Repair Windows 7 Black Screen of Death

Edited by Michael J., Robbi, Lynn, Eng and 34 others

BSOD, the infamous Windows error abbreviation, does not exclusively stand for "Blue Screen of Death". A slew of Windows 7 users have experienced having a "dead" PC with only a mouse cursor to interact with and a black screen to boot. In an allusion to the original BSOD, which was a label the Windows community gave to the blue error display that pops up after a system crash, the issue was named the "black screen of death."

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There are different variations of the "black screen of death" depending on what caused the problem. Some BSOD instances could still allow the users to summon the Windows task manager and perform functions. However, more severe cases left the users with just a dead black screen and a movable mouse cursor.

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What are the possible causes of Black Screen of Death?

What are the possible causes of Black Screen of Death 11457.jpg

The Black Screen of Death may be attributed to a variety of causes. Each of them is discussed in this section. Recalling the activities or events that had occurred prior to the emergence of BSOD could be essential in diagnosing the problem and in helping identify the ideal solution.

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  1. 1
    Windows security update
    .
    One of the first major culprits for the black screen issue as discussed in the Windows community is a certain Windows 7 security update. Several Windows 7 users apparently stumbled upon the problem after installing, knowingly or unknowingly, the security updates code-named Update KB2607712, Update KB976098 and Update KB915597. While Microsoft has rebutted this claim, a slew of Windows users still claimed that uninstalling the said updates restored their Windows system back to normal. If you had installed Windows updates prior to the BSOD episode, there is a high probability that this could be the cause of the BSOD issue.
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  2. 2
    Malware
    .
    Several Trojan viruses such as those which belong to the "Daonol" family are believed to be capable of producing "black screen of death" symptoms. If you had not made regular virus scans on your Windows PC prior to the BSOD episode, or worse, if you haven't had antivirus software installed on your system, then it is likely that a malware has triggered this ordeal.
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  3. 3
    Corrupted graphics card driver
    .
    Because the problem involves abnormalities in the system's display, it would be logical to consider an issue involving your computer's graphics card. The video adapter's drivers might have been corrupted or might need some updating.
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What are the possible solutions for the black screen of death?

Because there are many possible causes and different variations of the "black screen of death", there are also a lot of possible solutions. The solutions list provided in this section follows a pattern of ascending degree. This means the list starts off with the most basic solution and gradually advances to the more complex ones. It is recommended that you perform the solutions in their order of arrangement. Start with the first one and only proceed to the next if it doesn't work.

