Windows 8 black screen on boot up


Extraordinary Member
Nov 3, 2009
I have an issue with getting a completely black screen. I never see a desktop. I never even see the login screen. If I press the sleep button on the case, then start it back up, I see a mouse pointer too. But on first boot, there is no mouse pointer. Booting in safe mode has the exact same problem (that makes this different than lots of the google hits I'm getting for my searches). There are some recovery options, but I don't want to have to re-install all of my windows apps again (I'm talking about the "refresh" option, IIRC). I will try that option but not until I've asked here first. There is another recovery option that tries to auto-diagnose and fix issues, it tells me it can't fix anything.

Sometimes (but not always), after waiting for a couple of minutes at the black screen after booting, I get a BSOD.

My computer is old-ish, I built it in 2007 or 2008.

I have an EVGA 8800 GT (two dvi outs, I tried booting with the single monitor hooked up to each one).

I do have a DVD. I haven't tried it.

I have win8 pro.

TL;DR: I see a completely black screen on boot, and safe mode does NOT work (same issue). I cannot get a U.I. except for the recovery options.

has the pc always done this since installing win 8 or was it running fine at some point? You could try booting from your DVD but instead of installing click repair. Another option would be to boot into the advnced boot options and try 'last good known configuration'.
It was running fine for months, then suddenly it didn't work anymore. I don't recall installing updates just before I had issues, but maybe I did...
As your pc is pretty old is it possible for you to test individual bit's of hardware like the GPU in a different system? This way you can negate any thoughts on hardware failure. I'd also try the 'last good known config' option i mentioned above. You need to boot into the advanced boot options screen.
I tried different RAM sticks. I pulled out the original GPU (nvidia) and put a different one (ati) in. I removed the DVD drive. I enabled "boot logging" and looked at the boot log file... the last driver mentioned was an nvidia driver, so using the command prompt I removed the sys file and replaced it with an older one.

None of this worked.

I can't find anything in the advanced options boot menu about "last known good configuration". I read that it's not enabled by default in widows 8. ( I Know Better: How to enable the Last Known Good Configuration in Windows 8 )
Ok, thanks for the reply I actually didn't realise it wasn't enabled. As you cannot get into windows at all then you have limited options..
I'd pop into your bios and change the boot order so it boots from DVD first. Boot from your DVD and then you can either try a refresh, reset or go for a clean install.
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