Windows 7 black screen and cursor - Graphics card related

Hi all, heres a quick run down of my problem. about a month ago my pc started having errors at bootup. it would get as far as the desktop, then freeze the desktop, allowing me to still use my mouse but i couldnt select anything and the system would hang. After restarting on average about 5 times it would then work and my pc would run perfectly.

about 2 weeks ago i had a blue screen crash that mentioned something about the display drivers. (i was using a radeon 4870) i figured this, with the startup problem must be my graphics card on its way out. one day i started my pc and was greeted by my 1st 'black screen' with cursor and decided enough was enough and took out my graphics card, leaving only the on board graphics (radeon 4250). my pc worked fine for a few days and i decided to try and work out if the problem was software of hardware related so i reinstalled my 4870 card. this immediatly booted me to the black screen with cursor so strait away i took it out again.

so now im back to my on board graphics, however this time the problem has not gone. i am writing this via safe mode as i am still getting the black screen with cursor appear at start up.

ive tried start up repair which says there is no problem, ive tried disabling and uninstalling/re installing the onboard graphics but still the black screen.

anyone have any ideas short of re installing windows? thanks in advance


Honorable Member
Welcome to the forums:

This post has three options to try and fix this: (The first one I assumed you did)
Why is my screen black when I start Windows 7?

Here also is very good detailed answer:
Windows 7 Black Screen when booting up - Microsoft Community

From the above answer:
Black screen issues are extremely tough to repair and any fix is usually on a hit or miss
basis. That there is no information on a black screen like there is on a blue screen just
adds to the difficulty. Often using a restore point nor startup repair will have any effect.
You can try a google to see suggested repairs some of which have worked however these
cover a wide field of efforts.

thanks for the reply man. although ive already been to both these sites and tried everything suggested. from what ive seen all these problems are slightly different, some people cant access safe mode etc

ive also seen it auggested it may be a hard drive issue however i ran seatools hard drive checker and both drives came out with a pass


Honorable Member
What about the part that suggests to do a system restore from a Windows 7 disk (not safe mode)

Try that... hopefully you will find a restore point that far back. If not, system restore won't help.

It might get very technical to fix this since you would have to use software from boot disks to check things. If you are tech-savy, we can start this tedious process. If not, it would be best to have a professional do it. If it's a hardware issue, there are far better checkers than seatools. But again, most of these checkers will be on boot disks - as you would want be in the computer without your Windows - but from a special boot disk. (Not the Windows disk)

im kind of tech smart but that was with windows xp, i havnt touched much of windows 7 as it worked fine for a while.

my system had no restore points (which im sure i did turn on, but there not there so that puts that option out)

I also dont have any boot disks as my windows came on the system already. i wanted to make a copy of my system for a long time but the size of the image with all programs was just too big. i do have all the startup options by pressing f8 on bootup which is where i tried the startup repair


Honorable Member
I would start with asking if you tried the F8 option of booting the last known good configuration. Also the option of booting without drivers. But before we continue with all this, let me tell you that 9 out of 10 times, a fresh install of Windows will solve most problems unless it's a hardware issue. I rarely suggest fresh installs as I am a great fan of solving issues but this is one that you really need to be sitting in front of the computer and physically fixing it to get the best results.

Of course, first is first. If you used a quick pass with the HDD seagate tool, use the extended tests and sector tests. Any sign of Hard drive failure... backup important information to a different drive.

I am suspecting that it is not a hardware issue since all was good for a while when you took out the GPU. If it were a hardware issue, the problems wouldn't have stopped. Also, the blue screen told you it was a graphics problem.

Try also looking in the error logs to see what happened. You can access the error logs in safe mode too.

thanks man, so far ive run antivirus, extended HDD tests and a system check (from the command prompt type sfc /scannow) all in safe mode.

everything seems fine from here. and yes once the system booted in the past when i had issues the pc ran perfectly....its literally just the startup. as i say i thought it was a hardware issue with the graphics card but since ive taken the 4870 out and the problem is still here so im not so sure. (i guess its kind of good if my graphics card is still working since its a very good piece of hardware)

im currenty organising my files for the easiest of re installed with a clean version of windows if it comes to it.

how do i access the error logs?


Excellent Member
Microsoft Community Contributor
In Safe Mode, I would probably want to uninstall the descreet video card in the device manager. When you do that, you should have an option to remove all the drivers also.

Then I would uninstall the onboard graphics and its drivers. Since you have the same brand of video manufacturer, there are probably files in common for both devices.

If you don't have the latest drivers for whichever video source you will end up using, you should be able to download them and have them ready. Seems like the AMD video cards have two areas of drivers, and one is a Catalyst. I don't have any experience with that type so you will have to be the best judge.

If you need to set something in the bios for onboard or discreet video, do that prior to reloading the drivers. New systems may have something that shares onboard and discreet video, so perhaps make sure that is not functioning for now.

Try to load your most update to date drivers, since Windows will try. But if you can't, just make sure you do get yours loaded.

I don't know anything about the compatibility of the cards you are using and Windows 7, but you might keep it in mind in case you need to upgrade the discreet card.

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