Black screen upon startup, wont run. [Solved/Closed]

 Jejje -
Hello, whenever I press the Power button on my computer, it starts up with a black screen telling how it came across and error due to new hardware or such. It asks the simple things such as "Run in safe-mode, Run with Command Prompt, run with default before this occurred, or run normally.) Either one of these I press it just turns the whole screen black, the only thing that shows is the mouse. It was working fine yesterday but for some reason not today.
Any help is appreciated, thank you.

Running Windows XP, and Norton Antivirus (If it's a virus or such.)

(Side note, I'm using a laptop.)

50 replies

I have had this problem and have been one of the lucky few to get round it, however I believe I may know the cause or part of the cause for this, and a way to get round it hopefully. I got this issue after an unfortunate power cut, the system started up but then shut down again unexpectedly, after that I got this 'black screen of death', I then went on to many forums to find out the best options for solving this, I knew there was a definate way to fix the problem with a full destructive recovery with the recovery partition you get with vista, however I didn't want to lose all my data so when the computer starts up tap f8 until you get several menu options. the top option should be 'repair my computer', you should now have a very basic log in window which has your username, (if you have no password just press enter). now you should have several options of recovering or repairing your PC. the most successful so far is a normal windows restore which takes the computer back a few days, I would recommend a week to 2 weeks if available. once completed this should get rid of the 'black screen of death'. once logged on run command prompt with administrative properties then type in 'sfc /scannow' this will hoefully find anything else which is currupt. I have found the main reason for this is actually vista's own way of performing better... on most people with this problem I spoke to had an option enabled on the hard drive by default : 'Enable write caching on the disk' : 'this setting improves disk performance, but a power outage or equipment failure might result in data loss or curruption' this option can be found by going into device manager - find your primary hard drive, right click, properties, policies. this is the closest ive found to a cause of this 'black screen of death'

Thank you

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Tried it and it asks you to insert O/S disk, which I don't have. Now what?
This doesn't make the laptop loose the data right..
Worked for us! Thanks for posting.
Thank you mate
Last Monday, I was in Microsoft Word when the screen froze. The mouse pad wouldn't work or anything. So I mistakenly hit a few buttons on the keyboard before finally turning it off. [Esc, ctrl+alt+delete, etc] Then I discovered that it wouldn't go off, not really. It keeps going in and out in hibernation or sleep mode [I guess], every 20 to 30 seconds. It shows a black screen--with no cursor, i.e. nothing. The screen has frozen before and I would just turn it off and turn it back on. And it would work. This time it doesn't. It's just a black screen, and turning off and on every 20-30 seconds. I turned it off completely once or twice and removed the battery and turned it back on. Still the same problem! Someone suggested I turn the PC off and then on and hit f10 or f11 repeatedly. I tried that but it didn't work. Nothing happens. Also, it doesn't make a noise when I pop out the CD-rom drive. Otherwise it does, and the fan works. And when I push ctrl-alt-delete it doesn't turn on/off. It just sits there. I can't get anything to happen. I can't get f8 to work either!

Can you help me, please? Compaq Presario F732NR, Windows Vista. I've had the computer 18 mos. I think the warranty has expired.
Once I switch my computer on I have a black screen and can do nothing with it.
Its alaptop Dell Vostro 1000

can any one help!!!!!
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Last seen
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Hi I have a similar problem at the moment sorry im new not sure how to start a new topic or if I need to? when I start up my computer it stops at a black screen with white writing that gives me the opportunity to start up in safe mode, normal mode, last known working mode & another one with networking...I have tried all of these & everytime the computer switches itself off then straight back on again & I am faced with the same problem all over again. The computer has turned itself off & restarted itself in the past but i've always been able to get past this stage & have had it up & running. The only difference is that this time before it started not letting me on there seemed to be a virus on it as whenever you went onto the internet & tried to get onto ebay/facebook or any website a red screen came up & was warning me they were all unsafe basically it was trying to get me to buy some sort of virus software stuff from america (was in $) basically my partner has obviously clicked on something he shouldnt & given it a virus that wont let me look at anything but the search page on the internet.....Is my computer broken if so is it fixable what should I do? sorry if I sound a bit thick but I'm not great on the workings of computers x

