Windows Vista forum

Resolved Question

System won't boot up; black screen

by amz160 / February 7, 2012 11:47 AM PST

I recently left my computer running on battery and had to leave; when I returned it was off so the battery must have drained.

When I tried to reboot, it displayed the white Acer startup screen (with option to hit F2 to go to setup) - following that the screen goes black, shows a blinking dash in the top left corner a couple of times, then goes completely black.

Computer is an Acer Aspire 9410 running 32-bit Windows Vista.

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

amz160 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: System won't boot up; black screen
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: System won't boot up; black screen
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Clarification Request
Areas to check
by Willy / February 11, 2012 11:56 PM PST

I don't see where you allowed the battery to recharge. Do nothing but allow it to recharge, the laptop need not be running. The LED status should offer the condition when fully charged, but give it time. If this is an older laptop and you really left for more than a few mins. when it died, it should have tried to do a safe shutdown or power-OFF. If during that time it got hosed because it couldn't do that, then possible OS corruption or boot config.. I do suggest you give it time before you use it again. After such time is enough, then try a reboot and hope for a normal display, etc.. If not, then you may need to do a "repair" using the Vista restore/recovery discs, not an OS install but repair. It should help rebuild the boot config, etc.. If none of this works, then you may have a bad battery, period. A bad cell will cause improper voltage to be present even if plugged-in, so don't push this you may damage your AC charger. Also, check the manual, you may have a "default reboot switch" located on the laptop or a sequence of keys to push to help in this regard. Visit the Acer support for your model#, it should provide that info. Beware, if you need a new battery, get one from a trusted vendor.

Collapse -
Battery seems fine (accidentally posted this below)
by amz160 / February 12, 2012 6:52 AM PST
In reply to: Areas to check

I have allowed the battery to recharge and it seems to have worked. The
computer does start (even if Windows does not boot) when the AC adapter
is disconnected and battery is in. I've had the same issues with
Windows bootup when the battery is out and computer is only plugged in.

I don't have Vista restore/recovery discs and not much luck finding it to download as an .iso

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by amz160

Collapse -
Do you get any further
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 7, 2012 8:20 PM PST

with the battery out and the laptop plugged into the mains?

If not, reboot the laptop and when that Acer splash screen displays start pressing the F8 key on the keyboard gently, once a second. After a while you should see a list of "Safe Mode" options. Use the keyboard arrow keys to select the top option "Safe Mode" if it is not already selected, then press Enter.

This is a diagnostic mode and hopefully will boot up Windows but without desktop background images and with the lowest screen resolution of 640 x 480, so icons and such will be larger and not so defined.

If Windows loads properly in this mode, wait for it to load completely then use the Start Menu option to "Restart". When it reboots, do not press any keys but let it try and reboot normally.

If it does, don't connect the battery back in until the next time you shut it down.

Tell us how you get on with that.

Mark

Collapse -
That hasn't worked
by amz160 / February 8, 2012 6:59 AM PST
In reply to: Do you get any further

I've also tested the memory and hard drive already and both are fine.

Collapse -
Hasn't worked
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 8, 2012 7:16 PM PST
In reply to: That hasn't worked

What does that mean?

Were you able to use F8 to get the Safe Mode list of options? If not then that's serious.

But if so that is progress of a sorts. Then what happened when you selected the top option and pressed Enter? What did you see happening?

Here's why it could be bad. If all you see is that Acer splash screen then the black screen, we need to know what POST is reporting during boot up.

POST is "Power On, Self Test" and is a function of the BIOS when you turn the system on. The BIOS checks through all the hardware and reports OK or whether there's any problems. In your laptop the POST reports are hidden by the Acer splash screen and we need to disable that. So, on the next boot up, hit F2 when you see it to enter Setup, (the BIOS settings). Then use the keyboard arrow keys to navigate around the BIOS tabs and settings and look for the option that displays the Acer splash screen. Disable that and then Save & Exit the BIOS.

Then watch the BIOS reports, (the POST messages), to see what is being reported.

Mark

Collapse -
That's progress
by amz160 / February 9, 2012 1:57 PM PST
In reply to: Hasn't worked

Wasn't able to use f8 to boot in Safe Mode.

I did disable the Acer screen, here's what BIOS reports showed:

System BIOS Shadowed
Video BIOS Shadowed

Collapse -
Looks bad
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 10, 2012 8:35 PM PST
In reply to: That's progress

If POST doesn't even display any messages about the hard disk then it's gone.

