Black screen on startup



  • Guys,

    I'm having a little issue with my PC since yesterday;

    -Start up, get the Motherboard logo, Windows doesn't boot, just stays at a black screen with no error message at all.

    Tried booting from a CD. It gets to "Press any key to boot from CD…" then "Setup is inspecting your hardware configuration..." then back to the blank screen.

    I can enter BIOS, everything in there seems to check out okay. Computer doesn't restart on boot, it just stays on the black screen indefinitely.

    Got any home remedies I can try before having to call a professional?



  • Without actually taking a look at the PC and just from my experience it sounds to me like there might be a hardware fault. I hate to say it, but if you have another hard drive, even an older one, you might try popping that in there and installing windows on /that/ drive.

    Alternatively, if you're technically inclined and have another PC consider grabbing a copy of BART PE (this allows you to make a live cd version of windows) and try running it from that. You can run at least some basic diagnostics on your machine such as check disk and the like.

    I had a suite of tools at one time but I can't seem to find the disk. I'll post links to them if I find it. . . I'm /guessing/ you're using windows XP?



  • It could be the GFX card not sending signal to the screen once its drivers load, so that is when windows attempt to load everything. Is the hard drive working while the blank screen appears? Also is it blank screen or does it fall to power save? (power light flashing and the like).

    The hard drive may be at fault too since it is also accessed at the time windows load and not earlier when the BIOS checks memory and devices. RAM can never excluded either…

    If you are on the technically familiar side you can try removing each part replacing it with a new one and see what's at fault. (Try one memory module, then the other if you have two, another hard disk drive or load some Linux version from a flash drive, GFX card..tricky one since few have a spare one >.>...the usual drill)



  • Sounds like it makes it past initial tests (POST), but has some issue loading the OS. So I am not thinking it's the RAM or the CPU, but you should try to find a way to test these. However, if you can't boot to a CD it's going to be impossible to run tests (This also suggests it's probably not the disk, and your data is likely fine). Try to get a Bart's PE thumb disk and boot from that. There should be a diagnoistics image you can use.

    Here's the bad news, it sounds like a major hardware failure (Motherboard, RAM, or CPU). Pending on how old your mobo is, it may require you to get new barebones.



  • I'll try the BART PE first.

    I think you're right, it's a h/w failure. I'm thinking it's probably the hard disk.



  • @Polaris:

    I'll try the BART PE first.

    I think you're right, it's a h/w failure. I'm thinking it's probably the hard disk.

    I would concur that the hard disk sounds like the issue. If the motherboard devices were faulty, you would likely hear a series of loud beeps as soon as you turn it on. And, the BIOS does not require the HD to run.

    Open the case and check the motherboard's capacitors for leakage. Sometimes its obvious and sometimes it takes a careful inspection with a good light. This can cause all sorts of strange behaviors with a PC that is often overlooked.

    It could be the GFX card not sending signal to the screen once its drivers load, so that is when windows attempt to load everything. Is the hard drive working while the blank screen appears? Also is it blank screen or does it fall to power save? (power light flashing and the like).

    viruzz83 suggestion is also valid and worth looking into. If the HD light is working with a black screen, suspect video.



  • Does the HDD show up in the BIOS?



  • Primary IDE Master [Not Detected]
    Primary IDE Slave [Some value]
    SATA1 [Some value]
    SATA 2,3,4 [Not detected]

    I checked it out, it looked like the SATA value was populated properly. Unless the primary IDE should reflect something, which I'm not sure of.



  • Here's why I don't think it's the HDD. He tried to boot his machine with a boot disk and it had the same symptom. The point of any boot device like a thumb stick or CD is to remove the HDD from the boot process.

    If the error is involved with the HDD, it's likely not going to be on the physical level. If that is the issue, I am gonna bet it's data or file system corruption.

    I still think the fault is in a part of the barebones.


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