One Fix For: Windows Doesn’t Boot. Black Screen.

Windows doesn’t boot and all I’m seeing is a black screen after turning on via the power button.

If this sounds familiar, read on.

Given this website is dedicated to USB (Universal Serial Bus) technology, then let us provide a tip, which is USB related, as to the possible cause of your black screen upon boot up.

Check your computer to make sure a USB flash drive is not connected at the time of power up. If you have a USB drive connected, disconnect it and try again. If upon this recommended tip, things work, then you have a bootable USB flash drive which is causing the problem. In addition, your BIOS is setup to boot from a USB flash drive. Both of these things can easily be corrected.

Of course the simple solution is removing the flash drive. But if you want to FIX the problem, there are a couple steps you can perform to get things resolved.

First, you can remove the boot code from your flash drive. Unfortunately, you cannot do this with a simple format or even a full format. What you’ll need to do is clean the flash drive via disk part. What this function does is wipe the flash drive clean of boot code so you have a simple Mass Storage Device, not a bootable Mass Storage Device.

Do the following: (note: doing this step will remove all data from being accessed because we are cleaning out the file allocation table)

  • In the Search bar in Windows type cmd
  • From command prompt window type “diskpart”
  • Type “list disk”
  • From the list identify the USB flash drive and related disk #
  • Type “select disk X”
  • Your flash drive is selected, now type “clean”

windows doesn't boot, disk part, clean usb flash drive boot code

Your flash drive is now clean from having boot code on the device. However, the USB isn’t ready to be used. When you clean the USB flash drive the device is no has a file allocation table so Windows will request to format the flash drive.

At this point, navigate to your flash drive and try and access the device. Windows will request to format the drive. Go ahead and format the drive and now the USB is ready for use.

windows doesn't boot, format usb flash drive after diskpart clean

The last step to perform if you want to complete resolve this issue is update the BIOS setting so the host computer system does not boot from a Mass Storage USB device. For this fix, you might have to do some digging on your own. Depending on the computer manufacturer, there are different keyboard commands to access the BIOS upon power up.

In this example, the Dell keyboard command to access BIOS is clicking the F12 key as the system is power up. Once you get into the BIOS you must find the “boot sequence” and be sure the USB flash drive or Mass Storage device is not selected as “first” to boot. Be sure the first to boot is the HDD C drive. You can reference the image below as an example.

windows doesn't boot, Dell BIOS boot sequence for usb flash drive

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Matt LeBoff

Kicking around in technology since 2002. I like to write about technology products and ideas, but at the consumer level understanding. Some tech, but not too techie.

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