Computer Help forum

General discussion

Black Screen of Death

by OgByron / January 10, 2010 11:39 AM PST


I have a gateway pc that starts up just fine but stalls at a black screen. No windows logo, no log in screen. I am able to get into bios though..
Ive tried:
1. resetting the cmos by taking out the battery
2. reformatting the hdd
3. using a graphics card as opposed to the integrated
4. replacing ram
When i turn on the pc i get all post beeps and fans start right up. hdd works with different mobo. Havent tried using a different psu.
Can someone please help me? What could it be, or what can i do?


Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Black Screen of Death
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: Black Screen of Death
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 -
what about setup
by jconner / January 11, 2010 4:42 AM PST
In reply to: Black Screen of Death

Can you get into the setup utility? If yes its a O/S problem.

Did you really reformat the HDD? If you did how? If you did then you probably erased the O/S and will need to re-install it.

If no to getting in the setup utility, its either hanging up because of a piece of required hardware malfunctioning (Video, Keyboard, mouse) or something more serious at the motherboard or power supply level.

Collapse -
by coastie65 / January 11, 2010 5:01 AM PST
In reply to: Black Screen of Death

Hi. As the previous poster asked, when you reformatted the Hdd, did you reinstall th OS and drivers? If this is the case then that brings me to another question, How could it work on one Machine other than the Gateway? If the Hdd had been reformatted and the OS and drivers installed on the Gateway, then it shouldn't even boot on another machine, due to the differences in the hardware profile, primarily the motherboard, and conversely, if it was Reformatted and the everything installed on another machine, then it won't boot on the Gateway.

Collapse -
by OgByron / January 18, 2010 5:19 PM PST
In reply to: Interesting

Thank you for responding

I think you're absolutely right. Could it be that a virus or some sort of malware got so severe that it deleted drivers? Or possibly the owner deleted drivers?
I CAN(can) get into bios and the setup utility. I did not reformat the HDD though, I apologise. However i did create a 2nd partition running vista.
When I turn on the PC I get all beeps, hence it shouldnt be the moboard right?
Can I install drivers on the HDD for the moboard of the gateway from my PC? Or is there a boot disk such as hirens or bartpe that will allow me to do so, considering both emergency boot disks are interent enabled...
Thanks again

Collapse -
Were you EVER able to boot the computer?
by Edward ODaniel / January 19, 2010 4:40 AM PST
In reply to: Black Screen of Death

It is quite possible if you yourself have never been able to boot into Vista that the OS just isn't installed.

You also say "hdd works with different mobo" so I will ask if maybe the OS was installed while the hard drive was in another computer - Windows doesn't like such things and tends to let you know by not booting or booting with error messages or only partially booting then locking up.

If you boot a Windows installation CD/DVD and either make use of the recovery options or start the installation does it show you any Windows installation?

Collapse -
by OgByron / January 19, 2010 4:19 PM PST

When I turn on the PC, only the bios screen comes up and then a lit black screen.
I did create a partition with a fresh copy of vista on the HDD from my computer with of course a different mobo.
I am not able to boot off disks because the screen is completely black right after setup page.
I can assure you the HDD has vista correctly installed; more importantly, why cant I even see the boot screen with the flashing cursor before the OS logo.
I have set boot sequence to CD first.
I have tried to tap F8 repeatedly.
Thanks again.

Collapse -
Taking a glove off here.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 19, 2010 9:03 PM PST
In reply to: No LOGO

"I did create a partition with a fresh copy of vista on the HDD from my computer with of course a different mobo.
I am not able to boot off disks because the screen is completely black right after setup page.
I can assure you the HDD has vista correctly installed;"

Let me be clear here. You can not install Windows on one machine or motherboard then move it to another machine or motherboard and expect it to boot.

Yes it may work SOMETIMES and this could lead the newer techs to assume this works. But it does not.

As it stands your method is going to waste much time. When you fix the machine it will boot the VIsta DVD proper and you can install it to the hard drive WHILE said hard drive is on the motherboard you want to run from.

Collapse -
Besides the HDD
by OgByron / January 19, 2010 10:39 PM PST

Ok so the HDD seems to be getting most of the attention here. Lets assume the Hdd is a brand new one just bought from best buy or something. I stil have the problem that it wont boot off a disk. The mobo light turns on, fans spin, psu good, HDD "good", RAM, new, graphics card new; what could my problem be?

Collapse -
Then it's the old
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 19, 2010 11:00 PM PST
In reply to: Besides the HDD

"I can't boot from my Vista DVD"

Fix that next. It's all about BIOS settings, good DVDRW drives, cables and media. If the motherboard has failed, change that.

Leave nothing to chance.

Collapse -
I see where you did mention setting CD as first boot device
by Edward ODaniel / January 20, 2010 5:57 AM PST
In reply to: Besides the HDD

but I also see that you don't mention whether or not the CD light shows that it is functioning.

I also see that you say you have added a graphics card but no mention of whether integrated graphic was turned off in BIOS (if it wasn't and the integrated graphics is set as default you will get a black screen on the monitor with no activity because it gets no signal if the monitor is attached to a graphics paddle card).

Bob mentions cabling and BIOS but is it possible that you also have a second CD/DVD drive that you haven't mentioned? Some computers WILL NOT boot to the second optical drive and I have encountered two that would boot to a CD drive but not to a DVD when the CD was present and slaved rather than master on the secondary IDE channel.

Go back into the BIOS and load the setup defaults and save and exit then IMMEDIATELY go back into the BIOS and set the boot device order and again save and exit. Connect monitor to onboard graphics and try to boot with installation CD/DVD in the drive.

Collapse -
by OgByron / January 21, 2010 2:37 PM PST

I dont even get the blinking cursor though. Right after bios screen, a lit black screen appears. Ill try swapping drives and cables, however i doubt that is the problem.
I have repaired quite a few computers, but this one is by far the toughest. If the mobo post beeps, mobo light is on, ram was replaced, hdd works fine, have tried different graphics card, and i can get into bios, what can it be!!???

Collapse -
What can it be?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 21, 2010 8:11 PM PST
In reply to: ?

-> The parts you have not replaced.

Collapse -
RE: "I dont even get the blinking cursor though."
by Edward ODaniel / January 22, 2010 2:05 AM PST
In reply to: ?

That would indeed be normal if the MONITOR IS NOT GETTING A SIGNAL.

Did you REMOVE the graphics card and connect to the onboard graphics AND make use of the CMOS Setup to load the DEFAULT SETUP in BIOS and save it?

Does the computer have a floppy drive? If so try booting to a bootable floppy. Try a DIFFERENT bootable CD (there are many bootable Linux distros that you could try). YOU MUST be able to boot from a source other than the hard drive before you get much further.

Replace the data cable for the drive(s) and make sure that you have not inadvertently set two drives to Master (or slave) on the same connector as that normally allows access to BIOS but really screws up actual booting.

What happens if you start pressing the F8 key during boot in an attempt to boot to Safe Mode?

What happens if you remove then reinstall the RAM?

Take the time when responding to tell us which of our suggestions/recommendations you actually try and which you do not bother with for one reason or another - without your telling us we are spinning our wheels here.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


Meet the drop-resistant Moto Z2 Force

The Moto Z2 Force is really thin, with a fast processor and great battery life. It can survive drops without shattering.