A black screen at startup is definitely bad news, especially since it is difficult to diagnose a problem without being able to see information on the screen. This problem is usually related to hardware and connections, but many users have also received it just after updating the version of Windows 10, so we will see below how to solve either of the two things, and we recommend that you follow the steps that we are going to tell you next in order.
What to do if the screen goes black when starting the PC?
Of course, the first thing to check is the screen connections. We are aware that you are probably rolling your eyes when reading this truism, but do it anyway because the cable that goes from the graphics card to the monitor may have accidentally come loose, so it is advisable to start with the most basic and check that the cable connection is correct. In fact, even if the cable is well connected try plugging it into other video input monitor just in case. Also, another no-brainer: make sure the monitor is on.
If possible, try connecting the monitor to a different PC and see if it works on another PC. Otherwise, it may be a sign that the monitor is defective and that you have to change it for a new one or manage the warranty with the manufacturer; alternatively, you can try a different monitor on the PC, and if that works it may also mean that the other monitor is failing.
Similarly, if you have a desktop PC and you use a dedicated graphics card, try connecting the monitor to the integrated graphics (that is, to the video outputs of the motherboard) instead of the graphics card. If the monitor works that way, the problem is with the graphics card and the first thing you should check is if it works well on another PC, connect it to a different PCI-Express socket on the motherboard, and access the BIOS to verify that it has not been disabled.
Depending on the manufacturer of the motherboard and the model, this option can be found in one place or another but it is generally in the advanced options. As you can see in the screenshot above of an ASUS board, the option is found in Advanced Options -> System Agent Settings -> Graphics Card Settings. If when connecting the dedicated graphic the screen remains black but when connecting the integrated one it does work, you would surely have this setting in automatic, and as it did not detect a signal from the dedicated GPU, the system switched to using the integrated one, a sign that something is not right with your dedicated graphic.
Another possible scenario that you should try if none of the above has worked is, with the PC turned off, disconnecting absolutely everything except the power cable and the video cable. Turn on the PC and see if the screen does show an image or if otherwise it continues to go black … if the computer shows an image after doing this, connect your devices one by one and restart the computer until you find the one is causing the problem. It seems absurd that a USB device causes the screen to show no image but we guarantee that this sometimes works.
What if the problem is software?
At the beginning we have commented that some users have the problem that the screen remains black just after updating Windows 10; It is a frequent problem logically related to software that fortunately has an easy solution: turn on the computer and wait a few seconds for the operating system to start normally, even if you don’t see anything on the screen. When you think that the computer has already started, press the key combination WIN + CTRL + SHIFT + B, as this will force the screen to come out of the sleep state, which is the problem that has been detected with Windows updates.
On the other hand, you can also try to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode since in this way the operating system starts only with the essential programs and drivers, so if this works you will know that there is some program, driver or software that is causing the trouble.
To force the PC to boot into Safe Mode, the easiest thing to do is turn on the computer, wait about 10 seconds, and press the physical Reset button on the PC case. Do this three times in a row and the automatic repair of Windows 10 will be activated, where if the problem is with drivers or software it should already show you an image on the screen. Follow the instructions below if so:
- Click Advanced Options and then Troubleshoot.
- Click Advanced Options again.
- Head to Startup Settings.
- Click the Restart button.
- In startup settings, press F5 to boot in safe mode with network settings.
Once Windows boots into safe mode, ideally you should perform a complete uninstall of the graphics card drivers using Display Driver Uninstaller to then download and reinstall the drivers that correspond to your graphics card. Generally this will solve the problems that the screen looks black when you turn on the PC, but if not, also check that there are no Windows updates pending to install, especially if you have started to have the problem just after updating Windows.