Why do I get a black screen on my computer after a while?

A black screen on your computer can mean several things. A black screen is most commonly a screen saver, but there are other possibilities.

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My computer switches to a black screen after about 5 to 15 minutes of use. Then I have to turn it off to get another 5 to 15 minutes of use. Can you tell me what part of my computer is causing this black out?

I get questions that boil down to this symptom quite often.

Unfortunately, it’s very hard for me to offer concrete help.

The problem is that there are so many possibilities that could lead to this symptom. There’s simply no single “part of my computer” to point at.

There are many things to look at, and look for, so I’ll review the most common causes and remedies.

Most common: overheating

A suddenly black screen accompanied by what appears to be a completely unresponsive computer is, most often, a symptom that you computer has crashed.

And the most common cause of crashes is overheating.

Your computer needs good ventilation to avoid overheating. Make certain that the ventilation holes aren’t blocked by dust or other debris.

Occasionally, a poorly-designed computer can overheat even if there are no obstructions. Most often this is because the CPU is being used too heavily for too long. This can be due to malware, which I’ll discuss in a moment, or it can be due to running a CPU-intensive program or game continuously for a long time. If the latter is the case, you may need to take steps to provide extra ventilation, or cool the air flowing around or through your computer.

Hardware-related failures

Hardware does fail. One of the early signs of impending failure is a periodic crash such as you describe.

Black ScreenGiven that it’s consistently happening 5 to 15 minutes after boot up, after looking at possible overheating issues, I’d probably begin to suspect the power supply next.

Just about any hardware component on your computer can cause a crash if it’s starting to fail. Most often it’ll take a technician looking at the machine in person to diagnose imminent hardware failure.

In addition, drivers related to the hardware can also come in to play. If you’ve recently updated drivers for a component, it’s possible that the new drivers brought a problem with them in the form of a bug.

The next step would be to notice any correlation between the time the problem started and any software updates on your machine, particularly drivers related to the hardware.

Malware

Malware remains a possibility, though not to the same degree as it has been in the past.

To begin with, most malware isn’t really interested in intentionally crashing your computer. However, as you might imagine, malware doesn’t have quite the quality-assurance process that most commercial software has, so it’s possible that buggy malware could cause problems.

The reason that malware is less likely is that, unlike hardware drivers, it simply doesn’t operate at the same level needed to cause an instant and total crash. Malware-related crashes are usually limited to a single program, some specific functionality that stops working, or in the most common worst-case scenario, the “blue screen of death“.

But it remains something to stay on top of, via a complete and up-to-date anti-malware scan.

Perhaps not the computer, but the display

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One more common “black screen” failure mode is that the computer’s display has stopped working, but the computer itself is still running properly.

One simple way to determine if this is what’s happening is to play some audio on your computer. Load up a longish mp3 play list or streaming audio station and let it play. If the monitor suddenly goes black, but the music continues to play, you know that the computer is still running, and that the problem is more likely either the video card, the video drivers, the monitor, or the cables connecting the monitor to the computer.

If that’s what appears to be happening, then:

  • Check the connecting cable, making sure that the connections at both ends are snug.
  • Borrow a replacement monitor to see if that resolves the problem (you would hook it up as an external monitor, if this is a laptop we’re talking about).
  • You can also try updating the video drivers.

Unfortunately, diagnosing the video card itself can be difficult, and once again is something often best left to hardware technicians.

It could be expected and normal behavior

It’s probably obvious to you already, but I’ll say it anyway: it could just be a screen saver. If you wiggle the mouse or hit a key on the keyboard and your screen comes back, that’s it. You can adjust screen-saver behavior in the Display portion of Control Panel.

If you have a laptop, it’s possible that the computer has gone into Standby or Hibernate mode. If you simply push the power button and it comes back up to where you were after a few seconds, that’s probably it. Normally a computer should only go into Standby if you’re not actively using it, but if your battery is very low, it may force Standby in order to avoid losing your work in progress. Usually there’s a message that should tell you when this happens.

So as you can see, it’s not a simple process to diagnose. Some steps, like trying another monitor or cable, are pretty easy for you to take yourself. But if you’re not comfortable diagnosing system crashes or hardware problems like potential overheating, it might be time to take the computer to a local technician for a hands-on diagnosis.

This is an update to an article originally posted : June 22, 2006
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Comments

  1. Therese

    I had this same issue with my old computer that was running Win 98 SE. I went through and systematically started to replace everything in there. By the time I was done, I only had the CRW drive, motherboard and ram that was original over the computer.

    Still was giving me the issues.

    It took an upgrade to Win XP to stop the problems, and I haven’t had a problem since. I hope that this helps anyone else.

  2. Samuel Johansson

    I’ve had this problem with an USB mouse. It seemed like Windows “didn’t know that I was using the mouse” and went into screensaver mode.
    After hitting a key on the keyboard, the screensaver went away and I was able to continue using the system.

    A really strange problem indeed. However, replacing the mouse solved the problem.

  3. peter cupido

    The screen of my laptop suddenly gets often black as well, and when that starts I can switch off/on forever but it keeps doing it after a short while. It’s just the screen, the computer keeps working. I remedied this by disabling the screen saver and disable any hibernation or stand-by.

