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Windows 7 Won't Load -- Black Screen

by rolen05 / April 15, 2010 9:09 AM PDT

Hey Everyone,

I have a Dell Latitude E6400 running Windows 7.

Today my computer decided it no longer wanted to load Windows. I was surfing the web fine and then it suddenly locked up. After I had to force a restart, I get that Dell logo going as it loads, and then after that instead of loading the operating system it will just stay at a black screen. If I stare at the black screen long enough the computer will restart itself and I will repeat the same process.

I tried to go into safe mode. Kept pressing F8, and the safe mode boot option would never load. It would just keep shooting pass the "Dell" screen and into my black screen as if it never registered my F8. This has never happened to me before; no idea why I can't even get the safe mode option to load up.

I ran diagnostics, and it says the hard drive is still functioning.

Any idea what is going on here?


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Test the RAM
by Jimmy Greystone / April 15, 2010 11:45 AM PDT

Test the RAM, and make sure you use the diagnostic program on the drivers and utility disc. The built-in diagnostics on Dell systems tend to suck. One time I spent a couple of days chasing down what turned out to be bad RAM. I didn't suspect RAM, because I ran Dell's onboard diagnostics, which allegedly checked the RAM, and it came out fine. I run the memory tester on their diagnostic disc, and it fails in seconds.

Anyway, once upon a time, not too long ago a Dell system came through my office. Similar symptoms to yours. System would POST, then reboot. Turned out to be bad RAM.

One other thing, is to turn on SMART in the BIOS. Dell likes to leave that off by default. This is a predictive hard drive failure system. It usually gives you at least some warning if the drive is going, so you can back things up.

Run the diagnostics off the drivers and utilities disc or make your own from the download on Dell's support site. First run the memory test, then run the express test. If you can't even boot a CD, then pull one of the RAM modules and see if that helps. If not, pull the other one, and replace the original so you've tested each RAM module individually. Be sure to inspect them for a blown chip. People sometimes say that the smoke is let out of them, because that's kind of what it looks like when it happens. If a chip blew, there'll be a white "smokey" residue.

Once you've done all that, and you still haven't found anything, come back and we'll go from there.

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Need Help
by rolen05 / April 17, 2010 9:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Test the RAM

Alright, so yesterday when I ran the diagnostics again, it told me that the hard drive had failed.

Today, when I tried to turn it wouldn't even get past that original "Dell" screen at the beginning. It goes to that screen for about 1 or 2 seconds then the computer just turns off by itself. Can't even get back to the diagnostics or do anything at all.

Seems to me that this is more than just a hard drive issue?? These guys are sending me another hard drive, but I have a feeling that it won't fix the problem.

Also: I would think that I am an above average computer user, but why do my Dell's keep dying on me?? This is like my 4th or 5th hard drive failure in a year with this thing, and I never had any trouble with computers before that. Is it something that I am doing causing this??

Good news is that I got the extended warranty...

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i concurr
by sensibility / April 17, 2010 2:22 PM PDT
In reply to: Need Help

check the ram modules by removing them one at a time but not both. here is how. remove one module turn it on if the screen is still black turn the unit off. replace the module and remove the other one turn on again. if it goes past logo its a bad module. IF in the highly unlikely event its is still black your bios may have gone DOA. and time for a RMA.there is nothing you can do about this it just happens. although i am curious as to what type of graphics card you have. i have been reflowing ALOT of nvidia cards lately.that had the same problem.

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Same thing happened to me!!
by JShann3 / April 20, 2010 10:22 AM PDT

This exact same thing happened to me today, only my laptop is an ASUS that I just got at Christmas. What the hell do I do?! I have finals this week, I need help quick! I am currently writing this post from ASUS's secondary OS (I guess that's what it is). My Windows 7 doesn't want to load past the logo screen, and when I try to run it in the safe mode so it can check for problems, it just goes to the black screen where I can see my mouse pointer and that is it. Any help on fixing this would be awesome.

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Well inside warranty.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2010 10:54 AM PDT

Make it their problem.

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i don't know why
by JuliaSwift08 / April 20, 2010 12:04 PM PDT

my computer is dell too.i have used windows 7 for several months,it starst to be black this time,i don't know why and how to solve it

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I can see that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 20, 2010 8:47 PM PDT
In reply to: i don't know why

I'm encountering many that have never used their warranties. Let's make this simple.

1. Do try ONE time the maker's web site for warranty submission. See if they tell you when you should get a response.
2. If you can't wait, USE THE PHONE. START A LOG of when you called, who you talked and any CASE NUMBERS and more.

Don't call in and tell them it's broken. Have your make, model, (dell) SERVICE TAG and more ready. Be ready.

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by rolen05 / April 22, 2010 7:59 AM PDT
In reply to: I can see that.

I've used my warranty at least 6 times in the past year and a half because of this god forsaken dell. I know the service tag drill haha. I don't understand why I have such bad luck with this.

Switching to Apple??

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Re:Windows 7 Won't Load -- Black Screen
by jonsoncool / April 22, 2010 5:41 PM PDT

hi , this must be problem of space in your hard disk or it may be the problem of your ram.

MSDS Software

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Hard Drive
by rolen05 / April 23, 2010 4:39 AM PDT

A new hard drive appears to have fixed my problem. Do you think that this was the actual underlying issue or is there something deeper wrong with this thing??

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