you should press f8 and continually tap as soon as it starts up, if this still doesn't work, please write your make, spec, and operating system, and I will try my best to help.
when pressed f8 and do not have repair the computer option, also because I do not have an original disk do not know what I should do now, it still black,please help
I really need your help! I have an HP Pavilion DV9727 and everytime I turn my computer, it takes me to this black screen asking for Password. How can I get rid of this? I really need step-by-step instructions. I truly appreciate your help!
Use the F2 key on startup to enter BIOS. on second page change the dual processor to single and then save and exit. Until you find out the fix, don't re-enable the dual processor or it will mess up the system and you will lose files and it' will show the blue screen of
Hi I have a Window xp laptop thing is when it loads up and before it goes for me to log onto my account it just goes black. However I can see my mouse but the backround screen just stayed black help me please
Thanks Liam.... It really works... :)
hi guys, im having the same problem. laptop was working fine yesterday. got back earlier today, turned it on, and the part where its supposed to ask for my password, a blank screen appears and I can only see my mouse cursor. any ideas what's wrong with it?

its a Dell Inspiron 1545 running Windows Vista. i've only had this for about 3-4 months now. any help/tips will be greatly appreciated!
hey nabylion I am haveing the same problem let me know if you find the answere at Email Id removed for security
hay I have a toshiba m35x and about a mounth ago it was working fine and my mom shut it off one day and the next day it wouldent work let me no plz it some can help
My computer is Dell optplex Gx 110 when start up shows black screen and cursor only itried to trouble shoot ifailed still show black screen. what could be the couses? and how can I trouble shoot it?
I had this same problem, with the so-called "black screen of death" - after I had read all of the posts here on my laptop, I looked at my Desktop's screen and it has gone to "Windows is starting up..." I'm running it with the last known good configuration setting.

By the time I typed all that, it has now gone to "Welcome", so I'm not sure what the cause is but just try leaving it and going to watch a TV show or something.
Hi,I running HP pc Windows Vista 32 bit.I experienced black screen issue after trying to update NVIDIA 8400 GS drivers.During update screen went black,i was waiting for about 2 minutes then pressed power button and turned off my PC.Result-every time I am trying to launch in either normall or safe modes my screen goes black and all I can see is my cursor.I tryed every single thing I know,restoring system to earlear date,ctrl-alt-delete,unpluging my printer.Any Ideas?

hello.. I have a problem in my loptop.. I just sync my mp3 player with music and it hang up...
den I forcly turn it off... and when I turn it on.. it wont turn on anymore.. just black in the LCD... I dont know what to do .. is it an hard disk failure??? ,.. guys if you can help.. please email me at Email Id removed for security
Hi, I had the same problem and after 3 1/2 hrs later I managed to resolved a little bit of it.

I pressed on "ctrl+alt+del" a few times until the task manager opened up.
FILE -> New Task -> typed -> EXPLORER.EXE

It booted up finally. One downside is that I tried restarting the computer again to see if it worked... it has turned out that I have to manually run the explorer.exe each time for it to boot.

If anyone knows how to fix the manually booting up explorer.exe, please help. Thank you.
just click run and type it in. I had that problem once
I hav this problem with some very small differences.

my compy is a desktop with windows XP. when I turn it on I have my loading screen my system specks flash for a second. I see the 'windows is loading' screen and it loads for about 5 seconds and then the screen goes black with my cursor in the middle. my research has led me too believe that the scource of my problem is a simple virus that has attacked my windows32 folder. by the sounds of it the easiest way to get rid of this anoying lil virus unfortunately it involves reinstalling XP. thats no massive loss for me im only losing wow which just means I have to reinstall it. I have the windows XP sp2 install disk and my drivers disk but I would like a simpler way if thats possible plz tell me thanks :D
Well everyone I believe to have the simplest and only way to eradicate the problem.


1. while your computer boots up mash f10 untill it gives the option to wipe the hardrive.
2. everyone that was previously running vista aquuire a "legal" copy of xp professional and install that instead.
3. install the drivers that you have for all your hardware. THIS STEP IS VEY IMPORTANT!

unfortunately I fear this is the only help anyone will get :(
Except if you are in your 1st year of purchase, you very probably have automatic "parts and service" insurance with all new the maker tech service.
> sebastian
*Tapping ALT-F10 continuously at boot? My Acer Aspire laptop final solution...

Well, after doing everything in the forums...I had to reinstall
A tech guy had me reinstall by:
1 - unplugging ac and battery...then pressing on/off button 15 sec (emptying leftover circuit charge I guess)
2 - replugging both
3 - pressing ON to boot...and then tapping ALT-F10 continuously until a unique program poped up.
I was told this prgm was in a specific sector of disk and at lower risk of regular corruption/attacks/virus.
I did not take time to see if other options besides format & reinstall were possible.