    • Heather

      How were you able to do that Peter? No screen appears at all for me to see to do just what you said you did? It is a laptop

  4. Kent LG

    I’m having the same problem with my PC. I’ve replaced my power supply and video card and it still goes off every 15 to 30 minutes. Can it be my Mobo or bad drivers?..I’m really looking into it and trying to solve the matter

  5. jay

    my standby mode of my computer is not working. whenever i am trying to put my pc into standby mode, i couldnt. the standby mode option is not high-lighted on the menu, there is no option for standby mode. Also, there is no hibernate option. i guess my OS is corrupted. How will i get it back?

  6. Ben

    Please E-Mail Me Asap! Cheers!

    Well i keep starting my computer as normal and after about 2minuites it goes to a blue screen and says beggining physical memory dump then it completes and still stays on the blue screen!

    Please e-mail with the problem, ive downloaded and anti-virus but cant use it because im running in safe mode(direct servies restore) the only way i can get this darn thing to work atm momemnt. This only happened a few days back though when my computer turned off then it kept saying your computer is infected with adware n spyware but i cudnt exit the progam ? Please help asap ben

    • Alan M.

      The blue screen sounds like XP and a heat problem with the power supply. I had that happen. Took the computer apart and cleaned everything. I even took the power supply appart and the CPU heatsink and fan assembly. After a thorough cleaning I put everything back together and I don’t know why but I decided to turn the computer on with the case open. Low and behold the fan on the power supply was struggling to start and kept stopping. That fan was the cause of the problem. Also if it’s XP with the blue screen and memory dump you have to manualy turn off the computer.

      On so far as the virus thing goes. It’s probably not a virus per-se but a looping code that won’t let you quit. For this you have to do a Ctrl/Alt/Delete and manually close the browser. This is regardless of your Windows version. Hope this may help……Alan

  7. Paul

    I think I have solved the “black screen” problem, and I know virtually nothing about computers. After I bought my HP f1503 monitor with HP computer about 3 years ago, I began having problems from the beginning. After about 15 days spending in excess of 15 hours on the phone with MSN technical support in Nova Scotia (and after spending 35 bucks for technical support), a very smart person discovered that my Norton anti-virus software that had been installed at the retail store where I purchased the computer had basically attacked my computer, placing a firewall between me and the internet, preventing me from accessing the internet. After that problem was corrected, and after downloading Semantic (phonetic) software as well, I began noticing the black screen syndrome. I do not believe for one instant that my relatively new computer monitor is defective; rather, I firmly believe that Semantec and/or Norton anti-virus personal firewalls are the true culprits. I basically removed the programs from my hard drive and the problem has corrected itself. I also believe that all Norton/Semantic products place a fire wall inside the PC and cause such problems. It reminds me of a certain Star Trek episode (original series) where the computer attacked everything (NOMAD, or something like that); perhaps Norton should rename itself NOMAD….

  8. Chris

    Although, like Leo said, this can be caused by a miriad of things, I had this same problem happen to me a few weeks ago, so I figured I’d share. I had two seperate Dell Optiplex GX270’s at my office that, within a week of each other, would randomly show a black screen. The power light on the PC would remain solidly lit, but everything else would become unresponsive as if the machine was off.

    I opened up the case (after completely reinstalling the operating system all all apps) and saw the problem. On both machines, several of the capacitors had blown out; in one of the machines they had visibly leaked. The capacitors are the tall, tubular shaped things that stick up off of the board (there are good pictures of damaged ones here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague)
    Repairing this requires either a supply of the correct type of capacitors, a steady hand, and a soldering iron, or, as in my case, a long and annoying call to Dell support to get a replacement motherboard.
    An initial visual inspection of all installed hardware (add on devices, like video cards, frequently have capacitors as well) would have saved me a lot of time, and is another point to add onto your troubleshooting list.

    Cheers!

    • sgt3

      Dell puts out defective products and doesn’t back them up! One example… I have this beautiful Dell Inspiron that a client returned to me. It wont turn on. Ther are two series of three beeps follow by 7 beeps. My research last year informed me that this series had a problem in that the CPU gets ‘unstuck’ from the MB. Some people had a temporary solution to wrap the laptop in a blanket (true) and apply heat as with a hairdryer. Actually, this worked for a short time…

      At any rate, seems this happened to a very large percentage of these laptops and Dell has refused responsibility. I’ve bee tempted to get int the machine to see for myself, but pain from handicap has, so far, prevented me from doing so. I would NEVER purchase a Dell for this reason, and I go out of my way to keep any of my clients from purchasing one, no matter how good the deal seems.

  9. Alan Barnes

    My friends PC starts to Boot up, goes through POST and the Windows Logo appears, then the Screen changes and gives various options of starting Windows, the keyboard does not respond and after the 30 seconds tries to boot but the monitor goes into standby mode and nothing can be seen on the screen, after pressing the Reset button, the Windows Screen appears again and the System keeps Restarting by itself with nothing on the Screen, it is not possible then to go into the BIOS to see what is happening or to change or load Default settings

  10. sharon

    im triing to help my mom fix her pc. she opened an email and the computer shut down. when she turned it back on it flashed the compaq screen with F1 and F10 at the bottom then goes to a black screen with a cursor at the top. the F1 screen brings up BIOS mode F10 and F8 do nothing and esc. bring up a boot order dialog. ive tried burning discs off my pc and putting them on hers to try and restore her windows but it doesnt seem to be reading the cd.. the cd rom is working the green light comes on and you can here the disk spin but then nothing happens and it goes back to the black screen with the cursor.. can any one walk me threw bios mode? or help me restore my moms pc? she just started a buisness and all her contacts are in the pc!! ty sharon

    • Alan M.

