I recently wasted a whole weekend due to the dreaded Windows 10 Black Screen of Death. My SSD had been playing up so i did a clean install of windows on my old Spindle drive. This install was working fine but after a week or two i decided to give the SSD one last go and did a clean boot on that which surprisingly also worked fine. I then realised that i had been doing some work on a wordpress site on the Spindle drive and needed to get to the database. I “thought” the quickest and easiest solution was to swap the drives around and backup the database. My Spindle drive booted up but was being incredibly slow with some strange errors when trying to backup the database. I thought that maybe it was adjusting some files because the drives had been swapped around so I restarted again and that is when everything went wrong.
The computer booted up with the blue Windows 10 icon on screen but then appeared the “Windows 10 Black Screen of Death.” After tralling through forums and trying everything under the sun i thought that someone may find this information useful rather than having to do the same. So please find below a list of possible solutions that were suggested starting with the least drastic first. Please be advised that anything you try below is at your own risk.
Possible Fixes for the Windows 10 Black Screen of Death:
- Some people suggested that there are issues with the graphics drivers getting confused and that it was displaying the output on “another” monitor even if you do not have one. Therefore when the windows logo disappears then technically after a minute or so (once windows has fully loaded) you would be at your login screen. Now people suggested to try the following both before and after logging in. Press the Windows key and “P” together multiple times and/or pressing the arrow keys and enter. This should open up the windows menu for moving between monitors. If you have a password to get into Windows you may need to login so press “Enter”, then type your password and then “Enter” again. Now try mashing the Windows key and “P”. Some people also found that pressing the Windows + “Enter” keys to activate the Narrator helped but in my case this did nothing.
- Another possible solution to the above was to press the reset/power button on your computer to sleep it. Then on pressing it again to wake the PC the monitor would come to life.
- Another suggestion was to swap the connection you are using on your graphics card. For example if you are plugged in using DVI then swap it to a HDMI port or possibly plug in a secondary monitor.
- Another solution was to try and plug your monitor into your motherboard in case the drivers it is using are for the on board graphics.
- You can also try and boot into the BIOS and on some motherboard you have the option to disable multi monitors. This was unfortunately not an option for myself.
If none of the above worked and if your system identifies there is a boot problem then it may boot into the advanced menu after a few failed attempts. From here you can try a few more things but everything gets a little bit more nasty:
- Firstly if your PC has previously made a system restore point you can try and restore to this.
- If you have created a system disk image you can also restore this here but i did not have one of these either.
- Another option is to press startup repair. This appeared to be promising but after loading for awhile i got an error saying “Startup Repear couldn’t repair your PC.”
- You can also try to boot into Safe mode which in Windows 10 has become a lot harder because it boots so quickly. This will depend on your hardware but on mine i had to bash F4 and F8 and after trying a few times it gave me the option to restart with different settings. It said to pick a number or function keys between one and nine or press enter to escape. Typically it decided to not let me press any number keys but only allow me to press enter. I made sure num lock was off and I even tried a secondary keyboard to verify this wasn’t the issue but had no such luck.
There is also an option to run a command prompt when in the advanced boot menu so i tried a few commands which maybe worth a try:
- Try the bootrec command. Please read the following article and run at your own risk.
- Setting the computer to boot into safe mode on the next boot and then trying to restart which seemed to have no effect.
If all else fails then you can try the following but this will result in a loss of data:
- From the advanced boot menu click “Reset This PC”. There should be two options here, one where you keep your documents and another where it wipes all the files. Unfortunately neither of these worked for me.
- If all else fails like for myself then put in a bootable USB or DVD and do a clean install of windows. This will result in you losing all of your files.
Unfortunately my solution to get around the Windows 10 Black Screen of Death was the most painful but hopefully someone else has more luck than i did. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions and i will add them to the list.