Almost every active PC user at some point has to deal with problems when booting Windows, when after turning on the system unit only a black screen or a suggestion to choose the boot option is visible. This event is indicating a malfunction in the system, which can be caused by a number of problems. Well, if you restart your PC and the error is solved by itself, which is quite often, it is a very good scenario. And it is much more unpleasant when the system stops booting at all or reports errors every time it starts.
Table of contents: 1. Why does the black screen appear when I turn on my computer 2. What should I do if a black screen appears when I’m turning on my PC - No signal to display image on the monitor - Windows crashed, damaged files - PC parts are mechanically damaged 3. Nothing appears on the desktop at booting time
WHY DOES THE BLACK SCREEN APPEAR WHEN I TURN ON MY COMPUTER
There may be several reasons for the black screen or an error message to appear when you are booting your PC. And they can be connected to either hardware or software problems. Most often, such a problem arises after an emergency shutdown of the computer. For example when there is an unexpected power outage in the room so computer parts are not supplied with electricity. Such an event may lead, both to software failures and to the failure of some computer parts.
Naturally, this is not the only reason that leads to such a “behavior” of your computer. Virus infection, mechanical disconnection of some parts from the motherboard, unsuccessful Windows update – these and other reasons may lead to a black screen or other symptoms preventing your computer from loading.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF A BLACK SCREEN APPEARS WHEN I’M TURNING ON MY PC
Let’s take a look at the most common malfunctions which may lead to this kind of problem, and also find methods of their elimination.
NO SIGNAL TO DISPLAY IMAGE ON THE MONITOR
One of the most common problems that leads to the fact that when your computer is booting you can only see a black screen. If when booting the system you can hear a characteristic one-time audio signal, notifying that all computer parts had passed a check and are error free, first of all you should check whether there is a signal for displaying image on the monitor:
- Check if the monitor itself is connected to the system unit and whether there is any damage on the cable establishing this connection or no. If possible, connect your system unit to another monitor to make sure the display itself is working;
- Then check if the graphic card is properly installed in the system unit. If it is not properly fixed in the connector, there is a possibility that it will have problems with signal transmission.
If we are talking about a laptop, it will be much more difficult to identify and eliminate this problem. You may try to display an image from your laptop to an external monitor to determine whether there is a malfunction of the built-in display or no.
WINDOWS CRASHED, DAMAGED FILES
A software problem may also be a reason for your computer to boot to a black screen. In this case you need to try to start your PC in Safe Mode. If the system unit does not offer to select the startup modes for your computer after repeated reboots, you are going to need a bootable USB flash drive with Windows on it.
Through the BIOS, verify that the information from the bootable USB flash drive was run earlier than the operating system from the hard disk of your computer. Then, using the installer tools, go to the Safe Mode download.
Please note: In case you do not have a bootable flash drive, you may try to press the F8 key at the booting stage to bring up a menu of additional Windows boot options. But this will not always be possible.
It is worth noting that you can try to boot into several safe boot options:
- “Safe mode”. This is the basic option to securely boot your computer. In this mode only the minimum set of services, utilities and applications that are automatically launched when the computer starts up will be downloaded when the system starts. At this time there will be no access to the Internet;
- “Safe Mode with Networking”. Unlike the previous version, at this type of booting the software that is necessary for the Internet connection will run as well;
- “Safe Mode with Command Promt”. This mode does not allow a full load of the Windows interface, offering to manage the system through the command line.
Please note: We recommend that you initially try to boot your computer in a regular Safe Mode or in a Safe Mode with Networking.
In case you had no troubles booting your computer in Safe Mode, you may proceed directly to eliminating the problem that is causing system to boot to a black screen. There could be several reasons for this to happen including computer viruses and malfunctions of Windows files. Perform the following algorithm of actions:
- Try to roll the system back to one of the restore points, if they were previously created;
- If the restore points were not created, try to remember, which actions you took on the computer recently. If you installed any new programs, keep in mind that they could be the reason for your computer to boot to a black screen, so remove them. If drivers have been installed or updated, remove them or roll them back;
- Try to test your computer with some anti-virus applications;
- Perform the registry repair.
The above steps should help you to correct a software error that results in a black screen at the operating system boot.
PC PARTS ARE MECHANICALLY DAMAGED
It is perhaps the most unpleasant reason for the system to boot to a black screen. If one of the computer parts fails you need to determine which one, and it is quite difficult something to do. It is important to take into account that we may not necessarily be talking here about a serious damage to one of the key elements of the system unit.
To identify and eliminate the problem we recommend that you act as follows:
- Check all cables and wires, both inside and outside the system unit. Make sure that there are no cuts on those cables, that they are not torn and not pressed;
- Check the system unit ports. They can tell you a lot. For example, if one of the USB ports is locked while the computer is running, it may cause a problem with booting your PC. It is easy to determine if the USB-port is locked by its appearance (signs of scorching);
- Examine motherboard elements for burn ups, as well as all components connected to the motherboard – RAM, graphic card and others. The best way is to disconnect them from the motherboard and examine each one of them in detail;
- Try to clean the system unit from dust;
- Make sure that all parts inside the system unit are securely fixed in their positions, and if there is a cable connection between them, make sure that those cables are not connected too tight;
- If there are several memory modules installed in your computer, try to remove them all and then run your PC with one module only. If this does not work, change the memory module and try to boot the computer with another one. If there is a second system unit, you can try connecting memory modules to it and performing a RAM test;
- If your computer was not in operation for a long time, it is quite possible that the motherboard battery is discharged. Try replacing it.
Of course, it is much easier to establish the cause of a black screen if there is a spare element for each component of the system unit. For example, you may install a graphic card that for sure is operating normally to check if the problem is related to a malfunction of the current graphic card module. But, if there is no such possibility, try to carefully check each PC component.
NOTHING APPEARS ON THE DESKTOP AT BOOTING TIME
Sometimes the situation develops in such a way that after eliminating the cause of a black screen at boot, you still don’t see shortcuts and other active components at your desktop. That is, after starting Windows, you can see only the background image of the desktop. In this situation, you need to perform the following actions to correct it:
- Open the Task Manager. To do this, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on the keyboard. Go to the “Applications” tab and select “Run new task” (this item can be found in the “File” menu at the top). There will open a window and at this window you will need to use the “regedit” command to start the Registry Editor;
- In the Registry Editor, follow this path:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE / SOFTWARE / Microsoft / WindowsNT / CurrentVersion / Winlogn
- Here you need to look at the value of the Shell parameter. Its value should be “explorer.exe”. If there are any other entries in the content (or the necessary one is absent), you need to fix it.
As you can see, there are many reasons for a black screen to appear when you computer is loading, and it’s not easy to find out what happened to the system unit in a particular case. We recommend creating system restore points as often as possible– they will make it a lot easier for you to deal with all sorts of software problems.