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Black Screen with Cursor (Tried most solutions) RRS feed

  • Question

  • To save your time and mine, I’ve tried all options in “press f8” and “recovery disk”. Over the past 3 days, I read almost all threads, videos, articles, and official MS help containing any mention of this problem. I also applied many commands, created few “SystemRescue CDs” and “Kaspersky Rescue 10” on a usb drive. I follow instructions very well, and have never been stumped by a windows problem like this before. If someone solves this, you are a wizard!

    Nothing has worked so far, but I really want to figure this out and not ‘reinstall’. It appears to be a simple and popular problem: “Right after Win 7 boot Logo, I get black screen with white mouse cursor, no matter if I boot in safe mode, last good configuration, or normal startup”, but all the solutions that worked for most people are not working for me.

    TL;DR: (answers to any of the 7 questions in the end will help me out)

    Custom System: Win 7 64 bit (updated consistently), 4gb ram, Quad Core 2.66, 64GB SSD (Crucial M4) and 4 hard other drives. Only windows installations/updates have been installed onto the SSD, no other programs. Only 1 OS has ever been installed on this computer. Never dual booted.

    Mobo: Asus Maximus Formula. GPU: AMD HD7870LE

    2014-04-19

    I haven’t installed or downloaded any programs in the past 3 weeks, and did not notice anything unusual up until this incident.

    In the morning the computer went into hibernation because I was away, it couldn’t wake up (usually happens), so I turned off the power supply. Turned it back on, and computer resumed, I was concerned as it may have run out of hard drive space on my 64GB SSD (4GB free), but it booted fine.

    Later during the day, I decided to restart the computer, and as it booted up again, it went into “start up repair”. I let it run and restart, and it arrived at the dreaded Black screen with mouse cursor, of death, right before logon screen.

    Symptoms while on this black screen.

    -          Ctrl alt del doesn’t work, power off doesn’t work, cursor can move, pressing ‘shift’ many times doesn’t bring up the ‘sticky key’. No task manager.

    -          Hard drive is not loading anything, just idle.

    -          Computer falls asleep after 15 minutes or so, and can wake up back to this black screen, so it remembers my power settings

    -          Safe mode loads the drivers fine, but also gets stuck on the same ‘black screen with cursor’ forever

    -          I tried every option in the ‘advanced boot’, including ‘safe with command prompt, safe with networking, last known configuration, etc’

    -          Last known configuration, and all of the above, all boots to ‘black screen with cursor’, this means windows believed it booted fine the last time, so it remembered this configuration. That’s because all the drivers loaded without issue. While loading Safe Mode, I can see windows loading all the drivers ok.

    -          No restore or backups (I know, I do not deserve to live, lesson learned)

    -          I tried all applicable functions from the ‘recovery cd command prompt’, bcdedit, bootrec, diskpart, and still couldn’t get it to boot.

    Commands applied in Elevated Command Prompt from Installation DVD: (very careful with backups and overwriting)

    Diskpart -> list volume, tells me that 100mb is system reserved, the other 59GB has no label, and is a different partition

    Bootrec -> scanos, tells me that I have 0 windows installations, used fixboot, /fixmbr, /rebuildmbr, all successful. Mounting the drive later on RescueDisk’s TestDisk shows no problems with either partition.

    BCDedit: shows both boot manager and winloader to be on the same drive, and I referenced it with a typical BCDedit enum output, and nothing is out of place.

    I went into Regedit by typing “regedit” in command prompt in Win7 recovery cd, and confimed that ‘Shell=explorer.exe’ under:

    HKEY_local machine/software/microsoft/WindowsNT/Currentversion/winlogon.

    Sfc /scannow couldn’t run due to “Pending repairs/restart”

    So I used: SFC.EXE /scannow /offbootdir=c:\  /offwindir=c:\windows

    Which ran and repaired some errors the first time. I ran it more just to make sure, with restarts in between, it gave me Win resource protection did not find any integrity violations.

    So the system files appears to be fine and not corrupted.

    Bootrec /scanos does not detect any windows installations. “0 Windows installations identified”, yet “Diskpart -> Detail Disk” and bcdedit both detects the windows directory.

    From windows recovery disk:

    Startup Repair diagnosis: (Show Details)

    All tests completed successfully

    Boot status indicates that the OS booted successfully

    It seems that the system and the OS boots successfully, and windows believes it boots successfully (that’s why last know good configuration gives me the black screen also, and Win Startup Diagnosis all says it booted successfully”

    It’s the second before it enters into the logon screen, the black screen and movable cursor appears, and hangs here forever. What programs load during this step, and how can I find out this info? Is there a diagnosis tool that allows me to see the programs as they load during windows start up?

    Other attempts:

    Then I read it could be windows using “winresume.exe” instead of winloader.exe, since I have “hiberfil.sys” in C:\windows, so I backed it up and deleted it using SystemRescue.

    Another thread said “winevt” bad logs, in C:\windows\system32\winevt were causing this black screen, so I backed it up and deleted that also, and it still won’t boot.

    I plugged in the devices that were attached (just 1 ext hard drive, through a 10 port usb hub) that was connected while it went into hibernation on April 19th, and it didn’t help.

    The files on that disk and the file system is not corrupt; I tested it by taking it out and docking it on a usb Blax Duet, and my laptop did a scan disc, and it’s fine. The Sfc Scan also shows that it is ok.

    I also unplugged all the other sata drives, switched the SSD sata cable around to other sata ports to no prevail.

