Friday, November 23, 2018

Fix: Windows 8.1/10 Black Screen with Cursor at boot

After upgrading my home laptop systems to Win 10 I began to notice a trend; every couple of times I tried booting the system I would be presented with a black screen and a blinking cursor…but no Windows 10 load.

Fortunately, powering the system off and then back on would allow the Win 10 OS to load OK.

It was an annoyance and signal that something was wrong, but nothing that this workaround wouldn’t address.

Then we upgraded our laptops at work to Windows 10 and started noticing the same behavior.

And our Surface Pro 3 users also occasionally complained about similar behavior.

After careful troubleshooting and searching the Internet, I fixed this particular problem on all our platforms by disabling “Fast Startup” in the power settings.

I’m not 100% why it seems to impact mobile platforms rather than desktops, but I suspect the fact that it involves loading the system from a specially saved/crafted “Fast Startup” hibernation state, if some hardware gets removed or not-detected between power-states – for example USB devices or the dock-station - it might cause the wake-up process to hang.

To fix this particular problem first go into the “classic” Control Panel for Windows, and into the Power Options applet.

On the left-hand side, select “Choose what the power button does”

Near the top of the loaded page to the right, select the “Change settings that are currently unavailable”  (note you may have to confirm a UAC prompt and provide admin-level credentials).

Once you do that, more options will appear below.

Uncheck the “Turn on fast startup (recommended)” checkbox.

Select “Save changes”.

That fixed my laptop issues at home, and by pushing this out to our systems as a standard configuration setting, it fixed the issues at work too.

More technical resources:


--Claus V.

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