Yet another black screen with blinking dash problem during installation, hangs on "Completing Installation"


  • First of all hello,

    My specs are the following:


    Mobo: Gigabyte x48-DS4 Latest Bios updated

    CPU: Q9450

    HDD: I have multiple drives but they are all disconnected but the Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD (150GB)

    Sound: Onboard only(even that is disabled in BIOS), external card disconnected and out of the mobo

    Video: Nvidia 9800GX2(both outlets are DVI, no VGA)

    CD/DVD: Only SATA CD/DVD drive/recorder connected(to install Windows obviously).

    Memory: 8Gb A-data 800

    Keyboard/mouse: USB Keyboard Logitech, USB OCZ Behemoth Mouse

    Note: All overcloking has been defused and everything is operating on STOCK voltages and frequencies!


    I have looked through other threads and NONE of the usual methods worked.

    1. tried turning all USB ports off except for the keyboard(I have no choice)

    2. Tried taking out the memory and leaving one stick.

    3.Tried 64/32 bit versions

    4. Setting SATA to IDE in BIOS and etc

    5. Trying settings on PCI/PEG/PEG2 for my video card

    6. Tested the quality of the installation disk, checks out OK

    7. Tried disconnecting the USB keyboard as soon as the installation starts.

    8. Disabled Floppy and other junk like network cards in BIOS.

    9. Tried using different hard drives.

    10. Used Acronis to wipe test hard drives completely before install

    11. Tied Shift + F10


    During the installation everything goes fine until system is at the last task in “Completing Installation” phase and does a re-boot, upon the re-boot it goes back to the same installation screen and while progressing the screen blinks once or twice and then I gets a black screen with a blinking dash in the top left corner. HD activity is non-existent, left it for hours there blinking away with the dash and nothing. Upon manual restart, windows logo shows up and either freeze up indefinitely or just restarts and starts doing that in the loop.


    I noticed that some people had similar problems in VISTA, but no one had a concrete answer or a fix.

    I have never installed Vista and are not planning on it, been using every other major OS and they work just fine.


    So is there anything other than what was tried above that I can do?


    This seems like a huge overlook on Microsoft’s part sense there is thousands of people with similar problems as me and for a basically re-worked Vista it works like ____ (well actually not at all). My hardware is not exactly ancient and should be moderately common during the testing period that Microsoft had. I am very disappointed to say the least.


    Please advise on what to do.


    Thanks in advance!

    Tuesday, February 09, 2010 9:21 PM

All replies

  • Hello,

    Run Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if it can point out any incompatibilities on the computer:

    Remove all unnecessary devices like network card from computer and then perform the clean install once again.


    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 6:21 AM
  • Nothing incompatible, I ran it on XP before attempting Win 7 Ultimate. Everything not essential was already "deleted" from the box during installation attempts.


    I did however figure-out a way ( will explain below) to get past that black blinking dash screen during installation of the windows 7, but in the long run system still does not run 100% and no matter what drivers I use it shows video card as Code 43 and upon restart after updating drivers will once again get stuck on either windows logo or just a black screen (no blinking dash).

    I DO know there is absolutely nothing wrong with my video card, it works fine in XP + Linux, I ran memory tests on it and it checks-out just fine. I tried using 6-7 different drivers basically about 1.5 years worth of drivers that are available from Nvidia, even tried Vista 64 drivers still the same garbage code 43 and I have to disable the video controllers in safe mode before windows will start normally.


    Does anyone know how exactly windows determines that there is something wrong with my device? Where can I get a log of the errors it encounters during the load up and configuration of my video cards during boot up? I absolutely 99.9% sure there is nothing wrong with my video card, games, rendering, encoding, anything related to video card is working just flawlessly under XP, there is just something software specific that is causing this, I am almost certain. Please share ideas. I would like to see if it can be manually disabled.


    Ok here is the step to help those with the dreaded blinking dash/minus/underscore during 2nd phase (after first reboot) of "Completing Installation".

