You've heard of the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), a common Windows error screen that displays when your system fails.But the B in BSOD doesn't always stand for blue.
The black screen of death may prove to be more difficult to fix because it doesn't display error messages.It's just a black screen, usually with a movable mouse pointer, but no other Windows features.
Here are a few common causes and solutions for a black screen of death.
What Causes Windows 10's Black Screen of Death?
Various issues can cause a black screen of death:
1. Incomplete installation of Windows 10
2. Windows Update
3. Software and Driver Errors
4. Display problems
6. Power problems
All of the above situations can cause Windows computer to get stuck on a black screen.This problem can occur with any Windows 10 computer - desktop or laptop.Even Microsoft's Surface Pro gets a black screen of death.
Fortunately, almost all black screen of death situations can be resolved.
1. Quick reboot
Sometimes, all you need is a reboot.You'd be surprised how often a quick restart can fix a range of problems on your Windows OS -- especially if the system has been running for a while.So before you go on to do anything complicated, restart your computer and see if it fixes the black screen error on your computer and gets everything back to normal.
2. Restart File Explorer
In some cases, you may still be able to see the mouse pointer even if your desktop has gone completely black.This means your file explorer doesn't work anymore.All you need to do is launch File Explorer and your monitor will start working normally again.Here's how you can do it:
1. Press the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys to launch the Task Manager.Alternatively, go to the Start menu search bar, type "task manager", and select the best match.
2. In the Task Manager, click File > Run New Task.
3. Enter "explorer.exe" in the "Create New Task" dialog box and hit Enter.
This should fix the black screen error on your Windows 10.If not, don't lose hope, just move on to the next method.
3. Problems during installation
Errors can occur if you're installing Windows 10, either from an update from a previous version, or to a formatted hard drive.
These include the Windows 10 black screen of death, which can appear when:
1. Setup is still in progress: In this case, check if the hard drive LED is blinking.The installer may still be running, but very slowly, possibly due to the age of the computer.In most cases, Windows 10 should install within a few hours.
2. Setup Stuck: If this happens and there is no HDD activity, press and hold the power button for 5 seconds to shut down the computer.Disconnect all non-essential peripherals and power up again.The installer should restart; if not, and you're updating from an older Windows version, try installing using the Media Creation Tool.
3. Device driver failure: In this case, restart the computer to Safe Mode.
Installing Windows 10 and encountering a black screen of death can cost you the motivation to persevere.If that's the case and you're using older hardware, consider a free alternative OS.
4. Black screen after Windows 10 update
On Windows 10 systems, the black screen of death can be caused by an incomplete Windows update.
What usually happens is that as part of the update, the system reboots and you see a login screen.However, after entering your password, your Windows 10 PC gets stuck on a black screen after logging in.
The mouse is responsive; you may see some desktop icons; no taskbar.In short, Windows 10 is stuck on a black screen.
To fix this, simply press and hold the power button on your PC or laptop to shut down the computer.A cold boot should cause the system to boot normally.
5. Software errors cause computer black screen
Black screen errors are usually caused by software glitches.This happens most often when working on a program that takes up your entire screen.Typical culprits are PC games or media players running in full screen mode.
In these cases, the computer should otherwise appear to be working fine.The diagnosis should be easy to reproduce.Just start the game or media player's program and view it in full screen mode.
However, solving this problem can be difficult; if the bug is in the software, there may be no solution.You can try to fix this by running the program at a different resolution.
Also, try running the software as an administrator.If that doesn't help, it might be time to update the software.If that's not possible, you may need to revert to an older Windows version of the app, or install a previous Windows OS in a virtual machine.
6. When the black screen of death is just a display error...or connection failure
Video errors are another common cause of a black screen of death.No video output means a black screen, no matter what the specific problem is.
Before you get too worried, check your video connection.Make sure both ends of your DVI, HDMI or DisplayPort cables are securely installed and the wires are not damaged.
Did you just upgrade your monitor?If so, make sure your connection can handle this resolution.Some versions of DVI and HDMI cannot handle resolutions above 1080p.
If these simple solutions don't work, you're most likely dealing with a video adapter problem.If you have a separate video card, try removing your card and switching to the motherboard's integrated video.
Does your monitor work?Then it's a graphics card problem.Try updating to the latest driver version available, or, if you've done this recently, revert to the old driver.Also check the graphics card for obvious signs of defects, such as broken cooling fans or burnt electronics.
However, if the monitor doesn't work when connected to the integrated graphics, you may have a monitor problem.Check it out by connecting to another computer.If the monitor works on another computer but not yours, you may have a hardware failure elsewhere that is affecting the ability of the video card to work.
Your Windows black screen error could be due to a problem with the motherboard, power supply, or hard drive.
7. Overheating can cause Windows black screen error
All computers generate heat.This heat must be removed to keep the system running; high temperatures can cause components to lock up and damage.Fortunately, the computer was shut down before this happened.
Overheating often results in a featureless black computer screen followed by a restart that may or may not be possible.
In many cases, overheating is caused by the video card or processor.As mentioned, if you get a black screen and the computer seems to be working otherwise (fans on, hard drive lights active, etc.), you should suspect a graphics card.
If the processor overheats, a black screen usually prompts the computer to restart or shut down automatically.
Overheating problems can usually be solved by turning on the computer and cleaning out the cobwebs.Use a vacuum to pick up any appreciable dust (and avoid the internal cables, of course).A can of compressed air can dislodge stubborn dirt.Also, check that all fans are still working and replace any that are not working.If the problem persists after these steps, you may have a faulty cooler or a defective graphics card and/or processor.
8. Fix Black Screen of Death in Safe Mode
Hardware and driver issues that cause the black screen of death can be fixed with Safe Mode.
If your computer hangs with a black screen:
1. Restart your computer
2. Hold down F8 or Shift and F8 to boot the computer into safe mode
Can't get into safe mode this way?Try turning off the computer during the Windows startup screen and then turning it back on.On the third attempt, the system will automatically boot into safe mode.
Run in safe mode:
1. Click Advanced Options, and then click Troubleshooting
2. From here go to Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart
3. Select option 4, Enable Safe Mode
4. Wait for Windows Safe Mode to start
5. Once booted, press Windows + X
6. Select Device Manager from the Quick Links menu
7. Expand Display Adapters, then right-click and select Disable
8. Restart the computer and start the Windows 10 installation again
If successful, run Windows Update to download the latest device drivers and resolve the black screen of death.
9. Computer stuck on black screen?Check the power
A faulty power supply unit (PSU) can cause your computer to hang with a black screen.But how can I fix the black screen of death caused by the PSU?
After all, PSU problems can be difficult to diagnose.You will usually find the problem by elimination, but this can take time.If you've checked other hardware and no components are overheating, then the power supply is most likely the culprit.
In some cases, the PSU might not even be faulty.Upgrading to a new power-hungry graphics card or processor can affect power.In short, your computer is not receiving enough power.
You can only be sure by replacing the PSU.Since this is a last resort, try other solutions first.
Fix black screen of death with these tips
The black screen of death is usually caused by a software glitch (or Windows update), but it can usually be fixed.
Seemingly random black screens are usually caused by a more serious hardware problem.This will require component repair or replacement.Whatever the case, there is almost always a solution.
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