How to Fix Black Screen Errors in Windows Without Data Loss

Updated on January 29th, 2021

Rohit Arora

Summary: Follow this comprehensive guide to fix the black screen error in Windows, without damaging the system or losing data. In case data is lost (which is likely), the guide suggests Stellar Data Recovery Professional software to help recover the data.

How to Fix Black Screen Errors in Windows Without Data Loss

Among the many Windows OS-related errors, Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is one of the most dreaded and disastrous. But BSOD isn’t always necessarily blue. It can be black with no text—pitch black with/without the mouse cursor. It usually appears either before or after the sign in screen. This Black/Blank Screen of Death is also referred to as Windows black screen error.

Why Black Screen Error Occurs in Windows?

Black Screen Error Causes

Due to such hardware and software issues, the system may crash or shut down abruptly, causing damage to the system and data loss. A sudden system crash or abrupt shutdown can also cause hard drive corruption. Further, when the black screen appears, any task in progress can’t be saved, which leads to more data loss.

In such cases, restore the lost and corrupt data from a backup or by using a data recovery software such as the Stellar Data Recovery Professional. But before that, you must fix the black screen error.

Steps to Fix Black Screen Error in Windows

BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) is easier to fix, as it provides details of the error along with the error code. But when black screen error occurs, the Windows display no error code or message. Hence, it’s more troublesome and difficult to fix black screen errors in Windows.

You must apply the following fixes and steps in the described sequence to fix black screen error in Windows PC:

1. During Installation

A black screen during Windows installation is normal. Sometimes installation can take more than an hour to complete, depending upon the system hardware. However, if the black screen stays for 2 hours or more, there is a higher probability that the installation is stuck.

Force shut down the system by using the power button. Unplug the power cable of PC and remove the laptop battery. Disconnect all non-essential peripheral devices and reboot the system.

The installation may resume and finish. However, if it doesn’t, restart a fresh installation by using the installation media.

2. Check Display Connection

Check the cable connections—both power supply and HDMI/VGA/DisplayPort/Thunderbolt port cable for firm connection. Tighten the loose connectors and check the power light on the display monitor. It usually turns red when the signal is not received and may blink or pulsate in some monitors.

nspect wires and cables for firm connection
Figure 2: Inspect wires and cables for firm connection

Also, inspect the discrete graphics card power supply and cable connections. If you own a laptop, make sure it’s not connected to an external monitor or TV. Disconnect or press Windows+P, then P again followed by an ‘Enter’ key press.

Pressing Windows+P and P duplicates the screen and may solve Black screen error
Figure 3: Pressing Windows+P and P duplicates the screen and may solve Black screen error

3. Wake up the Display

Restart the Graphics driver with Windows+CTRL+Shift+B Shortcut
Restart the Graphics driver with Windows+CTRL+Shift+B Shortcut

Press ‘Windows+CTRL+Shift+B’ shortcut to wake up the PC/Laptop display. There could be a problem with Windows OS where it might not be able to detect the display. Pressing this shortcut key restarts the graphics driver in Windows.

4. Disconnect Unnecessary USB devices

Disconnect all the unnecessary and non-essential connected devices and cable from the PC and the laptop. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to force shutdown the system and then turn on the system.

WARNING: Sudden power outages or force shutdown abruptly closes all the running tasks, and thus, any unsaved document or progress is permanently lost. Sometimes the file or the volume also gets corrupt or missing. In such cases, use a data recovery software like Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows immediately after the restart.

5. Boot Safe Mode

If PC is ON, force shutdown the system and then turn it on.

  • As soon as the system begins to boot, hold the power button for 10 seconds to turn it off.
  • Now press the power button again to turn on the system.
  • After Windows restarts, press and hold the power button again to turn off.
  • Press the power button once again, and this time, the system enters the Windows Recovery mode (WinRE).

Then follow these steps:

  • Go to ‘Troubleshoot>Advanced options>Startup Settings’.
  • Click ‘Restart’. After the restart, Press F5 key to select and boot into Safe Mode.

