Blank screen on startup


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I purchased my (new) Dell Inspiron desktop about 7 months ago. The original OS (Vista) was unsatisfactory in that it would not allow me to install my Quicken accounting software, but at least it worked Ok in other respects. After upgrading to Windows 7 I found I could install Quicken but now started getting a blank screen when the computer went into sleep mode and (often) when I tried to open up of a morning. I dealt with the sleep mode problem by switching it off, but the morning blank screen problem continues.
It works like this - about 40% of the time the computer boots up normally. At other times I may have to reboot two or three times before I can get past the "Starting Windows" logo without having the screen go black. Often in these cases the small whirling disc has appeared on the screen as usual, suggesting I'm about to get my display, but the disc then disappears and I'm left with a black screen (again). Sometimes, the computer will boot up on the second or third try. Sometimes, after several unsuccessful attempts at rebooting, I've had success after switching off at the power point and allowing the computer to rest for a short time. But, because this isn't always successful, I can't be sure that this action contributed to the successful reboot. Lights on the computer tower indicate it (the computer) is operating even though the screen is black. When contacted (by phone on a number of occasions) Dell technicians have been very cooperative and spent a considerable amount of time trying to fix the problem - unsuccessfully, as it turns out each time. On the most recent occasion, Dell recommended replacement of the BIOS and reinstallation of the Windows 7 OS (which was done) - all to no avail.
Is anyone else having this problem? And, more importantly, has anyone else had the problem and fixed it?
 
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Try booting the computer up in safemode ( http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/force-windows-to-boot-into-safe-mode-without-using-the-f8-key/ ) and if it does, back up all your important data on some storage medium. Try a system restore ( http://www.technospot.net/blogs/how-to-do-a-system-restore-in-windows-vista-and-windows-7/ ) if system restore doesnt suffice you may be required to reinstall windows from the recovery partion on your hard drive or using your windows 7 recovery cd's. If the problem isnt fixed perhaps its a hardware problem. You might begin troubleshooting your computers problem by booting up a version of Linux from a LiveCd. If you can boot it up flawlessly every time, then you can make a reasonable assumption that its a problem with the Windows 7 operating system itself; in which case you should attempt to restore the system a previous or factory settings as stated in the steps above.
 
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Nibiru2012

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When you did the change to Windows 7, did you do an upgrade install or a clean install?

When you reinstalled Windows 7, was again as an upgrade or a clean install?

You flashed your BIOS then to the latest BIOS?
 
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Thanks for the two replies.
Before going too far I should let you know I'm no computer expert (ie patience needed).
Responding to your questions:
Hi linuxdudex10
1. I've been able to open up normally (albeit often only after a number of failed attempts) but have also tried opening in Safe Mode a couple of times to see if that does anything to help. It doesn't.
2. My System Restore options seem to be limited to the past two or three weeks whereas I expect I'll need to go back to the November Upgrade installation.
3. As for the Windows 7 recovery option, I don't have a W7 recovery disc & I'm mindful of the fact the computer's original OS was Vista. If it comes to that I'll get Dell's support team to assist (I'm still entitled to support) .
Hi Niburu 2012
1. Changed from Vista to Windows 7 in November last.
2. A Dell provided upgrade CD (Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium) was used.
3. The same CD was used for the recent reinstallation.
4. As for the flash BIOS upgrade, I can't recall whether this was done before or after the Windows 7 reinstallation.
 

Kalario

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A fresh install is always best, not the upgrade. I am sure Nibiru will agree with me on that.
 
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Sorry my name changed, I forgot the password on my other account. Okay first of all I don't think updating your BIOS is going change the way your operating system behaves, if something screwed up during a BIOS update you would know because your computer would be pretty messed up ( you probably wont get past the BIOS splash screen). Second I don't think the Windows 7 upgrade is your problem either. I think your best bet is to get the computer back to its factory settings ( get dell to help if you have to ) or buy Windows 7 installation cd's NOT the upgrade and perform a clean install. Personally I don't use windows, I just repair them because of my job. I will send to your inbox some other information I think may help you. By the way, Flashing your BIOS is dangerous and I do not recommend updating it on a regular basis. Updating your BIOS every year or so is a good practice because one slip up will trash your whole system board. You should really only update your BIOS if you plan on installing new hardware. However if data contained in ROM has become corrupt during a flash it will be pretty obvious.
 

Nibiru2012

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1. A BIOS update does help, not all the time, but sometimes it will help with driver issues for the motherboard and CPU.

2. A "Clean Install" is ALWAYS better than doing an upgrade install, period. There are too many issues documented online with people who did the upgrade install.

3. You can use Windows 7 upgrade DVDs to do a FULL clean install with no issues at all. Also, you can download a Windows 7 ISO image of your edition and burn it to a DVD. Your product key will work okay. Use ImgBurn, a free application, to burn the ISO to the blank DVD. Burn at no faster than 8x,

Go here to download the ISO image: https://www.w7forums.com/windows-7-iso-official-direct-download-links-t2910.html

4. Flashing the BIOS is a simple and easy, but for first timers it can be somewhat daunting. The first time I did it was as nervous as a fox in a henhouse. If you don't need it, then don't worry about it. I was just offering some possible problem areas in my earlier post.
 
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Of course BIOS can be important I'm not arguing with you there Nibiru2012. Your third step does sound like it will work, yes jeburr download the ISO and burn it then try your product key.
 
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It looks like I may have solved my blank screen problem - at least I've rebooted 6 or 7 times without having to deal with a blank screen.
In a check of Microsoft Technet forum I found a similar Blank Screen problem to my own. The Technet response caused me to check my Devices & Printers where I found the printer appeared twice. By disabling one of these printers I appear to have dealt with the problem. The Microsoft Technet response referred to follows: "Multiple video output issues, a display driver problem or a hardware issue. To resolve such a problem try the following:
1. Check for multiple video outports on the PC (eg: HDMI, DVI, VGA). It is possible that when the display driver was reinstalled during online configuration the video output may have switched to an alternate port. Make sure that only one monitor (no TV) is connected and try switching between the different ports.
2. Restart the computer with the F8 safe boot option and choose “Enable low-resolution video (640c480)”.
3. Restart and check the BIOS POST screen. If the POST logo or text is not being displayed then this indicates a hardware issue. If the BIOS POST is being displayed, this indicates a driver issue.
4. Check with Sony for the latest, Windows 7 compatible, driver for the graphics card."
 

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