good computer and just as before same problem. Again connected the hard drive to a other computer to examine it and again the same files are missing again....
Every time I replace them they get deleted and the computer ends up with the black screen with only the mouse cursor which you can move around the screen.

It appears that AVG change something in the boot up so it can access and delete these protected system files. Since these files are required the system halts and the changes made by AVG are still in so even though you replace the files it again deletes them. To fix this problem the changes AVG made to the boot need to be removed.

I have tried to rename the AVG folder in C:\Program Files and in C:\ Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\
But it must be some were else like the registry or an INI file. Does anyone know how to remove or disable these AVG boot changes? And thanks in advance for your help.
If you are stuck at the screen with the black blinking cursor, you may have a video issue.

First off to disagnose whether you have a hardware issue or a driver issue, you need to get into your computer.

To do this, assuming you are using a laptop, unplug the computer, take the battery out, and then hit the power button a few times. Now plug it back in without the battery and test to see if you can get to the login screen. You can most likely put the battery in at this point also, but you might as well keep it out for now. If you get into the computer, go to teh device manager, and uninstall all video drivers. Reboot and let Windows install a generic video driver. One it boots back up, install the latest driver related to your video card and Motherboard.

If this is a PC, do the same thing with the exception of taking the battery out. Unplug, hit the power to drain the juice from the motherboard, and plug it back in. Hopefully this will get you into your computer.

If after reinstalling the video driver, this happens again, you may have to replace the video card on your computer.

Hope this helps because most of the info I found in this thread seemed quite silly.
I have twin systems, one for home, the other for work. Vista Ultimate 32 bit. Home unit is just fine, but the ofice unit has been down for days. The hardware list is as follows:

Quad Core Intel 9550
2 Corsair DDR3 (2 gb)
2 nVidia 9800 GTX+
2 Western Digital 1 TB Hard Drives (1 Primary - 1 Backup)
2 Optiarc DVD RW drives
2 - Dell 24" Monitors
2 - Dell 22" Monitors

The PC was slowing down, so I rebooted. After the standard system info, the Microsoft "bar" is visible, and then all four monitors are black with a white cursor. I can move the mouse freely on all 4 screens. One interesting note is that the hard drive light is constant with the PC on. I have no wait cursors...nothing.

I assumed the black screen might be waiting for the standard logon Ctrl+Alt+Del, so I tried it. I then typed my password hoping it was just a black login screen.....nothing. I tried several variations of login attempts, all failed.

I then suspected graphics hardware, so I pulled both cards, (9800 GTX+) and used a spare nVidia 8600 with my primary screen....nothing. I pulled one memory chip, then switched and tried again…nothing

I ran anti-virus programs: Security Essentials, Windows Live OneCare online safety scanner, which to date, has trapped more virus and malware issues than any other. The third anti-virus was Kaspersky, which scanned clean. All scans were FULL scans, not quick scans.

I performed an Acronis Back-up of the hard drive and then copied the Windows folder to the X: drive (back-up).

I used the full copy of Vista Ultimate and tried several versions of repair. I tried the startup files repair. The first time the program told me to reboot and try to start Vista; I had the same black screens. I also tried System Restore, but the tool only displays the last System Restore file from January 19th and is more than likely infected. I felt that I had exhausted all options to restore my existing system.

I added a 500 gb drive and installed it as the primary drive by exchanging the SATA cable from the existing primary drive. I put the existing primary drive back in by installing another SATA cable in the 7t in the last SATA slot. I put the Windows 7 Professional DVD in and booted. The new drive became Primary and the old drive became D: to allow me full access. Windows 7 installed and booted perfectly . The video cards and all 4 monitors worked properly. Long story stated too long….it isn’t the hardware.

I rescanned the now D: drive with all three anti-virus programs to see if I had any potential boot sector viruses. The drive tested completely clean.

I have full access to the files on the D: drive to check all files and did a comparison between the D: drive and my “twin” home system, assembled and loaded the same day. There are windows file differences in files located in the SYSTEM 32 folder.

I then “switched drives” to boot Vista, but I tried to upgrade to Win 7 Ultimate, which is supposed to be a clean upgrade. I received an error message, telling me to reboot without the Win 7 disk, then after startup, load the Win 7 DVD. Whatever has control would not let me access or startup the Win 7 Upgrade. I got the same black screens.

I rebooted with the Win 7 DVD and tried the “install” feature. I then received an error message that I had a damaged WINLOAD.EXE file. I went to another Vista unit and tried to copy over the existing, and kept getting “Permission Denied”. I am unable to access permissions in the security tab when I select “properties” for WINLOAD.EXE on the Vista drive. I got the same results with WINSTARTUP.EXE and EXPLORER.EXE in the root Windows folder.

I simply can’t make any change of any kind with the “suspect files” on the Vista drive. In “permissions” on these files only “TrustedInstaller” has full rights while all other Administrator level users have “read/write” only.

Having exhausted all possible options as described above, I believe I am struggling with a VIRUS that isn’t being detected by the multiple anti-virus software. It appears the virus has installed its own versions of three startup Vista exe files and will not permit any copies from working Vista units to replace them.

Any ideas?
> Reboot
Reboot, have you tried updating the bios on the motherboard?

This has fixed similar issues for me in the past.

