Screen goes black on or after welcome screen

By Daveskater
Apr 8, 2006
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  1. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    i suppose, but i wondered if it could be the lack of drivers.
    i ran the windows xp recovery console the other day and ran chkdsk and it fixed "one or more errors" but it didn't make much difference. i didn't know what else to do really because i thought that it would be an installation repairer type thing that i just had to select repair or something, so i just fixed the disk errors and exited it.
    if there is another windws repair then i'll try that but i don't know where it is or if there is one.
  2. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    The lack of printer drivers for a printer plugged in and turned on or off, in my opinion, will never cause this problem that you have. Unless the printer was damaged and was shorting out or something that serious, perhaps then, but not just a lack of printer drivers.
    If you eliminate the printer from your system is your pc ok or have you tried that?
    As for windows repair, have a look here and follow that: http://www.windowsnetworking.com/j_helmig/wxprcons.htm

    Personally, i havent used windows repair a whole lot. But you can go to microsoft website and find more info there as well, but i think the link above is likely enough info for you.

    Without reading your posts over, do i recall that you installed service pack 2?
    If you have other older hardware like your printer then its possible an uninstall of service pack 2 might do the trick for you. Sp2 can be uninstalled, see here: http://support.microsoft.com/KB/875350
    I really would suggest you uninstall sp2 as it might fix everything up for you. Plus you can add it back any time you want if removal doesnt work.
    Personally, with all my customers, i dont install these types of service packs until they are one to 2 yrs old as it takes that long for them to become worthy of installation, lol. Plus, again, with somewhat older hardware, sp2 can cause all kinds of problems. Sp1 caused enough already without sp2!
    I am not railing against m\soft we just have to remember that if we are dealing with older hardware we should first upgrade all the hardware drivers to the latest so these service packs will work right. Since you seem to have an older printer you may be out of luck with that and sp2. Printers are so cheap these days, is there a reason you dont get a new one? Is this printer a special, perhaps dot-matrix or some other special type that you need?
    Or is it just an old printer? Lots of old printers should work anyway, windows is pretty good with printer drivers, but you never know!
    Try out the above stuff and see how you do.
  3. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    i haven't eliminated the printer yet but i'll try it.
    it just worked better when i had it plugged in. i haven't been taking the parallel cable out, just the actual power supply.
    i tried uninstalling sp2 once and something happened. i can't remember what it was but it think it was bad.
    it's not really a special printer in any way, it's just old and i don't have the money for a new one. i could check to see if windows have any drivers, but if the manufacturer don't then they probably won't, but anything's worth a try really.
    i actually need a new printer really because it's a colour printer (well it used to be) but i only have a mono cartridge which i have been refilling for a few years, and in control panel i have to use the monochrome settings because it prints even worse with the colour ones. i think when we got it 3 pages a minute was concidered fast. the thing is i can't afford to get rid of it because then i will hve nothing unless i can work out some kind of printer sharing thing with one of our other computers (including mine we have 3). but to do that both computers have to be turned on don't they?
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    looking at the link about the recovery console, i remembered that AVG had been telling me that it couldn't read my MBR section.
    maybe writing a new one with the console will help or even fix it.
    i've got a picture of the top of the test result here:
    [​IMG]
  5. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    After re-reading your initial post i realize that i am in about a dozen posts trying to help other people and i really actually forgot part of your initial post.
    From what i read on your first post i would suspect a power supply problem. Especially if you have added a second hard drive. The problem is that power supplies in name brand pc's are usually pretty cheap, good for about a year or so before they die, they do this to keep the price low and near Dell's prices. Plus, if you add more hardware to the system over time you are taxing that cheap power supply. So that may be an issue, but the last issue we should look at.
    However, it could also be ram. Now that is easy to test. Using google you can get yourself a free copy of "memtest". Its run from a floppy. This program is one of the best for testing ram. Only thing is that you can only have one stick of ram in your pc at a time, so take out all except one stick and test each stick separately. That is the second thing we should be doing.
    Finally, and first on the list. I see by your last post you have an "mbr" issue.
    From win xp, go to start\all programs\accessories\command prompt and click on command prompt. Type this in and press enter. Type exactly as i have it, including the space!
    mbr /f

