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Windows 7: Black Screen w/Cursor No Matter What

13 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
Black Screen w/Cursor No Matter What

I apologize if this problem has previously been addressed, but I've been unable to find anything that is exactly like what I'm experiencing.

Was working at computer, had to leave. When I returned after about an hour, had a black screen with a cursor. Cursor moves, and keyboard appears to function (e.g., numlock, caps lock lights come on when buttons are pressed). However, trying combinations such as Ctrl+Alt+DEl had no effect.

Had to shutdown by pressing and holding power button.

Upon restarting, the mfg logo comes up, then a screen saying that a software or hardware change might be preventing Windows from starting, and offering two choices: start Windows repair, or start Windows normally. No matter which choice I make, I get the same result: a black and white screen saying something like 'Windows is loading Files' with white squares moving from left to right across the screen, then a bar with yellow-green squares moving left to right and the words 'Microsoft Corporation' below it. Then the screen goes black for 5 - 10 seconds, and a white cursor shows up in the middle of the screen. The hard drive light continues to be lit for a while (perhaps 20 - 30 seconds), and then that's it.

I can use F8 to access the 'Safe Mode', 'Last Known Good Configuration', etc options, but no matter which I choose, the same sequence occurs, ending in the black screen with a cursor.

I changed the boot sequence and tried booting from the mfg supplied recovery disks, and from a repair disk I had created, but, other than bypassing the screen offering the choice between starting Windows repair or starting Windows normally, the result is the same. (There is one difference when I tried booting from the 32-bit recovery disk: in that case the 4-color Windows logo came up, but that was the only difference.)

I have run a memory test and found no problems. The system identifies a hard disk id number, so can presumably find it.

Can anyone offer a suggestion?

As I said, I tried going through the forums looking for this problem, but wasn't able to find exactly this issue: most people seem able to boot from recovery disks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP


Try resetting the CMOS: Clear CMOS - 3 Ways to Clear the CMOS - Reset BIOS

Set CD/DVD drive first to boot in BIOS setup, place Repair CD in drive, restart computer and look for prompt to Press Any Key to boot CD.

The Repair CD should boot if the computer will start and is clear of RAM problems as stated, even if the HD is bad.

You can test the HD using maker's diagnostics/repair extended CD scan which will autostart: HD Diagnostic

It's possible that the BIOS has become infected so try booting Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper from USB flash stick or CD to scan HD. Knowing if the HD is infected badly can help determine if the BIOS is likewise infected, for which you may need to flash the BIOS with latest update.

I would also try another know-good HD to see what happens, or remove the existing HD from boot order to see if the Repair CD will boot.

If there is a factory Recovery partition on the HD you can also try booting it to run Recovery using the hotkey given on first boot screen or in Manual.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

A link that may or may not help:

Windows 7 Black Screen Of Death Fix

You may or may not get help from Microsoft on this one:

Virus and Security Solution Center

As an afterthought, do you have access to a Windows 7 DVD (not a recovery disk or repair disk) that you could beg, steal or borrow to boot from?

Lastly, there is a possibility there's a major problem with the hard drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

13 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 64 bit Home Premium

The others have made some excellent suggestions. All a worth a try. My only suggestion is similar to what the others have suggested. Try to see if you can get your hands on a Windows 7 Install Disk. Then try to boot from it and if you can choose Recovery Console. Once there run Chkdsk on the hard drive to see if all system files are good. If you cannot get a Windows 7 Disk then what the others have suggested is to run a diagnostic on the hard drive using the manufacturer diagnostic software. Of course you will need access to another working computer and internet access unless of course there is diagnostic software and or Windows 7 installation files on another partition.

Also I have noticed an issue with HP laptops and Dell laptops that present a black screen and the only option is to power down the computer. The BIOS needed updating on both cases. If you can check the manufacturer's site to see if there is an update then I would suggest you download it on another computer and update the BIOS. Of course you need to access the internet on a working computer. On desktop machines you can check the BIOS version on startup

Here is a link that shows you how to check the existing BIOS version on your computer. Hopefully one of the options will apply to you.

How to find BIOS version on computer

Hope that helps

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 10 Pro x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Victor6799 View Post
What kind of laptop is it ? What is the model number ? There seems to be issues with HP laptops that display black screens. But your issue maybe different.

Specs are showing this one,

ASUSTeK Computer Inc. - Notebooks- ASUS K61IC
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit


Thanks for your time and suggestions. I will try the suggestions I can (unfortunately, I don't have access to a Windows 7 installation disk), and let you know what happens.

Right now, I'm leaning to a hard drive problem of some sort, as my anti-virus software is active and up-to-date. (A virus isn't impossible, of course, but given no one else appears to be experiencing this issue, it would need to be pretty selective. But maybe I'm just lucky.) In addition, when running certain programs, I was getting some laboring sounds from somewhere in the computer which I interpreted as a fan working overtime in order to cool things. In retrospect, that might have been a naive assumption on my part.

If I can bother you a little bit further, can you clear something up for me? I was under the impression that the recovery disk would let me boot from the disk, without requiring access to the hard drive. Is this another example of naivete on my part?

Again, thanks for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit

If you boot from a recovery partition you would need to boot to your hard drive.

If you are booting from a recovery disk you need access to the DVD drive, but if the hard drive is screwed you won't be able to boot from anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Aug 2011   #8

Windows 10 Pro/ Windows 10 Pro Insider

You can borrow a Windows installation disk of the same version as yours and it will work. If you find one you can make your own installation USB with it for future use. As advised I would recommend a diagnostic test from the maker of your hard drive but in your case you will have to find a bootable test. Failing that, download free Partition wizzard burn it to CD and attach a screenshot here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 May 2012   #9

Windows 7 64bit Ultimate

I had a similar situation, but found a slightly different solution by changing my video card temporarily:

Symptoms: After the 'welcome screen' I got a black screen with just the cursor (no My Computer icon). It would, however, let me run in Safe Mode w/networking.

I tried these fixes, in roughly this order:
1) Reset BIOS to default change.
2) Tried Prevx Fix in Safe Mode change.
3) Ran full virus scan in safe mode using Avast Antivirus ...returned one infected file [arg318495.exe or Win32:Crypt-MHR] MHR = Malware Hash Registry ...Successfully deleted, but still no change!
4) Removed recently installed video card, and replaced with old card. I do not believe the new card was a cause, but it prompted Windows to notice a hardware change, and ask for repair/restore selections during startup. After choosing 'system restore' my desktop loaded normally, and I switched the video cards again..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2012   #10

Windows 7 Ultimante

I think that my problem was a bit diffrent.What I did was I pressed Ctr+Alt+Del and it worked.After that I clicked on "Start Task Manager"and that also worked.I noticed that there were no processes going on so I went to the Application bar and I clicked on "New Task" and I wrote down "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe".This text bassicaly started Internet Explorer so because Internet Explorer couldn't start with only one process it started several processes and after a few seconds of waiting my wallpaper showed up and Windows just worked fine after that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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