My Booting Up Blank Screen Problem When It Goes Into An Auto-Update

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  1. Posts : 261

    My Booting Up Blank Screen Problem When It Goes Into An Auto-Update


    Thanks for previous help; much appreciated.
    In my 80's now, and this "stuff" doesn't get any easier.

    Have a 2 yr old Dell Desktop. Typical setup, nothing fancy.
    It's a:
    XPS 8900
    1 TB HD

    Has always worked fine.

    As I wrote, a few days ago an icon appeared on bottom bar that Dell wanted to download some updates.
    To the best of what I recall, I did not click on this icon.
    Apparently, it started to download by itself.

    About half way thru, perhaps 15 minutes into the download (which appeared to be going normally),
    the screen turned blank.
    Nothing but nothing, I tried would get it going again.

    So, I finally gave up and bit the bullet and did the complete Image Reset thing which finally came up.
    Wiped out most everything, but I've been good about backups.
    Lots of hours spent, but finally got it back to, apparently, working normally.

    Last night, absolutely all by itself, it started another download update. Didn't say, but I think from MS.
    Screen said will "take a long time," and not to turn off PC.
    Again, seemed to be going normally, but after 15 minutes or so, screen totally blank again.
    Nothing works; can't get out of blank screen.
    Tried the F2, F3, and F8 on re-starts without any luck. Won't go into Safe Mode either.

    Question: any idea what's going on ?

    If I do another Image reset, I guess the absolute first thing I want to do is to Absolutely prevent any and all
    downloading by "itself" without asking permission first.

    ***Is there any way of setting an option, somewhere, that truly prevents all downloads ?

    BTW: Took a look at the BIOS settings which came up with F12 when trying another start:
    Do I want "Factory Defaults" or the BIOS setting that the other option is (don't remember what it was) ?
    It is set to: UEFI Boot: Windows Boot Manager
    Sound correct ?

    Again, really appreciate all the help,
      My Computer

  2. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,542
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Hi Bob. Unless you have Windows 10 Pro you can't stop all updates and even with Pro you can only delay.

    F12 is not your BIOS settings it is a temporary or one time Boot selection. Unless you are booting a recovery drive, a repair disk or doing a clean install I would leave that key alone.

    Sitting miles away I can't be absolutely sure what is happening but lets try a few simple things. Ideally you would do one and test so we can get to root cause.

    First I would look through the icons in your systray, lower right and catalog them. Some might be hidden so click on the little up arrow to expose those. You are looking for some program named something like Dell Maintenance, or Dell Support, Dell Live. Basically we are looking for a program that is helping you keep your Dell up to date. If it is there you should be able to pick it out.

    To disable it try opening it and seeing if it has settings, specially one that says something like start with Windows. If there are no options lets have a look in the Task Manager Start Up tab.

    CRTL+ALT+DEL, > Task Manager, click on Startup tab. If tabs aren't showing, click on show more details lower left. We want to find that maintenance program and disable it. Please always note any changes you make on paper so you can back track.

    This next step should also be done with the one above. That is, we are going to Disable Windows updating your drivers. Here is the tutorial. I would use option 4. Please book mark this tutorial so you can enable at a later date if required.

    The goal of the two steps above is to stop driver updates. I'm a firm believer that drivers should be updated but not constantly and not if there isn't an issue. If it ain't broke don't fix. I think a driver is being updated and either your hardware can't handle or the wrong driver is being used.

    The two processes above will stop all driver updates until the next major feature update, like V1709, the Fall Creators Update. To find your version number, Windows Key + R, type winver, enter.

    If the above does not correct the situation and it is a software update causing the issue you can set your connection to a metered connection. This will prevent the Feature Updates but it will let some updates through.

    Start > Settings > Network and Internet > click on either Wi-Fi or Ethernet depending on connection type, then on your network on right, then click manage, in the window that opens turn metered on. The downfall with this solution is that metered has to be set for each network you connect too. Since this is a laptop, if you travel you have to set for each network you connect to. Otherwise Windows will look for software updates.