Once system boots into the Safe Mode successfully, apply these fixes:

a. Reinstall Display Driver

  • Press Windows+X and click Device Manager.
  • Expand Display Adapter.
  • Right-click on the display device and choose ‘Update driver’. If an update is not available, click ‘Uninstall device’.
Uninstall or Update the Graphics Device  Driver
Figure 5: Uninstall or Update the Graphics Device Driver
  • Then download and install the graphics driver.

Download the drivers from the PC, Laptop, or motherboard manufacturers support page.

b. Disable Dedicated Graphics Card

  • Go to Device Manager>Display Adapters.
  • Right-click on the discrete display device (usually AMD/NVidia) and choose ‘Disable device’.
  • Restart the PC and check if black screen error is fixed.

c. Disable Fast Boot

  • Go to Control Panel> System and Security> Power Options.
  • Click ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’.
  • Uncheck ‘Turn on fast startup (recommended)’.
Disable Fast Startup
Figure 6: Disable Fast Startup

d. Create a New User Account

  • While in safe mode, create a new user account from Control Panel>User Accounts.
  • Reboot system normally and sign in to newly created account.
  • If you can log in to new account without a black screen error, migrate the old account folders to the newly created account and then deleted the old user profile.

e. Uninstall Third-Party Antivirus Program

A few anti-virus programs are found to cause black screen error. Temporarily uninstall the antivirus software to confirm if that’s the reason for the blank screen. If not, re-install the antivirus software.

f. Uninstall Recent Windows Updates

Temporarily, uninstall the recent Windows update and device driver updates. Use System Restore to quickly revert to the state when the system was stable and working fine.

g. Perform Clean Boot

  • Press Windows+R, type msconfig and press ‘Enter’.
  • Go to ‘General’ Tab and click ‘Selective Startup’.
  • Uncheck ‘Load Startup items’.
Disable startup items and services at boot
Figure 7: Disable startup items and services at boot
  • Then go to ‘Services’, click ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ and then, click ‘Disable all’.
Hide and Disable services for clean boot
Figure 8: Hide and Disable services for clean boot
  • Click ‘OK’ and restart the system.

If the black screen error disappears, enable apps and services one at a time to find which program is causing the error. Otherwise, revert the settings to default.

After fixing the black screen error, do check the files and folders before you start using the system. In case any file or folder is missing from the system, immediately restore the data from the backup (if available).

Alternatively, use a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows to restore the missing files and recover data from corrupt drive volume.

Conclusion

Black screen error can be fixed. However, reasons that cause black screen error can also damage the software or the hardware and vice-versa. Further, this can lead to data loss.

Follow the fixes and the steps we presented in the comprehensive guide to safely fix the black screen error in Windows PC/Laptop. In case of data loss, which is inevitable in these situations – use backup or a data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery Professional immediately to get back the lost data and prevent overwriting.

Let us know if you were able to fix the black screen error on your PC/Laptop. For more help, reach us via the comment section down below.


About The Author

Satyeshu Kumar

Satyeshu is a Windows blogger and data recovery expert. He is having good technical knowledge and experience in Windows data recovery. He writes about latest technical tips, Windows issues and tutorials. 

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5 comments
  1. Hello Author,
    My computer goes through start up but right before you log in it goes straight to the black screen…therefore i can’t see a cursor or complete the task manager…so what do i do?

    1. Hi Gene,
      As I mentioned above there may be the various reason for black screen issue like Graphics driver issues, corrupt system files, Faulty display connection, Overheating, Power supply issues, Mistakes while Windows installation etc. So you should take the first backup of your data to avoid data loss situation. If you lost your data so you can try Stellar Data Recovery Professional for windows to recover. Thanks

  2. I faced this Black Screen Error, but by god’s grace there is no data loss and with the help of some tutorial videos on youtube I also able to fix the same. However, I have no idea that this error can also leads to a data loss situation. Thanks for this informative article.

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