Computer Screen Went Black But Still Running

Computer Screen Went Black But Still Running

Have you ever had the sinking feeling of dread when your computer abruptly blacks out in the middle of an important project? Panic spikes as all sorts of questions run through your head – did I save?

Is it recoverable or is everything lost forever?! Despite these worries, there can be a faint glimmer of hope that lies within restarting. An effort to reboot may still keep you connected and salvage what seemed like certain doom!

Don’t worry – it’s more common than you think! With Windows 11, this frustration has become all too familiar. Let’s explore what could be causing the issue and figure out how we can get that desktop up and running again so life (and work!) can go back to normal! 🙂

Faulty Graphics Card Driver

One possible cause of this issue is a faulty graphics card driver.

I would ask my clients to first start updating drivers, as this step always be one of the first steps to troubleshoot such problems!

Outdated or corrupted drivers can often result in hardware malfunctions and performance issues that lead to a black screen.

By updating your graphics card driver regularly, you’ll not only solve this particular problem but also improve overall system functioning and avoid other potential glitches down the line.

Unsure how to update drivers? No worries! Just give us a ring and we can organise someone to take care of that for you – in person or remotely!

Overheating Issues

Do drivers look OK?

Well, overheating issues may be at play here.

Can you believe it? – Overheating can cause damage to various components of your computer, including the graphics card – it’s true!

This issue often arises when there is a lack of proper ventilation or cooling systems in place, resulting in high temperatures that lead to performance glitches and crashes.

To tackle this problem, try cleaning out your computer’s fans and vents regularly or invest in additional cooling solutions like liquid cooling systems or external fans.

Remember, keeping an eye on temperature readings and addressing overheating problems promptly will help ensure optimal device performance and prevent costly repairs down the line.

Symptoms Of Overheating

Symptoms of overheating can include sluggish performance, loud fans, and unexpected shutdowns.

I cannot stress how important cooling your machine is – If left unchecked, this issue can cause permanent damage to internal components such as the CPU or motherboard – yup, you’ve been warned!

It’s essential to take preventative measures to avoid overheating, such as regularly cleaning dust out of vents and investing in external cooling solutions like laptop cooling pads.

By being proactive about identifying and mitigating these symptoms of overheating, you’ll ensure your device stays healthy and functional for years to come.

Hardware Malfunction

Hardware Damage

Power surges, overheating, or physical trauma – Yes!

Hardware damage can cause components like graphic cards, motherboards, or hard drives to malfunction leading to system crashes or total shutdowns.

To avoid hardware damage – as previously mentioned – ensure that your device has ample ventilation and invest in surge protectors to guard against power fluctuations.

Power Supply Failures

Think of the PSU (Power Supply Unit) as the pulse to your PC – you need a good one. If it’s no good – your PC suffers.

Power supply failure can occur due to various reasons such as old age, improper installation, or manufacturing defects.

Symptoms may include random shutdowns, blue screens, black screens, or unusual noises coming from the unit.

Ensure your electrical system is running top-notch and don’t skimp on good power supplies. Get them installed right by an expert to protect against unexpected issues.

Power Supply Compatibility

Before jumping into replacing your PSU, there’s an important factor to consider: compatibility. Don’t just go for any random unit; make sure its wattage and voltage levels sync up with the rest of your components. Doing so will ensure that you get back up and running without adding another layer of complexity!

To power up your setup with ease, you need to be picky about the PSU – it’s crucial that it matches both wattage and voltage needs of all components involved. A small detail can make a big difference!

A mismatched or insufficiently powered PSU can lead to all sorts of issues such as system instability, crashes, and even hardware damage. So if you’re planning on replacing your old PSU, do some research first and find out what specs are required for your setup.

Outdated Hardware

As technology advances at lightning speeds, it’s easy to get left behind with older components and devices that can cause your system to slow down or even crash altogether.

Whether it’s an outdated processor, insufficient RAM, or an old hard drive, these pieces of hardware can greatly hinder your ability to achieve mastery over your technology.

But don’t fret – there are solutions available to upgrade your hardware and keep up with the times.

Corrupted System Files

We might wanna talk about damaged registries first; they can mess up a system.

Missing DLLs can be a real issue, too; they’re essential for programs to run properly.

Damaged Registries

Registries act as a database for all settings and configurations on your computer, including hardware drivers and software applications.

When they become corrupted, it can cause various issues such as blue screens of death or even complete system failure.

This can happen due to malware infections, improper shutdowns, or outdated registry entries.

To fix this issue, you may need to use specialized tools to repair the registries or restore them from a backup if available.

Keep in mind that tampering with registry settings without proper knowledge can lead to further complications, so it’s best to seek professional help if you’re not confident in your abilities.

Missing DLLs

A black screen could indicate – ‘DLL not found’ or ‘missing entry point’?

Chances are there’s a missing Dynamic Link Library (or DLL) in the mix – these special files contain code and data that many programs rely upon to run correctly.

Unfortunately, they can sometimes go astray due to malware infections, accidental deletion of important system components, or outdated software installations.

Fixing this issue usually involves finding and reinstalling the missing DLL files from reputable sources or using tools to repair the existing ones if possible.

It’s important to note that downloading DLL files from untrusted websites can be risky as they may contain viruses or other malicious software, so always exercise caution when searching for them online.

Corrupted System/ Device Drivers

Drivers are software programs that allow your computer to communicate with hardware devices such as printers, scanners, and graphics cards.

When these files become damaged or outdated, it can cause issues like crashes or poor performance. Like other types of corrupted system files, malware infections or improper updates can be the culprit behind driver corruption.

