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Home » Disaster Recovery, Networking, Samba

Windows 7 Black Screen After Booting

Submitted by on October 5, 2010 – 4:07 am 10 Comments

I had to power-cycle my Windows 7 64-bit laptop. The bootup sequence looked normal and reached a point where I could see the black screen with the mouse cursor. After this stage my desktop would usually appears, but not this time. I could move the mouse and I could even establish a remote desktop connection to my laptop. But I could not log in. Every time it would reach the same point – the black screen with the mouse cursor – and it would stop.

I am sure Windows 7’s “black screen of death” may be a symptom of a great many different problems. In my case I found the cause of the problem purely by chance. I decided to log into my Linux Samba server to see if I could ping the Windows 7 laptop on the network. And this is when I noticed that the Samba server was unresponsive. It was still up and it would give me the login prompts, but after entering the password nothing would happen. After I took the system to a Computer Repairs shop I found out that the problem was that the /var filesystem filled up.

Stuff like that happens from time to time. What is interesting, however, is how Windows 7 responds to a situation where it cannot connect to mapped network drives on initial user login after bootup. If the mapped network drive is set to “reconnect on startup” and the Samba server is slow to respond (high CPU load, out of disk space, or some other issue), the Windows 7 client will just sit there and wait for the second coming. This behavior is unique to Windows 7 and was not observed in XP or Vista, for example.

The workaround is simple: disconnect the network cable, turn off the Wi-Fi adapter (or access point), and power-cycle the PC. When it boots up and it cannot establish a network connection, it will not attempt to reconnect network drives. After that you can reconnect your network adapter. And then, of course, you still need to fix your Samba server. To avoid this situation in the future, you may want to disconnect and re-map your network drives without the “reconnect on startup” option.

Why does Windows 7 insist on waiting indefinitely for network drives? I have no idea. Why does Windows 7 do any of the things that it does? It may be “7”, but it’s still Windows…

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  • rouschkateer says:

    I was so hoping this would solve our issue, but it didn’t. Thanks for posting though. I hope someone can use this fix.

  • weathersbee says:

    When I experienced this problem I just hit ctrl-alt-del and entered the task manager. I then told it to run a new task and entered explorer which brought up my GUI.

    Hope this helps someone.

  • proclaimation says:

    My daughter had a laptop with Vista on it and it did the same thing. I was able to get into safe mode and look at the system restore record. Windows Update updated her video drivers which didn’t work on her laptop. I system restored it before the update and it booted fine. I selected what updates I wanted to install and selected the video file. Sure enough, it booted with a black screen. This doesn’t sound like what you encountered but, just in case you run into this again, you might want to give this a try.

  • Kobe says:

    When i installed windows 7 over windows vista it starts up fine then it show the logo and the screen goes black but i can move my mouse around but it never goes to the logon screen, whats wrong with my computer please help!!! 10 point for best answer!

  • The Beatles says:

    I recently installed a copy of windows 7 onto my usb flash drive. I started up my computer and opened up the boot menue. once i opened up the boot menue I pressed usb hard drive. now there is a black screen with a white blinking dot in the left corner. I am wondering if this is normal and how long will it do this until the installation windows start up? need help on what i am doing wrong please.

  • Salam says:

    My dad told me one night his desktop computer suddenly froze and so he forced it to shut down by holding the power button. Then when he tries to start it up again later it displayed a black screen with only the “disk boot failure, insert installation disc” message. I’ve tried many different methods to help him recover/restore the computer but none worked. I ran the diagnostic and it tells me the hard drive has a problem, I made sure the cables inside are firmly connected and still no use.
    I’m assuming the inside of the hard drive is just broken since i do hear some clicking sound whenever i start up the computer, so we’re planning to just buy a new hard drive to replace the old. But since i’ve never done this, I’m wondering if we’ll need to also buy an OS (Windows 7)? Or will it simply run by itself once we replace the hard drive?

  • ouch says:

    My Dell Latitude D620 with Windows 7 Pro starts up but the screen is blank (all black) and cannot do anything. It has a sound it’s internally working. What can I do?
    Clean/safe boot or pressing the fn key and f8 doesn’t work

  • diggn4richez says:

    Hi i have a Windows 7 Computer, whenever i turn it on, it goes to a black screen asking me to choose whether something like , Safe Mode or Safe mode with networking and stuff like that. But whenever i choose any of those, it restarts and keeps going back to the same screen!! Can some1 help?

  • brincks26 says:

    Windows 7, whenever I startup I get a black screen with the white line in the upper left corner.

    I’ve found that I can bring up the booting options and select “boot from RAID drive” Is there any way to make this default? Please halp.
    I only have one hard drive, I just have to go through and select the option that says “RAID”

  • Xbox360king says:

    I have Windows 7 Home Premium. Sometimes when I turn on my PC after Windows starts there is just a black screen and I can just move the mouse. After I restart I can choose between using Startup Repair or starting Windows, and I choose the first choise and everything goes back to normal. This gets kinda annoying, since it happens pretty often. What can I do to prevent this from happening again?

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