Having an about 10 year old i7 machine, I want to re-install Windows 10 Pro over the existing Win10 Education installation using a USB stick. But when booting the Win10 iso, I only get a black screen with blinking cursor. Nothing happens, even not after waiting for a longer time. The used ISO file was generated using Microsofts Media Creation Tool.

Hardware details

  • AMIBIOS v02.63 (R01-A2) from 12/09/2008
  • Mainboard from Acer aspire m7720
  • i7 920 @ 2.66 GHz

Non-working things I already tried

  • Easy2Boot
  • Rufus with different options (FAT32, NTFS, UEFI, BIOS)
  • Re-Download the ISO file
  • Using different USB ports (front/back)
  • Changing the current boot order temporarily (F12) and permanently using BIOS (ENTF)
  • Searching in the BIOS for settings that could affect the boot behavior
  • Checking Fix for older BIOS in the extended RUFUS options shows the window logo after booting (instead of black screen) but now it hangs there
  • Put the SSD in another pc for installing Win10 and put it back afterwards
  • Installing Windows 8.1 with latest updates and upgrade to Win10

Working things

  • Use the same USB stick on a newer HP notebook: The Win10 installer starts without any issues
  • Also on a non OEM 1366 board (same socket) I can boot and install Win10 easily
  • Booting Ubuntu installer from the stick: Works, but sadly I need Win10 for some games
  • Flashing Windows 8.1 x64 ISO image from MS with MBR for BIOS

According to the documentation of m7720 we don't have any UEFI here. So MBR for a simple BIOS should be enough and I can't understand why it's not working.

  • 1
    The laptop is not the problem, but the preparation of the USB flash drive for use with Win10. Do I understand correctly that you have both the Win10 installer and Ubuntu on the same LiveUSB? And, is your laptop not UEFI-compatible?
    – K7AAY
    Oct 30, 2018 at 16:30
  • What is the size of the USB stick in question? Is it bigger than 16 GB?
    – patkim
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:00
  • I have two sticks: #1 with Easy2Boot containing various Linux distributions and Win10. Here Ubuntu is bootable from the Acer machine, but not Win10. Stick #2 only contain Win10 and was created with Rufus. The HP laptop has a InsydeH20 Rev 3.7 Bios but with Legacy support enabled, so I think it should behave similar to an non UEFI one.
    – Lion
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:03
  • @pat2015 Yes, Stick #1 is a 64GB one and #2 has 32GB capacity. Do I need a smaller one for the old machine?
    – Lion
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:04
  • No, 32gb is more than enough. Oct 30, 2018 at 17:06

9 Answers 9


Another trick... wait it out. I was using the October build on an ancient T3400 dell quad core. It was flashing. I was messing with my phone for 5 minutes and it proceeded to the install. Let it sit awhile. Might work. Worked for me.

  • 3
    Yeah so I played a game of Fortnite while it was blinking, and the install screen popped up a few minutes in!
    – kmiklas
    Dec 18, 2020 at 3:27
  • 2
    I can't believe this worked!
    – undercat
    Jan 12, 2021 at 13:59
  • 1
    Got the blinking cursor. Walked down the driveway to get the mail (half mile round trip), came back in - and it finally started. So yes, go for a long walk, that also seems to get it to work ; ) Thanks!
    – C C
    Dec 30, 2021 at 21:45
  • 1
    Yep - took about 5-10 minutes for me. 15 year old Gigabyte motherboard
    – nevster
    Jun 29, 2022 at 3:34

TLDR: Windows 10 contains a bug since months that result in non booting systems and installers when VT-d is enabled in BIOS.

enter image description here

This bug exist since 1803 and altough many users seems to have trouble with it, Microsoft doesn't care about fixing this issue for several months.

What can we do?

Not much. The best thing would be not using Windows, since Windows 10 contains forced updates. So even when you use tricks to install an older release, Microsoft will update it very soon without asking you. When you're in the situation like me that you're forced to use the Windows installation (yet), it seems that you must live without VT-d.

