Black Screen of Death Experience RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Not a question, so move if appropriate.  THough maybe this might help someone.

    I had recently converted from Windows 7 RC to the Windows 7 Ultimate final version (32 bit).  I use the Windows Home Server to backup.  Right before the clean install of Win 7, I tested the Home Restore CD and reinstalled a completed backup.

    Around the April 25, I tried rebooting the Dell XPS 410 and after BIOS, and flying Win 7 logo, the screen would go “black” with just a normal cursor.  Not blinking, just a cursor.  Nothing I could do could get the machine to move on from this state.  It appeared the CPU was processing things, but the screen never changed to the blue background.

    Nothing to do but hard shutdown and re-boot.  When I did this, the screen “Windows Recovery Console” showed up with “Windows didn’t shut down properly last time” – Safe Boot, Safe with Networking, Normal Boot, etc.

    I tried all of these options, and the same thing.  I remembered hearing that this black screen could be caused by malware.   I’m not the only user of the machine, so that was my suspicion – wife, kids, etc use it and with all the facebook and email link clicking, I wasn’t sure what had happened. 

    So, I decide to use the Home Server Restore CD.  I try the restore, and after a long time it finishes, and I am looking forward to my familiar desktop – BUT NOOO!!!-- it didn't work – the same Windows Recovery Console.

    I try several other backup dates – same thing.  I then think – it must be hardware – I reset the BIOS, reseat the memory, reseat the video card, no luck.  So I think, it must be the Hard Disk, so I’ll use another hard disk and restore an image to that.  Same thing.

    So then I decide, just reinstall Windows clean from scratch.  Right before I do that, I try to run a repair.  There is a dialog that tells me the last reboot was on 19 April.  So I think, maybe the problem occurred and has been a part of every Restore /Backup image since 19 April.  In other words, the Backup to restore from Home Server didn’t go back far enough.

    So before I do the clean install, I try the backup image before 19 April, and it works.  Wooo-hoo!


    I don’t know what caused the Black Screen of Death – it could have been a bad driver install from my new HP Printer, a bad Adobe Reader update, or malware.

    I run Antivirus, and also ran Root Kit Revealer but didn’t see anything.

    So lesson learned from me is that backups are good, Home Server is good, and let the wife know not to click on links unless she’s sure about them.  Then, concerning Home Server, sometimes the backups might have the problem, thus the need to go back to one with a last known good boot.

    Maybe this might help someone sometime...



    • Changed type Cliff_Htown Saturday, May 1, 2010 11:39 PM Information Only
    Saturday, May 1, 2010 11:10 PM