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Windows 7: Black Screen after interrupted update installation

20 Mar 2012   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
Black Screen after interrupted update installation


I just recently installed Windows 7 Professional 32bit onto my HP dv9700, and it's been working just fine. As is the case with shifting to a new OS, there were loads of updates to install. The last one was to do with the video/graphics card, however something interrupted the installation process and I had to shut down in the middle.

Starting up again gave me a black screen, no logo, no login, no nothing; though I could tell that the underlying system was all there because it could still scan my fingerprint and log me in (you can tell by the sounds).
I can't get into safe mode because I can't see anything, and there is no cursor either.

When I shut the lid, and reopen (after logging in) the screen would 'melt' into white, then it would show a brief outline of what looks to be my desktop back when it was running on vista (i.e. I can faintly see my sidebar and gadgets). Though now not even this is happening, it just stays black. Despite this, I'm pretty sure the problem has to do with the graphics drivers and not a hardware meltdown of the graphics card.

I don't have an external screen to hook it up to, so I've been trying to figure out a way to restore the system drivers back to the last workable stage while going in blindly. Any ideas??


My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Mar 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64-bit

You'll want to start it in Safe Mode by mashing the F8 key during startup and selecting "Safe Mode with Networking" from the existing menu. You should be able to see everything as Safe Mode utilizes software rendering and will not resort to using your video drivers. You can then use this as an opportunity to install the correct video drivers. If somehow you cannot install the drivers within Safe Mode, you can use Safe Mode to uninstall the existing drivers and then boot back into regular Windows and reinstall them.

Edit: urgh, I noticed you cannot even see the menu for Safe Mode. This has no relation to your video drivers at all, which means there is some corruption of Windows or you really do have a hardware problem. Given it's an HP, I would not doubt it in the least.

If you wish, you can go into the recovery environment by grabbing a Windows cd and performing the instructions present in the article here to do an SFC scan of all your Windows files. If worse comes to worse (as in your system did not come with a Windows cd and you did not manually create a recovery cd yourself) then you may have to backup your files using an environment like Parted Magic to another drive and then run the recovery partition on your system (which often comes with OEMs nowadays) to give it a clean slate. If that still does not remedy your video woes, you must've coincidentally ran into a video hardware error as you were installing your new OS.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Thanks Vir Gnarus. I'm not too bothered about recovery, as I have all my files backed up.
All I want to be able to do is to get it functioning properly, whether that means bringing it back to factory settings, I don't mind.

I do have a Windows CD, but even if a SFC scan works, I haven't a clue as to how to go through with it given I can't see a single thing on the screen!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Mar 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64-bit

If you cannot see anything even in the Windows recovery environment in the CD, than you have a hardware malfunction and the laptop must be sent for repair/replacement. Most likely it may not be a video controller issue, but rather the connection between the laptop monitor and the motherboard (via the internal cable/bolts) has been damaged or disconnected. Still, I would not bother with an attempt at manually fixing it since it may be the video controller afterall (plus it most likely would void your warranty if you attempt to fix it manually).
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen after interrupted update installation

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