This is the issue where your screen goes black with just the cursor on it. When you boot the PC you get nothing but a black screen. This issue is known as KSOD (black screen of death). KSOD happens when the login screen goes black or blank. At this point, the Operating System is supposed to load the shell but if for some reason it has been corrupted, damaged or permissions changed then it won’t be able to load the shell. The issue can also be caused by the corrupted VGA driver or a corrupt boot environment. The good thing is that this issue is software-based, so it can be fixed with a little bit of troubleshooting. In this guide, I will list down all the methods that have worked for me in the past, therefore you need to try all the methods as well and stop at the one that works for you.
Short Test For Windows 8/8.1/10 (Laptop with Battery)
If you are an 8/8.1 user, then take these steps before troubleshooting further as it may fix the issue. Take the battery out and put it back. Restart the computer and repeatedly tap F8 key with shift key held. Check how Windows starts-up. If the issue still exists, continue with the steps below
Safe Mode Guide For Windows 8/8.1/10/7/Vista
For all steps ahead, we need to boot the system in Safe Mode. This section will explain how to boot up in Safe Mode on Windows 8/8.1/10/7 and Vista. Also, when you first start in Safe Mode it would be advisable to back up all your important files on an external disk/USB/thumb drive.
Restart your computer, you can do a force restart if there are no buttons/options visible. To do this, simply hold the power button for a few seconds until the PC/Laptop shuts off. Then turn it back on and repeatedly tap the F8 key until you see the advanced boot menu. When you see this, choose “Safe Mode with Networking“
If you are running Windows 8/8.1/10; try to start the Windows in Safe mode.
Method 1: System File Checker Scan in Safe Mode (Windows 8/8.1/10/7/Vista)
After you have logged in the safe mode with networking, hold Windows key and press R. Type cmd in the Run dialog and click OK. Then, type SFC /scannow in the black command prompt and hit Enter. Wait for the SFC to finish scanning, after it has finished scanning, reboot the computer and check if you are able to log in, if not the boot back into Safe Mode and continue with the steps below (system restore)
Method 2: System Restore in Safe Mode (Windows 8/8.1/10/7/Vista)
Assuming you are now back into Safe Mode with the steps explained above, follow these steps:
- Click the Start button and type system restore in the Start Menu‘s search and hit Enter OR open run and type rstrui.exe then Click OK. You can open run by holding the windows key and pressing R.
- Click the System Restore option from the search. After it loads up, place a check on Show More Restore Points and click Next.
- Select a restore point by looking at the dates when your computer was working fine. Click Next and Finish. This will start system restore, and the computer will reboot after the reboot has finished. If the black screen issue still exists, follow the next method.
Method 3: Remove VGA/Display Driver In Safe Mode (Windows 8/8.1/10/7/Vista)
Reboot back into Safe Mode. After you are logged in, do the following steps:
- Hold Windows key and press R
- Type hdwwiz.cpl and click OK
- Expand Display Adapters. (make a note of your display adapters name)
- Right-click on it and select Uninstall.
- After it has been uninstalled, reboot the PC back into normal mode and re-download the latest drivers.
Method 4: Regback (Restore Registry Hives)
In this step, we will be restoring the registry. For that:
Reboot your system and start hitting F8 and F12 repeatedly. When you get your Windows Safe Boot Screen, choose the topmost command to Startup Repair your windows. Click enter on the keyboard (usually defaults to the US or whatever country you’re in) and then for Login, hit enter the same (password if applicable).
From inside here, click down to the bottom-most option for Command Prompt. A window should open and should have Administrative Rights assigned to it. You will also notice the letter X:\ as the drive you are on. That’s because you are in a virtual or rather, boot alternative to your true operating system. So, we need to get to your real copy of Windows.
At the command prompt, type: C:\ and hit enter. You should see C:\ as such and you are on your C: drive.
Type and hit enter.
You are now on the root directory to see all of your folders from here.
Type: dir /o/p and hit enter. This will now show a list of directories from your computer. They should look familiar to you and so, as this list scrolls by (hit the space bar to continue as the /p makes it pause so you can read them all), until you get to the bottom where the Windows directory is. If you see a <dir> Windows, you are most likely on the correct drive.
Now type the following and hit enter.
From here you are going to want to type
We are looking for the RegBack directory so type and hit enter.
Type dir and you should see the following files in CAPS: DEFAULT SAM SECURITY SOFTWARE SYSTEM and with that, a date and file size next to each of them. If the dates listed next to them are within the past few days or weeks, this is where you want to be. Now for the fix!
xcopy cd C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack C:\Windows\System32\config
and you will get a prompt asking you (Y/N/A)? Hit A for All. It’s the SYSTEM file we are really after to change, but, it doesn’t hurt to change them all. You should now get a reply stating that all 5 files were copied. At this point, you can type: exit and hit enter and it will bring you out of the Command Prompt.
Exit each screen and reboot your computer and you should be seeing your Windows 7/8/10 again.