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How to fix a black screen appearing when starting Windows 10


Almost all Windows users have ever encountered a black screen when booting their computers. This is a an unmistakable sign of the fact that your OS can't start properly. Restarting isn't always helpful.

Unfortunately, even the installation of the latest version of the OS (Windows 10) is unlikely to secure you from a black screen. Quite often this problem occurs due to the issues of software compatibility, conflicting / outdated drivers and other factors.

In this guide we're going to look at various black screen workarounds for Windows 10. If you have an older version of this OS, please go through the manual for Windows 7 (which is also relevant for Windows 8 and XP partly).

Table of Contents

Performing BIOS factory reset

Here is an example of a case:

When trying to reinstall Windows 10, I opened BIOS in order to prioritize booting from a flash stick. But during it I managed to activate some process and my computer was shut down. After I restarted it only a black screen was displayed. The PC doesn't respond to any keyboard shortcuts. Could you please tell me, what is happening?

How to fix it. In this case, an error occurred during the hardware initialization phase. There is no problem with Windows 10. Simply put, the computer won't recognize its hard disk and it boots from another device. In order to solve this problem, you should go to the BIOS menu and change the boot priority by specifying the hard disk or an SSD as the bootable device.

  1. Most often you can open BIOS by pressing Del or F2 when starting your PC.
  2. In the "Boot device priority" section simply specify the desired device or change the order by moving an HDD on top of the list.  
  3. Save the settings and restart your PC.

Hardware driver conflict with Windows 10

An example of a case:

When you boot Windows 10 it experiences a black screen. And it happened after the installation of the drivers from DriverPack Solution. After you start the system, a black screen with a visible cursor is displayed and you can hear the sounds from the programs opened in a browser. Windows doesn't respond to anything, restarting the computer wasn't helpful and you can't access Safe Mode.

How to fix it. You can use a boot disk or a USB flash drive with Windows 10 installer, then select the mode of recovery, specify Windows restore point which has been saved before you tried to install the drivers. As a result, the black screen shouldn't appear again after Windows 10 boots.

You can also access Windows Safe Mode in the described way without the help of Windows installer.

In the addition to the above mentioned methods, a manual replacement of hardware (a video card in particular) or switching from an external video card to an integrated one (if any) via BIOS can also help. The sequence of actions:

  1. Disconnect your PC from the network.
  2. Insert another video card into the motherboard.
  3. Turn on your PC.
  4. Log in and manually remove the old drivers.
  5. Turn off the PC.
  6. Change the video card back and turn on the PC again.

Black screen after Windows 10 update

The case:

I use Windows 10, when I was turning the computer off I was prompt for an update, the system was updated and the PC was turned off, then I disabled it from the network. Some time passed and I tried to turn the PC on, it started but the screen was black. When I press and hold F8 nothing appears. What can it be and what should I do?

How to fix it. An unsuccessful update of Windows 10 may have led to a black screen. You can fix the error as follows:

  1. Via Safe Mode (if you succeed to boot the OS),
  2. Via a Windows restore point (if you have an operating backup copy of the OS state).
  3. By reinstalling Windows 10 “from scratch” via a bootable USB flash drive or DVD.

Opening Safe Mode and removing viruses

Viruses “adore” to disable an operating system. As a result, Windows either works with errors or won't boot correctly at all.

How to fix Windows booting in case of a damage caused by viruses? If Safe Mode operates and the OS allows you to work with it, perform a scanning for viruses. You don't have to install a paid antivirus, I would recommend using Dr Web CureIt (you can download it from here), which is a quite suitable solution for emergency cases.

  1. Start Windows in Safe Mode.
  2. Install Dr Web CureIt, run the process of scanning.
  3. Wait for the scanning to complete and move the files with viruses to quarantine.
  4. Restart Windows 10 in ordinary mode.

Reinstalling Windows from a flash stick

There is a pretty simple solution to reinstall Windows 10 from a USB flash drive. “Fresh” OS works stably, although conflicts with equipment may occur, but not very often.

So what is required for creating such a portable installer? It's a USB flash drive with the capacity of 4 GB or more, a working computer, an ISO image of Windows 10 and Rufus program. You need it, if you want to write Windows on a flash stick. So,

  1. Launch Rufus.
  2. In "Boot selection" specify the location of the ISO file.
  3. In "Device" select the storage drive on which Windows installer is written.
  4. Other settings can be left as they are since they're set automatically.
  5. Press "Start" and wait for the process of writing to complete.
  6. Restart your PC after specifying this USB flash drive as the priority boot loader in BIOS.
  7. Reinstall Windows.

Answers to readers' questions

Here is my case. I cleaned a disk and registry via Perfect Utilities. I thought this program was very exact and neat. But I missed the fact that I have Windows 10 instead of 7, as I used to. I must admit that I experienced some difficulties with Windows 10 after each update. So after I cleaned it the desktop loaded, but not a single app was working.

Then I tried to perform a recovery in Safe Mode. Unfortunately the recovery failed. But then I faced another problem, the logo is displayed but after a user sees only a black screen with a cursor. Windows 10 works in Safe Mode.

After logging in Windows 10 system it shows a black screen with a smaller blue screen which says "an error occurred, please try again later". The process of recovery goes smoothly but (!) after booting the system and logging firstly it shows my wallpaper, icons and etc. For a few seconds I'm very excited, but secondly again a black screen pops up, as if something prevents the system from working fine or there is an error? Please, I need your help as I don't know what to do and what to give a try to! Should I blame it on the drivers? Or is it an HDD error?

The problem is the following. I have Windows 10, when I boot it the monitor shows everything, but then a black screen appears, although all the sounds are as during the turning on of a computer, but the screen is black and with no cursor. Before it happened I've disconnected all the wires since the button broke down, but I fixed it and attached everything back to its place. Please tell me what should I do?

I have Windows 10. The OS offered me to install new drivers. And I installed them. Then after turning on the computer a black screen with a cursor appeared. You've mentioned above that I should reinstall Windows, but how can I do it without the screen and Windows itself?

Vlad Brown, USA, Buffalo, WY

Vlad is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in data recovery with 15 years of experience. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and answer them. 

His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions and provide answers to them, write proven manuals, be the website technical support and also run a Youtube channel.

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