Fixing this issue often involves identifying the problematic driver and either updating or reinstalling it from a trusted source.

Display Settings


The resolution refers to the number of pixels displayed on the screen, which affects how clear and detailed images appear.

If you have set a resolution that exceeds what your monitor can handle or if there’s an issue with the graphics driver, this could cause the display to go black while the system remains active.

To address this problem, try adjusting the resolution settings in Display Settings or updating your graphics driver.

Refresh Rate

Now that we’ve covered the importance of adjusting brightness for a comfortable viewing experience, let’s move on to another crucial aspect of display settings – refresh rate.

The refresh rate refers to how many times per second your monitor updates its image, and it can greatly impact your visual performance.

A higher refresh rate means smoother motion and less blurring in fast-paced scenes, making it ideal for gamers or anyone who wants a seamless viewing experience.

Understanding how to adjust this setting will not only enhance your mastery over display settings but also allow you to tailor your computer usage specifically to your needs.

Virus Or Malware Infection

Symptoms of a virus or malware infection can include a slow computer, pop-up advertisements, and a computer screen that goes black while still running.

To prevent a virus or malware infection, make sure to always update your software and use a trusted anti-virus program. If your computer is already infected, you’ll need to remove the virus or malware by running a full system scan or by using a specialized removal tool, or just call us! 🙂

BIOS Settings

Bios Setup

The Basic Input/Output System (BIOS) is responsible for managing your computer’s hardware and software initialization processes. It also controls various system settings that affect how your device functions.

In the BIOS setup, you can adjust the boot order, enable/disable certain devices or features, and configure security options such as passwords and encryption. To access the BIOS setup menu, restart your computer and press the designated key during startup – this varies depending on the manufacturer of your motherboard.

Once inside the BIOS setup, take time to explore each option carefully before making any changes. Incorrect settings such as the wrong/incompatible boot device and could lead to errors or malfunctions on your system.

Third-Party Software Conflicts

Incompatible Drivers

Incompatible drivers are a common issue that arises when installing new programs or hardware onto your system.

When these drivers conflict with existing ones, they can cause serious performance issues and even crash your system entirely.

Outdated Software

Outdated software can pose a serious threat to your computer’s performance and security, as it may contain vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

Additionally, older versions of the software are often not compatible with newer programs or hardware, leading to conflicts and crashes.

To avoid these issues, keep all of your software up-to-date by regularly checking for updates and installing them promptly.


System Restore

Rejoice! If your PC settings and files ever take a wrong turn, Windows has you covered with System Restore. This handy feature allows users to travel back in time for the ultimate do-over on troublesome tech issues!

So, in essence, find the nearest point in time and click that restore button and hopefully, that should fix the issue!

Safe Mode Boot

This mode allows your computer to boot up with only basic files and drivers necessary for it to function, excluding any unnecessary programs or applications that may be causing the issue.

To access Safe Mode Boot, simply restart your computer and continuously press the F8 key until a menu appears. From there, select ‘Safe Mode’ and wait for your computer to fully boot up in this mode.

Check for updates in case there are any missing drivers or software patches.

You should also run a virus scan just to rule out any malicious activity.

Try uninstalling your graphics card driver and reinstalling it again.

Reinstalling the OS

This can seem like a daunting task but fear not – by following step-by-step instructions provided online or through your OS provider, you can easily reinstall the OS on your own.

Not only will this fix any lingering software issues, but it will also give your computer a fresh start and potentially improve its overall performance.

Step 1: Backup your data

When reinstalling Windows 10, safeguard your important data by backing it up!

Avoid the risk of losing vital documents and memories by taking a few simple steps to create an external backup. You can use powerful cloud storage services or trusty old-fashioned hard drives–whatever works best for you! Be sure that no matter what happens during installation, all your files will remain safe and sound.

Step 2: Create a Windows 10/Windows 11 installation media

Then it’s time to create your installation media. Microsoft makes this easy with their Media Creation Tool, which you can download from their website and use a USB flash drive with at least 8GB of free space for setup. After plugging in your USB stick, just follow the steps outlined by the tool and get ready to reinstall that operating system!

Step 3: Start the installation process

Once you have created the installation media, you can begin the installation process. Insert the installation media into your computer and restart it. The setup process will begin, and you will be prompted to select your language and other options. Follow the instructions until you see the option to install Windows 10. Click on the “Install Now” button.

Step 4: Choose the “Keep personal files and apps” option

When it comes to choosing an installation type, select the ‘Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)’ option. You’ll be taken straight through to a screen that displays all of your drives and partitions- simply pick out the drive where you have currently installed Windows! Once chosen, choose “Keep personal files and apps” from among the available installation options – then just sit back as your PC takes care of everything else for you!

Step 5: Complete the installation process

Finally, complete the installation process by following the on-screen instructions. This may take some time, and your computer may restart several times.

Now that you’ve finished setting up the installation process, your computer will be ready to go with a reboot! Don’t worry about losing any of your data – once you sign into your account again all of those files and applications should still be right where you left them.

Professional Assistance

Last but not least, there are several remote support services available if you need more specialized assistance – like us! 🙂


From faulty graphics card drivers to overheating or hardware malfunctions, the possible culprits are numerous. So before you throw in the towel and declare your computer dead, take a deep breath and attempt some troubleshooting measures such as checking for loose connections or trying a system restore.

And if all else fails, don’t hesitate to seek professional PC assistance because let’s face it – computers can be pretty complex creatures sometimes.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...