      This could be a hard drive issue. The hard drive may have a lot of fragments and the drive is over heating and quitting. Thus the constant restarts and quitting. I had this with my XP as well. Turn it off and unplug it for about an hour and check the battery on the motherboard as well. If the battery is dead the BIOS will lose it’s settings and be asking you to press Fctn 1 (or whatever for your MB) to load the default settings.
      Hope this may help…………Alan

  11. Joe

    I too am experiencing regular periodic black screens. The power light on the lcd monitor stays on. If I turn it off and then on again after 3 or so seconds the monitor comes back to life. Other programs seem to be working okay, including audio…I noticed that when my son is logged on under his own XP userid, the problem disappears. I am beginning to suspect a virus. If so – What virus would be causing this and how do I get rid of it? I run Mcafee regularly….

  12. hamid

    I tried changing the boot up in the BIOS to the CD-ROM and put the Windows XP CD in but nothing comes up. You can hear the CD spinning for a while though.

    • Alan M.

      Check the +5v and +12v power to the drive. How long since you used a CD lenz cleaner on the drive? It could be dirty.

      • Mark Jacobs

        Do you realize that the 3 comments you responded to are all 9 years old? Well, maybe someone else with a similar problem will benefit.

          • I regularly update my articles. I do give the new dates if I feel that the information is still current. There’s always a dilemma on whether or not to leave old comments since it can cause an article to appear dated. However in most cases I don’t take on the additional work of deleting old comments because very often the comments have valuable information that doesn’t depend on the date.

  13. Daniela

    I get the black screen after my computer has been idle for a while and the screensaver has already come on. Usually, I have to turn it off and reboot. I recently reformatted the system but it doesn’t seem to be linked to that. Could it be the fan?

  14. Daniel

    I was running Photoshop CS2, designing a signature for myself, right in the middle of doing my work, the computer crashed unexpectedly, hearing the eerie sound of death. 10 minutes later, when I was loading a screen in EverQuest, it crashed again. Then, I tried to check for spyware with Spybot, it didn’t get through, because it crashed again. I don’t know what’s causing this? I may have been to a few bad sites (porn sites), or download more then 100 songs on my computer But is that really the cause of the computer crash?

  15. Ron

    I am a IT Specialist with IHS/DHHS and I have replaced over 180 motherboards with the bloating or leaky capacitors. Model(s) in question are the Dell GX270 Optiplex (all form factors) and less on the GX 280’s. Symptoms were like the computer went into hibernating/powersave, you would have to restart; some would restart repeatedly; some would go black screen twice a day or once every two or three days. All would go to black screen. It was very frustrating troubleshooting each one until Dell admitted to a capacitor problem on mainboards manufactered before a certain date.

  16. saeid

    My screen was turning black after the computer had been working for a while , sometimes by clicking a link ,sometimes by itself.I increased the RAM of my computer from 512 MB to 768 by changing one of my 256 MB memory card to 512 MB memory card,since then I have not experienced any black screen and I use the advantage of having more memory as well.

  17. kc

    AFTER FURTHER INSPECTING THE SAME ISSUE ON MY COMPUTER, I REALIZED IT WAS THE POWER SAVING FEATURE IN WINDOWS SHUTTING OFF THE MONITOR LOL!

    • Heather

      How did you solve/fix that very issue? Laptop is not like a desktop where one can simply use a secondary monitor or whatever else to bring up and fix issues-confused? Totally black screen,everything lights up and appears to be working,can even put in password just blank screen that won’t light up is all-so confused,lol..

      • Mark Jacobs

        Actually, most laptops can connect to an external monitor. You might try borrowing one and seeing it that works.

  18. Saeid

    norton antivirus was causing black screen & not letting me to restoe my computer to the earlier date:After I uninstalled my norton antivirus by going to symantec (noton) website and using their removal tools (I could not remove it by using add or remove) was able to restore my computer to the earlier date immediately and it has been one month I haven,t had any black screen. so,either norton boosts the existing problem of the computer or causing the blackscreen by its own interaction.you can try it if your computer is using norton. Increasing,ram did not help very long ,but I think one month of normal screen would be enough to judge my attempt.

  19. Jono Dines

    im just wondering how i get an internet site off my deskop its stuck on the background and i cant get it off was just wondering if anyone could please help me out its realy frustrating.

    • Alan M.

      Are you running Widows 8? If so you have to close your browser with Ctrl/Alt/Delete or through Activity Center/Notifications on the bottom right. Windows 8 doesn’t close the browser on its own if you load it from the tiled screen it just changes the screen to your next activity.

