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If you have a black screen or a blinking cursor at first boot
I am running build 5600 w/ RC1 update. This is a basic explanation of if you
get a black screen at first boot, which may be usefull to some who are
experiancing this for the first time on any pre-release version in the beta
-Black screen or video corruption at first boot.
Welcome to Windows Vista! Both Nvidia and ATI based cards have known
problems for certain models that are still under investigation. If you get
the black screen or corrupt video output after seeing the grey screen saying
"Windows is preparing to boot for the first time", this is a highly likely
culprit. Chances are you panicked and rebooted and keep ending up either at a
ascreen with a blinking cursor or random lines or snow accross the screen
after the "Windows is loading" screen. So we'll take it from there.
1. Rebooot and enter Bios. Make sure the following is set up correctly. If
you have never changed adavanced Bios setting, please call you rgeeky cousin
who has and have him explain as he does the next steps.
2. Make sure that APIC is enabled and ver2.0 is supported. In simple terms,
this is the software that assigns priority to all devices attatched to your
motherboad. Please see Wikipedia for the heavy description. Ver2.0 is
required for Vista to make sure that all your devices will be found during
setup and running the OS. For those with some previous experiance, APIC takes
care of assigning IRQ and DMA addressing to all system devices to make sure
that every device can coomunicate with the system in order of priority. If
you have a computer or motherboard made after 2005, this is almost assured to
be an option. You can get Vista woring under Ver1.0, but we are leaving that
to those with previous experiance and simply saying that this is not a MS
3.Make sure that ACPI is enabaled. This is different than above. ACPI is
what makes the computer go to "sleep" or "hibernate". It is universal in
computers after 2000. Make sure you have at least ACPI S1 enabaled. S3 is
only possible in very custom system without headaches.
4. Make sure that MPS table 1.1 or 1.4 is selected. I recomend 1.1 from
personal experiance. This only applies to those with dual-core systems.
Please consult your computer/MB documentation.
5.Make sure that on-board video is disabled if availible. Please also
disable quick/fast boot for your own sanity.
6. Now save and reboot. (Typically F10)
7. On reboot, after the machine has counted the system memory and found the
hard drive, hit F8 to enter the windows boot menu. Your machine has not yet
loaded up winodws from the hard drive, and is essentially no different than a
machine with a blank hard drive. You want to choose safe mode with networking.
8. You will now see the system loading, line by line. Have a cup of coffee
on slower systems.
9. You will end up in Safe mode, but will now be getting a message of not
being able to continue as setup was not completed. Please hit Shift-F10. This
will leave you staring at the command prompt. You do *remember* DOS, right?
10. Type "devmgmt.msc" and the Device manager from the windows controll
panel will show up. Look at the video card. Chance are it will not have an
exclamation point like some devices. Feel free to load up drivers for
anything needed from here if you know how to.
11. Right click on the video card entry and choose "Update Driver..." A
wizard will start to guid you through the proccess.
12. You will see "Can Windows connect to Windows Update to search for
software?" Click "No, not this time"
13.Click Next, then click "Chhose from a list", now click next.
14. Select the generic VGA Driver and click next. Windows will now install
the standard VGA driver. Click OK to close the wizard and then close the
device manager. Now click ok to that old warning about winodws not finished
installing. The system will reboot.
15. The system will now boot up without without hanging or faulting on your
video cards driver. The machine may want to reboot one more time after
setting up your settings. If it does, you may have to repeat the proccess
above one more time.
16. After completing set-up, you should now be looking at the desktop and
thinking "Thank god". Now feel free to install the video drivers of your
choice. Please make a restore point first.
Hope this helps!