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  1. 1
    Boot your PC with the "Last Known Good Configuration" option
    .
    This quick little option can be accessed by following these simple steps:
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    1. Press and hold down the "F8" button as you boot up your PC and before the Windows logo is displayed. This will bring you to the Advanced Boot Options, wherein a list of options on booting up your Windows 7 system is provided.
      Repair Windows 7 Black Screen of Death 94401.jpg
    2. Locate the "Last Known Good Configuration" option and select it by pressing the Enter key. Your PC should now start booting Windows. Wait and see if it works.
    3. Don't forget to cross your fingers.
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  2. 2
    Reinstall graphics card driver
    .
    This solution is only applicable if you can still access the Task Manager of your Windows 7 computer.  
    1. Press and hold down the following keys: Ctrl + Alt + Delete, to access the Task Manager.
    2. Go to the Processes tab and find "explorer.exe".
    3. Right-click on the selected process and select "End Process".
    4. Create a New Task by clicking "File" and "New Task" (Run).
    5. Type in "explorer.exe" in the text box and click "OK". The Windows taskbar should now be visible.
    6. Click the "Start" button and search for Device Manager by typing "device manager" in the Windows search box. Click the search result.
    7. Locate the "display adapter" option and double-click it. This should show your device. Right-click on the device name and then click "Update Driver Software".
      Repair Windows 7 Black Screen of Death 62456.jpg
    8. Follow the instructions in the update driver wizard.
    9. Don't forget to cross your fingers.
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  3. 3
    Uninstall Windows security update
    .
    This solution is only applicable if you can still access the Task Manager of your Windows 7 computer.  
    1. Press and hold down the following keys: Ctrl + Alt + Delete, to access the Task Manager.
    2. Go to the Processes tab and find "explorer.exe".
    3. Right-click on the selected process and select "End Process".
    4. Create a New Task by clicking "File" and "New Task" (Run).
    5. Type in "explorer.exe" in the text box and click "OK". The Windows taskbar should now be visible.
    6. Click the "Start" button and search for Programs and Features by typing "programs and features" in the Windows search box. Click the first search result.
    7. Locate the "View Installed Updates" option on the upper-left portion of the ensuing window and click it. A list of installed updates will be displayed.
    8. Locate the updates under the "Windows" category.
    9. Observe the name of the updates and the dates they were installed. If there are updates with the code name KB2607712, KB976098 and KB915597 and they were installed immediately prior to the occurrence of the "black screen of death", uninstall them by right-clicking on the update name and clicking "uninstall".
    10. Restart your computer. And don't forget to cross your fingers.
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  4. 4
    Check Windows registry
    .
    This solution is only applicable if you can still access the Task Manager of your Windows 7 computer.  
    1. Press and hold down the following keys: Ctrl + Alt + Delete, to access the Task Manager.
    2. Go to the Processes tab and find "explorer.exe".
    3. Right-click on the selected process and select "End Process".
    4. Create a New Task by clicking File and New Task (Run).
    5. Type in "explorer.exe" in the text box and click OK. The Windows taskbar should now be visible.
    6. Click the Start button and type in "regedit" in the Windows search box. Click the first search result.
    7. Navigate to this particular registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon
    8. Click the WinLogon key. On the right pane of the window, find the "Shell" option and click it. The value of the Data column should be explorer.exe. If it isn't, change the value by double-clicking Shell and typing "explorer.exe" in the Value data input field. Once the change is made, click OK.
    9. Exit the registry editor and restart your PC.
    10. Cross your fingers.
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  5. 5
    Uninstall Windows security update via Windows "safe mode"
    .
    If you can't access the Task Manager, you can boot your Windows PC into Safe Mode and uninstall Windows security updates from there. To do so, follow the steps below:  
    1. Press the "F8" button on your keyboard upon booting up your PC. This will bypass the normal boot process and leads you to the advanced boot options instead. Note: There is a small window of opportunity for this process to work so you may want to press the button repeatedly to ensure that you won't miss that opportunity.
    2. Click the "Safe Mode" option once you are in the Advanced Boot Options screen. The system will now load the files necessary to boot into Safe Mode. Wait until the login screen appears.
    3. Log on to your computer. If you have many user accounts on that computer, make sure that the account you logged on with has administrator rights.
    4. Click the Start button and search for Programs and Features by typing "programs and features" in the Windows search box. Click the first search result.
    5. Locate the "View Installed Updates" option on the upper-left portion of the ensuing window and click it. A list of installed updates will be displayed
    6. Locate the updates under the "Windows" category.
    7. Observe the name of the updates and the dates they were installed. If there are updates with the code name KB2607712, KB976098 and KB915597 and they were installed immediately prior to the occurrence of the "black screen of death", uninstall them by right-clicking on the update name and clicking "uninstall".
    8. Restart your computer into the normal Windows mode (not Safe Mode). And don't forget to cross your fingers.
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  6. 6
    Scan and remove Malware
    .
    If you can't access the Task Manager in the normal Windows mode and if the previous step didn't solve the problem, you should consider scanning your PC for malware through the "Safe Mode with Networking" advanced boot option. The steps to doing this are detailed below.  
    1. Press the "F8" button on your keyboard upon booting up your PC. This will bypass the normal boot process and lead you to the advanced boot options instead. Note: There is a small window of opportunity for this process to work so you may want to press the button repeatedly to ensure that you won't miss that opportunity.
    2. Click the "Safe Mode with Networking" option once you are in the Advanced Boot Options screen. This will allow you to have internet connectivity while on Windows Safe Mode.
    3. Log on to your computer. If you have many user accounts on that computer, make sure that the account you logged on with has administrator rights.
    4. Open your web browser and download and install the free [[1]] version of Malwarebytes Anit-Malware software.
    5. Upon successful installation, open the Malwarebytes software and perform a Full Scan of your PC. This may take considerable time depending on the size and speed of your hard disk drives. Wait for the scan to complete and be patient.
    6. After the scan has completed, view the scan results and let Malwarebytes remove infected files if there are any.
    7. Restart your PC and cross your fingers.
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  7. 7
    Perform a System Restore via Safe Mode
    .
    Windows provides a feature for restoring your system to a restore point. You can access this feature via Safe Mode to restore your PC to a previous state by performing the following steps:  
    1. Press the "F8" button on your keyboard upon booting up your PC. This will bypass the normal boot process and leads you to the advanced boot options instead. Note: There is a small window of opportunity for this process to work so you may want to press the button repeatedly to ensure that you won't miss that opportunity.
    2. Click the "Safe Mode" option once you are in the Advanced Boot Options screen. The system will now load the files necessary to boot into Safe Mode. Wait until the login screen appears.
    3. Log on to your computer. If you have many user accounts on that computer, make sure that the account you logged on with has administrator rights.
    4. Click the "Start" button and search for System Restore by typing "system restore" in the Windows search box. Click the first search result.
    5. Choose the restore point you want your PC to revert to. The restore points come with a corresponding date they were created. Choose the most recent date when your PC worked as expected. Click "Next" and then click "Finish".
    6. Restart your computer into the normal Windows mode (not Safe Mode). And don't forget to cross your fingers.
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  8. 8
    Perform a System Restore via System Recovery Options
    .
    If for some reason you also can't access the Windows Safe Mode, you can perform the System Restore via the System Recovery Options. Here are the steps:  
    1. Press the "F8" button on your keyboard upon booting up your PC. This will bypass the normal boot process and lead you to the advanced boot options instead. Note: There is a small window of opportunity for this process to work so you may want to press the button repeatedly to ensure that you won't miss that opportunity.
    2. Click the "Repair your computer" option in the Advanced Boot Options screen.
    3. Choose the keyboard layout applicable to you.
    4. Enter your user account credentials.
    5. Choose "System Restore" in the System Recovery Options window.
    6. Choose the restore point you want your PC to revert to. The restore points come with a corresponding date they were created. Choose the most recent date when your PC worked as expected. Click "Next" and then click "Finish".
    7. Restart your computer into the normal Windows mode (not Safe Mode). And don't forget to cross your fingers.
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Questions and Answers

