Screen goes black on or after welcome screen

By Daveskater ยท 98 replies
Apr 8, 2006
  1. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Thanks for the reply.

    Are there any red or yellow markings in device mgr?

    Let us know the result of the ram test.

    Here is memtest:

    Dont forget, you have to test only one stick of ram at a time or it wont work right.
  2. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i've downloaded memtest and i'll have to run it next time i turn my computer on, which will be tomorrow.
    i looked through all the sections of device manager and there aren't any yellow or red things.
  3. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    If all is well with your memory after you run each stick thru memtest then i have an idea that may help find the problem, so let us know right away what memtest has to say. One stick at a time, sorry, but i want to make sure you remember, lol.
  4. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i have memtest running at the moment, and i think it's going ok. it's on the first stick and says 0 under errors, but we'll wait and see. it'sdone 5 "Pass" things so far, and it's been running for just over an hour. i had a bit of a wake-up call today when i tried to tun my pc on and it reset itself loads of times. i'm not sure how many times it did it, because i wasn't in the room, but when i went back, i ended up sending 17 error reports. it could be a couple more though because i don't think they all brought up the microsoft website. they mostly said that they have no idea what the problem is, but some of them said that it was because i don't have the latest video driver, even though i do. i've tried what it said to do on there before as well and it doesn't make any difference, installed the new driver and lowered the acceleration (like it says) but it did no good.
    i'm going to let memtest test my ram, i just hope that it doesn't take all day!
    oh, and also (if any reads this soon) does memtest just get to the end of it's process on its own or do i have to stop it?
  5. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    are you doing memtest in dos mode (boot up the pc with memtest) or inside windows? are you testing 1 stick at a time?

    sorry.. i kinda lost track of whats happening on this thread...
  6. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i burned the iso file onto a cd and i've booted from it, i'm using another computer to do this. yeah, i've taken one of the sticks out (i only have 2) so i'll put the other one in when it finishes with this one.
  7. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    I usually wait til its done anywhere from 6 to 10 passes. If there arent any errors then the ram is likely ok.
  8. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    ok, i expect it's done 10 by now so i'll stop it and do the other stick.
  9. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i've now run memtest on both ram sticks, and it didn't find any problems. after i exited memtest i forgot to turn the pc off and put the oter ram stick back in, so i tried starting it up with just one stick at a time, but it reset both times. i then took out a sound card that i'm not using and disconnected a usb 2.0 thing that i also don't use, but forgot to plug the cd input thing back into the motherboard for the built in sounds card (had a bit of a forgetful day really :p) it started ok, and sent an error report, but when i typed another web address in, it reset as soon as i pressed enter. so i turned the pc off and plugged the cd input back in. it started alright again, but reset as i was screwing the other side of my case back on. i don't know if it could have been anything to do with me leaning on the case so that i could see the back, but i don't know. i did have the usb 2 thing plugged back in again too but now i've unplugged it again and everything seems quite good. if it keeps going ok then i'll put the side of the case back on again.
    oh, and after sending 2 error reports since i've had the pc on this time, both of them are insisting that it's a video driver problem. i don't know if it's a conflict or wat, but i've already done what microsoft have told me to do.
    i'm just going round in circles really, i suppose :p
  10. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    just an update:
    i now don't think that the usb thing had anything to do with it, because my pc started resetting again when i turned it on this morning.
    i thought that the usb thing could have contributed because it's a usb 2 device but it only runs at usb 1.1 speed because my mobo is too old for usb 2.
    oh well, i suppose you can basically ignore the last post apart from the bit where i said that i ran memtest and they came up ok. i still have the usb and the sound card disconnected though.
    oh, and also if you want a picture of my psu (to see whet make it is etc...) i now have one that i can put up.

    zone alarm was doing a virus scan yesterday and it found one virus. the pc's starting up better now, and it's working quite well so maybe that could have had something to do with it.
  11. Puddy905

