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Perfect Solutions to Black Screen Error When Booting Windows

  • Contents:

    Brief Introduction to Black Screen Error

    Black Screen of Death is a quite commonly seen error when we are booting Windows, and many people call this error BSOD for short. Tip: Blue Screen of Death is also short for BSOD. In order to differentiate this BSOD from that BSOD, we temporarily call Black Screen of Death BKSOD. Once black screen error appears, there is nothing or just some error message on the screen, and users are always unable to do any operation. Therefore, almost all users would want to find effective solutions as soon as possible. However, to get solutions, we should know reasons for BKSOD at first since solutions often come from causes, so next let’s see what can cause a black screen error when we are booting Windows.

    Reasons for Black Screen of Death

    Both hardware issues and logical faults can be the cause for BKSOD. When there is something wrong with the following hardware components, users might be blocked by the black screen error: power supply, hard disk, internal memory, graphic card, motherboard, CPU, data line which connects display, and so on. And logical failures such as incorrect Windows security update, virus attack or malware invasion (this may cause MBR or system files damaged), mistaken operations (set wrong partition active), low disk space in C drive, and software incompatibility may also generate BKSOD. If we know the exact cause for black screen, it will be easy to solve the problem, but most people have difficulties in making such a judgment.

    Actually, if there is nothing shown on the black display or it just shows No Signal, the BKSOD error might be caused by hardware issues. Of course, sometimes you will be told clearly that there is something wrong with certain hardware device. Under this kind of situations, checking hardware is recommended. However, if no sign shows hardware is the culprit for black screen, you’d better detect logical faults.

    Check Hardware When Black Screen of Death Error Is Caused by Hardware Issue

    Note: all checks should be done after power has been off; in addition, if you do not have a good understanding of the internal structure of the computer, checking hardware may make your computer under great risk.

    1.Turn off your PC and then open the mainframe.

    internal structure of PC mainframe

    2.If you clearly know where each hardware should be connected, you can unplug all detachable devices like graphic card and memory bank, then clean every slot, interface, and port, and finally reconnect them one by one. If you doesn’t have a good understanding, please do cleaning and reconnection one after another.
    3.Pull out the signal line which connects the graphic card and display, clean both ports, and reconnect the signal line.

    After these steps, you can power on the computer and try booting it. If this works, we can say the black screen error results from hardware issues. However, if this doesn’t function, users had better do other attempts. Of course, till now we can’t say the BKSOD must be caused by logical failures but not hardware issue. After all, we are still using the current hardware rather than replace old ones, and the old hardware components may have been physically damaged. But at this time, the best way is to check whether it is caused by logical errors rather than fix or replace hardware.

    • if you are a laptop user, please don’t take apart your computer to test hardware unless you are skillful enough to master it. If not, you may bring more serious damage. In addition, if your laptop is under warranty, taking apart it will make the warranty useless. Therefore, laptop users had better check logical failures at first.

    • If the computer clearly shows BKSOD is caused by hardware error and both built-in recovery function and manual reconnection failed to work, users may need to replace or repair the device, because this is the only solution.

    Detect Logical Faults When Black Screen Results from Logical Failures

    We have said there are lots of logical failures that can cause BKSOD, such as virus attack, software/driver incompatibility, wrong system settings, and faulty security updates. As a result, many users have difficulties in finding the exact cause and naturally cannot find the best solution effectively. Aiming at this situation, we will show users how to deal with this kind of situations.

    Step 1: Check Whether There is Error Message on the Black Screen

    When the Black Screen of Death is caused by logical failures, users are always receiving the corresponding error message which shows the exact cause and sometimes gives solutions. Under this situation, we can solve the problem with ease. Next, let’s see 2 examples.

    Example 1:

    bootmgr is missing black screen error

    This BKSOD error message shows Windows failed to boot since BOOTMGR is missing (a boot file saved in Windows system partition). To solve the problem, we need to make BIOS find the file. Well, why is this file missing? In most cases, it is due to setting wrong partition active.

    Generally, the partition saving Windows boot files including the BOOTMGR should be set active so that BIOS can locate the partition to find the boot manager and then give boot control to it. However, if we set the wrong partition active, BOOTMGR will be missing since it cannot be located. Under this situation, to mark the correct partition active may solve the problem. For more detailed information or steps, please see Accidentally Marked Drive C Active.

    Tip: if you set the correct partition active but the BOOTMGR is missing error still appears, this file may have been damaged or deleted. At this time, the best solution is to repair boot files via Windows installation Disc, which will be introduced latter.

    Example 2:

    windows system files are damaged

    From the error message we know Windows couldn’t boot because a system file is missing or corrupted, and we are told to repair the file by using Windows installation CD or DVD. Since the exact solution has been given, we can solve the problem with ease. However, if you do not know how to run Windows system repair function added in Windows installation disc, please do like this:
    Boot computer via the installation CD or DVD, then choose language and click “Next” to get the screenshot below:

    repair windows os

    Here, choose “Repair your computer” and then make operations in accordance with prompts.

    Nevertheless, if there is no error message or you are unclear of what the message tells, do the next step.

