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blank screen on reboot after windows xp sp3 install

Last Modified: 2013-12-27
I have attempted several times to install Windows Service Pack 3 on my Windows XP Professional system (with all current SP2 updates). The installation proceeds normally, however, on restart the system hangs on a blank screen.

I have read many of the related postings, but none have mentioned hanging at this point.

I am able to start-up in safe mode; when I do, I can run some applications as expected. When, however, I then do a restart in normal mode I once again hang on a blank screen.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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Top Expert 2015

You have to install HCL video driver or at least remove all extra video drivers in safe mode.


gheist, could you expand on the HCL video driver, i.e., from where do I obtain this driver? My monitor is a Sony Trinitron 19" from Dell - currentlythe driver indicated is nv4_disp.


try to removing the VGA driver while you are in safe mode.
Distinguished Expert 2019

There are some Graphics cards and driver versions that do not work well under XP SP3.  What the prior suggests is to try and see whether there are newer/updated versions of the drivers.


Thanks to all that have offered suggestions.

I had/have already updated ALL my dirvers, particularly those for the monitor (Dell P1130 Sony Trinitron) and the video card (nVidia Quadro2 Pro).

No change.
Top Expert 2015

What did you mean by blank screen - black screen with text cursor/screen switched off/black screen with mouse cursor/desktop w/o icons ???

Try resetting BIOS to defaults - maybe it tries external video first...



on start-up, after the "... select operating system" screen and after the Windows XP screen with scrolling progress bar, screen goes to blank slate grey

on normal start-up, it would then progress the user login screen

instead it just hangs there... no mouse pointer... does not respond to ctrl-alt-deletes or any other control combination... I need to do a hard (i.e., power off) shutdown
Top Expert 2015

You have to go to (networked) safe mode and uninstall all display drivers by uninstalling and removing them from device manager.
After you are done with them in "networked safe mode" install whatever driver it gives.



The system will not let me remove the display driver - states it is needed to reboot the system.
Top Expert 2015

You have to remove. On reboot (S)VGA driver will kick in


Perhaps I did not state clearly enough, but when I attempt to remove the driver, I receive a message that the driver may not be removed because it is needed to reboot. It does not give an option of continuing and removing the driver.
Is there a method other than using the the Device Manager?

Antoher question that comes to mind, even if I am finally able to remove the device driver and then the system reboots using the default (S)VGA driver - am I then stuck with nto being able to have the proper device driver? I know for certain I do have the correct driver for the nVidia Quadro2 Pro (both from Dell and nVidia).

Is there an option that would display the steps being taken during booting or that would log those steps to a file - so taht one can determine exactly at what point the boot is failing?

Top Expert 2015

Latest driver from nVidia will be able to work with host memory based cards on SP3
I have never seen dialogue you are refering to.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=745 -> this will remove your driver for reinstallation

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Top Expert 2015

Request close then.

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