    Puddy905 TS Rookie

    Sorry to bud in....but I am having the exact same problem. I was fine until I had too much spyware and I decided to reformat and reinstall everything. At first I thought it was the same thing...a hardware problem, then USB problem, etc. I tried everything you did, unplugged all USB devices, PCI add ons, added cooling, replaced my HD, actually replaced my vid card, and made sure the proper drivers were loaded. But the problem seems to come after the install when it does the huge windows update( I installed XP SP2 from disk). I noticed last time that it got progressively worse everytime I rebooted, and eventually I couldn't get in at all, and the few times before that when I could log in, it would randomly shut down for no reason. When watching the post screen, it always looked like it was freezing when loading the agp (vid) I figured that was it. The only thing I can think of that's left is updating the firmware on my MB, and making sure the proper agp drivers are loaded for the MB. If anyone else is having this problem and knows a solution, it would be greatly appreciated! thanks
  12. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Puddy905, heres my thinking on this matter. Its fine to post as you did but if you start from the very beginning of this matter you will see its now 4 pages long and another person came on like you and i have to ask you to read what i said to him. Basically its like this. Its hard enough trying to help daveskater with his issues and i am not smart enough to read thru 4 pages and sort out 2 or 3 peoples issues, lol. So its best to start your own thread, again, i suggest you read the answer i wrote to the other person, just so you know why. Im not trying to be bossy or anything like that. Its just that we need so much info and its hard to keep track of more than one person on one thread, especially 4 pages worth!
    However, you can read along and see what else we come up with here, see if it helps you, and, again, start your own thread would help you out faster.
    Hope you understand i am not being rude here.
  13. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Daveskater, i am wondering. I am thinking it might be your power supply. I do have concerns that virus\malware or trojans of some sort may have messed up files\registry or whatever else that is causing this problem. But it could also be your power supply.
    Can you borrow another one from someone to put in your pc to see if thats the problem? If you have a generic type power supply that came with your case that may be what is causing your problems, they get older and run out of steam, so to speak, and cant do the job that they could when new.

    What is the make and model of your present power supply (ps)?
    Do you have a multimeter? If so we could test the rails, or i could show you how to test the various voltage lines (called rails).

    If you are able to get another ps in your pc and the problem exists then it might be that you will have to pull all hardware not totally needed to run your pc and start from there, failing which a repair install of your os, failing that a whole new install. If you had to go that far then i would suggest you also do a "zero write" on your hard drive, a program that puts your hard drive in the same condition as when it left the factory, minus the wear and tear on it.
    I know we talked about possible overheating. Did we actually rule that out as your problem? If not then take the side off your case and put a table fan set to blow on your pc and run your pc and see if that stops the re-setting. If it does then its a heat issue.
    Also, and this thread is so long its hard to remember, even though i just read the last 4 pages over again, does your bios have a setting where if your cpu temp gets to a certain point, it shuts the pc down. There is a difference between re-setting and shutting down so i dont see this as your exact problem, just curious if your bios has such a setting, i believe my current bios does have that setting.
  14. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i do have a photo of my psu which i can put up when i get home.
    i think the make is ADT but i'm not sure what the model is. hopefully you can see it on the photo though. i don't have a multimeter but i might be able to borrow one from a friend that builds pc's.

    over the weekend the pc reset a couple of times on startup but then i sent microsoft an error report and it told me that it was a problem with the on-board audio controller driver.

    i don't think it has a setting like that, because a while ago when i downloaded Hard Drive Inspector, it told me that it was getting to 57 degrees and it didn't reset. i have since bought some fans speciffically to go on the bottom of the hard drive, and it keeps it much cooler. it rarely goes above 40 degrees.

    i might be able to borrow a psu from one of our other pc's, but i'll see what you make of this post and the photo first.
    like i said, i shall have to put the photo up when i get home, which will be in around 5 hours or so.
  15. Zolrath

    Zolrath TS Rookie

    I've been reading the whole four pages now, and I must say I agree with nork. Seeing all things you've already tried, I would also assume you have a PSU problem. My suggestion is to unplug everything you can, and just boot with the bare necessities. So disconnect for instance floppies, extra fans, extra HDDs, DVD-ROMs etc., and give that a try. I once had a very similar problem, and it turned out to be a single faulty molex contact causing it all.

