This article addresses a common issue with Dell laptops that get stuck on a black screen during startup. Read on to find out how to deal with the problem if you ever run into it in the future.
There are two possibilities to consider when you find yourself in a situation where everything you see on your Dell laptop display is a black screen during startup.
- Or your laptop simply won’t turn on,
- Or it turns on, but cannot boot Windows.
Be sure to distinguish between which of the two is the real problem you are facing so that you can quickly find a final solution. If the problem you are experiencing is power related, such as when your laptop won’t turn on, then you need to consider the possibility of hardware damage. In the latter case, you cannot do without a professional dell laptop repair
On the other hand, if your laptop won’t boot Windows, it’s more of a software problem. In the latter case, the computer may turn on, but something prevents it from loading the operating system. And that something is something you need to define ahead of time to get your laptop to work as intended.
What is preventing your Dell from loading Windows?
Computer jams are usually caused by a bad program or software glitch. Security suites like antivirus and firewall can be the main reason. You can rule this out by temporarily disabling them and then watching your computer perform without security software enabled. Will it be able to boot into Windows as intended? If it boots successfully, you will need to adjust your security settings or configure the necessary antivirus or firewall settings. If you are unsure what to do, contact your software developer or Dell Support for assistance.
Apart from security software that is causing conflict, other factors that can cause a similar problem on your Dell laptop include, but are not limited to, corrupted drivers or system errors that cause Windows to crash and freeze. Some hardware may interfere with the normal Windows boot process. However, be sure to remove them from your laptop and then try turning them back on. Peripherals such as an external mouse, keyboard, flash drive, memory card, and other laptop accessories can also cause the same issue during startup. Once upon a time stuck problems on computers at boot time were usually resolved by removing a floppy or CD from the drive. And so these days, the same problem could be with your SD card inserted into the laptop slot.
Before you conclude that your laptop may have suffered hardware damage, you can try some workarounds and general solutions and try to fix the root cause.
Try to think about what happened before the problem occurred. For example, is your laptop stuck on a black screen after installing an update for a specific app or Windows?
This will help you determine the root cause and start working on a fix. If you see any error before your laptop gets stuck, pay attention to the error message, as it usually tells you what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix it. Otherwise, you can go ahead and refer to the solutions below.
Force restart or hard reset.
Considering that you cannot restart your computer in the usual way as it freezes, here’s what you can do as an alternative solution:
- Turn off the computer by pressing the power button for 10-20 seconds, or until the power light turns off.
- With the laptop turned off, unplug or disconnect the AC adapter or power cord from the power source. Alternatively, if your Dell Inspiron laptop is one of those models with removable batteries, removing the battery can also produce the same positive results.
- Disconnect all external devices or peripherals such as printer cables, memory cards, or USB drives.
- If you removed the battery, reinstall it.
- Hold the power button.
- Connect the power cord or AC adapter back into the power source.
- Turn the computer on.
Boot into Safe Mode.
Safe Mode allows your computer to boot Windows without activating all drivers and applications. This can help if you are dealing with a system critical issue that is interfering with the normal operation of Windows on your computer.
While in Safe Mode, you can troubleshoot Windows and try to identify the culprit that is causing the operating system to crash. Here’s how to boot into Safe Mode on a Dell Inspiron laptop on Windows:
- Turn on the laptop by pressing the power button.
- Hold down the Shift key a few times and quickly press the F8 key during the boot process. This will take you to the Recovery Mode menu before Windows starts to boot.
- If you can’t get it on your first try, please try again. It may take a few tries before this works, so just be patient.
- From the Recovery Mode menu, select View Advanced Recovery Options.
- Select a troubleshooting option.
- Then click the More Options button.
- Click the Windows Startup Settings button.
- Click the Restart button.
After restarting your computer, you will be presented with the Advanced Boot Options menu. This allows you to boot Windows in Safe Mode with Networking and Safe Mode with Command Prompt. Then go and select the preferred Safe Mode option.
If your laptop can boot into safe mode without getting stuck or any errors, the problem could be caused by third-party applications installed on your computer, a firewall, or a computer virus. You can then proceed to troubleshoot your computer programs and eliminate the cause.
If your laptop still can’t boot into Windows through Safe Mode, then it’s most likely a hardware issue.
Remove or update programs, including antivirus programs, on your computer.
Try this method if your laptop can boot into Windows through Safe Mode. Some of your apps may have gotten damaged or corrupted, eventually leading to a conflict. To repair or remove any suspicious programs, you can head to the Control Center. It is possible if you boot into Safe Mode.
To do this, click on the Start menu – Control Panel- Programs- Programs and Features- then select the program you want to remove or repair.
Select the Restore option (if available). Otherwise, click the Change button.
Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the entire process, then see if that solves the problem.
Almost the main reason for the appearance of a black screen is incorrect drivers. Malfunctions can be caused by incorrect installation of these drivers or outdated drivers.
But any problem can be solved if you know where to look for it. You can update the outdated drivers. Sometimes ordinary users are not very fond of such procedures, for fear of accidentally deleting or reinstalling something. But do not be afraid of. Use the ITL Driver Updater software and relax. The program will do all work for you.
Update and reset settings BIOS by default.
Another possible reason your laptop might not boot into Windows is because it may have tried to boot onto another device before. To fix this, you will need to reset your BIOS to factory settings. Here’s how it’s done:
- Reboot your laptop.
- When you see the Dell logo, press the F12 key several times until you see the Enter Settings label in the upper right corner of the screen. Click this option to reset the default settings. You may have to press the key indicated at the bottom of the screen to load the default settings.
- You can also update the BIOS to the latest version if resetting the BIOS to factory defaults does not resolve the issue.
- Press ESC to exit the BIOS screen and be sure to select the Save and Exit option. This will keep your last changes.
As a last resort: do a full system reset (reformat and reinstall Windows). Reformatting and reinstalling Windows can be considered a last resort if none of the previous methods can fix the problem and you still cannot boot your laptop into Windows as it is still stuck on a black screen during startup. Please note that you will need to back up all of your personal information and important data as they will all be deleted in the process.
Here are our recommended methods to fix black screen on a Dell laptop and we hope they will help you solve the issue. If you have any other suggestions, please leave them in the comment section below.