Black screen

dinasset

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Since a long while, very often at win xp startup (many times at the end of the startup, sometimes in the middle) i get the "famous" black screen, without any possible action to continue; if i press the small bottom on the case (restart) everything is ok.
What changes between a normal start and a simple restart to modify xp behaviour? Note that the same happens (that is: everything OK) when i ask for a restart in the shutdown procedure; so, the responsible of the black screen should be inside the full start.
 


When you start the computer and it responds only with a black screen and no beeps, this could be due to one of the following reasons; 1 being the most likely

1. Video Card is faulty, losely fitted on the slot, pins need cleaning, or the cooling fan is failing.. could also be the video card drivers

2. RAM: Faulty, losely fitted, may need cleaning the pins or the slots

3. Processor: Incorrectly seated, or may be intermittently overheating, may need refreshing the thermal grease, or checking the processor fan and cleaning the heat sink.

4. Faulty power supply: It may be failing intermittently, may be losely connected to the hard drive or motherboard.

5. Corrupted Master Boot Record: Use the XP installation CD to run the Recovery Console and type the commands: "Fixmbr" followed by "fixboot"

How to Use Windows Recovery Console from XP CD
http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Windows-Recovery-Console-from-XP-CD5. faulty power supply... failing intermittently
 

dinasset

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Many thanks for your suggestions! Unfortunately i'm not able to put my hands on my hardware, so i have either to wait upon a ...guru or survive.
Anyhow, my doubts remain on the reason why this does not happen when restarting...
Thanks again
 

Why doesn't it happen on the restart? well, maybe something preloads.. drivers possibly. The boot sector loads the drivers, so it may help repairing the MBR and Boot sector... before that try shutting down and power on the computer instead of a restart... see if it makes any difference. If it again needs a restart; repair the MBR/Boot sector. If it boots all the way, it may mean nothing preloads, and that the restart reinforces the power that gets to the hard drive. I faced a similar problem on a computer I was checking, the only difference is the screen was blue, and the problem turned out to be the power supply.

If I'm not mistaken, the different screen blak or blue may be due to Startup and Recovery settings. To get a blue screen with the error codes, go to Control Panel\System\Advanced\Startup and Recovery\Settings\System Failure\ and check the boxes and on Write debugging information select: "Small memory dump (64kb)" and on Dump file: check that it's written: %SystemRoot%\Minidump. (C:\WINDOWS\Minidump\Minidump.dmp) Click on the links to learn how to create and open a Minidump file.. you can create a minidump file with the Dr. Watson application click on the link to learn how. To read the minidump.dmp file, download and install the Debugging Tools for Windows XP, restart the computer and after a black or blue screen (if you get it to change to blue it may show the error codes), or logon and from the start menu open the Debugging Tools for Windows > WinDbg and From the File Menu, click on Open Crash Dump… and find the Minidump.dmp file and open it to read the error codes.

How to configure Windows to create MiniDump files on BSOD
http://blog.nirsoft.net/2010/07/27/how-to-configure-windows-to-create-minidump-files-on-bsod/

How do I Create a Crash / Mini Dump manually for Windows based systems using Dr. Watson?
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/how-do-i-create-crash-mini-dump-manually-windows-based-systems-using-dr-watson

How to use Dumpchk.exe to check a Memory Dump file
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/hardware/gg463009.aspx

Download and Install Debugging Tools for Windows XP
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Programming/Debuggers-Decompilers-Dissasemblers/Debugging-Tools.shtml
 

dinasset

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Thanks Chicano, done shutdown and new start (instead of restarting) and system is running (that's not yet a confirm of equivalent behavior because the black screen does not appear always, so i have to repeat the sequence). About the blue screen, i have already the setting you mention and - in addition - autorestart which never happens and also i do not have minidumps under c/windows; probably my black screen is not a system error bu as you said previously some loose conncetion.Thanks again
 
OK, so my guess is that the problem may be caused by 1) Video Card or 2) Power Supply 3) hard drive. If the problem only occurrs when the computer is cold (which is what I understand from your test results), my guess is that the problem may be caused by 1) Video Card or 2) Power Supply 3) hard drive.

If the problem only occurrs when the computer is cold, which is what I understand from your test results:

1) What type of video card are you using? If it’s installed, you could switch to the integrated video chip, and see if any difference. If it’s integrated, you could try with a PCI/PCIe video card… you can find some used VCs for very cheap prices. I keep one of those for such cases.
http://3btech.net/sp8425pciexv.html
http://www.pricewatch.com/video_cards/

If you already have a PCI/PCIe card installed, switch to the onboard video chip in the Control Panel\Display, and next shutdown the computer, switch the cable connector, start the computer and enter the BIOS and switch the setting to the onboard VC. If no restarts are necessary after a few days, the video card was the cause… check it’s firmly seated in the slot, clean the pins and slot or replace the card. And if there is no difference move on to other hardware as the likely cause.

2) The shutdown and new restart test may mean the PSU is not providing full power. I experienced a similar problem with an old computer… the PSU apparently didn’t produce enough power to spin-up the Hard Drive fast enough on the first startup.. I replace the Power Supply and problem solved.

3) Another time the hard drive didn’t spin-up all the way on the first startup… it needed more time.. it also had glitches during normal operation, sometimes it made a single barely heard click, and the screen sort of twitched. it was the Hard Drive. I’ve found a good application to read the Hard Drive condition… it’s Hard Drive Sentinel, it reports power on times in days and estimated remaining lifetime in days. It also reports performance and health in percentages, and a temperature and S.M.A.R.T. reports

On the Minidumps, do a file search for minidump or for ".dmp" files because minidumps can also be located in the All users profile.

You can also look in the Event Viewer in case it has registered the problem. Right click on the My Computer icon, and select Manage\Event Viewer.. see if any events were registered at the exact time of a black screen.
 

dinasset

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Thanks Chicano.
Read the events, nothing significant in there.
HardDriveSentinel says my disk drives status is excellent.
Video Card is integrated.
As you says, i should replace/buy either a video card or the PSU.
I consider my thread closed, thank you.
 

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