Black screen in XP and now during repair install

By mortod · 9 replies
Aug 19, 2009
  1. I've been trying to resolve an xp black screen problem - the monitor goes blank (ie not video signal putting it into power save mode), normally during bootup, but sometimes after logging on.

    I found that booting into safe mode was always OK.

    I tried booting with VGA (F8 at reboot) to rule out the video driver, but that gave the same problem.

    Using another disk with a clean install of XP (though without the graphics card driver) was also OK.

    I tried removing & replacing memory and video cards, and have checked all connectors.

    As a last resort I have tried doing a repair install of XP, but it black screens consistantly at the same point (about 2/3 of the way through the Installing Devices section - with 34 minutes to go).

    Now of course I can't complete the repair install, and am no longer able to boot up in safe mode?

    1. How can I exit the repair install and/or resolve the black screen issue which might then enable the repair install to complete?

    I did also think about running the FIXMBR command (mentioned in a Microsoft bulletin), but it warns me that I have a non standard or invalid mbr. In any case the black screen happens well into the boot sequence so I doubt that is the issue. And I'm using RAID0.

    BTW, the problems started after a system restore after resolving an issue with the system registry file.

    Any help appreciated....
  2. kayawish24

    kayawish24 TS Rookie

    checxk your ram
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    One thing sure... it is not your Windows...
    You may be up for a long delay as you check things...
    Can you run at all in SAFE MODE?
  4. mortod

    mortod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I ran a memory check and removed one ram DIMM to be sure.
    When I try to get into safe mode it detects that a repair install has been running, and forces me to return to it.

    Is it not possible to modify boot.ini to stop the repair install setup from running, so I can then tackle the black screen issue?
  5. mortod

    mortod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    MAde some progress - Googling around I found a suggestion that reducing the memory to 256Mb enables the stuck install to progress. Having a spair 500Mb I reduced memory to that, and sure enough, despite lots of screen flickering at the 34min point, the install did complete.

    But I still get black screen on normal reboot, though I can boot in safe mode.

    So the question remains - how to resolve the black screen issue?

    Using msconfig I tried selecting the /basevideo option but I still get black screen when rebooting.

    My hunch is that it is video driver related - can I just diable the radeon drivers in device manager, or will that completely disable my display?
  6. mortod

    mortod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, with great difficulty (could not remove the old drivers) I managed to upgrade the ATI radeon drivers, but I still get a black screen. Have disabled them again and am now using the default microsft ones which works OK. Guess the only option now is to change the graphics card.
  7. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Which model of graphics card do you have, BTW? When removing graphics drivers, you should do so through Add and Remove Programs not Device Manager. Also, when installing new drivers, for best results uninstall the old ones first. If you haven't already done so, try this and see if it solves your problem.

    Also, you didn't mention what version of Catalyst driver you are using. 9.8 is the most current unless you have an old card. Full CCC or driver only?
  8. mortod

    mortod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    So I discovered - I found that to remove them I had to disable in device manager, and then remove in Add/Remove progs.

    Not using CCC, just the drivers. Not sure of the version just now, but tried both the most recent one from AMD (with a 2009 date stamp), and a 2006 one from Dell's website.

    Also, using the spare disk I had with a fresh install of XP, installing the drivers there gave exactly the same problem, which makes me think that it is a hardware issue - either a faulty card or some other problem on the motherboard or connectors. I have of course tried re-seating and dusting the card.
  9. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Can you borrow another graphics card from somewhere to test your system?
  10. mortod

    mortod TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Not of the right type. I'm tempted to buy another one as they are only about £30. Thinking about it, I am pretty sure that the problems have been caused by overheating (one of the ventilation ports was choked with dust, and the fans have been running more noisily).

    Any recommendation as to a good card with DVI (for PCI-x16)? On another PC I have a Nvidia geforce, but it seems nvidia chips are generally only availble in 3rd party cards??
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