    So far I know:

    1.        Very unlikely that it’s a virus problem, I haven’t installed or downloaded anything this month, scans from Kaspersky 10 rescue disk shows nothing, Farbar scan shows nothing. I also never install anything suspicious, like toolbars or junk. I scan regularily.
    2.        Not a driver problem, since I haven’t changed or updated anything. I unplugged all devices, and starting in 640x480 mode also gives the black screen with cursor. Drivers all loaded fine while starting windows and safe mode
    3.        Boot files are intact, windows system files are in the right place since windows actually boots into a shell? Both bootloader and boot manager show up in bcdedit enum scans
    4.        Not due to system file corruption, since file integrity are confirmed ok by above CMD commands, and windows diagnostic tool, and testdisk.

    My questions:

    1.        What could be the cause of this? I didn’t make any changes to BIOS, windows settings, perform any updates, suspicious activities, installations, or crashes, before this. The files on that disk and the file system are not corrupt either, I tested it by taking it out and docking it on a usb Blax Duet, and my laptop did a scan disc, and it’s fine.
    2.        Which program (classpnp.sys? explorer.exe? winlogon.exe?) is being loaded right before “windows logon screen” that would cause it to hang with a black background and cursor?
    3.        How can I find out this information? Is there a tool that can record all programs that are being loaded by windows at boot?
    4.        I only have access to regedit, elevated command prompt, and I can change files through SystemRescue or Kaspersky recue, how can I get the computer to boot past that black screen with a mouse cursor? The answer seems so close.
    5.        From the Rescue Disks, what could I really do to get past the black screen?
    6.        Those who are computer technicians could tell me: If I take it to a computer shop or technician, what could they do in a situation like this aside from all of the above? Do they have some ‘next level’ access tools or are they just going to waste my time and tell me I have to reinstall?
    7.        At the very worst, I will obviously reintall. On my 64gb SSD, I didn’t install any important softwares. All my important software installations are on a separate drive. However, will they still work if I did a ‘Inplace Upgrade’ install of windows? Does registry get wiped?


    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Have you tried to take startup repair when booting with the rescue disk?

    Startup Repair

    And we'd better bring the PC to the vendors, then take an examination of the hardware health.

    How does the Bootrec /scanos show 0 installation identified? We may take a try with chkdsk from command line to check if there are any disk errors:

    Run Check Disk from a Command Line to Check for and fix Disk Errors

    Please also take a check if the system reserved partition is stay in health:

    Understand (and Get Rid of) the Mysterious Small Partition

    Another shoot, please try to rebuild BCD:

    Use Bootrec.exe in the Windows RE to troubleshoot startup issues

    Regarding the repair install, detailed information please take a check with the article below:

    How to do a repair install to fix Windows 7

    Hope this may help

    Best regards


    Michael Shao
    TechNet Community Support


    • Edited by Michael_LS Wednesday, April 23, 2014 10:36 AM
    • Marked as answer by Karen Hu Monday, May 5, 2014 8:22 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by Michael_LS Saturday, December 27, 2014 6:37 AM
    Wednesday, April 23, 2014 6:46 AM
  • Hi all, I too have been looking all over for a solution that didn't require reinstall. My situation;

    Windows 7 Professional 64 bit 
    HP ProBook 6570b with SSD
    All went fine for about 6 months
    Then the startup time started to increase without a logical cause

    After login screen a long pause (appox 30sec) with a black screen with cursor
    I only noticed after a while, so trying a restore point was no option since I didn't know when this started

    I tried starting up in low res safe mode to no avail
    I ran Malwarebites and found nothing
    I looked in the registry and changed the startup value (userinit contained additional data to startup HP security manager) but alas

    Anyway - I did this last week and after receiving Windows updates a few minutes ago (which included a reboot) the problem is gone. Don't know if it had any to do with the above mentioned other attempts, but it might be worth mentioning

    Wednesday, May 14, 2014 3:35 PM
  • Hi,

    Have you tried to take startup repair when booting with the rescue disk?

    Startup Repair

    And we'd better bring the PC to the vendors, then take an examination of the hardware health.

    How does the Bootrec /scanos show 0 installation identified? We may take a try with chkdsk from command line to check if there are any disk errors:

    Run Check Disk from a Command Line to Check for and fix Disk Errors

    Please also take a check if the system reserved partition is stay in health:

    Understand (and Get Rid of) the Mysterious Small Partition

    Another shoot, please try to rebuild BCD:

    Use Bootrec.exe in the Windows RE to troubleshoot startup issues

    Regarding the repair install, detailed information please take a check with the article below:

    How to do a repair install to fix Windows 7

    Hope this may help

    Best regards


    Michael Shao
    TechNet Community Support


    Did you read his post at all as it does not look like it.

    As to take it to a vendor "Custom System:"" Win 7 64 bit (updated consistently), 4gb ram, Quad Core 2.66, 64GB SSD (Crucial M4) and 4 hard other drives. Only windows installations/updates have been installed onto the SSD, no other programs. Only 1 OS has ever been installed on this computer. Never dual booted."

    As to your other suggestions he has tried them all as have thousands of us out here , all you have to do is search the internet  and you see millions of hits about this.

    And glad to see a moderator can mark a non answer as an answer.

    Friday, December 26, 2014 3:28 PM
  • Sorry to bother you but did you ever find an answer as this has hit two of three machines on my network and I am still looking for a definitive answer.
    Friday, December 26, 2014 3:29 PM