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08-11-2011   #1 (permalink)
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Default Black screen of death after Windows 7 update.

I'm posting this from my laptop.

I think my PC is getting the "black screen of death" after a Windows 7 update today. I'm not sure what the update was about - probably a security update or something. When I turned on the PC today, I was notified that the system would be rebooting in 10 minutes. I did nothing and let the timer run out because I wanted the update, obviously.

After this, Windows 7 never booted again. At first, I thought there was some kind of signal problem from my computer, so I pressed the power switch to turn it off and back on again. I've done this 5-6 times now and there's still nothing. There's definitely nothing wrong with my monitor either because it was working fine just a minute ago. There is no Windows logo, no cursor... simply nothing. Just a black screen. I can't even go into Safe Mode; hitting F8 does absolutely nothing. I tried inserting an Ubuntu CD into my drive to see if it would boot from that, but nothing.

How do I fix this? I don't even have a virus or anything, as far as I'm aware. Ever since I upgraded to Windows 7, I've taken extra precaution and my computer has been running smoothly ever since. Now this is happening because of a simple update.

Any help will be appreciated. Just remember I'm not a hardware specialist, so I can't take apart my computer to fix anything if that is what's needed. There's really not much I can do if all I get is a black screen.
 
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08-11-2011   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like it have nothing to do with the update.
By black screen do you mean when you power on the PC you only see the power lights?
If it passes the BIOS try booting into you windows 7 disc and do a startup repair if it detects your installation.
what do you mean by nothing when you use the ubuntu boot disc?
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08-11-2011   #3 (permalink)
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I'm not 100% sure it's the update that caused this but I googled the problem and it seems like many people have gotten a black screen after some Windows update. That's why I say it's that. I mean, the computer has been working fine all this time, I don't believe this happened "randomly."

And yes. By black screen, I mean absolutely nothing. No BIOS, no HP logo (my computer is HP), no Windows logo, simply nothing. The PC tower's lights are on and that's about it.

The Ubuntu disc was something I tried in the past when I was still running Vista and my system was corrupted. Back then, my PC did pass BIOS but Vista wouldn't boot, so I inserted an Ubuntu CD and tried booting it from there. Anyway, I think I haven't been doing that properly this time. I'll try that again later but I don't know if it'll work. Running Ubuntu was just a way of rescuing my data before I did a clean installation of Windows 7.

Edit: In all honesty, things are not looking very bright for me. My PC is considered "out of warranty" (apparently the warranty expired in June 2009) and so I'm not entitled to free customer support. For those who are wondering, the model of my PC is a HP Pavilion a6430.uk.

http://h41257.www4.hp.com/cda/hptc/d...-2839_4040_0__

The cheapest rates for customer support over the phone is 19 euros, which I find a bit ridiculous as it's next to impossible to troubleshoot a problem like this without actually looking at the hardware. I don't know what the repair costs are but chances are it won't be cheap. I thought about buying a new PC but the cheapest they come is around 300 (more than $400) and I really don't want to spend that kind of money right now, so I guess this PC is out, unless anybody has a better idea. I'll just settle with my laptop for now and emo over the fact that my computer is gone.

Last edited by Aria; 08-11-2011 at 08:54 AM. Reason: Meh.
 
08-12-2011   #4 (permalink)
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try doing a power drain by switching off the mains and pressing the power button for a few secs
If it still doesn't get into the BIOS, then you might need to open it up.
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08-12-2011   #5 (permalink)
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If it happened over night after a windows update then it could be

1. Corrupted system files
2. Video card driver updates
3. Dead hard drive

Reason 1 is self explanatory. Reason 2, could be a reason why "nothing" is showing up on your monitor. Reason 3, if there's no hard drive then nothing will show.

HP should have provided a boot disk if you still have that then I would use it and do a system repair plus a restore.
 
08-13-2011   #6 (permalink)
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I don't have any boot disc from HP. I tried booting from the Windows 7 installation CD I used a few months ago but it won't even boot from that.

I highly doubt it's #3 but #2 and possibly #1 sound plausible.
 
08-13-2011   #7 (permalink)
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this could be a really dumb solution, but I've had a problem like this before kinda. try completely unplugging everything and letting it sit for about an hour. then plug it back in and try.
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08-13-2011   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prison
this could be a really dumb solution, but I've had a problem like this before kinda. try completely unplugging everything and letting it sit for about an hour. then plug it back in and try.
I tried that too. Disconnected the monitor cable from the tower and then plugged it back in. Left the power cable unplugged for about an hour before plugging it back. Nothing seems to work, and today I tried booting the PC again - nothing.
 
08-13-2011   #9 (permalink)
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1. Reset the BIOS
You can do so by switching off the main, hold the power buttons for 5s, opening the case and removing the BIOS battery. Then wait for 15mins and put everything back and see if it works.
How to Replace the BIOS Battery - YouTube <-- battery removal video here
2. Testing the hardware, a lot more complicated.
Power off the PC (Mains)
Drain the power (Hold power button for 5s)
Unplug/Remove the items so that it will become bare minimal. (Minimal stuff: Power supply, 1 RAM, onboard graphics if possible)
Power it on, if it works that means one of the disconnected items is having problems. (Reconnect them one bye one to figure out which)
If it doesn't, try another RAM (If you have 2) in another slot and try again.
If it still doesn't work, your Power, Motherboard or maybe RAM is dead.
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Last edited by kag; 08-13-2011 at 07:56 PM.
 
09-04-2011   #10 (permalink)
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I reset my BIOS by removing and reinserting the CMOS battery - still doesn't work.