    Step 2: Check Whether Computer Can Boot in Safe Mode.

    In the article Blue Screen Error during Windows 10 Upgrade we have said Only the basic files and drivers necessary to run Windows will be started if we boot computer in Safe Mode. That is to say this will help detect whether the error is caused by Windows OS itself:
    • Boot computer and press F8 to get the advanced boot options.

      how to boot from safe mode

    • Highlight “Safe Mode” and click on Enter key.

    Windows Won’t Boot in Safe Mode

    If Windows won’t boot under Safe Mode, the black screen error might be caused by system file damage. At this time, try fixing system with installation CD or DVD. Nevertheless, if Windows is also unbootable after system repair, we guess there might be something wrong with MBR (master boot record) or there is no enough disk space in Windows boot partition (always the drive C) for successful startup. And MiniTool Partition Wizard bootable CD (a free bootable partitioning program) can help solve these 2 problems by fixing MBR or enlarging boot partition. For detailed steps to fix MBR, please see Rebuild MBR. As to extending boot partition when Windows cannot start, please take the following operations.

    How to Enlarge Windows Boot Partition without Windows OS
    Firstly, please download MiniTool Partition Wizard Bootable CD, an ISO file, and then burn it to USB flash drive, CD, or DVD. After that, boot computer via the bootable disc. Tip: users need to set the removable device or CD/DVD-ROM as the default boot disk if they are using Legacy BIOS + MBR boot mode. After successful boot, the following main interface will appear:

    extend windows boot partition choose correct function

    In the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard, please select the boot partition and choose “Extend Partition” feature from the left side.

    Then, take free space from other partitions or unallocated space on the same disk to enlarge the target partition.

    At last, click “Apply” button to make all changes performed.

    Just try these solutions if Windows cannot boot under Safe Mode. But what if Windows starts successfully from Safe Mode? Please see the following solutions.

    Windows Starts Successfully under Safe Mode

    If Windows works under this mode, obviously users have to look for other reasons, and here we list the following ones after doing lots of researches:
    Cause 1: made incorrect system settings.
    Cause 2: installed faulty Windows security updates or incompatible apps.
    Cause 3: there is something wrong with display driver.
    Cause 4: virus or malware attacks the computer.

    To deal with black screen of death error caused by these factors, users can try doing the following attempts:

    • Boot the computer with the “Last Known Good Configuration” option.
      The definition of “Last known good configuration” on Microsoft: “It's a Windows startup option that uses the most recent system settings that worked correctly. Every time you turn your computer off and Windows shuts down successfully, important system settings are saved in the registry. If a problem occurs, you can restart your computer using those settings.

      That is to say starting computer via this option will restore computer to the last state when it can boot successfully.
      Steps to access this option:
      1.Start computer and press on F8 before Windows is loaded.

      last known good configuration

      2.Highlight the option “Last Known Good Configuration” by using arrows “↑” and “↓” on keyboard.

      After that, wait and see whether Windows can start successfully. If it boots as usual, the BKSOD error has been fixed. If not, think about what operations you did prior to this error, and then undo the operation in Safe Mode. However, if you can’t remember, you may need to perform more operations.

    • Update Display Card Driver
      Without correct graphic card driver, the display won’t work properly, so users can try updating the driver to the latest version:
      1.Start computer and click F8 to get the Advanced Boot Options screen.

      safe mode with networking

      2.Highlight Safe Mode with Networking since the update needs network.

      3.After the computer boots successfully, please right click “Computer” icon on the desktop, choose “Properties”, select “Device Manager”, locate and double click the “Display Adapter” to show the device, right click the device, choose “Update Driver Software…”, and finally do operations by following instructions. Of course, you can also download the newest graphic card driver from your manufacturer’s website for the update.

    • Uninstall Newly Installed Windows Updates
      It is reported that installing some Windows security updates like Update KB2607712 may generate black screen issues though Microsoft is unwilling to admit it. To uninstall such updates, please boot computer from Safe Mode, then type programs and features in Windows Search box, next open this app, choose View installed updates, and then locate updates under Windows category. If there are updates with the code name like KB2607712, KB976098 or KB915597, uninstall them. At last, restart computer from normal mode. Nevertheless, if this solution is proved to be useless, please perform the following operation.

    • Uninstall Newly Installed Programs
      Boot computer from Safe Mode, and then uninstall newly installed applications or programs.

    • Scan and remove Malware
      Some viruses are culprits for black screen error. If you haven’t installed antivirus software on your computer or the installed program isn’t powerful enough to block the viruses, the computer may have been infected by virus. Please boot computer from Safe Mode with Networking, then launch the installed antivirus software or download such a program from the internet, and doing virus cleaning for the entire computer. This solution may work if all other solutions are proved to be ineffective.

    These are solutions we provide for users who are suffering from black screen errors. Of course, they are just a part of solutions, and some of them may be useless for your situation. Therefore, we will continuously perfect the post once a new solution is found, and solutions from any people are also welcomed.

    PS. If none of these solutions works and you haven’t found an effective solution, you may need to send the computer to professional repair shop or your computer’s manufacturer for further assistance.