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My PC has been running slow recently so I've decided to format it. It has been a while. Initially I used the windows 10 tool that lets you erase and reinstall windows, clearing the drive in the process.

This was not successful, up-on reboot my PC always boots into a "black screen", whereby it looks like there is no graphical output what-so-ever. I have to reboot again for it to boot back into windows.

This was strange so I tried to enter the BIOS. Holding various keys (my motherboard is a Gigabyte, so its DEL) causes it to basically enter this black screen again, without recovery.

I then read into the windows 10 issue of bootup being too quick. So I went through the process of "Advanced Start-up". I tried several options inside this and all of the options proceed to reboot the pc (presumably into a new mode) followed by a black screen where I have to start all over again. Options included "Fixing Startup Issues", "Change Windows Startup Behavior", "System Image Recovery". They all lead to a black screen.

I have tried installing gparted onto a USB in an attempt to boot it into a USB based OS and format from there hoping things may return to sanity. I have unplugged the other hard drives in order to try do this hoping it may default to the only boot device it has available. This also leads to the black screen of doom.

Lastly, I've tried unplugging the graphics cards in an effort to have the computer default to some kind of onboard graphics. This has had no affect.

At this point other than buying a new computer. I am out of ideas.

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Try the following with the graphics card connected.

First, as you state, startup may be very quick, so power down by holding the power button for five seconds, then hold down the F-key for BIOS and keep pressed while then pushing the power button to restart.

If that does not work, be sure you have the correct key to enter BIOS. It may need a key combination, such as FnF2. Look up the manual for your PC model (which you should add to the question).

If that does not let you enter BIOS, try switching boot device, e.g. pressing F9, F10, or other keys at bootup as above, to see if you can select booting from USB. If so, boot from Windows installation media (or try a Linux distro such as Ubuntu, which is much faster and easier than reinstalling Windows).

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I feel very stupid on this one. But it really caught me out.

I have two graphics cards, whenever safe mode or BIOS was entered it utilised the graphics card that wasn’t currently plugged into the monitor.

Switching the hdmi cable to the alternate card after a reboot worked. I was able to do everything I needed.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.....

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