Alert from CNET Staff

 Attention forum users:  We want you to try out the new CNET forums platform! Click here to read the details. Thanks!

Windows Vista forum: Vista Won't Boot (Black Screen) After Bad Windows Update

by: ByronGman September 2, 2007 9:05 AM PDT

Like this

0 people like this thread

Staff pick

Vista Won't Boot (Black Screen) After Bad Windows Update

by ByronGman - 9/2/07 9:05 AM

Hello everyone!

(Please note my issue is very long. Please read the whole thing before giving me advice, but be sure to tell me if I left out any information. I know there is a lot here, but I'm not exactly sure what is or is not important to resolving my problem! Thanks in advance for your help!)

I recently purchased a laptop from a reputable local dealership. It was a custom model with the following specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo
2 GB RAM @ 800 mhz
512 NVIDIA 8600 GeForce Go
100 GB Hard drive (SATA I think) @ 7200 RPM
Windows Vista Home Premium

Whether important or not, I should note that the Processor and Memory were desktop components. (There is a huge fan rack on the back, however, so cooling should not have been an issue.)

Anyway, I got this machine on Friday, and it was working beautifully. I spent most of Friday just setting up my backgrounds, configuring our home wireless network settings, and other low-end usage.

On Saturday I finally had my home network configured properly, so I decided I would try some heavy end usage. I purchased a copy of Bioshock and installed it on my machine, which seemed to go without a hitch (after I finally resolved an issue with not being able to connect to 2K's autopatch servers). I fired up the game and everything seemed to be working fine. I started a new game, but Bioshock crashed/stopped working after the first cutscene.

This didn't concern me all that much, even after it happened again when I restarted the game. I simply assumed that some of my video drivers, DirectX 10, or a Vista component was out of date.

I checked my video drivers using the automated search feature, and found out that my drivers were up to date. I then loaded a DirectX 10 update. Finally I used the Windows Update feature to determine if anything in Vista needed to be updated. There was an updated, listed as "optional" available. I thought it would be a good idea to install the update regardless of whether it would actually impact the game, so I did. Everything appeared to be going smoothly, up until I received the "Windows needs to restart for this update to take effect." message. I closed down the browsing windows I had opened during the update download and clicked to restart.

Then the fun began.

The computer appeared to restart normally. Vista shut down and the screen went black, with the power light on my laptop remaining on. However, my machine sat like this for about 5 to 10 minutes, much longer than any restart I've ever preformed (including earlier update restarts on this specific machine). At this point I held down the power button and shut the machine off completely, since I assumed something had gone wrong.

When I pressed the power button again, the machine sounded like it fired up. The fans started spinning the power light came on and the I was hearing all the buzzes and whirls you'd expect. However, the screen stayed black. No Windows Logo, no errors, no flashing, absolutely nothing. I held the power button down again and shut the machine off, and then attempted to turn it on again. The same thing happened.

After letting the machine sit a bit, I decided I had better turn it off again. So I held down the power button, but the machine refused to turn off. I held the button down for at least 3 minutes (like actual minutes) and it still kept running. I was very fruastrated at this point, since the screen was black and the machine was doing who knows what under the hood. Up until this point I had kept the laptop plugged into a outlet, since I had been planning to play Bioshock. Realizing that it would not shut down, I unplugged it, and let the battery run down.

So the machine sat for about 2 hours. Periodically, I tried to hold down the power button and end the misery. It kept running. I also kept checking to see if anything had appeared on the screen. Nothing had.
Finally the thing shut down due to lack of power.

I wondered whether the loss of power would have triggered any sort of reset in the system. I plugged it back into an outlet and fired it up. The machine sounded like it was running, but nothing happened on the screen. I held down the power button and it turned off obediently.

At this point I preformed every troubleshooting procedure I could think of:

> I plugged the machine into an external monitor to see if my screen was bad. Nothing appeared on the external monitor when I started my laptop.

> I let the machine sit for an extended period before attempting to restart it, I received the same black screen with audible internal activity.

> I started the machine and allowed it to sit for an extended period of time. After one hour, the machine had failed to load windows or any error messages.

> I charged the machine over night, attempting to restart it this morning. I receive the same results.

> I have attempted every possible key combination I can think of. This includes Ctrl+Alt+Del, Various Function Combinations such as display switches, Sleep/Unsleep, Wireless On/off, Sound Up/Down/Mute/Unmute, ect.

> I inserted my Vista Home Premium disc into the the machine and attempted to boot it. Nothing changed, except the fact that the machine's disc drive spun when I put in the disc.

Does anyone have any ideas? Is there anything I can do to get my machine up and running? I have tried everything I can think of, maybe one of you had a similar experience but actually succeeded in fixing it. The machine is under warranty, so I will definitely be taking it back to the shop on Tuesday if it still won't work. Otherwise is there anything I can do in the meantime?

Forum Icon Legend

  • UnreadUnread
  • ReadRead
  • Locked threadLocked thread
  • ModeratorModerator
  • CNET StaffCNET Staff
  • Samsung StaffSamsung Staff
  • Norton Authorized Support TeamNorton Authorized Support Team
  • AVG StaffAVG Staff
  • avast! Staffavast! Staff
  • Webroot Support TeamWebroot Support Team
  • Acer Customer Experience TeamAcer Customer Experience Team
  • Windows Outreach TeamWindows Outreach Team
  • DISH staffDISH staff
  • Dell StaffDell Staff
  • Intel StaffIntel Staff
  • QuestionQuestion
  • Resolved questionResolved question
  • General discussionGeneral discussion
  • TipTip
  • Alert or warningAlert or warning
  • PraisePraise
  • RantRant

You are e-mailing the following post: Post Subject

Your e-mail address is used only to let the recipient know who sent the e-mail and in case of transmission error. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose.

Sorry, there was a problem emailing this post. Please try again.

Submit Email Cancel

Thank you. Sent email to


Thank you. Sent email to


You are reporting the following post: Post Subject

If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language

Spam: Advertisements or commercial links

Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users

Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Submit Report Cancel

Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


Your message has been submitted and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.


You are posting a reply to: Post Subject

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to the CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to CBS Interactive Site Terms of Use.

You are currently tracking this discussion. Click here to manage your tracked discussions.

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

Sorry, there was a problem submitting your post. Please try again.

Sorry, there was a problem generating the preview. Please try again.

Duplicate posts are not allowed in the forums. Please edit your post and submit again.

Submit Reply Preview Cancel

Thank you, , your post has been submitted and will appear on our site shortly.