Sunday, January 27, 2013

Roundup of Vista’s Black Screen of Death – Solutions

The Dreaded Vista Black Screen of Death

We know there are a lot of different causes for the legendary vista black screen of death.  That’s why I wanted to put together a post to make it easier to find all of them. Good luck, you’re gonna need it…

1. Corrupt Event Logs:
2. Remote Procedure Call service (RPC) – Wrong User:
3. Ntndis.exe Fix:
OK dudes, here’s my fix for my Vista home premium black screen during boot. After booting up and getting to logon screen and logging on, it goes to a black screen. I hit alt-ctrl-delete to bring up the task manager option. When task manager comes up I go to the run option and type explorer.exe and the computer finishes booting. The permanent fix is going to the registry and changing this: remove C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\ntndis.exe from KEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell\explorer.exe C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\ntndis.exe
4. lsass.sys Fix:
The key to solving the black screen is a file called lsass.sys. I found the problem initially because it was looking for that file in C:\Windows\Config\ instead of in C:\Windows\System32\ where it is actually located. But changing the location did not solve the problem (I mention my doing so simply because this was a step I took, and I have no way of telling whether it was significant in the resolution).
5. Headcult’s Shell Winlogon Fix: After reading the comments a few people had luck with Headcult’s solution. If ctrl-alt-delete isn’t working then this probably won’t work for you.
Headcult said…
1)Run regedit.exe and proceed to the following registry hive: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon 2)Look for the String Value “Shell” and it should contain the data value of: “Explorer.exe” (w/o the quotes). 3)In my case it contained some thing like this : Explorer.exe C:\Windows\system32\spoolsv32.exe 4) So remove the rest of the code and just put “Explorer.exe”. 5) This should do. It worked like a charm to me.
6. Disable User Account Control (UAC)  – Again if you can’t use ctrl-alt-delete this might not work.
7. PrevX’s Black Screen of Death Fix- Patch File called: fixshell.exe:
8. Remove the hard drive and scan for infected files on another workstation. 9. Check for bad drivers when the system starts up.
Before starting Vista I pressed F8 a couple of times and selected to let it run while logging the boot process (ntbtlog.txt in windows folder).
10. System Restore – Reinstall Vista – Upgrade to Windows 7 At this point you should just give up and backup your data. Do a clean install or go grab a copy of Windows 7.


  1. I received the "black screen of death" upon attempting a reboot after I installed Windows updates. I don't even get a blinking cursor. Unless there is another suggestion, I will attempt Item 9.

    1. can you get into safe mode?

    2. Not unless pushing the F8 will get me there which I won't know until I get home from work this afternoon.

    3. Upon turning computer back on last night, ended up having to boot in safe mode. Then had to do a "restore system" so that it removed the Windows update from the night before. It was slow to reboot but now it's back up & running. I won't be installing any future updates. I'll let it run as-is until I can afford a new CPU. I hate Windows & Microsoft!!!! Every time they come out with something it's worse than the junk they put out before.

    4. awesome, glad you got it fixed.

  2. How do you fix anything with the screen still black?

  3. The link for the RPC service fix (#2) goes to the wrong article. Here's what I believe is the right article (had to Google that site):

    Still haven't been able to work out a successful KSOD fix on any computer I've worked with yet. It's never the log files, it's rarely chkdsk, it's never the RPC user, and removing XML files (pending/cleanup) from WinSxS sometimes (but rarely) works either. Kinda frustrating. :/

  4. Here I fix Black Screen of Death error the working for Windows 8, 8.1, 7, vista. Blue screen of death fix is simple and easy.

    Black Screen of Death in Windows Fix


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