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Windows 7: Black Screen with error message instead of sleep mode

09 Jul 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Black Screen with error message instead of sleep mode

I recently built an HTPC and it was working OK until last night. Iíve been using it mainly as an OTA DVR and it does wake up, record, etc.

I went to program a recording & it was already awake & the HDD indicator LED was on. However the HDTV had a black screen with a message to select boot device & press any key. This was not a BSOD but a black screen. There was no way to select anything as every time I pressed a key the same message displayed another time. I finally powered off.

Another program was scheduled to record at this time but it should not have. It was a series schedule set for new but this episode was not. Thatís one strike against the EPG. Anyway it started recording after I booted back up but it was missing the first 40 minutes because I booted up 40 minutes into the program.

I donít think the program was the problem but maybe there was a glitch at the start of the recording which caused the problem, I donít know. Unfortunately I have no idea how long the HTPC had been sitting in the ďselect bootĒ state. It could have been that way for hours.

I looked at the PCís event logs to see if anything was obvious. But there were so many logs I had no idea what I was looking at.

Any ideas what would cause a PC to display the message or where to look? Could this be a motherboard problem?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

09 Jul 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

What type of hard disk do you have installed?

If you need help, please fill in your system specs in your profile and not in a post in this thread: System Info - See Your System Specs
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Jul 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I have a 1.5 TB Seagate Green HDD.

I'll have to re-read the link you mentioned. It looks like I'll have to manually enter the data because the PC in question is not the same one I'm using for the forum.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Jul 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

The error you get may mean your system lost track of the hard disk. I would recommend checking all hard disk connections. Avoid Static Damage to Your PC as you check.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The HDD connections all appear to be locked in & solid.

I looked at the event logs but was completely lost. There are several categories & hundreds of events. And sometimes there are events every few minutes with things going to sleep, waking up, etc. Is there a way to look at the event logs in order to find out what happened?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

The best place to look for errors and warnings (which are the significant entries) is the Administrative Logs:
  1. Click Start Menu
  2. Type eventvwr into Search programs and files (do not hit enter)
  3. Right click eventvwr.exe and click Run as administrator
  4. Expand Custom Views
  5. Click Administrative Events
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Jul 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thank you for the directions. Hereís what I found.

At 7:50:00 PM on 7/8/2012 there was a Critical message: ďThe system was rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly.Ē This makes sense because this is when I had to power off the PC.

The previous entry was time stamped 7:50:19 pm which is actually slightly later than one above it. Maybe it could not enter an event log until the system was rebooted a few seconds earlier? Anyway it was an Error message: ďThe previous system shutdown at 9:42:40 AM on 7/8/12 was unexpected.Ē

That would indicate the system was shutdown earlier the same day. Iím presuming it was displaying the black screen with the boot message all day.

I guess Iíll never know, but I sure would like to know what caused the system to shutdown in the first place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jul 2012   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Please follow the to provide us with your event viewer logs (yes, those instructions help with more than just blue screens). Maybe we can spot something you missed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2012   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I followed the instructions & have the 2 files. Looking over the report it looks like some events are missing. Attached are the 2 zip files. Please let me know if need these re-done or if you need more information.

Thank you for all your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
14 Jul 2012   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit

Your system does not have too many errors showing up, and none around the times of critical shut downs that were not expected...

I would suggest some general troubleshooting:
  1. Download and install Malwarebytes, update it, do not start the free trial, and then run a full scan. Also run a full scan with your antivirus software installed on your system. If you do not have antivirus software installed, see the Good and Free system security combination. for better security steps and scanning tools. Make sure to update the security software before running the full scan.

  2. Check Windows for corruption. Run SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker up to three times to fix all errors with a restart in between each. Post back if it continues to show errors after a fourth run or if the first run comes back with no integrity violations. Use OPTION THREE of SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker to provide us with the sfcdetails.txt file if errors occur.

  3. Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen with error message instead of sleep mode

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