Black Screen in Windows Error Recovery Tips

Starting your computer and seeing the disastrous black screen  means that you definitely need to see these troubleshooting black screen computer tips. I have seen many black screens on computers as I used to repair them. I am grateful that I do not have to do this any more, as I used to have literally piles of computers complaining of the same problem, a black screen problem. Now that I am not fixing computers, I have time to write tutorials and troubleshooting black screen tips for other people to learn by. It is impossible for me to mention every possible cause or solution of a black screen computer, however even if this article helps 50% of the people that read it, I will be happy.

Black Screen in Windows Error Recovery Depends on the Error

  • You were just about to load Windows and saw the logo screen and then you got a black screen in Windows.
  • You saw the usual loading screens but just didn’t quite make it into Windows. You did not see a Windows logo as it appears that you can only see a black screen in Windows.
  • You logged into Windows and then saw a black screen.
  • You were using the computer and then a black screen in Windows appeared.
  • You have logged into Windows to see a black screen with a blinking cursor.

If you see a computer black screen and do not see anything else at all, including the usual loading screens, then your black screen has appeared before Windows has even had a chance to load. As you can see, there are many ways to have a computer black screen and therefore it is very hard to pinpoint your particular problem. Sometimes having this problem can be easily solved, but at other times it is a nightmare and hopefully these troubleshooting black screen tips will help you.

Start in Safe Mode when Troubleshooting Black Screen Errors

1. If you can start your computer in safe mode you should be able to choose to do a system restore, providing you have not disabled the system restore feature. Below I have a screen shot of the incensed boot options menu that you see when you press the F8 key when starting the computer. In the screen shot below I have chosen safe mode. When I pressed enter the computer will boot to safe mode.

black screen in Windows seven safe mode

Last known good configuration for troubleshooting black screen problems

2. Restart your computer and press F8 to get to the advanced options menu. Choose to start with the last known good configuration. If you are lucky enough to see a screen full of options, after an error with a black screen in Windows, never choose to start the computer normally. You should always choose a safer option right now. The two best options to try first our last known good configuration and safe mode. In the screen shot below I have selected “last known good configuration” to see if Windows start with the same files it did before the error happened.

troubleshooting black screen last know good configuration

8 Black Screen in Windows Error Recovery Tips

The following troubleshooting tips for a black screen in Windows are not in any particular order. I probably would recommend that if you can start your computer, always do it in safe mode after a serious error. Also when you have a black screen in Windows, do not rush and try to fix the problem straight away, as you may cause more problems than you realize.

Check all your cables

1. Check to see that or you’re plugs are securely plugged in and there is nothing connected that should not be there. This includes having a small USB flash drive plugged in while you are trying to start the computer. did a cable come loose while you were using your computer? What about the power supply to the computer? These are pretty common causes but can still cause a panic until you find the culprit.

Boot up any computer  restore your Windows and DataCheck for faulty devices

2. Check for bent pins or faulty devices. Unplug printers and external hard drives. Also check the ends of connections to see if there are any bent pins. For example a bent pin on the end of the keyboard cable can cause a black screen. This might not apply to a black screen in Windows unless the pin board device has become faulty while you are using Windows. This troubleshooting black screen computer tip is a difficult one to diagnose manually. Ir is like searching for a needle in a hay stack!

Check hardware

3. Check your internal hardware. Check to see if your hard drive and CD drives are plugged in correctly and securely. If you have recently transported your computer from one place to another this could dislodge the CPU all loose certain cables. Also check your computer memory as this is one of the number one reasons for a black screen. If you see a black screen in Windows while you have been using the computer, you may have had a hardware problem. This can be caused by a video card, as mentioned below, or even something as simple as dust on your CPU, causing your computer to overheat. You Can still get a black screen in Windows because your CPU may have just been connecting to the motherboard. Basically hanging on by a thread.

Enabled low resolution video or enable VGA mode

4. If you are playing a game on your computer and it shut down and when you restart you only have a black screen, you need to restart the computer. When restarting press F8 to go to the advanced options menu, and choose ―enable low-resolution video‖ or ―enable VGA mode‖. This problem often happens when you are playing a game that your video or graphics card cannot handle. Your computer might overheat from the pressure or it could possibly damage the video card.If you are a gamer you would be familiar with troubleshooting black screen problems as the games just keep getting bigger and bigger!

Connecting a TV or another monitor

boot up any computer, fix and install Windows easy.
5. If you have recently changed monitors or connected your computer to a TV try restarting and pressing F8 to get the advanced options menu, then choose ―enable low-resolution video‖ or ―enable VGA mode‖. You can also try pressing the Fn key on your keyboard and F5 or F6 at the same time. Back in the old days….Hmm I am not that old. We did not even think about trying to connect your computer to your TV and did not need troubleshooting black screen tips.

On-board video vs install video card

6. If you are just set up your computer when plugged all the cables in, check to see if the monitor is plugged into the on-board video plug when you actually have a PCI or AGP video card installed. Trust me I have done this myself. Simply move the plug to the correct position.

Use a diagnostic POST cardcomputer black screen ebook

7. You can also try troubleshooting black screen problems and fix boot errors with a diagnostic POST card. This is a PCI card that you can slot into your computer’s motherboard to help diagnose boot errors and sometimes troubleshooting black screen problems.