    Once you have this issue licked I would suggest you look at Macrium Reflect. Free, reliable and recommended. Fast easy way to restore.

    Backup and Restore with Macrium Reflect

      My Computer

  3. Posts : 261
    Thread Starter

    From OP for Ken, et al Re My Boot Up Problem and Blank Screen ?


    Thanks so much for the info. Nice of you to take the time.

    A bit more on:

    After the first Dell automatic update, I was still able to use all the various Function keys to bring up the assortment
    of "help/option" screens. So I did the full Image reset.
    This worked just fine, for a day or so, until it decided to do what I think was an MS update.
    It, again, locked up the pc after doing what seemed like the normal
    update process for about 10 minutes or so. It stopped before completion, and then the blank screens.

    Now, all I can get to work is the F12 button (via clicking during the startup).

    No matter what I try, this now seems to be the only one Function key that works.
    So, I can't even do another Image restore, etc.

    * Any thoughts on how to get the other Function keys working again ?

    * Also, I can't get that Restore CD with the BOOT I made when I got the PC and has a full Image on it to be read
    Just won't read the CD. Any way of forcing it.

    *Very likely just one setting in the BIOS setups that I may have messed up in trying "things" is preventing the other Function keys from working. Any BIOS setting, via F12, that I should look at ? Or,...?

    I guess I also have the general question of what is going on ?
    If I get a new W10 pc, will it be the same thing again ?
    Others having this kind of "lockup", or only something unique to my pc ? Possibly what ?

    Again, thanks so much for the interest and help.

      My Computer

  4. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,542
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Sorry I didn't understand it was dead.

    Yes you want UEFI boot. Can you please try F12 again and record what options are.

    Do you have access to another PC that you can download software on. I'm thinking you want to make a recovery disk to get any files you haven't backed up and if you don't care about a few files I think you want to reload Windows. But before we do something like that we can try some options.

    In F12 you had the option to load defaults. If you were actually in BIOS and made changes I would invoke this, load defaults and save

    When you let it boot from harddrive do you see that ring of dots?

    Yes it is possible that if you get another Windows 10 PC this might happen again. That said people have had phones boot to black screens. It is a glitch likely caused by a driver, a piece of software that acts between the hardware and OS.

    Did you ever test that recovery CD you made from Dell?

      My Computer

  5. Posts : 261
    Thread Starter

    From OP: More. Some settings that come up via F12. Correct ?

    Hi again,

    ****Where when doing the F12 bit is: "In F12 you had the option to load defaults" ? Can't seem to find it.

    The only F key that seems to work is F12.

    From the various F12 menus, here are some of what appears:

    UEFI Boot: Windows Boot Manager. **Pressing Enter causes a blank screen.
    Msg Boot Mode is set to UEFI: Secure Boot: OFF

    Other Options Menu:

    BIOS Setup: The Setting Screen does come up (F12)
    Boot Sequence: Windows Boot Manager.
    Boot List Options UEFI

    Device Configuration
    Boot Mode: UEFI; Secure Boot Off **Is this OFF correct ?

    So, the above setting are what are shown in F12.
    F12 is the only key that works now.

    Something above that doesn't look "right" ??

    Trying to find another PC somewhere that is running W10 to try out that Recovery Disk
    I made two years ago when I bought the PC.
    Nothing I do seems to make it readable on the pc I'm having all the problems with.

    Thanks for all the time and help,
      My Computer

  6. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,542
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    It is okay to have secure boot off.

    if you want to read about it. Just the first section.

    If no other members have a better idea I would go to the Media Creation tool, down load it, execute it, answer don't update this PC, create a USB thumb drive. You need 8GB key. It will erase all contents on 8GB USB key.

    Did you have data on device that you need to recovery?
      My Computer

  7. Posts : 261
    Thread Starter

    From Bob: Concerning My "Problem" More On Blank Screen If Downloading


    First, a most sincere thanks for everyone who has taken the time and trouble to try and help me out with this.
    Great Forum, and great folks.