    You could also try running your computer without a network cable in, just to lock out any potential network card problems. Things like these are really frustrating, so I hope you'll get it solved :)

    Edit: Typo
  16. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Yes, it seems we are getting down to the power supply, which wouldnt surprise me a bit. As generic power supplies age their lack of capability increases.
    I have googled ADT and i think you want to look around a bit better, you might even have to take the ps out of the case to get the make and model. I dont think ADT is a make, more of a specification.
    Look here:

    You really do need to get your unit down to basics and swap out that power supply as i think its a good possibility that you need a better one. But we need to find out one way or another.
    And if you get your pc down to the basics and its working ok then there might be a culprit among your add-ons, although i am leaning toward the ps as the culprit.
    Also, i have lists of good and bad power supplies and i dont see ADT listed at all, so thats another reason i dont think that ADT is a brand name, but i certainly could be wrong as every day another new name pops up, lol.
  17. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    I know i am getting ahead of myself, but here are lists of good and bad power supplies:

    troubleshoot power supply with multimeter:

    atx format:

    Also, you can google info on how to test your own power supply with a multimeter that you can pick up for about $10 US. If you go to there is a very good tutorial there with pics. You can use screen capture to make a copy of it. You have to register but its free, a great site, and they dont bug you.
  18. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    ok, well i'll try taking stuff out later, because i have to go out soon.
    i tried unplugging my other hard drive once but it wouldn't start past the bios.

    but ok, i'll try unplugging stuff and see how it goes.

    oh, and i know i said i'd post this yesterday but i've got the picture of my psu
    it was too big to attach it here so here's a thumbnail with a link:
  19. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i don't know if it would be relevant or not, but i just remembered that our electricity bill has been going up and we can't work out why.
    could it be related to having a bad psu?

    just a thought :)
  20. Procrastinator

    Procrastinator TS Rookie

    This has been working for me

    I had the same problem, albeit on an older system: screen would often go black a few seconds after the colored desktop appeared, requiring reset. Rebooting often got the system into Windows, after which everything ran fine - could play games etc. I've organized this post into two parts:

    i. Approach
    ii. Execution

    I am running BFG 6600 OC 256 MB on
    Windows 98 SE
    P3 933 Mhz Dell w/ 384 RDRAM
    Brand New (for card) 360W PSU from PC Power & Cooling

    i. Approach: The randomness of success suggested to me that my system was experiencing some difficulty communicating with the card right at the cusp of Windows - i.e. the card and system were trying to figure out what to do with each other re: resources. Sometimes they reached agreement, sometimes there was confusion and then failure. I had tried (short of a reinstall) pretty much everything in this thread (thanks for all the suggestions). The fact that my PSU is brand new from a reputable manufacturer and that the card/games worked flawlessly once I got into Windows made me believe power was not an issue (I have about 60W leeway over the 300W requirement of the card)

    My goal was to make all settings at Windows start-up as "easy" as possible for the card - i.e. so system and card would not have to "think" as much.

    ii. Execution - I had played around during previous troubleshooting with different drivers and found one or two to be more stable (successful) than others - I worked with these drivers (not the latest).

    Made Windows startup as light as possible - again, my goal was to help Windows in every way to negotiate a clean interaction with my Card - I uninstalled all antivirus and firewall (and anything that appears in program tray) - you can add them back slowly later.

    The requirements for my card are 128MB RAM. I found in my BIOS that my AGP Aperture was 64 MB. I set AGP Aperture to 256MB. This may have had the most impact on improvement and has nothing to do with my "Approach" (call it a lucky accident that I discovered it) but I did notice that AGP Aperture change alone did not improve successful boot rate.

    I run my desktop at 1280 x 1024 x 32. I looked up the optimal refresh for my monitor (75Mhz). I MANUALLY set this refresh in the Display Properties. I also changed my Display Driver to a GENERIC one (not one that says the name of your monitor model) that is specific to this setting. I found a Standard Super VGA 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Mhz driver. This way (at least the way I see it) system and card know exactly what's what right way.