    That should fix your mbr (master boot record). The mbr can get messed up in many ways, trojan, malware, spyware, virus, improper system shutdown, power surge, a short, etc, etc. Also, before you go to command prompt and do the mbr /f command, turn off all software you dont need to use, like your antivirus, firewall, malware programs, etc, etc. Turn everything off that you can and then do the mbr /f command.

    Please let me know how you are doing after you do the mbr /f command.
    And, of course, re-run your avg software again.
  6. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    As for the printer, i would unhook it from the pc at the power supply and the parallel cable as well.
    Have you checked device mgr for any signs of a red or yellow mark there?
    If not, please check and let us know if you find any such markings there.
  7. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    just some information for the long post: i have 2 sticks of ram totalling 320mb, if i remember right a 300w psu, and my pc was made by a friend's dad - don't worry it's his job :)
    i never thought of the psu being a problem before - hopefully i can get a new one for not too much. i can't remember the brand of my current one but it's something like amr, i know it begins with a anyway.
    hopefully there shouldn't be a problem with the ram because it's been fine before.
    i'll have to wait until i get home though because i'm at college at the moment, but i'll do what you said when i get back.
  8. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    As for the ram, it wouldnt be 320 mb even though thats what you might read. Its actually a 256 mb stick and a 128 mb stick of ram but you likely have onboard video that takes up 64 mb of that ram, leaving 320 mb of ram for the system. It wont fix your current problems, but if you want you can go into your bios and find the setting for ram-video and you can change it to 32mb instead of 64 mb and give your system another 32mb to work with.
    Its not necessary, but i usually do that change for my customers as most dont need any more than 32mb for video. You see lots of pci add-on video cards that are only 32mb or less and they work fine. The only time it makes a difference is with heavy ram-intensive games and even then the difference between 32 and 64 mb isnt much anyway. But again, it doesnt fix our problem.
    Now the power supply, thats a different story. One rail (one certain wire or sets of wires) can be below specs and cause all sorts of problems. I didnt think of it as it doesnt often cause the problems you have, but it certainly can be a result of the power supply. If its the power supply that came with the case and if its a standard, say $40 to $60 case, then you can bet the power supply is on the cheap side. I buy my cases without power supply and buy my power supply separately, or if it has a power supply i take it out and put in a good one. I feel its not worth the risk as the power supply is as important as the motherboard, its the engine that makes the car (pc) run!
    See here: http://www.pcguide.com/ref/power/sup/index-c.html
    And for the ram, certainly ram could cause the problems you have, so i would do the things in the order i mentioned.
    Back to the power supply, perhaps you could borrow one from somebody. You can even just unhook your present power supply from the mobo and have the other power supply sitting on the side of the pc case. Just make sure you plug everything into the other power supply and you can do it just like that to test another power supply.
    Oh, and the power supply testers that you can buy for $10 to $15 at the pc stores, forget them, they dont do the job at all. The only way is to try another power supply or test the rails (power lines) one at a time with a digital or analog meter. If you have such a meter i can email you instructions for how to test your current power supply. Its not really hard at all. However, i find it easier to just use another power supply, but i have them sitting around at my place, lol. Finally, you need to know there are many different power supplies out there. You need, likely, an atx power supply. but there are different versions there too. If you have an intel cpu then you need a P4 power supply with the extra 4 pin (2 yellow and 2 black wires). And you likely need a power supply with 20 pins or 20 wires on the main power connector as opposed to the newer version that has 24 pins. You can use a 24 pin on a 20 pin connector if there are no capacitors in the way, but its best to get a 20 pin if thats what your mobo takes. Hope i havent confused you.
  9. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    One other thing. Some power supply mfgrs cheat on their ratings. You see ratings like 480, even 680 watts of power and they are flat-out lies. A good power supply may have only a 300 or 350 watt rating and be ten times better than the liars who quote 680 watts!
    You can google a list of good quality power supplies by name brand and a list of those to stay away from as well! I will get it for you.
  10. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    list of some good and some bad power supplies:
    http://club.cdfreaks.com/showthread.php?t=142753

