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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
3. Wake up the Display
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.
Then follow these steps:
Once system boots into the Safe Mode successfully, apply these fixes:
a. Reinstall Display Driver
Download the drivers from the PC, Laptop, or motherboard manufacturers support page.
b. Disable Dedicated Graphics Card
c. Disable Fast Boot
d. Create a New User Account
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
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.
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.
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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