    As soon as it asks to reboot computer during the initial "Completing Installation" phase, remove windows installation CD/flash drive/USB stick (this is to prevent you booting into it by pressing buttons). As soon as the installation screen resumes press Shift+f10 and type "devmgmt.msc" in the CMD window, in the hardware manager in my case I had to click (right click) and disable "VGA adapter" "Graphic adapter" or something along those lines, basically anything that has something to do with your GPU/Graphics adapter/card, make sure you do this fast because otherwise if its in the process of installing the drivers for these devices it will get stuck once again. And viola your setup *should* continue past that stage where it usually turned black with the blinking dash/minus/underscore. If not then maybe you should try disabling any other uninstalled pieces of hardware and then after booting in Win7 figure out what was causing the problem, by enabling them one by one.


    So there enjoy your half working /castrated windows 7 ultimate (or whatever edition you got).


    I am very disappointed in such a letdown from Microsoft, seems very half-baked to me at this point. Might just have to wait until Windows 8 until Microsoft figures out what they need to do to rectify and make this a lot more user friendly.

    Trust me I really DO want to upgrade to this OS but I do belive that a customer should NOT have to jump through so many hoops to get piece of software working. 

    Anyone’s help will be greatly appreciated, this case in my opinion is still NOT CLOSED.


    Wednesday, February 10, 2010 10:51 PM
  • Hey i have the same problem, i have tried everything ... thought i got somewhere when i used diskpart - whereby the hard drive sounded like it was hard at work - but still the blinking underscore for hours.

    This is a clean install to factory release of the backup drive.

    HappyBallZ - i attempted to try this option of yours, but the installation screen does not resume ... simply i am still left with dell startup and straight to blinking underscore ....

    I have nothing but the dell menu F2 or F12 options, cannot F8 anything.

    Friday, February 12, 2010 1:57 AM
  • HappyBallZ,

    I will try that out this afternoon-at least that'll get me SOMEWHERE.

    Here's my situation:
    I use a home-built PC - Asrock Crossfire e-SATA Live2 MB, 8GB RAM, ATI Radeon 1650 or NVIDIA 9400GT, onboard sound&LAN, Adaptec 2940UW SCSI.
    The PC ran great with 3GB RAM and Win7x86 for months. Performed clean install of Win7x64 Ultimate-hang after 1st reboot, problem was identified as ATI graphics driver.
    Restart from install CD, chosen "repair" and "Install driver" did NOT work 'Driver install unsuccessful".
    Safe mode unavailable because install not yet finished - result always the same, BSOD upon restart.
    After I saw the thread about ATI Graphic card problems I decided to go for another graphics card-Nvidia 9400GT.
    ALmost same result - this time no Bluescreeen but hangs upon 1st start with blackscreen, cursor blinking on left side of monitor.
    Mind u, I never used the crossfire function with BOTH graphic cards - only one was installed.
    Deactivated all onboard LAN, audio etc. Most conservative settings, not overclocked. Removed all ram but one - still, blackscreen.
    I will try your solution tonight, hopefully when I get windows to start at least ONE of the graphic adapters will be booting in normal or safe mode so that I can install drivers.
    Other solution may be to ghost the Win7x64 install from another computer so that I can safe-boot a working installation and then update drivers... but I already spent about 30 hours with this issue and I'm sure not alien to IT issues.
    This totally drives me nuts, MS Support suggested that I change the mainboard...but why ? Win7x86 ran great, so it's basically not a hardware issue and only reason for upgrade to x64 is that i definitely need more RAM.
    Will keep the outcome posted.

    BTW, the SCSI Adapter was, of course, removed during installs. INstall DVD is original Microsoft...I have two since I had purchased another copy as we have 2 PC's (and 2 laptops which run Win7x86).
    Cheers, Laz
    Che Sera, Sera
    Friday, March 12, 2010 9:32 AM
  • Hi Guys,

    I removed XP OS using Partion expert and starting Windows 7 ultimate.

    Before installation completes, windows 7 asked to restart.

    But a blinking dash in the top left corner only remained too me for hours.

    But i finally got through: i tried to instlalled again and agian

    by  formatting "c" drive.

    But its terrible to me, I dont know the same works for others or not.


    Tuesday, December 14, 2010 5:59 PM
  • I just had the same problem with Vista. I installed a new Graphics Card, ATI HD5670 DDR5 512MB. It stayed on the Black Screen with a blinking dash in the top Left Conner for about 5 to 10 min. Then it just restated on its on and has been working fine. Just give it a little while and let it do its thin
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 7:22 PM