    Another list is on one of the 2 below
    http://forum.pcmech.com/showthread.php?t=98650
    http://forum.pcmech.com/showthread.php?t=131195

    troubleshoot power supply with multimeter:
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-5566528.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=tr#

    atx format:
    http://www.formfactors.org/

    Dont forget that you have a "mbr" issue that you need to fix first of all.
    that is the most important thing to do. I should have waited on the power supply info until you fixed the mbr but its done now and may be of help to others who read this, lol.
  11. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    my ram is a 256 and a 128, i got the 256 with the pc but then got given some old pc parts and i only had one more sd-ram slot so i put a 128 in there, which was the biggest one i had. i think i said 320mb didn't i, when i right click on my computer and go on properties it says 384, and when i startup the first thing to come up is some video card information and it says 64 mb. i can't remember where it was that i saw 320 then but it's probably what i'm running off anyway.
    my motherboard box says "form factor: fullatx" on the side and i have an amd athlon processor. i'd have a faster processor but apparently my board is too old - the sticker on the side of the box says:
    K7S5A
    Chipset: SiS735
    the guy that built my pc says that it's too old for a better processor and i think that i have the fastest processor that it can take according to the book.
    i'm about to write a new mbr in a minute, if it doesn't just do it after i type it in then i'll be back here again :D
     
  12. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    So we have the ram straight, lol.
    As for the power supply, full atx is the standard atx. You dont even have to have a power supply with the 4 pin 12 volt (2 black and 2 yellow wires) on it because that is only for Pentium 4 and amd (athlon) dont require the extra 4 pin 12 volt connector.
    So just a standard atx power supply is what you might need, we arent anywhere near certain of that at this point as the mbr is the first thing to do.
    So let us know how you do with the mbr fix.
    You or i could go to pchips website and see what cpu's your mobo takes, just look for K7S5A as that is the model number.
    The only thing is that you have to look on your mobo for the version number. Many mobos have different versions and yours has quite a few, see here:
    http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWeb/Support/CPU_Support.aspx?MenuID=48&LanID=9
    Under motherboard, click on socket 462, it will refresh. Then under socket 462, under that is a select button and it will bring up all the versions of your mobo, all you have to do is select the correct model, which is K7S5A, and then the correct version, click on that and a list will come up and it will tell you the max mhz cpu you can use on your mobo.
    I have seen quite a few of those mobos, i like them.
    Some people have it in for Pc Chips and Pc Chips owns ECS, but not me. ECS is a bit of a cut above Pc Chips standard mobos anyway. Not that any of this part matters.
  13. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    i wrote the new mbr yesterday and exited the console, but it got to the welcome screen again and reset. i would be getting BSoD's but it's set to restart automatically on system failure apparently. i unset it to see if i got them and i had the blue screen but i pressed the reset button on the case and it changed it back again.
    anyway, this morning it reset a couple of times and i was going to put it into safe mode because it usually restarts ok from that but i noticed that it got further to starting up each time so i left it and in the end it reset 3 times in total before starting properly.
    i am a bit unsure of the psu being a problem because it was fine for a bit, but now i have extra fans on the drive as well so it probably could do with a bit more oomph :D

    oh yeah, i ran an avg scan to see if the mbr was ok and it still said that there was an error. i don't know, but this could be because it reset loads of times yesterday after i wrote it again. and i don't mean once or twice, i let it do it a few times (about 4 or 5) before turning it off for a few minutes, but then it reset a load more times before getting eventually, very slowly.
  14. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    Sorry, but i have to make sure you did the mbr fix thru start\all programs\accessories? Even if so can i suggest your do it again?
    AVG has been know to cause issues itself and it would be easy to uninstall AVG and then re-install it. The reason for this is because some virus\malware\ or trojans can come along and mess us settings associated with AVG, leaving pc owner with issues. Worth a try.