  20. Art

    Hi.On my 2004 XP Packardbell,I am getting the oppoite of the above problem. Instead of getting a Black screen after 5to15 mins afgter boot,mine starts as soon as ithas fully booted.I have put up with it for around 2months but it seems to be getting very gradually worse.It goes Black on all but a small handful of movements and clickings of the mouse.Their is also a horizontal flickering associated with this problem.After a while,however, itsometimes improves but is generally unpredictable. I did once notice an improvement after using checkdisk and recovery of bad cluster utility and defragmenting. However it advised me to defrag ontwo occasions only a month apart so I have been ignoring this having been told that over defragging can seriously harm the hard drive.
    Hope this comment might interest you.
    Yours, Art

  21. Timon

    For me my computer is seriously restarting it’s self every after 30 minutes.I have checked fr the screen saver settings but there is nothing to do with it,i really need your help coz am an internet cafe attendant my customers are running away from me.I really don’t know what to do.Yours concerned citeezen from Uganda.

  22. Sophia Din

    My Toshiba laptop screen was jittery for about a day but still working fine. I turned it off and turned it on after a few hours, after I clicked the USER NAME, the laptop screen went black, but I still could hear the computer working, so I hooked the Toshiba laptop up with my big old Dell desk top screen and the screen WORKED!. Seem like my laptop monitor is dead, though I can still faintly see the screen’s data… it’s like the laptop screen is 95% balck. Any idea what, if anything, I can do to fix this. Thanks!

  23. Helene

    Hi, my computer screen turns off when it wants, meaning it turns black. The monitor is still on. I’ve changed the screensaver, and that’s not it. I’ve scanned for a virus, and I don’t have one. I’ve done everything else on the list (except change monitors, because I don’t just have a spare monitor lying around) is there anytihng else you can suggest? Thanks!

  24. andy

    i grt the black screen after about 5 mins i tried taking all cards out .it has a new hard drive.i tried taking out the ram and the fan is seated ok.please can someone help

  25. matt

    i turn my laptop and all i get is just a black screen with an little line on the top right corner which looks like this – could it be that my hard drive is broken

  26. huffnpuff

    hi i have a toshiba satellite A215-S7416 laptop. i had a problem with the computer screen going black and the computer had to be rebooted. through research it appears that there are some problems with some toshiba’s. i hope toshiba is working on it. a workaround recommended to me seems to work(so far).it is to raise the MINIMUM power setting to 100%. i talked to toshiba and they didnt help any. is there a permanent fix in the near future? thank you

  27. Josh

    i have done all of these things, at first i thought i was my mouse and keyboard so i switched out, still didnt work. i plugged monitor back(switched from Nvidia Geforce 8500gt to motherboard) into the standard lot on the panel and nothing. the only time this happens is when its been sitting for about ten minutes ( the time my screensaver is supposed to come up after) and goes black. nothing short of turning off the computer will get the screen back up. with it not being GFX card and having tested for viruses and switching out equipment nothing has improved. then i thought could it be the motherboard malfunctioning? i already have a USB port that doesn’t work so it does make sense.. ideas? comments?

  28. Cheryl

    I had my Toshiba Satellite Turion 64 for several months. Not long after purchasing, my monitor would go black requiring reboot to function. I took the advice in this post and played a CD leaving it to continuously rotate play. Eventually, the screen went black and the CD no was no longer playing either. I guess this means my computer completely stopped working. What does this mean? I did purchase extended warranted which requires me to mail my laptop back to the manufacturer. At this point, it looks like that may be my only alternative.

  29. nour sydney

    i have a problem with my toshiba qosmio g30. when i turn it on the screen stays black but i can steel hear the beep, then i have to press fn f5 in order for it to work , i don’t know if it’s vedio card problem or it’s screen.thanks

  30. trevor

    on my PC, say after playing 10-20 minutes of a video game it will get the black screen, would it be the video card or anything related to that, and i can still do regular things like get on the internet and play video games that are of very low graphics.

  31. David

    My computer crashes in random intervals,
    screen goes black and monitor goes into power saving mode, but fans are working and dvd drive
    door can be opened and closed, keyboard and mouse
    don’t work,
    after I turn computer off and on again ,sometimes
    it continues working and sometimes I get the problem repeatedly even before windows starts to boot.
    I have monitored tempreturs and voltages and all are ok.
    :s I need help

  32. Joyce

    my computer has a picture on it not from me and it keeping me from getting on the internet or in any program on my computer. I bought a virus tape but it still there.

  33. David

    Thanks to the commenter Chris. I also have a Dell Optiplex GX270 that randomly “turns off”, but still shows good power. Inspected the motherboard, and I can see two caps with leaking electrolyte on the top of the cap. Dell’s out of stock, so I have a rather hefty boat anchor. The Dell folks did try to sell me several other items – none of which would actually replace the motherboard.

    • Alan M.

      Typical Dell. If the warranty is for 12 months things start going at 13. If your looking for a replacement MB check with eBay or Amazon but look for NEW or reconditioned not USED as you will be replacing one dead MB with another.

  34. BRENT

    MY COMPUTOR IS A DELL TOWER, IT WENT INTO A BLACK SCREEN, THE POINTER FOR THE MOUSE IS UP ON THE SCREEN AND IT MOVES BUT I HAVE NO PICTURE, THE COMPUTOR IS RUNNING BECAUSE I USE IT AS A SEVER AND I AM WORKING THRU IT ALL THE TIME THE MONITOR IS OK BECAUSE I HAVE A 4 PORT SWITCHER AND THE OTHER COMPUTORS ARE SHOWING. COULD IT BE A VIDEO CARD? THANKS

  35. Laura

    Ok.. I have read the comment above.
    I have a Hp laptop and when I turn it on the screen is just black. I can hear the fans going and they’re very loud. I am able to open the CD dreive however, is my laptop in hibernation or has it overheated?