I honestly don't know what the problem is. My guess is either a toasted motherboard or something's wrong with the video signal.

Some pictures I took of my computer, that I may as well toss here.

Back:
Spoiler!

Inside:
Spoiler!

Cooling fan?
Spoiler!

Motherboard:
Spoiler!

CMOS Battery:
Spoiler!

Hard drive:
Spoiler!

Graphic card:
Spoiler!

I'm just thinking of taking the hard drive out now and accessing my data there. I'm more interested in recovering some of that data than fixing this damn thing, seeing as it's been broken for so long I've virtually given up on it.

Last edited by Aria; 09-04-2011 at 02:14 PM.
 
09-04-2011   #11 (permalink)
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Remove the HDD by just unplugging the cables and removing the screws holding it to your case. Then buy a external HDD case or a dock and you should be able to easily get the files you need off it.
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09-04-2011   #12 (permalink)
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I managed to remove my graphic card and plugged my monitor to the on board one, and I'm still not getting any video signal. I'm guessing there's a BIOS problem or my motherboard is completely toasted. Anyway, my computer is a HP so the long black thing down there is the retention arm for the graphic card (which is shown missing in these pictures).

Spoiler!

I want to detach the hard drive now from the tower, but there's a bunch of wires so awkwardly positioned that it's almost impossible for my screwdriver to gain leverage and undo the screws. Any ideas?

Hard drive unplugged:
Spoiler!

Trying to get the screwdriver in..
Spoiler!


Edit: Nevermind, figured it out now. I had to google how to remove the hard drive from a HP Pavilion, since it's built differently to other computers. Had to remove the front bezel and then remove the metal cage completely before I could access the hard drive. Now to buy an external case for it. :x I'm looking for something cheap but decent quality. Can anybody recommend one? Or would something like this do?

FYI, my internal drive is a Hitachi Deskstar HDP7250 with 500 GB capacity.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/2-5-USB-2-...item1c1cce0626

Last edited by Aria; 09-04-2011 at 06:21 PM.
 
09-04-2011   #13 (permalink)
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Your HDD is 3.5". Anything on the market will work.
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09-05-2011   #14 (permalink)
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I am proud of you lynnie 8D! Your motherboard can't be fried if the PC is turning on since everything runs through your motherboard. Unless your situation changed then most likely it is the hard drive then again I have no clue if your motherboard has onboard graphics in the first place so don't rule out dead video card just yet.

P.S - nice pic quality.
 
09-05-2011   #15 (permalink)
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1. When you plug in the power does the light on the power supply show a solid green?
2. Unplug your HDD, ODD(DVD drive), Graphics card, 3 sticks of RAM then plug the VGA cable to your motherboard's VGA (Blue port in the second image in "back") and see if it works
EDIT: nice photos btw
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09-05-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henreh
I am proud of you lynnie 8D! Your motherboard can't be fried if the PC is turning on since everything runs through your motherboard. Unless your situation changed then most likely it is the hard drive then again I have no clue if your motherboard has onboard graphics in the first place so don't rule out dead video card just yet.

P.S - nice pic quality.
Even the fan? >: That's pretty much all I have that is running. Plus the power on light.

I'm pretty sure my motherboard does have on board graphics; in any case, I tested it last night and that did not work.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kag
1. When you plug in the power does the light on the power supply show a solid green?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kag
2. Unplug your HDD, ODD(DVD drive), Graphics card, 3 sticks of RAM then plug the VGA cable to your motherboard's VGA (Blue port in the second image in "back") and see if it works
EDIT: nice photos btw
To be honest, I've already taken out my hard drive and put everything else back together. I've even ordered an external disk enclosure for it now. :x If I can get to my files, I probably won't bother.. spent all day yesterday doing this shit. Is there any reason why it should work if I were to unplug all those things?

Spoiler!
 
09-05-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn


To be honest, I've already taken out my hard drive and put everything else back together. I've even ordered an external disk enclosure for it now. :x If I can get to my files, I probably won't bother.. spent all day yesterday doing this shit. Is there any reason why it should work if I were to unplug all those things?
If you can get into BIOS after all that, it means one of the components which you removed is faulty. And by putting them back 1 by 1 you can find out which is it.

If you can't get into BIOS after removing those stuff it means:
1. PSU is faulty
2. Motherboard is faulty
3. RAM/RAM slot is faulty (Use another RAM on another slot and try again)
4. CPU is faulty (really rare)

The chances that your PSU is faulty is quite low since the LED is on solid green and it seems to be supplying power.
Motherboard and RAM are very possible culprits.

EDIT: when i say get into BIOS i meant see th BIOS screen
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Last edited by kag; 09-05-2011 at 09:42 AM.
 
09-05-2011   #18 (permalink)
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I guess I can eliminate the graphic card then? When I removed it yesterday and plugged my monitor to the motherboard's VGA, I still couldn't get into BIOS.

Anyway, I'll try those things at some point. Somehow, I doubt the PSU is at fault either. My money is also on motherboard or RAM.
 
09-05-2011   #19 (permalink)
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The on board VGA may be disabled in the BIOS cause your computer is prebuilt. So plugging it in is still not 100% that your graphics card is clear. If you can get your hands on another one, see if that works.
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09-06-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shugi
The on board VGA may be disabled in the BIOS cause your computer is prebuilt. So plugging it in is still not 100% that your graphics card is clear. If you can get your hands on another one, see if that works.
But once you remove the graphics card usually it will fall back to onboard unless the BIOS is really crappy.
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