    As for the power supply, I would be heavily leaning toward trying out another power supply to see if yours is bad. Sorry, but your thought about the power supply in your last post would be wrong. Power supplies can still be running and SEEMINGLY be ok when they are not. For one thing, each rail must provide a certain amount of voltage and one or two rails may be failing to do their job and yet the power supply will turn on and boot the pc. So you either have to test each rail (voltage line) or simply try another power supply. See the links i gave you about voltage and rails.

    However, that mbr issue is usually a serious issue, so it would need to be straightened out anyway, new power supply or not.
    So, again, uninstall and re-install AVG and then run the mbr command again. Matter of fact, uninstall AVG, run the mbr command, then re-install AVG. Just stay off the net until you have re-installed AVG and make sure your network cable to the pc is disconnected until AVG is re-installed. So run the mbr command, then download new copy of AVG, uninstall current AVG, unhook network cable, run mbr command, install new AVG, hook up network cable and then update your AVG.

    Have you done the memtest on your ram yet? I think you should do that as well. Dont forget, only test one stick of ram at a time. And you only need to let memtest run for about an hour for each stick of ram and then see how many error messages memtest shows you.
    Don't mean to be telling you what to do, but i am trying to help get rid of your problems and this is what i would do if it were me, lol. We kinda have to be methodical and patient and re-check our work as we go. I see you do have patience, lol.
  15. Wyn

    Wyn Newcomer, in training

    sorry if im not supposed to post it here but im having a similar problem my comp loads and the beep goes then the screen goes black(no video input is what the screen says) and the orange light on my cd drive stays orange just after the screen goes out and the reset button doesnt work and no cd drives will open and i end up having to hard boot 5+ times befor the computer will start properly the black screen happens at many diff times and with each boot it gets closer to starting properly ( it only started happening after we had a power out so im not sure if that is the cause of this problem hopefully someone can shead some light on this ) it loads fine in safe mode also
    im on windows xp sp2, 512mb ram, NVIDIA GeForce4 MX Integrated GPU,
    amd athlon 1.3ghz
  16. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    Although people do it, its best to post your own thread, especially when the thread is already huge like this one. It only confuses people. Im only telling you so you will get better and more answers to your own problem. So if i could talk you into starting your own, i will go there and try and help you.
    Your issues are actually likely different enough anyway.
    Getting to your issue, i am sorry to have to tell you that brown-outs (low or no power) are even worse than power surges (too much extra power). In truth the electrical systems out there were never made with the needs of computers, which needs are above everday items around the house.
    That is why brown-outs and surges are known to kill motherboards, hard drives, video cards, power supplies, etc. I live in an area of my city with known poor power. Nobody told me so i lost mobos, hard drives, etc, until i installed a UPS (uninterruptible power suppy). In these 5 yrs i have lost absolutely NOTHING.
    And a power supply could still be bad and still power up your pc!
    I reckon you have been nailed bad and i hope you are wrong, but i will try and help you, just start your own thread. For one thing, you need to list all your system specs, what add-ons you may have, etc.
    For instance, do you have a video card or is it built in video? If its a separate card i would suggest you try another video card. But since i dont know all the specs on your pc, this is only an educated guess at best. And try another monitor as well, actually i would do that first of all, then the vid card if you have a vid card.
    I suspect something got fried, so when you get your system going again, please buy yourself a UPS. You dont have to get the best, even the cheapest will work. I need a whole page to explain why but trust me, a cheap one will do.
    Getting back to your immediate issues, do everyone a favor and post your own thread. We can help you better that way. And would you have any warranties on your pc or some or all of its parts. Certain hard drives have a 3 yr warranty, others only a year.
  17. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    i opened the command prompt yesterday and typed in fixmbr but it didn't recognise it. i typed in help to see what other commands i could put in but i couldn't really see any that would help me. should i just try writing it again booting from the cd? oh yah, i've also uninstalled avg and downloaded the latest version.
  18. N3051M

    N3051M Newcomer, in training Posts: 2,800

    isnt fixmbr a recovery console command?
     
