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Windows 8 Booting to Black Screen

Posted on 2015-01-27
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Last Modified: 2015-02-21
I have not used my custom built computer for a few months due to moving. Before I moved it was working fine. I finally got the time to hook it up but when I turned it on, it was going very slow. The blue Windows 8 logo came up with the spinning bubbles at the bottom. I waited for about 10 min and it finally loaded the desk top background and very slowly loaded the desktop and programs. I restarted the computer and sense then the same the same thing happens but after the Windows 8 boot screen, the computer just goes to black. I am able to boot into Ubuntu, on the same computer, just fine and access the Windows 8 partition. Is there any way to fix this problem? I rather not have to reload windows :-(
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Question by:ZoeticNepenthe
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40573753
Are you loading Ubuntu from the hard drive? or from a DVD. I have seen drives fail from months of inactivity. It is also possible, if the hard drive was causing an issue, that it further corrupted the operating system.

I can leave a virtual machine for months or even a year and it will always start correctly. Time does not matter.

So I think your machine had a hardware issue.
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by:ZoeticNepenthe
ID: 40573764
Ubuntu is on the same SSD as the Windows 8 partition. Furthermore all hardware tests come back with noting wrong and I can freely access the Windows 8 partition from within Ubuntu with out any problems.
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by:McKnife
ID: 40573766
Restart it and watch the disk LED (if present) while the screen is black - is there any disk activity? Leave it on like this at least for minutes.
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by:ZoeticNepenthe
ID: 40573776
There is disk activity, a lot of it. The disk light is on non-stop the entire time.
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by:Brian B
ID: 40573931
If it was a physical disk I'd say defrag it, but since you said it is on an SSD that is not applicable.

Check under the hood and make sure all the connections are tight. Remove and reseat the memory. I would also try safe mode and see if that makes it any better. Could be a damaged or corrupt file somewhere.
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Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 40574038
Could be updates running wild. Leave it on overnight.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40574095
An SSD should be OK sitting. If the machine was Windows 8, it may be trying to upgrade to Windows 8.1 (a different operating system).
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40574139
If Windows is installed on a SSD then it should be nowhere near that slow to load.

What make and model is your SSD? Perhaps it's on its way out.
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Author Comment

by:ZoeticNepenthe
ID: 40574310
Ubuntu and Windows 8 is on the same SSD and Ubuntu runs fine. As I previously stated, it is not a hardware issue, its a software issue with Windows.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40574324
Windows does not go bad just sitting - never happened to me, ever.

So then was it Windows 8 then and now it is trying to be Windows 8.1 (different operating system). If this is the case, the upgrade may have gone bad.

You may need to try a Windows 8 Refresh (Action Center, Recovery Options).

If you have the correct Windows 8 DVD, you could also try a Windows 8 Repair Install.
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by:nobus
ID: 40574651
i would follow the suggestion about updates first -  may take some time and reboots
if still problems, backup and install afresh (will save time in the end)
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by:Nick67
ID: 40575521
I restarted the computer and sense then the same the same thing happens but after the Windows 8 boot screen, the computer just goes to black.

The black screen of death?
That is to say, a mouse pointer on a black screen and nothing else?
I have encountered those 4 times
All were a result of power failure / purposeful forced power off during a Windows Update.
I have never, nor read of anyone, successfully recovering from that.
And I don't give up easily...
Sorry, I don't have better news.
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Brian B earned 2000 total points
ID: 40575713
Thanks for getting back. Let us know how the updates go. After that, I would still try safe mode, if you are getting that far in the process, anyway.

Otherwise boot the windows setup CD and try a repair.
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by:Learnctx
ID: 40576458
Is the mouse pointer available?
Does ctrl+alt+del work?
Do you run Avast AV?

There are many applications which are triggered by a job to install updates at boot time (for whatever reason by Scheduled Task instead of the runonce registry item). If you can access the Ctrl+Alt+del prompt bring up task manager and see what is running. Terminate any non-essential processes and if they free up the desktop to load then stop that item from running on startup.

If you can't do any of the above, then boot into safemode. If you can boot into safemode this tells you that the underlying OS is fine and there is a software item or driving preventing normal operation. In safemode:

Start > Run > msconfig

You can try:

Selective Startup and prevent services/apps from loading. This should allow the base OS to load without being impacted by unnecessary services/apps.
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40623757
I suggested a Repair using the Windows DVD further back. Was that not the very same thing?
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