Black screen with cursor right before login

All right so first ill give some of the basic specs of my system.

I have the following hardware:
Phenom II x4 955 CPU
ASRock 870 Extreme 3 motherboard
Corsair vengeance 8gb RAM
An 850 OCZ PSU
a HDRadeon 6870 GPU
and a basic optical drive

also, i am running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit OS

And here's the problem:
A while ago, my brother was playing some hardcore HoN on my computer. When the game ended, the screen turned black and i was forced to restart the entire thing. I get past the windows logo just fine and even hear the "welcome" sound as the OS starts up. Then, nothing. The screen just turns black with nothing but the cursor. I am able to move it around and everything but cannot do anything. Ctrl-alt-del doesnt work either.
So, i restarted again and this time went into safe mode and tried to check things out. I updated my graphics drivers (which were in no need of an update) and then restarted it again. Still nothing! I tried this multiple times, uninstalling, reinstalling and getting very frustrated with it, took a break. When i came back, i decided to boot from the disc and start afresh. I went through the process of setting up the OS and all the motherboard drivers (and the GPU drivers)... i was able to login and download firefox and a couple of other security programs that i hoped would help stop the problem. I thought i had done enough and windows needed to be restarted to finish its update so i decided to restart again... AND guess what?! the same black screen with the cursor! back to haunt me again!

So, i plead to you windows 7 forums! please! please! please! help me with this nonsense! i have tried everything i know and i dont want to be stuck in safe mode forever!!!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

If it doesn't do it in safe mode it seems like a safe guess that it's related to your graphics card somehow.

You are running the same Graphics Card that I am.

What I always try (since I have no idea what's happening) it to log in it safe mode go to Device Manager select your Display Adapter and select Uninstall.

Then reboot your computer in normal mode.

This will force Windows 7 to find, identify, and re-install your graphics card and find what it thinks is the correct drivers for it.
This works a lot of the time for me.

If it doesn't, come back and maybe someone else will have another idea.

It's not impossible from the way you describe how it happened that the graphics card failed.
They don't usually just go black while you are using them, and not updating drivers or something like that.


Last edited:
Thanks Mike!
This way does work, but Windows reinstalls a driver that does not work with most games.
after i followed your directions, it worked well and i got into normal mode, but as i tried to play
a game (for testing purposes) it prompted me to install a video card driver for my GPU...
and so i did and restarted my computer to complete the installation, and yep. back to square one.
:( but i suppose if im desperate i can at least listen to youtube videos now, thanks!


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
It may be a resolution problem. If you set the system to boot with basic graphics, it will probably be OK. Then you can change the resolution to see if or when it might loose the picture.

If you get a chance, what resolution are you running on the monitor, what type of connection do you have and what resolution is the game running in?


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
Also Try a different driver then the one you are installing.
Go back to the previous one and see if that helps.

I really don't see why Windows would install a driver so old it won't run a game.
I've never had problems

What version of the driver are you installing?

I'm running version 11.12

ATI Radeon

You can get older drivers here...

Previous Catalyst

I haven't found that even the older drivers wouldn't run almost anything.

Are you overclocking?

And What driver does Windows load when you do get it to run?



Extraordinary Member
Which "version" is Windows update "backdating" you to?

i have tried installing 11.10 and that did not change a thing...
then i tried 11.3 and that didnt work either..
i am not overclocking and windows installs a VGA driver if none are detected
thanks for the tips but its not seeming to work

@elmer, im not really sure what you are asking me

i searched google for similiar problems and found something that had to do with my OpenGL being to old or something, if anything knows anything about any of this, that would sure help! :)

also, any additional advice is always welcome!


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

It's possible that your video card has failed in some way, you say it did go black while you were using it.

Is Windows really loading drivers when you get it to boot normally, or is it still using the VGA drivers?

If that's what's happening and it isn't seeing your video card you could try taking it out and reseating it.

I don't have any other ideas.


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