  19. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    N3051M, you are right, i gave the wrong instructions. I was trying to think of an easy way , turns out to be harder, lol.

    To fix the mbr, and it must be fixed before anything else is done, you can use the recovery console or do it using a win98 boot disk.

    From this trusty website:
    http://www.ntfs.com/mbr-damaged.htm

    You will find this:

    The simplest way to repair or re-create MBR is to run Microsoft's standard utility called FDISK with a parameter /MBR, like

    A:\> FDISK.EXE /MBR

    FDISK is a standard utility included in MS-DOS, Windows 95, 98, ME.

    If you have Windows NT / 2000 / XP, you can boot from startup floppy disks or CD-ROM, choose repair option during setup, and run Recovery Console. When you are logged on, you can run FIXMBR command to fix MBR.

    I just use a win98 boot disk, even in win xp. Set bios to boot from floppy and use win 98 boot disk. Use the same fdisk command.
  20. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    What i should have said originally was to boot up using a windows 98 boot disk and typed "fdisk /mbr" , without the quotes.

    That is the correct procedure, although you can also do it using the win xp recovery console. I only use the win 98 boot floppy because that is what i have done for years, just temporarily forgot the right command, lol.
  21. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    i've finally just gotten round to writing the MBR again.
    i did it once but then the pc reset a couple of times, so i decided to do it again.
    it started fine this time and i've reinstalled avg and started a scan and it's read the MBR section as ok :D
    hopefully this'll be the end of the problem but if anything comes up or if it gets up to it's old tricks again, i'll let you know! :grinthumb
  22. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    So you have now repaired your master boot record (mbr), which is where some of the worst virus and trojans are placed.

    And your system is up and running fine?

    In addition to running AVG can i suggest you go to trend-micro and run their free scan. They catch more than AVG or any other a\virus prog will catch as a\virus are very poor in finding trojans, which is likely what you had in your mbr! Trend-micro will install a small prog that wont hurt your pc and it will do a complete scan and get rid of any trojans you may still have on your pc.
    I have done well over 100 scans on many different pcs and never a problem.
    And do let us know how you end up.
  23. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    ok, well when this scan finishes then i'll use that.
    i've used it before but i don't think it found anything.
    although it was a long time ago...
    oh yeah, and because it only take about 20 mins i was going to do a spyware scan with spybot after as well, just to see.
  24. nork

    nork TechSpot Maniac Posts: 631

    Good idea for you to run any good type of a\virus or malware\trojan prog.
    Let us know the results. Glad your pc is running better now.
    Those darn trojans can really mess up a pc and most a\virus cant catch them or fix them!
  25. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 2,031

    avg didn't find anything and the trend micro housecall found and removed a couple of spyware things, but no trojans.
    when i start my pc though it seems to be resetting the first time and being ok the second time. i haven't got any other problems apart from a bit of slowness but it's just windows media player and firefox. probably all the extensions and plugins i have!
    the housecall scan found oe thing that it couldn't get rid of but i think it was some spyware, i can't remember the name because it was just a few random letters and stuff, but ended with 69. there were also a couple of vairants with the same name but ending with (i think) 70 and 71. i did a scan with spybot as well which found one spyware and i removed that too.
    lots of scans with stuff removed, but i'll do a full scan with ad-aware later.
    oh yeah, avg is saying that the mbr is ok, and i keep meaning to get the memtest software but i just need to remember! hopefully i'll remember when i get home.
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