Time to take this to your local repair shop I fear.

Mark

Collapse -
Hard drive was removed
by amz160 / February 11, 2012 11:09 PM PST
In reply to: Looks bad

I removed the hard drive to try to ascertain that the issue was elsewhere and to remove what I could from the drive.

Should I try again with the drive reinstalled? What should I look for in the POST

Collapse -
Re: black screen
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 11, 2012 11:26 PM PST
In reply to: Hard drive was removed
Collapse -
Hard drive was tested using
by amz160 / February 12, 2012 6:58 AM PST
In reply to: Re: black screen
Collapse -
Did you change that BIOS setting?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 12, 2012 7:06 PM PST

You need to ensure the BIOS reads the CD/DVD drive first to boot from it. Look for Boot Order in the BIOS then try that Vista Recovery Disk again.

If it fails even after that, then there is little more that can be done.

Mark

Collapse -
Disc drive works too
by amz160 / February 12, 2012 9:11 PM PST

I changed the BIOS setting so it boots first from the disc drive. I've also successfully been able to boot iso images off of discs.

Collapse -
Re: booted
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 12, 2012 9:28 PM PST

So it boots from CD, you say. That's nice. But that doesn't necessarily mean it will boot from a DVD also. The DVD-part of such a combi-drive might be broken while the CD-part is working OK.

So what exactly does "I don't think I can access System Repair" mean?

Kees

Collapse -
My impression
by amz160 / February 13, 2012 5:38 AM PST
In reply to: Re: booted

was that you needed to be able to get into Windows (in safe mode or some other form) to run System Repair. I've tried booting from ActiveBoot unsuccessfully.

Collapse -
Re: Vista repair
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 13, 2012 7:10 AM PST
In reply to: My impression
Collapse -
I've tried to run that process
by amz160 / February 13, 2012 12:31 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Vista repair

I never get past the point where I'm asked to hit any key to proceed. I hit the key and then the computer goes to black screen.

Collapse -
Re: black screen
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 14, 2012 3:17 AM PST
In reply to: Re: Vista repair

Then it seems time to find a repair shop and ask them the costs of a repair.

Kees

Collapse -
THANK YOU!
by alisabrit / January 11, 2013 1:48 AM PST
In reply to: Looks bad

Mark,
YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTE STAR! I had a different problem with my Acer 4800 but your solution fixed my problem. I can't thank you enough!!!!

Collapse -
Battery seems fine
by amz160 / February 12, 2012 6:50 AM PST
In reply to: Do you get any further

I have allowed the battery to recharge and it seems to have worked. The
computer does start (even if Windows does not boot) when the AC adapter
is disconnected and battery is in. I've had the same issues with
Windows bootup when the battery is out and computer is only plugged in.

I don't have Vista restore/recovery discs and not much luck finding it to download as an .iso

Collapse -
The Acer comes with a recovery partition ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 13, 2012 3:04 AM PST
In reply to: Battery seems fine

and unless you have deleted the partition it should still be there.

To start the recovery process:
1 Restart the system.
2 While the Acer logo is showing, press <Alt> + <F10> at the same time to
enter the recovery process.
3. Enter the password to proceed. The default password is six zeros.
4. In the Acer eRecovery Management window, select Recovery actions and
click Next.
5. Select the desired restore action and follow the onscreen instructions to
complete the restore process.

Step 3 might not be necessary on some models.

Collapse -
That doesn't work
by amz160 / February 14, 2012 2:05 AM PST

Alt + F10 is not launching the recovery process

Collapse -
Time to move on
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / February 14, 2012 3:20 AM PST
In reply to: That doesn't work

Everything that has been offered in this discussion has failed. it looks like this disk is dead.

It is time to move on. How you do that is up to you but if this was me I would purchase a new hard drive and install the OS onto that.

Mark

Collapse -
Thanks
by amz160 / February 15, 2012 9:25 PM PST
In reply to: Time to move on

I really appreciate all the help everyone offered. A shame its not fixable.

Popular Forums
icon
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
icon
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
icon
Laptops 19,436 discussions
icon
Security 30,426 discussions
icon
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
icon
Windows 10 360 discussions
icon
Phones 15,802 discussions
icon
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
icon
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions

Tech explained

Do you know what an OLED TV is?

CNET explains how OLED technology differs from regular TVs, and what you need to know to make the right shopping decision.