(note: I had already backed up my document files with the available online Vista recovery downloadable disk, which was the only way that allowed me to circumvent the black screen (at BOOT), get into DOS, and then access C:/>Windows/notepad.exe ; I did not know how to use DOS so that helped me copy and paste to dvd and SDHC disks using Notepad functions . lol)

Hope this helps someone as I've been helped reading on these forums
Thanks for all who help others also
God bless ;)
Still hanging, if anyone might know the problem or how to fix it, that would be greatly appreciated.
i had this problem earlier too....immediately it starts up press f10 and format the whole pc it worked 4 me
Anytime I start booting my pc windows does not load. I do not hear any beep sound and the pc freezes. Any help?
> hotcom
I am having the same problem on my laptop. have you solved your problem yet?
Sorry mate, this did'nt seem to help much. Can you be more specific? when do you press F8 and how many times? I have tried this and it is not helping. I can only shut the laptop down by total power outage now or letting the battery run flat. If your info is correct I am now in a vicious circle and the blaqck screen will be mine forever.
This is not to resolve your problem but to save time between reboots if pressing the power button 5secs doesnt shut off your nead to wait for battery failure... just unplug your pc and take out the battery.

(in certain situations, holding the power button pressed for 30 sec to empty the residual electricity before replugging & battery insertion, can resolve boot problems (many Acer PCs for instance)

Turn off your computer, and right in the moment when you start it again click f8, it works for me Tks to the adviser... Tks palllll my computer is alive again.... Regards
I have the same issue, I tried the F8 and went t oall the options, but it keeps telling me that "No restore options have been created on your computer's system disk. " and then only lets me cancel and go back to the where it was (black screen with the cursor in the middle). Please someone let me know if you have a solution, thanks!
Hello Gman
Have you found a solution?
I have your problem since yesterday :(

Thankyou so much for a reply.
Sebastian, Montreal
hey I also have this problem but I used a windows xp cd to run
THanks for all the info provided, I had this balck screen problem from few days, and tried to hit f8 button and restored to earlier date and this magic worked thanks for all
More information ahoy!
Whenever starting the safe-mode with command prompt (Really ANY safe-mode)
I get some weird /WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/DRIVERS/etc..
I feel it may have to do with my drivers but I have no clue how to fix it.
try to insert operating system cd in your computer then restart so that you can repair the windows it seems that your operating system missing some drivers due to virus. iam sure your problem will be solved.
My Case refent to Win XP boots to black screen, only mouse cursor active.

I took my hardrive and I scanned for virus with AVG Internet Security 9.0, there was only one file infected, the virus name was delf.MFT or something like that.

After I remove the virus I put the HD back in the afected PC and the magic happen, the computer boot-up normaly

So, I recommend to scan your hardrive for virus before anything else.

Good Luck!
> robcean123
So, if you can't get into your computer, how do you scan for viruses? I think that's my problem, but I only have my home computer (infected) and my work computer, and I don't want to risk the work computer.

I got the same Black screen, only mouse cursor active.
Also, after reboot I get the same WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/DRIVER/...messages when I start in 'safe mode'
I will try doing a 'repair' - really don't want to mess with doing a full system restore.
Whoops, by laptop, I mean laptop to type this.
Using a Vista installation disk, (this works with XP or Vista) insert the disk. Select "repair". It will attempt to load the OS. If the OS is XP, it will not find the OS. No problem. Select "next" or "continue". Select Command Prompt. Type "chkdsk c: /r" and let chkdsk run. It may pause during the scan and seem to be stuck but be patient. This should repair all corrupted files and allow you to get into your system. Run virus scans as necessary if infected. (Disconnecting from the internet will help further infection until the computer is in stable condition.).
Upon reading your answer to the previous post, I thought you might be able to help me with a similar problem. I have a Dell 1521 laptop running Vista. Upon turning on the computer, I get a black screen giving me the choice to start Windows normally, or to attempt to repair. The first gets me nowhere, and I have to reboot. When I choose to repair, it appears to be successful if I choose to do a system restore to an earlier date. Then, I am able to get into Windows and on the 'net without incident. However, once I turn the computer off and have to reboot, the same process starts all over again...every time. I'm really confused on this one. Any insight you may have will be greatly appreciated.
Same thing happened to me. Managed to fix it.

When I tried to restore the system after pushing F8 it didn't work. But I rebooted and pushed F8 again to see the other options.

One choice said restore system to the last know good config. That's the one that worked for me. After that I ran a full scan with Avira and got rid of the trojan I'd been infected with.