Also, if you can boot to another HD and use the drive giving you issues as a slave, you might want to just grab all your important files and install windows fresh as it appears you have only tried to do a repair on that drive.
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Friday March 12, 2010
Last seen
February 22, 2014

Hey graff I have the same problem so I installed windows on the other hard drive and thought I would copy all the data on external or another hard drive but it takes 4ever to copy the copying rate is not normal like it would go from 10 hours to 465 days or so

I just solved my problem!
The black background with only a cursor seemed to be due to a problem with the looks-customisations my kid did in Vista.
I rebooted in safemode with command prompt, started the explorer.exe, went to the control pannel and resetted all visual settings to default. After restarting, everything seemed to work again.

Thx guys for hints, bringing me here!

hi from Greece,
if u happen to have a virus it is almost CERTAINLY unrelated to your black-screen issue (and equally unrelated to usb keyboards)
Simply do this:
- boot in safe mode
- run a registry cleaner program (i recommend the free ccleaner)
- uninstall everything that u installed the last few hours
- run msconfig and select normal boot with all startup programs unchecked. Also uncheck all non-microsoft services

worked thanks
My regular log on screen comes up (not black screen) on my Dell laptop, but the cursor is nowhere to be found, I use the touch tone system, not a mouse, I cannot log on without the cursor, where did it go? How do I get it back? It was working fine, just one day I turned it on the cursor does not show up.
tried all the info, no easy way out guys, heres what you do,buy a real copy of vista and partishion your hard drive with important files
the unplug all usbs worked for me!
hey all,

well that was the l
most I ever readed :) anyway the things is I have the same problem like many said before me.
blackscreen after the loadingscreen with the curser still moving :( , I tried the 5 times shift ,no succes.

i can start in save mode tought and even go on the net with it ,the 5 times shift works in save mode ,just like pete said before only it changes nothing iff I start normal.

than I installed ccleaner and did exact what antonius said .. the cleaner founded some stuff and its a pretty nice program to ,thx for that only it didnt fix the blackscreen problem ,same gos for bull(omg never take that 1) ,AVT: no succes. spywaredocter: no succes .

Than I deleted my latest download what was winzip (never had problems wit it tought) also no succes .
In msconfig I made shure nothing was selected ,pretty hard to find my way in everything tought as this is the first time I use vista (hate it already,srry for the vista lovers :p) . The thing is this isnt my laptop I borrowed it from my mom :) but she already told me iff it had a virus on it she would kill me lol. Altought I had many viruses in the past but never had a blackscreen with a curser ,i had a packman eating me screen ,had all diferant colors and so further but not that .

1thing Im very shure of is it has somthing to do with the folders like

This is whats keep popping up in all the scans ,only I cant find my way to the folders and it seems its a sort of text change inside the files or maybe im tripping who knows?

anyway its getting frustrated now and I dont have a vista windows disc ,so here is another guy who asks to you all ....


till than I wont give up and iff I find the solution I have this site in my bookmarks to come and tell you guys.

greets blizz
SpywareDoctor that you refered to - is a virus. You downloaded a virus to check for virus'.


Those are registry files that you believe the virus you were initially trying to find is located - however I'm 90% sure that you're mistaken. The spywaredoctor is probably the one telling you that you need to delete some registry files in order to inflict some dmg upon yourself.

You're getting virus left and right because you dont know what you're doing, take it to a professional before it's beyond repair.

for the love of god, please type your next post in word, do a spell check, then paste it over. if you cant spell to start with you dont want to go messing around in your registry of all places. just run super anti-spyware, that will get rid of any rogue.X or hijackers that you might have. Run it as a .com file if the virus has caused a .exe file association error. then merge a .exe fix with your registry, problem fixed.
I just had the same problem, where my computer would get past the 'post screen' but then hang at a black screen with blinking cursor before the Windows Screen would appear.

Luckily, I had seen a few delays at this screen before and had fixed it by ejecting a faulty cd/burner drive. But this time that did not work. So I went into the BIOS changed the boot priority so that HDD was first and solved the issue.

Apparently with CD at first boot priority, it could no longer move onto the second priority HDD. I'm sure I'll replace the drive sooner or later, but this at least allows me to operate the pc.
I did not know about the cntrl-alt-del trick. Windows XP SP3 installed on IDE drive.

Thanks to, which sent me a FREE Windows XP Home Ed. SP2 recovery CD. This for a 2003 Dell desktop. Included for free were updated versions of add-on software (Roxio and Cyberlink).
Using the recovery cd- did CHKDSK /R, BOOTCFG /REBUILD, FIXBOOT, and FIXMBR. Windows was then 'found' and booted up. A good idea would be to immediately run msconfig - boot.ini - check paths. Boot.ini (in C: -hidden system file) seemed to be a problem.
Recovery cd includes Windows Backup, which can be extracted and run - a good idea. It can be started using a floppy or cd - do not need to be in windows.
Booting failed later, but with no backup created.
I then installed Windows #2 on a second hard drive. Full access to copy files from main h.d.. Possible to indirectly boot to Windows #1 by setup of boot.ini.
FINAL SOLUTION - first copied files and then replaced over original Windows, and had to reinstall programs.
CAUSED BY - ignored series of BSODs which preceded Black Screen Hell. Possibly from not fully uninstalling video drivers before update.