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Windows 7: Black Screen (W7 64) - hardware test OK

15 Apr 2010   #1

OEM Windows 7 Ult (x64) SP1
Black Screen (W7 64) - hardware test OK

Barely computer literate, so please be gentle.
Not even sure if this is the correct forum, so mods please excuse and feel free to move to the proper one.

Just experienced a "black screen"/blank screen display for 3rd time since purchasing this system ~2 months ago.
1st time:~ 4 weeks ago MS Office 2007 SP2 (legal, patched) was open and there was an open document. Stepped away for ~45 min and returned to a black display. Had to hard boot from reset button on tower.
2nd time: 10 days ago, system idle (not even browser was open), except for OEM McAfee Security Center and email client running in background.
3rd time: 1 hour ago, system idle.
Each time this happens, there is no cursor or mouse - just a black display.
Have to hard boot from the power button on the tower each time.
No problem rebooting.

W7 is OEM. No new recent hardware or software. Everything is fully patched. BIOS is current and drivers are the most current offered by the computer maker (though there is a newer video card driver at the ATI site, it has not been tested/made available by Dell). I practice scrupulous computer "hygiene" and the system is not infected. I do not game or use P2P.

My "custom" power plan (designed to keep USB power to my UPS & allow scheduled tasks, such as AV scans to run) is: screensaver on after 10 min, display off after 30 min, computer sleep = never.

I know how to open the W7 events viewer, but have no idea how to interpret what I find.

1st time it happened, spent many hours w/"premium" Dell TS (w/remote assist) to no avail, though they did say it was a "known" issue with Windows 7 (esp 64 bit) - something about "Ready Boot" or "prefetch" or other "memory-related" issues.
They insisted on an EXTENDED hardware test (not just the brief "mem test"). With my large HDD, it took >24 hours, but all hardware components checked out fine.
This seemed to isolate the issue to "software" (OS or GPU drivers?).

No further episodes until ~10 days ago, and then today.

There is no BSOD and no stop code. Just a black screen. There *is* info in the logs in the event viewer, but I do not know what any of it means.
Without the Windows debugging tools and someone who can read the dump files, I don't know how to dig deeply to find out what the problem is or what the solution might be.

I see a LOT of threads out at the MS forums and elsewhere, but have found no real solution. The folks at Dell TS seem to be aware of the issue, but are unable to help w/solutions (aside from punting me to MS or telling me to uninstall/reinstall the OS!).

This *does* seem to be a "Windows" issue, esp 7, esp 64-bit.

Can anyone please, please help?
This computer was a very expensive, robust replacement for a Vista 32 system and I am really disappointed and frustrated.

Thanks very, very much in advance,

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #2
Phone Man

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit

The first thing I would try is to change the Display Off setting to Never and see if that makes a difference.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2010   #3

Windows 7 Pro

It sounds like a bad install if the hardware is cool. I'd reformat. I had a problem with XP turning off randomly. As if it overheated or maybe just had a power failure. Reformat saved the day. It was on a brand new machine for my dad, identical to mine. Old people just don't want to get off xp.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Apr 2010   #4
squall leonhart

Windows 7

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Heroxoot View Post
It sounds like a bad install if the hardware is cool. I'd reformat. I had a problem with XP turning off randomly. As if it overheated or maybe just had a power failure. Reformat saved the day. It was on a brand new machine for my dad, identical to mine. Old people just don't want to get off xp.
ha, nah, this has been an issue in windows 7 since beta, its still not fixed because they haven't found 1 single cause for it to occur.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2010   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1

In the Event Viewer, you can use the "Copy > As Text" option in the lower right corner of the screen to copy and paste the pertinent errors in this forum for others to interpret.
Just look at the "Critical" and "Errors" lists at the top of the screen. You can double click to expand these to see all the events.

Also y ou can post your minidump files. See Here: [1 - Novice] How to ask for help with a BSOD problem .

But look at that power supply! 350w and trying to run a 5770 video card!! Either that is a typo or Dell has jumped the shark. Those cards list a 450w minimum power supply right in their ads.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2010   #6
squall leonhart

Windows 7

ignore the watts, its the amps that matter, and DELL psu's are known for underrating the psu's 12v capabilities., unlike HP/Compaq which are known for overrating them.

Also, he said blackscreen, not bluescreen. There won't be dump files as the OS is still running in the background, just the video signal has cut out.

On GFX cards with a fan pwm, the fan will also usually jump to 100% as well.

OP, in my case, i was getting this for awhile after 7 came out, at various times, sometimes even when the display was in standby and it wouldn't come out, yet the system was still running in the background.

a combination of driver updates and bios updates has reduced the issue substantially, namely i think it was that i had the asus epu-6 software installed, when i didn't really use it. It might help to remove any Dell power managment software and just rely on 7's own power management capabilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2010   #7

Windows 7 Pro 64

I have that same blackscreen issue with a custom built pc using the ATI-5770HD in my support environment. I am going to use the SF_Diagnostic tool that I got in the forum to see if it helps identify the problem. There are no BSOD invloded just the screen going black - like it just loses signal while the architect in working on the workstation this is the only one out of 15 ATI 5770 HD Cards I have in the field. My standard PSA configuration inlcudes a 850W Power supply. These PC's run 8GB's of RAM
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #8

Windows 7 Pro 64

I have the repeat situation with a workstation that loses video while the user is working. Should I be opening a new thread to include the SF_diagnostic results. to see I some one can help understand what's going on?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Apr 2010   #9
squall leonhart

Windows 7

jrodriguez, i suggest checking the vendor site for a bios upgrade, or if you are confident, increase the gpu 2d voltage slightly yourself and flash it to the card.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Apr 2010   #10

Windows 7 Pro 64

squall leonhart,

By suggesting that Increase the gpu voltage you mean for DDR2 RAM sockets , and on the Video Card PCIe slot?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen (W7 64) - hardware test OK

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