black screen on boot-up

By MartyL ·
I get a black (not blank - black) screen with NO mouse pointer, cursor or characters after the POST portion of boot-up displays the usual HDD detection and so forth. Sometimes I see the XP splash. F8 gets the usual boot choices, but choosing any of them gets a black screen - sometimes picking safe mode results in a few screenloads of the usual pre-safe mode display and then the black screen again.

Additionally - the system stays "up" as long as necessary to reinstall. I reinstalled once by using the built-in (?) HP PC Recovery option, but got the black screen shortly after establishing internet connectivity.

I also reinstalled with a MS XP CD to ANOTHER HARD DRIVE and the same thing happened - black screen shortly after finishing the install.

This is an HP Pavilion A705W with no user modifications - 1GB RAM, 75GB HDD (more or less)and minimal dust in the case. I even pulled the cpu cooler and re-pasted it (looked dry) just in case.

So - any ideas?

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Have you run video diagnostics?

by robo_dev In reply to black screen on boot-up

I assume you tried another monitor?

Have you tried an alternate video card?

When the screen is black, is the machine locked up? (do the numlock/capslock controls respond?)

Collapse -

video dx

by MartyL In reply to Have you run video diagno ...

Video seems ok as long as I'm installing Windows. The system doesn't stay "up" long enough to do any diagnostics. And I did try another monitor - no change. I have not tried another video adapter - the one in use is on the board.

I really don't think the video adapter is the issue here, but I'll try that, just in case. (Whatever works, works.) Meanwhile, please review my original post.

Thanks for your reply.

Collapse -

Don't forget that the resolution changes when Windows loads

by robo_dev In reply to video dx

The setup screens are going to be a very non-demanding 640x480 x 8 colors, but when any GUI gets launched, it will goto a higher resolution, with a different scan frequency, different video memory being used, etc.

Also, be sure to default the BIOS ROM to factory defaults, in case something odd is set in BIOS.

When it goes black, does the monitor power light stay green, or go amber/off?

If the video signal is getting dropped, then the monitor lite should go amber. If the PC is sending a black screen to the monitor, then the monitor lite would stay green.

As a sanity check, boot a CD-based Linux distro...if it runs Linux like a champ, then it is a Windows issue. But to me, it sounds like hardware.

Collapse -

resolution changes

by MartyL In reply to Don't forget that the res ...

Resolution - great idea. I hadn't thought of that, but it's obvious now. I already reset the bios and that didn't seem to have any effect.

I'm really hoping for a hardware-based answer - otherwise I'll have to put tape on all my mirrors (so I don't accidentally fall through).

Seems to me, something must have failed with age (and/or neglect) as there was no similar behavior at all until a few days ago.

Collapse -

And, I assume, you tried different monitor, cable, etc.

by robo_dev In reply to resolution changes

Never assume anything, just test everything.

Collapse -

Well as you can install Windows

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to black screen on boot-up

You can use the Ultimate Boot CD which is available free here


Download the ISO and burn to CD then treat it as the Windows Install Disc and test the HDD, CPU, RAM, Video and so on.

Also if this has a NVidia Video Chip Set on the M'Board that could have failed depending on which one it is.


Related Discussions

Related Forums