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Windows 7: Black Screen only in Safe Mode

01 May 2015   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
Black Screen only in Safe Mode

Hey all, here is my problem.

I have clean installed my OS 3 weeks ago on new SSD, and it is working alright (I will be posting about few issues I have in appropriate forums later though). Only 1 warning in system event log for Paragon Backup and Recovery (when booting up) and 1 warning in application log for zonealarm leaking 2 registry keys (when restarting or shutting down). According to ZA, this is by design and not a problem.

However if I boot into safe mode I get the black screen with safe mode text in four corners. CTRL+ALT+DEL does work and I can open some applications from Task Manager. Yet explorer.exe is already running and wont matter if I open another instance of it.

Things I already tried:
- Logging off and logging back in (suggested by someone, which worked once 2 weeks ago when I first tried it). Now black screen regardless.
- Creating a new user account (was a normal user not admin) and logging with that. Black screen again.
- Ran sfc /scannow and nothing is wrong.

Waiting for any suggestions, thanks in advance.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


Compare the install you did with the perfect install compiled in Clean Reinstall Windows 7 based on everything that's worked best in tens of thousands of installs we've helped with here, and used by over 1.4 million consumers without a single complaint or return here with problems by those who stick with the tools and methods given.

Otherwise work through the Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7 starting with Clean Boot, replacing bloatware with recommended free lightweight AV and using Windows Firewall to compare, all checks given for infection, SFC to check for system file damage, resolve repeat errors, and all other steps which go over your install so thoroughly it almost always finds the problem at issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hey Greg, thanks for the reply.

With regards to Clean Reinstall:
1- I used my retail win7 Ultimate DVD to reinstall
2- Backed up my data
3- Seems irrelevant, as I have a custom build desktop PC
4- Had installers for all my apps/progs
5- Installed OS with only new SSD and DVD-ROM attached, removed my other HDDs
6- All Windows Updates are done
7- Reinstalled my programs - I don't mind a bit slower startup so they are run with default settings. It takes 13-15 seconds to get to desktop after BIOS and AHCI roms load
8- I didn't do much recovery of my user files, though I have them if I ever need
9- Activated OS without any issues
10- Housekeeping: optimized OS etc for SSD usage, I periodically run SuperAntiSpyware and Spybot S&D. Check event viewer for problems. Power option set for performance with hibernation turned off.
11- I do monthly (haven't been a month since I installed OS yet) clone of OS SSD, also make full backups every week with differential every day with Aconis TI 2010 Home. Also make full backups weekly with Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free. I check clones health by booting with them (removing the SSD and reinsert after successful boot), haven't done any recovery with the daily backups yet tho.
12- Don't apply for my situation.

As for the Troubleshooting part:
1- The hardware are running alright, no problems whatsoever
2- Cleaned the case already before reinstall, wasn't all that dirty to begin with either
3- No infections of any sort
4- I don't have problem logging into normal boot so not sure a clean boot will help in safe mode
5- sfc /scannow already performed with no problems found
6- Drivers are all up-to-date

Update: Yesterday I noticed that there were some warnings and errors in event viewer when logging into safe mode. Not sure if those were the result of the trial user account I created, so I will try to log in to safe mode with my own account once again to see if I get those errors again. I will post back with any results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 May 2015   #4
Microsoft MVP


Do you keep cloned HD's plugged in? If so let's see a screenshot of Disk Management - Post a Screen Capture Image.

I would uninstall the old school Spybot which is buggy and causes problems we see regularly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 May 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Hey Greg,

No I don't keep the cloned HD plugged in. Here is how I do it:
1- Plug in clone HD to esata port.
2- Boot with Acronis USB
3- Clone, shut down
4- Remove SSD power and data cable and attach cloned HD to these cables
5- Boot in to OS to see if working
6- Shutdown, replace SSD back in.
7- Put the clone HD in its antistatic bag and keep it in a drawer until next clone.

I will consider your recommendation about Spybot but I have no problems with it as long as I disable system integration. With system integration on, I would have explorer.exe crashes when I would right click on a folder in left pane of windows explorer.

Anyway, I just went into F8 menu and tried the Safe Mode with Networking and to my surprise it did work fine. Also noticed that I could log in rather fast. Yesterday when I tried it would take 30-60 seconds to log in to black screen. I then restarted to try the plain Safe Mode, and it also worked fine :) and logged in fast also.

I am now wondering what exactly corrected the issue, apart from logging in safe mode with networking.

My final question would be whether these errors about some services not starting during safe mode boot is normal or not? See below

Event Type: Error
Event Source: Service Control Manager
Event Category: None
Event ID: 7026
Date: 5/2/2015
Time: 11:01:37 PM
User: N/A
Computer: GA890
The following boot-start or system-start driver(s) failed to load:
For more information, see Help and Support Center at Events and Errors Message Center: Basic Search.

Thanks for your interest in this thread. I will mark it solved.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen only in Safe Mode

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