Black screen after upgrading to Windows 10

I put windows 10 on my computer. It was working fine, powered off. I switched the computer on a hour ago and I have a black screen and a mouse cursor?

Help

< Original Title : Windows 10 will not start >

***Windows topic moved from Devices & drivers to Performance and system failures by the Moderator.***

 

Question Info


Last updated September 14, 2019 Views 166,321 Applies to:
Answer
Answer

Updated (8/24/15)

Hello,

There can be many reasons for booting to a black screen.  These screens may appear with or without the mouse pointer.  The main causes observed are:

  • Problems with the driver for your display adapter;

  • The video output is being sent to an unexpected port;

Please try these steps first if you’re booting to a black screen:

Blank or black screen before sign-in:

Check your connections

Try connecting to different video outputs on the PC. Sometimes a change in driver can cause the video to be sent to a different display adapter or different output (such as from HDMI to DVI, or DisplayPort to VGA). 

If it is a desktop PC, try connecting to a different display adapter. If you are connected to an add-in video card, try connecting to the built-in video from the motherboard.

If you have a TV connected, make sure it is turned on and set to the input for the computer. Video output may be going to the TV.

Or try projecting the output to a different monitor by pressing the Windows logo key and the P key at the same time, and then press P again and hit Enter.  Repeat this 4 times to cycle through the screen options.  

Use Safe Mode

Try to boot into Safe Mode with Networking or Enable low-resolution video to fix the display adapter driver.

  1. Turn off your computer 3 times while booting.  Windows should automatically boot to the Recovery Environment after 3 unsuccessful attempts in a row. 
  2. Once you are within the Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot, and then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and Restart.  When it restarts, you should see a number of options.  Press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with networking (or try Low Resolution Video).
  3. Open Device Manager and expand Display Adapters.
    1. If you see 2 items under Display Adapters, right-click the integrated video card (e.g. Intel HD 4000 or AMD Radeon HD 4200), select Disable and then restart your computer. If that doesn’t work, return to the Display adapter, re-enable the display adapter, and then disable the other adapter.
    2. If you only see 1 item under Display Adapters, rollback the driver or uninstall the display adapter in Device Manager, and enable the option to delete driver software.
  4. Check the display adapter manufacturer’s site for an updated driver.  We are seeing updated drivers from all of the major video chipset manufacturers. So the best driver will often be only days old.

Black screen after sign-in and you can see a mouse cursor:

Unplug your external devices

When you are at the black screen, try unplugging any peripherals you have plugged in at the time, and wait for a moment.  If your screen becomes visible again, plug the peripherals back in one at a time.  

Use Safe Mode

If unplugging peripherals not resolve the issue, for each of the troubleshooting steps below, you will need to use Safe Mode to troubleshoot this issue.  To enter Safe Mode:

  1. Reboot the PC, and when you reach the sign-in screen, hold the Shift key down while you click the Power button and select Restart. 

  2. When the system reboots, you will enter the Windows Recovery Environment. Select Troubleshoot, and then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and Restart.  When it restarts, you should see a number of options.  Press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with networking.

Reinstall your graphics card driver:

  1. Once you’ve entered Safe Mode, right-click the Start icon and select Device Manager.

  2. Expand Display Adapter.

  3. Right-click your display adapter and select Uninstall.  Then reboot your PC.

Check the registry

You may also see a black screen after signing in if the user interface has been replaced with software that is incompatible with Windows 10.  You can check this in the registry.  Warning:  This solution will modify the registry.  Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Prior to attempting these steps, you should back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur. 

  1. Once you’ve entered Safe Mode, right-click the Start icon and select Run.

  2. Type regedit.exe into the Open text box and click OK.

  3. Navigate to the following registry key:  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

  4. Click to select the WinLogon key, and then, in the right pane, click Shell. The value of Shell in the Data column should be explorer.exe. If the value of Shell isn't explorer.exe, double-click Shell, and then, in the Value data text field, enter explorer.exe, and then click OK.

  5. Close the Registry Editor and then restart your PC.

Check for a corrupted user account

There could be a problem with the user account.  To test this, create a new administrator user account and check if the new account also boots to a black screen:

  1. Once you’ve entered Safe Mode, right-click the Start icon and select Command Prompt (Admin).

  2. In the Command Prompt window, type the following commands (changing “<password>” to something of your choice):


    net user test <password> /add
    net localgroup Administrators test /add

  3. This will give you a test user to try to sign into.  If you’re able to sign into the new account successfully without encountering a black screen, you may have a corrupted user profile.  Follow the steps in this article to fix a corrupted user profile.  (The article is written for Windows 7, but the steps are the same in Windows 10, with the exception that “My Documents” is now only called “Documents”.)

Check for High Contrast mode

You may be encountering a problem with High Contrast Mode.  Once in Safe Mode, press the Windows Key + I.  Then click Ease of Access.  Check High Contrast, and make sure it’s turned off.

Shut down the RunOnce Processes

There may be a problem with one or more RunOnce processes.  To shut them down:

  1. Once you’ve entered Safe Mode, right-click the Start icon and select Task Manager.  (Or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc.)

  2. Check both the Processes tab and the Services tab, look for any instances of RunOnce32.exe or RunOnce.exe.  If you find any that are running, stop the process, cancel the application, or end the service.

  3. Restart the PC.

145 people were helped by this reply

·

Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.