  36. Jona

    My computer it has black screen then said disk boot failurer, insert disk press enter than when i do that is asking for A:]

    • Alan M.

      Sounds like you have a bad boot sector and/or bad hard drive and the BIOS is set to boot from floppy as the 2nd boot choice. It could also be the BIOS settings are requesting it to boot from floppy. Check you BIOS settings and do a chkdsk and/or create master boot record.

  37. Joe Burrell

    My computer seems to be frozen. The background color of the screen is now black, and I can’t get on to the internet. I can see my e-mail, but it will not download any new messages. How serious is this? Has my computer crashed? How can I determine for myself what is wrong?

  38. Shirley

    This is actually for my friend who has xp operating system and in recent time has been getting a black screen, he has checked all the connections, they are fine, has also blown the computer out so that it is clean, now he gets black screen sometimes as early as 7 – 10 minutes after start up, it lasts approx 1/2 hour and then can see the desk top again, these episodes are becoming more frequent, could it be the power supply on the way out? The video card….or time to buy an new computer….he was thinking of reformatting the hard drive but not sure that this would help if the problem does lie in the power supply or video card…if we are in an im and the mouse is in the right place he can still send me messages, however with the black screen he cannot read the response..any help would be appreciated.

    I wouldn’t expect reformatting to help – this feels like a hardware issue. My first step would be to try a different monitor for a while – it actually kinda feels like the monitor might be dying.

    – Leo
    17-Nov-2008
  39. Jerry D. Milton

    My monitor just started going off about every 5 minutes. I just turn the monitor off & right back on & it comes up for another 5 or 6 minutes. I’ve run virus & sypware on it. it still has not stopped it. My computer & monitor is less than 2 yrs. old. Monitor is an HP f2105.

  40. mairhynn

    i was like playing some online game then suddenly it freeze.. i wiggle the mouse but nothin happens.. so i restarted my computer but when i restarted it.. message shows “power saving mode” then it went blank screen..
    i tried wiggling the mouse and hit the keys in my keyboard but nothin happens! please help!

  41. gina

    MY COMPUTER HAS A BLACK SCREEN WHEN I TURN IT ON BUT I CAN HERE THE HARD AND FAN GOING. IT SAID PERITING AND DMI POOL DATE CAN SOMEONE HELP WITH THIS .

  42. bojana

    I have problem with my DELL laptop..my monitor went to a black screen while I was doing something in Matlab, the system worked because I could hear the sound..I turned off computer and then started it again, my system starts properly but then again I am getting black screen,the picture comes randomly for a second and then loose again..if I wait I can see that my system is going in stand by mode …after 12h I turned it again and now works properly for about 50 minutes and then again black screen…can you please tell me whats the problem? is it virus, power supply or?

  43. alica

    When I turn on the computer the screen flashes on for a second and then goes black. I changed the monitor thinking it was the problem but the same thing happened after a couple of weeks. I have also noticed that my computer will sometimes reset its self to Jan 1, 1999 when this happens. I am now on my third monitor.

  44. Kristine

    I have a HP Laptop, my screen will just go black while I am actively using the system. Wiggling the mouse, touch pad, or even pushing the power button do not work. I know that my laptop is still running as all the lights are on and I can hear sound.

  45. Julian

    I have a Toshiba Tecra A6. When my computer crashes, the backlight to the LCD screen shuts off and a buzzing sound comes out of the speakers. Strangely this only occurs when viewing videos through Windows Media Player or when viewing youtube videos. I updated my flash player and WMP, but I still get this problem. It’s been occuring for probably 2 or 3 months now and I’ve had this laptop since March or April of 2006. The only tinkering I’ve done is undervolting all multipliers to the CPU. I restored the voltages to default for a bit to see if that would solve the problem but unfortunately it hasn’t. I’ve tried different ATI drivers. I’m sure it’s not overheating, well considering the CPU anyways, as RMclock registers temps in the mid 40’s. If it means anything, I can watch movies/clips through VLC player flawlessly and I do so several times a week. I’ve updated as many drivers as I could. I’ve had someone from dslreports.com check my Hijackthis logs and other logs back last October as I got a virus from accepting to update my JAVA from an internet explorer popup (silly). Any help would be appreciated.

  46. terry

    my screen turns black after about 15 minutes but I can still use the pc everything on desktop still being visible its just the background is black and then I go into display and change the colour and is ok till the next time approx every 15 to 20 minutes

  47. Tom

    My screen on my laptop kept turning black every 10-20 seconds. I fixed this problem by uninstalling an avg program from freeavg.com. Hopefully I fixed the problem, because my screen hasn’t turned off for over 2 minutes.

  48. Mira-chan

    I have a Phoenix monitor, and it’s roughly two years old. I turned it on yesterday (April Fools’ Day–Conflicker worm?), and it’s been automatically restarting ever since. Help?

  49. Charles

    when I go to change s/n i get a blue screen. outside of that everything works fine

    “s/n”?

