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Windows 7: RE: I'm stumped -- Getting Sometimes A Flashing Black/Static Screen??

15 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64
RE: I'm stumped -- Getting Sometimes A Flashing Black/Static Screen??

Hello. I need your help. I'm stumped!!!

For the past few days now, I am having an issue. I am 'now' using Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit. I was using Windows 7 Pro 32-Bit. This issue is with both.

This is what is happening:

Approximately 50% of the time (random) when I statup my desktop computer, immediately after the Windows 7 "Windows Starting" and animated Windows flag are finished, but BEFORE the Windows 7 Logon screen, I am getting 2 screens that are switching back and forth between a blank black screen with the pointer on it (pointer and the animated loop curser used by Windows Vista/7) and a blank screen with a so-called 'static' look on it with no curser at all (The 'static' screen looks like the old days that when you changed the analog channel on a TV and there was no TV channel there, you would get that black and white dotted static look). The switching back and forth lasts about a half a second each (very quick) and finally ending up at the blank black screen with no curser/pointer. I look at the HD LED on my tower, and it shows activity, but my screen remains blank and black. The compter never reboots or restarts on its own, it just stays at the blank and black screen. I have to manually reboot the system. Most of the time on the second reboot, I am able to get into my system successfully.

The other 50% of the time (When I am able to get logon into my system successfully.), after passing the "Windows Starting" screen, the blank black screen may hang for up to 3 seconds with the animated loop curser before I get to the Windows Logon screen successfully. When this happens, I never see the static screen and there is no flashing back and forth between these two screen as above. From past experience, going from the "Windows Starting" screen and the Windows Logon screen is only a very BRIEF half second of the typical blank black screen, not up to 3 seconds.

So there appears to be some issues happening at this percise momment each time when Windows 7 is starting. The only things I have done 'new' is update my BIOS (from the ASUS motherboard factory version of 1004 to the LATEST online download of 2209) and installed 2 more DIMM memory modules, so I went from approx. 4GB to approx. 8GB. NOTE: The BIOS settings are all set to "Auto" in terms of the "Advanced Settings" so the system auto corrects for the added memory. I contacted ASUS tech support, and they told me it would adjust itself automatically, nothing for me to do.

My desktop computer stats:

Operating System System Model
Windows 7 Professional (x64) (build 7600)
Install Language: English (United States)
System Locale: English (United States)

Processor Main Circuit Board
2.85 gigahertz Intel Core2 Quad Q9550
64 kilobyte primary memory cache
12288 kilobyte secondary memory cache
64-bit ready
Multi-core (4 total)
Not hyper-threaded Board: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5Q Rev 1.xx
Bus Clock: 333 megahertz
BIOS: American Megatrends Inc. 2209 03/11/2010

Total Physical Hard Drives:
750.15 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
335.24 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62L ATA Device [Optical drive]
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-H62L ATA Device [Optical drive]
3.5" format removeable media [Floppy drive]

Generic USB CF Reader USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 3
Generic USB MS Reader USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 5
Generic USB SD Reader USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 2
Generic USB SM Reader USB Device [Hard drive] -- drive 4
WDC WD2500JD-22HBB0 ATA Device [Hard drive] (250.06 GB) -- drive 0, SMART Status: Healthy
WDC WD5000AAKS-00D2B0 [Hard drive] (500.11 GB) -- drive 1, rev 12.01C02, SMART Status: Healthy

Memory Modules
8192 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'DIMM0' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM1' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM2' has 2048 MB
Slot 'DIMM3' has 2048 MB

Controllers Standard floppy disk controller
ATA Channel 0 [Controller] (3x)
ATA Channel 1 [Controller] (3x)
Intel(R) ICH10 Family 2 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 2 - 3A26
Intel(R) ICH10 Family 4 port Serial ATA Storage Controller 1 - 3A20
Standard Dual Channel PCI IDE Controller

NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GT [Display adapter]
Samsung SyncMaster [Monitor] (19.1"vis, July 2005)

Atheros AR8121/AR8113/AR8114 PCI-E Ethernet Controller
Microsoft 6to4 Adapter
Microsoft ISATAP Adapter
Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface

Other Devices
LSI 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller
HID-compliant consumer control device
USB Input Device (2x)
HID-compliant mouse
USB Composite Device
USB Mass Storage Device
USB Root Hub (8x)
Generic volume shadow copy

***Any ideas what is going on??

This is what I have done so far...

1. Assuming it was first a possible memory issue with the new memory, used Windows Memory Diagnostic tool & Memtest and there were no issues (passed) found from either test.