How can I fix a BSOD when it's caused by a program, a game?

It usually happens when I get into the game, which is League Of Legends, I don't know how we can fix it, help me please.

BSOD due to a game usually happens if your System or Video card is not totally supported by the game or if your computer doesn't reach the minimum requirements to play the game. So please make sure that you have reached the minimum system requirements for the game. In some instances, BSOD could be avoided by tweaking the game itself, by setting the graphic quality of the game to lowest possible quality and by doing minor adjustments to the Graphic card settings.

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Can you help me log into my PC. I've worked on this for 3 straight days?

When I log into my Windows 7 operating system, there is an error 0xc0000022. When I log in, there is a black screen with only the mouse pointer. Can you help me?

  1. 1
    Log in.
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  2. 2
    Press "Ctrl" + "Shift" + "Esc" to open Task Manager.
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  3. 3
    Click the "Application" tab.
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  4. 4
    Click "New Task..."
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  5. 5
    Browse to "\Windows" and right-click "explorer.exe".
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  6. 6
    Select "Properties".
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  7. 7
    Click "Security".
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  8. 8
    Check "Allow" for "Full Control" for administrators, power users, and "SYSTEM".
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  9. 9
    Click "Apply" and "OK".
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  10. 10
    You can log off and log in now (or reboot your computer).
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  11. 11
    If that did not help, then insert the bootable Windows 7 distributive DVD into your optical disk drive.
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  12. 12
    Reboot your computer, enter the BIOS (the key combination to enter BIOS is individual for each system), and configure it to the disk priority set to your optical disk drive.
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  13. 13
    Now, boot up from the Windows 7 DVD.
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  14. 14
    Select your language.
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  15. 15
    Click "Repair your computer".
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  16. 16
    If you see "System Recovery Options", then select the keyboard, select "Use recovery tools...", and click "Next".
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  17. 17
    Select "Command Prompt".
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  18. 18
    In the Command Prompt, type
    sfc /scannow
    
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  19. 19
    You can also run it (where "c" is the drive with Windows) as
    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\Windows
    
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  20. 20
    Then, type "exit" and skip booting up from your Windows 7 DVD
    .
    See if it helps you.
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Windows

Recent edits by: RW, tech gyaan, Patsup2

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