    – Leo
    13-Apr-2009
  50. Daz

    Similar problem: I get a constant black screen on my computer with a normal icons display. I use the computer alright but anytime i try to change the background it appears black but behind the black background i could see the set up screensaver. when I scrol up it appears nicely but soon after i scrol down it comes back to black screen. Please can u help me

  51. amit

    screen being blank while opening any application, e.g. pp stream and many others like this. this problem started from the time i rated my computer in vista and now in windows7 also i’ve laptop hp v 3432 au

  52. Kate

    Whenever we play a video on any of the media players (WMP, RP…) the screen flashes from black back to the video. (Watching a video on Youtube is not a problem). What could be doing this? I need to get this fixed as I need it for school.
    Thanks!

  53. George Fuhrmann

    Laptop, in car, hit a bump screen goes black. I can not force the problem by hitting anything.
    However this happens only if the brightness is on max. I take it back it passes. *The bumps.( Sometimes a see little flickering. Maybe not enough power, but how why where?

  54. Nigel Chee

    My HP laptop- whilst streaming video suddenly went black- followed by about 5 beeps from the computer itself. The HDD light seems to be out too. I’ve tried rebooting but nothing but black and beeps. No hint of the machine attempting a boot up. Is it most likely the HDD has died?

  55. Soni

    Whenever I watch a video from an email or on Facebook, my computer screen goes black. I have to keep turning the screen on & off. What makes this happen?

  56. Chris

    I’ve just bought a new Thinkpad R61 because of an intermittent black screen … and now my old T30 Thinkpad has decided to work again!! I’ve just updated some Drivers, but I’m not convinced it’s the fix. Anyway, we’ll see.

  57. lindot1

    my screen would go to sleep on my laptop while watching videos, but I had audio. I have a new desktop and for the 1st week it was ok. Now it does the same thing, only I don’t have audio. I wiggle the mouse, it comes back on, what to do?

  58. Wyn Halpin

    I recently purchase a Toshiba Satellite Laptop and I noticed when my Laptop was idle for a while the display went blank. This happened every time it was idle. I have now rectified the cause. First go into Control Panel, click on Performance Information & Tools, this takes you to Rate & Improve your Computer’s Performance, then click Adust Power Settings, this takes you to Power Plan and then click Choose when to turn off the Display, this takes you to Change settings for the plan, and choose which option suits you, I chose “Never”. Hope this info. helps.

  59. Wilson

    I have the exact same problem and I have found that its my video card overheating. My vid card is GS 8800 on a wins xp. I had the same computer and same configuration/settings for 2 years. It just recently started overheating. What are some ways to fix this overheating issue? Do i need a new card? And I went to that one screeen that tells me my temperature and my vid card was extremely high. Forgot how high but quite high. So that confirms the overheating of my vid card. Please email me for solution thanks.

  60. Sharon Soboleski

    While working on my computer my screen suddenly goes black and turn everything off, my internet connection is a usb port, I am in the country and not wireless is available to me

  61. Connor Currie

    I find myself playing a game on the computer. and my screen randomly goes black, and forces me to restart the whole computer. it is driving me nuts any help would be appericated. email me if helpful

  62. indrajeet

    While working on my computer my screen suddenly goes black and moniter stopped displaying but cpu is still running and cpu not respond.

  63. LordNOD

    Hi!

    I have gone through the same problem (on multiple games including SC2, MW2, ArmaII, etc) and i believe i am familiar with it.

    Qosmio crashing during games (even freecell) with a black screen and loopy sound from the speakers. Solved only with a hard reset. Problem does not happen if you are running off the battery.

    I believe i might have a solution. I have seen the problem crop up across the board on all Qosmio laptops (including my own X300) and i eventually did quite a lot of research and found out a solution.

    The problem really pertains to fixing the clock frequencies between the GPU and the CPU and that caused all the problems. They apparently loose sync with each other at variable speeds due to a bug in the power management.

    The detailed explanation and solution are on http://www.fixmyqosmio.com and you can check out the writeup there.

    It worked for me and it has worked for over 100 other people who have liked it and used it. !!Warning!! it is a COMMERCIAL solution (although it has a 100% refund guarantee) so dont go to the site unless you want to.

    I am not soliciting for business. just letting you know that there IS a way to solve the problem and Toshiba are either not concerned or unable to solve the problem. Please dont make the mistake that i made (taking my out of warranty laptop to toshiba) and paying for servicing it.

    The service center cant help as it just DOES NOT KNOW how to solve the problem. They service it and hope for the best.

    Hope that was some help

    LordNOD

  64. Samareanu Nicolae

    Read the tread howeva my isue is that i only get a black screen in games even while runing in window mode and the time for em its completely random can be 1 min can be 3 hours so dont think its overheating the grafix board is a 9500 gt low power version

  65. Gary B

    I was having the same problem that i read here and could not solve that for a very long time.

    I have a qosmio from Toshiba and i always used to give me the black screen of death and i was really frustrated.

    I read in the comments from a guy called LordNOD that there is a website called http://www.fixmyqosmio.com

    It has a solution and i tried it (yes i risked sending 15 bucks to the guy) And it worked! Saved me a bundle of money! Toshibas asked for $1200 to fix it and he did it in 15. Totally worth it

    Do test it out as i was glad i did (an no no one paid me or asked me to do this! I thought i should share my good fortune with others and prevent people from wasting hard earned cash in these hard times)

    Gary

  66. maverick

    Hey i was wondering how do i get to display portion of my control panel? i searched it in there
    but it said no results?

    Depends on your version of Windows. Don’t use search, open control panel directly and browse through the available entries.