    I've noticed a vast improvement in successful boots (majority) - as you can see at a 256MB AGP Aperture it's allocating the majority of my available RAM - so I think that's still a remaining issue. You can do a search on AGP Aperture and find different info, but half of system RAM seems to be recommended. Intuitively, it makes sense that you provide at least as much as the RAM requirement of your card (originally I did not).

    As I mentioned earlier - you can try to slowly add back programs and default settings and see if there is a negative effect. I've tried reverting back to my monitor's manufacturer's driver, but it doesn't seem to work as well as the specific standard/generic driver for resolution and refresh.

    I have been able to add back firewall and antivirus to startup - but to be on the safe side, have changed to just waiting and opening them manually after I get safely into Windows.

    Good luck.
  21. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    cool, thanks for the tips.
    just as an update for anyone that looks at this thread: i haven't had much trouble lately, i did have a spot where my pc reset when i opened a certain program but that sorted itself out. if anything comes up then i'll let you know straight away but at the moment everything seems pretty much ok.
  22. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Daveskater, you really should replace that power supply. You can get one new or used cheap. The one you have is only 150 watts.
    The hydro thing, i really dont think so as pc power supplies dont draw that much, especially yours, even if left on 24/7. So i think its some other cause for your comsumption. Actually, i learned that an older fridge that needs defrosting can be a major cause, you know, like an old beer fridge or a second fridge, even a bar type fridge.
  23. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    we have an old fridge outside so that may be it.
    yeah i'll replace the power supply when i get paid, which is unfortunately in 3 weeks because i only just started work.
    i didn't know it was 150 watts, what do you think i should get instead, about 300 or less than that? i don't really know.
  24. nork

    nork TS Maniac Posts: 306

    Bingo on the outdoor fridge, especially if you live in the south (long live the south!)
    As for the power supply, this thread is now 4 pages and i dont know your system
    It depends, if you just want one to work now and not carry you into the future, then look around your town for a used ps around 300 watts is more than enuf for a standard system. You wouldnt believe me if i told you what i have on my system, but its a good enermax, but only 350 watts. So you can even get a used one since your system will get by, sort of, with a 150 watt system as it is then a half decent 300 watt will do you.
    Normally i dont believe in buying a used power supply but when you are replacing a 150 watter then why not.

    Anyway, i already posted some info and lists of good and bad power supplies, its only a few posts back, lol. Have a look there and maybe you can get a decent used Antec or Enermax, or Fortron, like that.
    Or, you can go to and pull up a list which will have some good and bad, you can make the list under $40 and go from there.

    So yo dont have to go look for the other post:

    Here are lists of good and bad power supplies:

    atx format:

    Example of good but low-priced power supply. Look for the Fortons, Antecs, Enermax. If this url fails, all i did was go to, then go to power supplies, then ask for the list of power supplies from $25 to $50:

    There are some poor ones there so best to ask us if you are going to buy one from there. Url is working, just did it.

    From a pc mag:

    "Three little words, but loaded with such destructive potential. Faulty power supplies are by far and away the most common source of computer mortality. In our reader survey, power issues accounted for over 30% of all dead or badly performing PC tales, and after working in a computer store for a few years I'm surprised it wasn't actually higher. We saw system after system come into the store for service with the immortal words "it just won't turn on" or "smoke came out of the back... Will it be ok?"

    Most Common Pc Problems:

    26% PSU and power issues
    23% Bad gear and user negligence
    13% Heatsink related
    15% Assembly and moving
    10% Lightning strike and static
    3% Computer cruelty
    6% USB related
    2% Overclocking
  25. Daveskater

    Daveskater Banned Topic Starter Posts: 1,687

    i just had a quick look on ebay for enermax and i found this: a link

    i'll have another look around later for some other ones but that just struck me really because it was cheap and i'm not exactly rich at the moment :)

    but yeah let me know if it looks any good
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