Use the Windows operating system disc

8. If you have an original Windows operating system disc that came with your computer, then definitely insert it into the CD or DVD drive, and use this discs resources to repair your computer. Even if you are using Windows XP, it also has a recovery console that will help you prepare a black screen. However with Windows Vista and Windows 7 it is even easier to repair a black screen in Windows if you have the original operating system CD. These versions of Windows now have an option to restore your system in the recovery console options.

system recovery Windows 7

If you do not have an operating system cd you can buy a repair cd to replace your disc and still boot up your computer. Please note that the you can boot up Any computer, fix & install Windows easy with a boot disc especially made for this error. Of course you can try everything listed above first as you might get lucky! Hope you do! :)

I hope my troubleshooting tips for having a black screen in Windows can help you. Of course there is no guarantee in this situation as there are literally hundreds of causes and solutions for this problem.

In the computer help section on the top navigation bar on this website, there is a troubleshooting tips section there where you will find more articles related to Black screen in Windows error recovery.


  1. Luis says

    Hi, laptop msi ms-L735-059us, [1717x] dual graphic card nvidia gforce go 7600, screen went black, hooked up a external minitor =ok, laptop still blk, used keys Fn+F2 to switch i see both screens then laptops and then the external, if I disconnect the external monitor laptops stays blk. both keys won’t work. i connect the external and=ok.? what could be going on? any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Christy says

    I tried booting my computer at one point, it got to the Windows XP loading screen, let me enter my user name/password, then it just shut down. Upon trying to reboot, it would give me just a flashing cursor in the top left of the screen, but the hard drives didn’t seem to be spinning.

    I found your page, was like, “Ha! I can fix this!” … and then when I tried to boot the computer, the stupid thing no longer even shows a cursor. The good news is that it now makes all the appropriate noises and the hard drive seems to be working, but it won’t even knock the monitor out of standby mode. When I get home, I’m going to double check (again) all the connections. Any other ideas?

  3. Rose Lunt says

    I have a windows xp professional system but when I turn computer on it comes up with a black screen with two choices:
    1. Launch Startup Repair (reommended)
    2. Start Windows Normally

    I have chosen both options but cannot get the computer to open.Why?

  4. Michael says

    As soon as I press the power button my computer turns on to a black screen with absolutely nothing on it. It does not show a logo or loading screen it just goes directly to this black screen and when I press a key it makes a loud beep.
    Any suggestions on what I should do? Please help!!!! );

  5. Md. Arif Hasan says

    hi, I am using P4, operating System XP 2, prosessor speed 3.00 GHZ. Ram 512.
    My problem is, after booting it is getting black please advice me

  6. says

    I have got the problem of black screen with flashing cursor on top left corner of the screen in windows vista and I have tried almost everything which have been mentioned so far in those article written by you but its still not fixed yet. So please tell me how to fix it?? i don’t have a Vista original installation disk because its come with preloaded vista with pre installed recovery and recovery cd is not working any more.
    Thanks in Advance!

  7. Megan says

    Hi, we had a Dell laptop computer, it has crashed 3 times now, and this last time all we get after we turn it on is a windows logo and then it goes to black screen that says it can’t find the hard drive. Any idea on what could be causing this?

  8. Khandakar Azizur Rahman says

    My computer shown “error loading preparing system” and then I took it to a technician, he told me hard-disks doesnot work. So he fixed a new hard disks and my all the files are out of computer. Technician told me its never come. But I want to restore it.please tell me how can I get it.

  9. homer says

    Ok here goes. Yesterday when i turned on my computer there was these 2 messages to choose from. I didn’t mind the other one and I chose the one to start windows normally. It was working fine the day before. Then after that, windows started normally, and after watching online a few minutes the adobe reader X update was available and I didn’t mind and updated it anyway. After that I played a game and after a few minutes boom…blue screen. I didn’t really panic coz i knew how to handle it. So I went to safe mode and did a system restore. And then I thought i confirmed that the adobe reader x is the culprit(i don’t know much but i heard it really messes up windows7)because the same thing happened the last time i had the blue screen. After the system restore the computer was running fine. I manage to watch a few online and play a few games. And then i shut down windows safely. Then the next day, i turned on my computer and it won’t boot at all, it’s a black screen. The monitor just sometimes displays the no signal words which displays when my computer is off but the monitor is. The computer is running fine with fans whirling and little lights on. So i tried to fiddle around. Reattaching memory and plugs in the computer and still did nothing. I have yet to determine if it was the avr, coz it’s power button is busted for a while now so when i plug it the avr will automatically be turned on. But i’m not very sure about that being the problem because when my avr is busted my psu gets ruined too and vice versa.

    Please help. I’m really confused and can’t determine the real source of the black screen.

    P.s. I’m not really a techy tongue guy. So please be easy with the terms. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

  10. Lynnae says

    I have the black screen after a Windows update (from disk). On reboot, I get the windows startup screen, then a black screen with small cursor (flashes 3 times) then it goes to a black screen with “We apologize for the inconvience, but Windows did not start successfully.” I then have Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Command Prompt, Last known good conf, and start windows normally as options. Each of these options on reboot just repeats this process and I’m unable to get into windows. I have reset the bios to boot from disk as i have the boot disk. I think I need to repair the MBR but I can’t access it. Suggestions?

  11. Tony says

    Good troubleshooting list. It’s always good not to panic and start with the seemingly odvious. On more than a few occasions I was pleased to find out it was nothing more than a displaced cable and problem solved. Good call on the “system restore” and “safe mode” both of those choices have been of great assistance to me in the past. There has been times when I have had to use the two in conjunction with one another, but whatever it takes to get me going. Whether it a black or, my nemesis, the awful blue I have found in most instances a “system restore” will get me back to good, unless I forgot to plug the video back in, always start simple. Thanks for the list.

    • says

      Hi Tony
      Thanks for dropping by…

      I only know about all the simple things because I have done them all over the years !!! LOL

      But I love it when system restore works! This just makes computer repair so easy for the average home user.