Windows 7: Black Screen of Death

Problem

I started to see a variant of the infamous Black Screen of Death (BSoD) on my Windows 7 computer a couple of months ago. The computer would be running all day, no shutdown or standby or hibernation. I lock the computer when I leave the desk. When I came back to use the computer in the morning or after lunch or after a weekend, the Windows 7 login screen would be displayed correctly. I login successfully and the screen would go completely black! I could still see the mouse cursor appear and disappear if I moved it.

This problem would occur about 1 in 5 times I logged in like this. I was left with no option but to restart the computer, and it would login fine after that.

Solution

Thankfully, I found that I was not the only person facing this problem. This was not the actual BSoD since it was certainly not any driver or kernel failure. The popular suggestions given on the Internet to solve this were:

  • Update graphics card drivers.
  • Update or uninstall all virtual display or multiple display software.
  • Update or uninstall all time tracking software.

I updated the drivers for my NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT card, but the BSoD still happened a while after that.

I uninstalled Dexpot, the virtual desktop manager I was using. It has been a few weeks now and the BSoD has not happened after this! 🙂 I am guessing Dexpot was doing something when I logged back in which caused a black screen. If you are facing such a BSoD, you may want to try uninstalling your virtual desktop software and see if it solves the problem.

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