2. Checked Windows 7's Device Manager for possible driver issues. No issues listed in listing.

3. Ran System File Checker (sfc /scannow) to see if there were any Windows file issues and there were 'no integrity violations' at the end of the scan.

4. Ran Windows Startup Repair to think the boot.ini file was damaged or some other Startup issue, and it found no issues.

5. Ran CHKDSK with the repair option, it didn't repair anything.

6. I verified that I installed all Windows 7's Windows Updates. I did and nothing new to install.

7. I downloaded and installed the latest graphic/video drivers.

...and this issue still happens 50% of the time.

I then reformatted my Windows 7 Pro (This was a 32-Bit version.), and then installed the Windows 7 Pro 64-Bit this time. I installed the latest video graphic drivers, the latest motherboard drivers, latest Windows Updates, and I performed both memory tests both passed), Device Manager (no issues), System File Checher (no issues), CHKDSK (no issues) -- this issue still appears. Of course, with a clean install of Windows, there 'should be' no issues.

What is going on??? Any ideas? ...and solutions?

Is there a setting possbily in my BIOS that I need to modify or adjust that is not 'automatically' corrected by the BIOS??? Maybe???

Please reply.

Thank you!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #2
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

I've seen this before, but it was after the machine had logged in and fully booted up at seemingly random times.

In my case, it was the graphics driver crashing because the graphics card stopped responding because the driver stopped responding (or so Windows thought).

There could be three things wrong here (in no particular order, and it could be a combination)

1. Graphics card is failing.
2. Graphics card is not getting enough CLEAN power from the power supply because of #3... (I don't see your PSU in your spec list you provided. What is it?)
3. Power Supply is failing.

Question: Does it do it in safe mode?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64

Johnathan Lyman & ALL:

Hello. Thank you for your reply.

Yes, I forgot an important element to my system. I used a program to collect my system data, and of course it will obviously omit the power supply. I have the BFG 800W BFGR800WPSU ATX 12V Ver.2.2/ EPS 12V Ver.2.91 SLI Ready Power Supply. It is a couple of years old I believe.

Okay, since this issue has been happening, I have only been to safe mode a couple of time and in all cases I never had this same issue before I arrived at the logon screen in safe mode. Now saying that, momments before writing this post, I rebooted into safe mode to check again. I was able to get into safe mode without issues... ...however, when I rebooted to get back into normal mode again; following the "Windows Starting" screen, I received a blank black for good. Meaning, I received the animated Windows Vista/7 looped curser for about a second then the curser went away and the blank black screen remained indefinately. I mean I waited a few minutes and the Windows logon screen never appeared. Again the HD light on my tower was showing some activity as it was flashing at times. Even more interestingly, when I manually rebooted the system in hopes to get Windows normal mode again, I went though the same scenario with the blank black/static screen flashing back and forth on my screen until I ended up with the blank black screen again (Same as I stated in my first post -- animated curser and all.). Again, I rebooted my system in hopes again to get into normal mode of Windows 7 and this time after a 3 second wait at that blank black screen with the Windows Vista/7 animated curser, I did finally arrive at the Windows logon screen.

Here is something I will also add...

I have never had this issue happen to me so far while I was already logged into my system or anytime while I was running Windows 7 for that matter too -- this applies to my former Windows 7 32-bit or 64-bit. It only happens between the "windows Starting" screen and the Windows 7 logon screen.

The graphics/video card does make sense to me, but if it were the graphics card; wouldn't this happen 'ANYTIME' while I have Windows 7 up and running? ...or not necessarily?

Please reply.

Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64

Hello again.

Okay, I want to share with you some more information I have learned, maybe this can help you figure out what may be happening:

First I decided to see what would happen if I used a lower resolution. I learned that using a lower resolution, basically my issue still happened, but a little different. I would say out of every 10 Windows 7 reboots or system starts, I would get this issue about 3 times totally randomly. What I did is that I lowered the resolution form my native "1280 x 1024 (recommended)" (highest) to the lowest resolution which is "800 x 600". This resolution provides the Windows 7 desktop in a small rectangluar frame in the middle of the monitor screen surrounded by a black screen when set. This is of course normal. Now, for the first reboot I performed, what happened is this: Following the "Windows Starting" screen successfully finishing, I received a black screen followed by flashes of the Windows Logon screen. These flashes of the Windows Logon screen were flashing at different random rates or speeds. Some screen flashes were a half second in length and some were at approximately a full second in length -- while beging completely random in the length of how long the screen flashed. Let me add, of course with the lower resolution setting of 800 x 600, the screen size was naturally centered in my center of my monitor with a wide black boarder around it as the 800 x 600 screen that was flashing at different rates and speeds. I will note that when I was able to see the 800 x 600 Windows Logon screen for approximately a brief second, I saw dense white concentric circles (lines) against the Windows 7 blue background of the flashing Windows Logon screen. These dense white concentric circles (lines) appear to be spaced further apart at the outside than from the center of the 800 x 600 screen. Ther best way to explain this is if I were to drop a drop of water on a small body of water like a puddle, you would get rings of water moving outward -- very similar design on the flashing Windows 7 Logon screen. The only way for me to stop this random screen flashing is to manually reboot the system. At other system reboots, I was able to sucessfully get to the Windows Logon screen without the screen flashing or seeing dense white concentric circles (lines). However, I will say the wait time between the "Windows Starting" screen to the Windows Logon screen (This is when the screen is blank black.) can take up to 3 seconds before the Windows Logon screen appeared.

I also decided to check the Event Viewer to see if the system was reporting this issue and what it was exactly reporting related to my issue. This is what I found. Since the period I had the system up and running at Windows startup was rather short, I was able to see all the logs in a short time frame which the system is running under "Windows Logs" -> "System". I did not see any serious issues at all listed, just "Information" for the events and one "Warning". The "Warning" states, "Custom dynamic link libraries are being loaded for every application. The system administrator should review the list of libraries to ensure they are related to trusted applications." Obviously, this is not related to this issue. The only "Critical" event I saw was one that obviously makes sense. It states, "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first. This error could be caused if the system stopped responding, crashed, or lost power unexpectedly." Obviously, this is the manual reboot I performed to get out of my issue at the end.

I hope this can shed some light on my issue and maybe some member here can give a a really good idea what is going on with my system.

Please reply, one and all.

Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #5
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Thanks for the additional information. As I'm out of commission with the flu, I didn't get to you last night like I wanted to.

The only two things I Can think of here that may solve your problem is either A) re-install Windows and or B) your graphics card wants to take a permanent vacation and needs to be replaced. Since there are no errors being reported when Windows is starting that relate to...well... anything even remotely close to what's going on, I'm inclined to say that B is the more likely solution.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64

Hello again Johnathan Lyman!

I'm sorry to hear you are sick with the flu. It is not a fun time to be in! As my mom says, 'take your medicine, get enough rest, and eat good health foods!' Yah, it takes time to get well!!! I wish you the best!!

I want to thank you for replying under the circumstances!!!

I am tending to lean towards the graphics card may be the problem too. I appreciate your help.

I am going to keep testing and see what else I can learn.

If anyone has any other ideas, please reply.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64

Hello. Earlier today as a last ditch test since this issue has been happening sly-like with very little definitive guilt on the part of the graphics card, so not giving up feeling this issue may still appear at some point in time; I decided to try to eliminate if my installed Windows 7 has "any" involvement with this graphics issue. So I reinstalled Windows 7 once again as a clean install. During the install process I found this most interesting... ...there is a phase where the video performance is tested during the install process. During this testing phase, the same issue I am experiencing happened here too. I received the quick flashing back and forth of the blank black screen and the ‘static’ screen finally ending at the blank black screen indefinitely. Therefore I was unable to install Windows 7. With all the different Windows installs and this evidently clear same issue during the install process, I AM CONVINCED from this very instance it is the graphics card that is causing the issue here!

I am now RMA-ing the graphics card and hope to get a replacement.

So I *FINALLY* *KNOW* the graphics card ***IS*** THE CAUSE!!!


Reply if you wish.

Thanks for all your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Jan 2011   #8
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

Let us know what happens when you replace your card!

Sometimes a bad egg gets through.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2011   #9

Windows 7 Pro x64 SP1 & Windows 8 & 8.1 Pro x64

Hello. I'm back! Thanks for your help. I have received a few days ago an RMA replacement graphics/video card. They sent me the same model, but a different graphics/video card. So I have given it a few days to see what is happening and see if this issue is gone before returning here. SO FAR, SO GOOD!!! NO ISSUES!!! I have rebooted the system many times without any problems at all. Lets hope this continues!!! I am going to have to assume it was the graphics card was starting to bite the dust and that was this issue.

Comment if you wish.

Thanks for your input!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2011   #10
Johnathan Lyman

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

This is very good news! Thanks for the update! Let us know if it stays that way!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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