History: How I get to this problem (total about 2 days work)

Found out that it works with older Win10 versions, so it seems that Microsoft break something:


  • 1709

Not working

  • 1803
  • 1809

HeiDoc was quite usefull here, since downloading special versions is a big mess on Microsofts side: The current official Media Creation tool didn't let me choose any parameters about the version. Even when using an older version of the tool itself, it doesn't start and force me to download the latest version.

I tried installing 1709 on USB stick which works perfectly. Since Win10 has forced updates, I'm surprised if the system is working after installing the latest auto-updates, which bring the system up to 1803.

  • 1
    Reproducing on an AMD processor Apr 18, 2020 at 17:20
  • 1
    Worth mentioning: the blinking might just be the loading. It can be long
    – sayanel
    Sep 19, 2022 at 17:40

I had a similar problem a few hours ago (black screen w/cursor after trying to boot from USB on an old computer, despite that same USB working on newer ones), and user Igb suggested that I try using a program that "helps you boot from a number of sources", called Plop Boot Manager: http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanagers.html.

You'd have to burn the downloaded ISO onto a CD/DVD (or another flash drive) and boot from the disc, then select the USB drive and try to boot from it. It worked perfectly well for me, so might be worth to go for it and see what happens.

  • 1
    I flashed Plob on a third USB stick (4GB size) using MBR for Bios and got the same behavior like from Win10: Black screen and blinking cursor. But strangely booting works with Win8.1 (standalone, generated with Rufus). Can't explain why but since that seems the only way to boot Windows, I'll try installing 8.1 and upgrading to 10. Already wasted over 1/2 day with this issue :/
    – Lion
    Oct 30, 2018 at 17:38

I had the same issue. I turned off VT-d and waited a bit and it started

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Thought i had the same issue after deploying 21H2 win 10 Pro.

Used Rufus and tried manual ISO build to USB with powershell. When trying to boot from the USB, the windows blue background displayed foe a splot aecond then went to the flashing cursor and seemed to hang. I left the machine on over night in that state and next morning it was showing the setup screen - just needed patience. It was odd the windows loadong background showed up and then displayed the cursoe for ages - assumed it had hung.

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I am having a similar problem. I'm trying to install Windows 10 on an old HP All-in-one (TPC-Q003) which belongs to a friend of mine. I've created a bootable drive with Rufus and apparently the motherboard is compatible with UEFI, but when I try to start the installation, it shows the Microsoft logo, then the screen turns blue and I get the blinking dash. I saw a lot of people online talking about waiting it out, but it blinks for maybe a minute or two and then the computer shuts itself down. Any ideas on how to work this around? Thanks in advance.

Edit: I think it's worth mentioning I've also tried creating the boot drive through Windows Media Creation Tool and the same thing happens.

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    – Blindspots
    Mar 3 at 1:26

I've had this problem also with AMD boards, so no Intel VT-d involved. My solution has been to use Hasleo WintoUSB, to preinstall Windows on the desired boot drive.

Hook up your boot drive to a working computer with a USB dock, run WintoUSB, point it to the external drive and let it work.

When it is done, take the drive and put it back in the computer you were trying to install W10 on. Boot the system, and after a bit of setup you should be taken to the screens where you have to create a User Account, etc.

There's only one caveat with this method. You can end up with an error at boot (sometimes) because Windows still thinks it is running on an external drive. To fix this, open Registry and go to:


Delete the item


or change the value to zero (0). If you don't see that key, create it (DWORD) and set value to zero.


Safest method for solving:

It happens on old systems. Here how to solve (without need for extra pen-drive):

  1. Download and install Manjaro (It is open-source so no worry)
  2. I suggest you to stop at this step as Linux is faster than Windows but if you insist, in installed manjaro open software store (pamac)
  3. In its preferences enable AUR
  4. Search Ventoy in AUR section and install it
  5. Run Ventoy and install it on USB flash
  6. Copy windows ISO to the USB flash
  7. Reboot to USB flash

Wait it out.

It is basically poor UI design, I think Microsoft want you to do the upgrade from a running OS. Nevertheless, this is not really forgiveable, there should be some indication that boot has occurred or is progressing.

So, just laziness on the part of the publisher. Perhaps there is a technical barrier to having a splash screen? I would think that if they were halfway competent they would find a way. Even Windows 95 was better than this.

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