    Leo
    22-Jan-2011

  67. NIYAN GHADGE

    I think i have a answer to this the problem in my case was cracking of the windows code after installation/ formatting with windows 7.My Hardware guy came with his hard disk attached the hard disk to my USB port and simply put the code in the control panel and restarted the laptop twice. it was done in minutes. and i was rid of three problems error message when starting for genuine windows software, build 7000 error message in the right bottom corner and black screen. please think twice before formatting or viral attacks.

  68. Pat Boyd

    My computer started going to black screen after Time/Warner advised they were giving Roadrunner customers 40% more speed free and all I had to do was disconnect power to the modem for 30 seconds. I don’t know if this was just a coincidence that it happened at this time or if it was connected to adding the speed. When the screen goes black on my PC, it will come back up fine when I turn off and back on. It doesn’t seem to go black until I have left it on idle for some time. It appears everyone here is talking about laptops. Would the solutions be the same for a PC? Thanks.

  69. bobbie

    My pc just started doing this today…However, it is fine as long as I am just on internet explorer, etc…When I play my games online, that is when (after roughly half an hour of play) the screen goes black, though the computer is still running. The entire computer is brand new, minus the 2 slave drives which are from my old computer. The motherboard, video cards, heat sinc, etc…are all new. Is it time to replace the monitor? (again, working fine as long as I don’t bring the games up)

  70. shannon

    my pc seems to have a problem.. which im quite sure is caused either by my motherboard or PS unit.. da pc screen goes off an da pc becomes unresponsive.. yet da pc lights are stil on.. iv tried watchn movies or listenin to music.. and b4 evrythin goes blank.. da screen freezes an sound distorts.. i know it isn’t over heatn because the temp readins always have remaind under 40C.. i need help diagnosin wats wrong to no wat needs replacing

  71. Ivan

    Leo’s general comment that “there are many possibilities” is very true! I will tell share my findings re: laptops. I have had several on my test bench that exibited the same black screen symptom. The first was my daughters Acer. I found the processor cooling duct PACKED with lint. Since that fix (cleaned the duct) the unit has been working another 2 years. This problem was found on others. No surprise, as they spend much time on someone’s lap sucking in lint. I recommend a cooler but settle for a small board large enough for the computer and mouse, if used. A secondary benefit is a cooler lap!
    The second problem seen was the Heat Pipe contact on the processor. It was on a less than 1 year old Acer. The contact area was NOT Cleaned in original factory assembly. It required a new mb, cleaning the heat pipe contact and Artic Silver compound.
    HEAT IS THE NEMISIS OF ALL COMPUTERS which includes desktops!

  72. Christian

    My pc well when you turn it on the screen is black but there is a but none of the keys work could you please email me about the problem

  73. Ravi Garg

    DEAR ALL,

    I HAVE LENOVO N100 AQ1 0768 LAPTOP AND I AM FACING PROBLEM WITH IT’S DISPLAY…SOMETIME IT’S DISPLAY WORKS FINE WHEN I POWER ON THE LAPTOP BUT SOMETIME WHEN I POWER IT ON THE DISPLAY WORKS BUT DARK (MEANS IF WE SPREAD LIGHT ON DISPLAY WE CAN SEE THE DISPLAY OTHERWISE IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS NOT DISPLAYING ANYTHING)….PLEASE TELL ME THE POSSIBLE CASUE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE

  74. Kathryn

    I have two monitors and this has been happening. I was considering a faulty wire or something of that sort but I doubt it would happen to both monitors at the same time

  75. Rom Chmel

    Hi ! I got ACER ASPIRE V 15 TOUCH Screen comes black,only mouse cursor visible and can move on a black screen , turns off the laptop a few times, nothing is change, screen still is BLACK. Any help would be appreciated, Thanks

  76. Gloria Jimenez

    I have an HP notebook I am having a problem with. I just made some changes in my subscription to my internet, TV, and phone bundle by Time Warner Cable. My computer was working fine. My computer screen is completely black now after the technician plugged a line into my notebook (Looks like a telephone port), I guess to activate…not sure what it was for, and then removed the plug. He didn’t stay to check it after doing whatever he did cause I was so tired, had just got off a 12 hr shift. I told him it was OK, that my computer was slow to start and I didn’t want to take any more of his time than I had to. I tried to turn my computer on 2 days later and I can’t. You can hear the fan on, and the Internet and audio symbols are red. You can see the turn on button lit and there are 2 flashing lights-one next to the caps lock key and one above the scroll key. But, the screen is completely black. I’ve tried rebooting the computer, taking out the battery and putting it back in quite unsuccessfully. The technician from TW came to check it but wasn’t much help. He told me I have to take it in to a computer place to get checked out and if it was something Time Warner did, they will cover it. But, in the mean time I have to pay for the repair myself. Do you have any ideas of what could have happened? Have you ever heard of something like this happening before?

  77. Bill

    First, I am amazed at all the black screen problems.
    I have a top level Dell 8700, and I get black screens. It never happens when the computer is in active use. It happens randomly when the computer is idling. At first I had to shut the computer down by holding down the power button. Then I found an odd workaround. The computer is connected to a KVM switch with another rarely used computer. When I get the black screen I hit “scroll Lock” twice to shift to the other computer (which need not be running.) and then hit “scroll Lock” twice more, to return. My main computer display returns but with the resolution changed to a very low setting ie everything on the screen is big and coarse. I then go to settings and reset the the screen resolution by hitting “Detect”. Shazam! everything is back to normal.

