OK, here is a problem I've been struggling with all day. My computer was working fine until I recently unplugged one of the monitor cables to use for another computer.

After I plugged it back, ever since then, every time Windows 7 boots up from a hard reboot, it will boot up to the splash screen, then display a black screen indefinately. At this point, the monitors are still powered (as indicated by the LED) but nothing is displayed on the screen. There is not even any PC activity.

Here are the things I've discovered while troubleshooting:

  • this black screen only happens after a HARD reboot. Soft reboots are fine after I go into safe mode.
  • there is no difference whether I have dual monitors running or not
  • I told my bios to use the onboard graphics instead of my ATI Radeon 4550 but there's no difference
  • I unplugged all USB devices with no effect
  • I reformatted my computer with Windows 7 and reapplied the graphics card drivers with no effect

Extra info about my system:

  • Windows 7 RC 64 bit
  • ATI Radeon 4550HD
  • G31M-ES2L motherboard
  • 4GB RAM, 500GB HD

I need suggestions of more things to try to resolve this. The odd thing is that this happened only because the VGA cable was temporarily removed.

Update: I fixed the problem by taking out and reinserting the video card. I guess it was just loose.


Running Windows 7 myself, I'll ask the obvious Have you tried WinKey+P Arrow Enter Repeat. To cycle through the projector options: Disconnect Projector, Duplicate, Extend, Projector Only. While it fits some of the criteria ... it doesn't fit all (and perhaps incorrect .) That you reformatted... makes this improbable. The Windows 7 Splash or the splash of a hardware encoded image?

it will boot up to the splash screen

  • Just tried it but no luck. Thanks – Steve Sep 2 '09 at 6:11

Take out and reinsert the graphics card. It turned out the card was loose.

The onboard graphics card was actually working fine.


Have you tried a new cable? I had this happen at work on one of my two monitors and then to both and thought something happened to my system but it just turned out to be the cables dying or something. I didn't think that could happen but once i switched them out for the ones that came with the LCDs we bought a few weeks back everything worked fine so we just bought a couple new cables.

  • I haven't tried this yet. But this is happening on both monitors at one time. (both display splash screen then black out) – Steve Sep 2 '09 at 4:44

If you think it is because the cable was removed, did you check to make sure you don't have any bent pins on the monitor plug?

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