[SOLVED] Windows 10 black screen on boot - booting from USB doesn't help

Jan 8, 2019
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Hey everyone

I've been losing my mind over the last four days trying to solve a big problem with my laptop. The TL;DR is: if I try to boot normally, I see a screen saying "Preparing Automatic Repair", followed by a blank screen; booting from USB just skips the "Preparing" screen, going directly to the blank screen; booting with the Lenovo OneKey Recovery program takes me to a screen saying "Loading Files", and then the blank screen.

The model I own is a Lenovo IdeaPad Z400 Touch. 64 bits, 3rd generation Intel i7, integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, dedicated GeForce GT 635M, 8 GB DDR3 memory (I'm not sure if this will be of use, but oh well).

The full story of what happened is I was using my computer last friday, and nothing seemed off. If I remember well, I had only Firefox open with two tabs while I was playing a game (League of Legends, if it matters). I was in voice chat with a friend (this will be relevant). Mid-game, the screen suddenly froze for I'd say less than 10 seconds, but I could still hear the sound effects and I was still talking with my friend normally (he could hear me, I could hear him, there was no lag or sound breaking), so on the audio part it's like nothing ever happened. The screen went back to normal after those seconds and I continued playing.
A few minutes later, it froze again, and again audio-side everything was fine. This time, however, it lasted longer, let's say minutes. Since it was taking a while to go back to normal, I decided to forcefully shut down the PC by pressing the power button. In hindsight, that wasn't such a good decision.

When trying to boot again, I was showed the Lenovo logo and those spinning white dots, as usual, but then saw a "Preparing Automatic Repair" text towards the bottom of the screen. After some time, the screen turned black. Not black as in turned-off (because there was still brightness coming off of the screen), but blank. There was absolutely nothing on screen: no mouse, no blinking underscore, nada.

Following that, I tried to restart many times through pressing the power button during boot, as to reach the advanced startup options and try to restore from there, but the boot process never skipped or went past the "Preparing" screen.

I tried to launchthe integrated OneKey Recovery System (by putting it as first place in the boot priority through the BIOS), and instead of the "Preparing" screen, there was a "Loading Files" screen with a progress bar. But after that, fully black screen again.

After that failed, I created a Windows 10 installation USB drive using Microsoft's Media Creation Tool on a second laptop, inserted the drive into the fauly one, and powered it on (and changed the boot priority to put the USB on top). After the Lonovo logo and spinning dots, it went straight to the black screen. Nothing else changed. USB boot was enabled, by the way.

Nothing was ever changed hardware-wise ever since this laptop was bought.

After all this saga, I googled my problem and tried a few random suggested things. I couldn't find anyone in the same exact situation as I though.

From the top of my head, I've tried:
- Removing the battery, holding the power button for 1 minutes, then putting the battery back on and trying to boot;
- Conecting the laptop to a second screen, through both VGA and HDMI ports (individually, I didn't try both at the same)
- A recovery software by Tenorshare called Fix Genius/Boot Genius, which created another USB drive. However, it wouldn't be listed on BIOS so I couldn't tell the computer to boot from it.

I actually can't remember everything I've tried so far, sorry.

Right now, I'm on the process of trying to reach the CMOS battery so I can remove it for some time and then see if something changes (another suggestion I found), but it is SO damn hard to do so, I have to remove the whole motherboard.

Do any of you have any insight as to what I could do to save my computer?

Update: I wasn't able to reach it. Didn't have a screwdriver fitting for the last two screws.

As I said, there hasn't been any hardware changes. Other than that, the only changes I'm aware of would be Windows' automatic updates. I know there has been a video driver update very recently, because of a simple detail: there's a known bug for this laptop model, where the video brightness plummets down to the minimum upon trying to change the brightness, and stays unchangeable no matter how you try to increase it. This happens because Windows updates the video driver to one that is not fully compatible, and is solvable by installing an older driver, acquirable directly from Lenovo's website. Around New Year, I had accidentally changed the video brightness, so I had to reinstall the correct video driver. When trying to solve this Black Screen issue, I again unintentionally pressed the function key (on the keyboard) to change brightness, and again it went to minimum.

Is it likely that some hardware got messed up? Everything is quite old


 
Jan 8, 2019
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I've managed to revive the HDD by connecting it to another computer and running Disk Checker a few times, then reinserting it into the original computer and reinstalling Windows via USB. Took a loooong while, but worked out in the end.

Now, one thing I've noticed during the disk check, is that there were some unreadable file segments (not many, 5 or so). So I guess I can expect to face more problems if I continue using this same hdd...
 

karenjoly

Respectable
Apr 13, 2018
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Your drive is likely morte, sorry.

I would prepare for the burial. You have my deepest.

Is there another computer (shop) where the deceased may be attached as storage ( such humiliation, I know) ?

Retrieve what you can , buy a new disk and move on with your life.

Or find a silver lining here and buy a whole new machine !

Yeah ! That's the spirit.
 
Jan 8, 2019
2
0
10
1
I've managed to revive the HDD by connecting it to another computer and running Disk Checker a few times, then reinserting it into the original computer and reinstalling Windows via USB. Took a loooong while, but worked out in the end.

Now, one thing I've noticed during the disk check, is that there were some unreadable file segments (not many, 5 or so). So I guess I can expect to face more problems if I continue using this same hdd...
 

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