    I then hit Alt + Tab and return to the browser screen, leaving the screen settings screen available in the background if I need to repeat the process.

    All the power saving options are “off”

    This computer has another problem that may or may not be related. If I hit “restart” the computer shut down, then will hang at the “Dell” screen permanently. If I “Shut down” and then press the power button – no problem – it starts normally.

    I don’t think I’ll buy another Dell. They are not what they used to be.

  78. GeekDog

    I didn’t see anyone mention the possibility of a laptop battery causing this problem. I have an old XP laptop that I recently took out, left on the charger for several weeks, then decided to take it outside. I unplugged the power cable with the machine still running, but before I could make it to the back door I heard “click” and the screen went black. Could I have had my hand over the ventilation holes, and caused it to overheat? I let it cool a bit, then turned it back on, only to have it turn itself off again a few seconds later. When I plugged it back into the A/C adapter, the problem disappeared. The battery is only about 5 years old, and has seen little use. I have not tried yet, but i believe a few discharge/charge cycles may bring it back to life. (I’m not sure if Li-ion batteries develop “memory” issues as do NiCd or NiMH batteries.)

    This is something to consider if you have a laptop that has been sitting unused for a long time.

  79. Cameron Parrish

    Sometimes the mouse or keyboard is not set to wake up the computer. To check:

    Right click any my computer shortcut
    Properties
    Device manager (hardware tab first if Windows XP)
    Expand the mouse or keyboard section
    Right click what looks like your mouse or keyboard
    Properties
    Go to the “power management” tab. The option should be self explanatory.

  80. Rosângela

    I have four monitors and this is happening. I was thinking it was a faulty wire or something like that more was not and do not know what can be.

  81. Phil Bowman

    Hello, I didn’t see my problem. My computer works fine. When I quit for a few minutes and go do something else, instead of the computer going to sleep, the screen now turns blue. I have a cursor but I can’t get the computer to “wake-up.” The only way to get out of the blue screen is by shutting the computer off and rebooting. The laptop then works just fine as long as I continue to stay at the computer. Leave for a few minutes and instead of just going to sleep the screen turns blue. Any Ideas? Thanks. Phil

    • Connie

      Try going into your power settings, and also display settings, and select options so that the computer never goes to sleep or to standby. Also make sure you have no screensavers running. If that fixes the problem then you can enable your old settings one by one to find out which one was causing the problem.

  82. Aiden

    Sorry if this has already been asked before, but my computer randomly started going to a black screen when I open my hard drive files or a game, sometimes it can be resolved by removing the hard drive cord but mostly I’ve had to reboot, I’m in the process of updating drivers and running a scan of the computer, but any advice would be much appreciated before I take it in somewhere if it comes to that, thanks :)

    • Aiden

      Oh and I forgot to mention when it goes to a black screen I can hear that the game is still running but I’m getting no visuals

  83. Ezekiel

    I’m currently experiencing this kind of problem, and guess what, I’m working for my two homeworks in my laptop until this thing happened. I just restart my laptop then after I entered my password, it only keeps on displaying a black screen. I’ve been waiting for it to run normal for too long until now, tried turnig it off and on same thing happens. I have some important files to submit tomorrow so I’m doomed! Thanks for the answers by the way.

  84. venkatesh

    i am using a compaq presario v3000 laptop.i had installed an application AVG PC TUNEUP 2015.I have enabled AVG power Modes for better use of available battery power.can it be this setting that is making my screen going black after the set time?

  85. Fixed it

    I had this problem. I played the music as recommended by Leo in this article and when the screen went black (would do it anywhere from 3 to 20 minutes after startup), the music turned into a long beeping sound. Turns out it was a loose PCIe cable to my graphics card. After doing the black screen for the 96th time in 10 days or so, my computer finally gave me the solution upon a hard reset. It told me upon booting up to “Please power down and connect the PCIe power cable(s) for this graphics card”. I opened up my PC and behold, part of the PCIe cable that runs from the power supply to the GPU had popped loose of the graphics card. I simply snapped it back in place and the problem is now fixed.

  86. kure21

    every time if I turn on the PC on my monitor out a notice Power saving mode, I changed the graphics card, HDD, remove the ram, cd and dvd payer, all but the motherboard and power supply I changed again and again the same problem! by the burning of pc-pc and immediately we went to Power saving mode! what could be proplem, power or?
    I tried and bateria to reset the PC, the same chipset but nothing!

    thanks in advance

    • Hard to tell from your comment, but it sounds like the *monitor*, not the computer, has gone into power saving mode. That’s common and not a problem

  87. Alma

    My husbands Dell Latitude Laptop computer goes black after about 20 to 30 minutes after he turns it on (but it’s not going black every time he uses it) what could be the problem? We do know the fan is working. We have a computer tech who helps us keep viruses and malware out of the computer we even run scans nearly ever day to make sure there’s NO virus or malware and ex. So what could be the reason it’s going black at times. I bought the laptop 1 1/2 yrs ago for Christmas so it’s not that old. What can I check that may keep it from blacking out OH!!! when it blacks out he can press the on button and it goes back where it was when it blacked out on him. Thank you.

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