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Thread: Vista black screen on log in

  1. #1
    hielan' laddie Guest

    Vista black screen on log in

    I have a _serious_ problem with Windows Vista Business.

    Approximately two thirds of the times I restart the system, I get normal

    I get to the login screen, enter my password, I see the 'welcome' screen with
    the little spinning circle, then I see a black screen with the mouse pointer
    with the little spinning circle, then Windows Explorer loads and I get the
    desktop and all is well.

    However, about one third of the time, I get the following:

    I get to the login screen, enter my password, see the 'welcome' screen and
    the little spinning circle, and then I see a black screen with the mouse
    pointer... and that's it. There's disk activity. There's sounds. Something
    _seems_ to be happening, but all that's visible is a black screen with a
    cursor. If I hit control-alt-delete, about 90% of the time I get the task
    manager dialog. I can then log out, and when I go to the login screen again
    and reenter my password I get normal behaviour. About 10% of the time
    control-alt-delete doesn't work, and I have to hit the power button.

    This does not appear to be a driver issue; I can see the cursor, I can
    usually get the task manager, so video is working. I have a NVIDIA GeForce
    6200 video card with the latest drivers. Automatic updates is turned on.

    It does not seem to be an activation problem; I'm running Vista Business,
    with a valid key and it's fully paid up. And, besides, it works most of the

    I have tried scrubbing the Vista volume and reinstalling. If anything, the
    black screen is now more frequent than before.

    Is there a solution, short of nuking the partition and going back to XP?

    I'm typing this on my Mac 'cause Vista just went belly-up on start-up _again_
    and, given how long it takes to start, I simply couldn't wait on it. It's a
    sad commentary when a four-year-old Mac boots faster than a one-year-old
    Windows machine...

  2. #2
    Malke Guest

    Re: Vista black screen on log in

    From your description of the problem - particularly in light of the
    fact that you did a complete clean reinstall - I would be looking at
    hardware issues, not software (Vista) issues.

    Standard caveat: Testing hardware failures often involves swapping out
    suspected parts with known-good parts. If you can't do the testing
    yourself and/or are uncomfortable opening your computer, take the
    machine to a professional computer repair shop (not your local
    equivalent of BigComputerStore/GeekSquad). Have all your data backed up
    before you take the machine into a shop.

    Or, if this is a laptop and/or still under warranty, contact the
    computer mftr,'s tech support for repair/replacement.

  3. #3
    Conley Guest

    RE: Vista black screen on log in

    Many people, including me, have posted about having this problem. To my
    knowledge, no one has ever suggested a solution. The only work-around
    previously discussed is to bring up task manager, kill the process
    explorer.exe, and then restart explorer.exe. On my computer, this always
    bring up the desktop, but it then takes a long time for the internet
    connection to become functional. I will give your suggestion - about logging
    off and then back on - a try and see if that gets me to a fully-functioning
    desktop any faster.

  4. #4
    hielan' laddie Guest
    I doubt this. The same hardware runs XP fine (different partition on same 250
    GB drive) and used to run Ubuntu fine (I reformatted the Ubuntu partition to
    install Vista).

    It's all standard stuff:

    MSI motherboard, 2.83 GHz Pentium 4 CPU, 2 GB DDR RAM, one 80 and one 250 GB
    drive, a Sony combo drive and a HP DVD burner, a NVIDA 6200 video card. Vista
    handed out a 3.0 rating.

    What's happening is that sometimes Windows Explorer doesn't load but
    everything else works... and that's got to be software. The only way that it
    could be hardware would be an intermittent fault, which would have to be a
    very strange fault as it only shows up on startup and it allows the mouse
    pointer to show up on screen.

    I was afraid that this might be the case.

    It's got to be a bug in Windows Explorer. Microsoft doesn't seem to want to
    acknowledge it, though

  5. #5
    shahkshmr Guest
    Hi colleagues! I'd like to get some tips on how to get around this
    problem of "getting a black screen with a cursor" after login. Yes, I'm
    suffering the same problem since a week with Vista ultimate x86 running
    on vaio notebook with NVIDIA graphic card. Now the problem is I see
    explorer running in task manager processes but even stopped it and
    rerunned it but nothing appeared on screen except the black dead screen.
    How can I figure out this problem, I tried all the solutions that I read
    on forums like updating video card, installing KB.. smthng windows
    update, deactivating themes in safe mode and then entering, but the
    problem persists. And I login SOMETIMES when I'm lucky without but very
    often get this problem. I'll appreciate it if somebody could help get
    around this most common vista problem these days????

    I recently noticed that my computer was no longer hanging at the black
    screen. I have no idea what update or other change resolved the problem.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    I had this problem the yesterday. According to the user, he prior to the shut down of his machine was in standby/hibernate mode. Whilst in the mode the battery died causing the apparent 'black screen of death' issue.

    Microsoft are saying this is anti piracy but it is also a fault within Vista. If you hold f10 on the boot up of Vista, you will have the option to do a recovery of all your data, a reinstallation of a specific drive or a complete reformat.

    It also gives you the option here to load up previously backed up data.

    I haven't tried this on any other machine's so unfortunately i cannot say if this works for the masses. Would you be able to get back to me and state whether this has worked for you?

    Kindest Regards,


  7. #7
    Wakazula Guest
    Good morning.

    I too am in search of an answer for the `black screen of death`. In
    an attempt to discover the source of the error, I have included what I
    have learned. Perhaps by process of elimination we can find a
    solution to the problem.

    a) turn on pc
    b) bios screen appears (I can enter the bios screen if need be)
    c) the Vista startup screen (with green scrolling bar) appears
    d) the screen goes black and is un-responsive

    It is worth noting that the computer appears to be unresponsive at
    step `d`. I have not tried pressing Alt-Ctrl-Delete at this stage.
    It has been my experience that our PC will run for days without issue
    (sometimes weeks) and then the `black screen of death` will start
    appearing. I've found that if you restart the PC and boot into safe
    mode, the issue resolves itself... that is until next time.

    * Windows Vista Home Premium
    * Asus P5B-E motherboard
    * Intel Core 2 Duo
    * Radeon X1300
    * PC is < 1 year old

    I only started experiencing this problem a couple of months ago. For
    the most part, our PC is fairly static. We typically do not install
    software or hardware. With that said we have recently installed:
    * Microsoft wireless mouse and keyboard (via USB transmitter)
    * Microsoft web cam
    * replaced Samsung LCD screen with a DELL LCD screen

    (please no comments about the Microsoft products, I did not choose

    * failing motherboard
    * corrupted explorer.exe
    * corrupted registry
    * USB controller
    * NVIDIA graphics card issues
    * hardware issues

    * kill the process explorer.exe, and then restart explorer.exe
    * restart PC in `safe mode`
    * install Windows Xp (lol... that one never gets old!)
    * install Linux (my personal favorite)

    I forgot to note:
    * my PC is up-to-date with Windows Updates
    * the error has occurred twice in the past week

  8. #8
    rick247 Guest

    Re: Vista black screen on log in

    I too had similar problem on my laptop, blank screen in vista on boot up
    and no image on external crt either, exhausted all my options including
    fresh installation. Problem was pinpointed to video chip fault by
    technomart. Seems can be caused by overheating at some point or dropped.
    Hope this helps.

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