Windows 10 Black Screen with Cursor Bug - January 23rd, 2016

11:21 PM

I have this fairly old laptop, Dell Vostro 1000.  I thought Best Buy was going to take it for $75 via the trade-in program (the website gave me an estimated value), but when I got there, they said they aren't taking it.  I was pretty annoyed and wiped it and put Linux on it, but I had forgotten that I listed it on Amazon and it sold today!  Too bad I had to go back and reinstall Windows 10.  So I did, found the Vista drivers for the Radeon Xpress 1150 (since Windows 7/8 and up do not support it anymore).  These seem to be the most up-to-date drivers that work (ATI Catalyst 8.12 Vista 64-bit).

Anyway, after I installed Windows 10 and the video drivers (I tried the version 7.5 first), I got the dreaded "black screen with cursor after boot" bug.  It was so annoying, especially since I never ran into this problem before!  Same computer!  I tried changing resolution, reinstalling the drivers, etc. to no avail.  I even tried reinstalling the first version of Windows 10 (the RTM one that was released in the summer), thinking that it used to work, so maybe something was changed in the update.  Nope...still black screen.  If you hit the power button, then it comes back (Windows Key + P to change the display mode does not work), which would be problematic when I send it to the buyer.  I finally found the solution at the above link.  Basically, you have to tell Windows to turn off Fast Startup.  So here are the steps, in case you didn't know where it is.  First, search for "Power Options" from your Start Menu or Cortana:


Select "Choose what the power buttons do" on the left:


Click on "Change settings that are currently unavilable":

Scroll down towards the bottom and uncheck "Fast Startup."  That should do it.  Thanks to slance310 for the solution!

The other "solution" is to use the "Basic" video drivers from Windows, but then you don't get acceleration, can't use the max resolution, etc. so it's not really a solution.

Now a couple of random comments about the new Windows 10 1511 Build 10586 released in November compared to the original RTM (since I reinstalled Windows like 5 times while trying to fix this stupid bug).
  • When (if) you customize the privacy settings during installation, the sequence of the settings are different.  It seems like they took away some of the options, actually.
  • They changed "Search" to Cortana.
  • You can now hit "Enter" to log into Windows if you don't have a password (I couldn't do that before for some reason, coming out of sleep).
  • When you check if Windows is activated, it now gives you more information.
  • And, of course, the duplicate Firefox icon issue is a tad better.

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