    Am in my 80's now, so please bear with me a bit.

    Here's most everything I think I've learned about my "problem".

    Have a 2 year old Dell XPS 8900.
    No gaming, pretty much a basic setup.
    Has always worked just fine.

    About a week ago, screen started to go blank.
    Couldn't boot up, etc.

    After trying most everything suggested, used the MS Media Creation Tool.
    Have everything pretty well backed up, so wasn't afraid of losing files.

    Tool seemed to work fine.
    Was thrilled; booted up fine, correct screens came up, etc.

    Then again, after about 10 minutes or so, a blank screen, and back to the original problem.
    Did the Tool again with same results.
    Really hangs up good; the only thing that works is the clicking on a reboot to F12.
    Other F keys are not functional. Safe Mode is also non-functional.

    What I've learned (I think):

    It "seems" to be related (only) to when I am connected to the Internet.
    I also think it's not just being connected that causes the hangups; seems to
    happen only, I think, when an actual download is in process.

    If I unplug my Ethernet, pc behaves normally.
    Besides apparently needing to be connected to the internet for the problem to develop, it
    also seems that it happens (only ?) when an actual download is in progress.

    Have another pc running W7 connected to Router; works fine.

    *Could some Driver have been updated that is not compatible ?

    *What about all the Network Adapters (this was mentioned in a Post to another person) that show up
    if I use Device manager ?
    Should I check for updates to these, assuming I can before the pc hangs again ? If so, how do I check, please ?

    Not that sharp with this stuff anymore, but think I have checked just about everything previously suggested.
    If any suggestions, please a step-by step and explicit. Getting hard for me now at age.

    So, what should I check out now ? Network Adapters, etc. ?

    *Some board related to this that might have gone bad ?


    Much thanks,
    Last edited by Brink; 09 Dec 2017 at 09:38. Reason: moved to original thread
      My Computer

  8. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,542
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Hi Bob.

    If reloading Windows with the USB key created from the Media Creation Tool gets you going and then it goes black once you connect to internet it very likely is a driver, a video driver.

    This tutorial, Option four is a very good way to go. You would have to download the reg file in step three of Option 4, and have it on a USB key so you can apply without having to go on net.

    So download file, place on USB key. Do what you were doing to load Windows but make sure you are not connected to Internet. Once Windows is up insert the key with the reg file. Double click on reg file, answer Yes to UAC, restart computer. Then connect to Internet and allow software updates to occur.

    If you do not want to go the way of the reg file. Install Windows disconnected from Internet. When Windows is ready to use, Windows key + R, type sysdm.cpl, enter, click on Hardware Tab, click on Device Installation Settings, click "No".

    In either solution I would check device manager for any adapters having issues. Right click Start, left click device manager, look for Yellow exclamation marks.

    You can address these individually if they are present with members help.

      My Computer

  9. Posts : 261
    Thread Starter

    For Ken: A Bit More from Bob


    Went to Device Manager, and saw question marks after all of these:

    Display Adapter:
    MS Basic Display Adapter
    MS Basic Display Adapter

    Other devices:
    PCI Data Acquisition & Signal Processing Controller
    PCI Memory Controller
    PCI Simple Communications Controller
    SM Bus Controller

    It allowed me to update the Drivers on many (but not all) of the above.

    But, after going thru a bunch of re-starts, etc. the question marks still show.

    Still pretty convinced it's a board ? Or more than one ?

    Which one(s) (cheap) should I buy ?

    What about the Network Adapter thing ?

    Thanks again,
      My Computer

  10. Caledon Ken's Avatar
    Posts : 25,542
    Windows 10 Pro x64 Version 21H1

    Bob could you share your service tag number. If you don't want to in forum send me a private message.

    Screen going blank is usually display adapter. From what you printed above it is using a MS driver. Lets find the right one.

    Have you disable driver updates?
      My Computer

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