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Old 26th February 2020, 04:47 PM   #1
William Parcher
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Windows 10 black screen issue

I hope someone might be able to help.

Yesterday I installed Windows 10 on a friend's laptop which was Windows 7. Everything seems normal except for one problem. If I restart the laptop it goes to a black screen before the sign-in screen. But alternatively if I shut down and then press the power button it will start and go to the sign-in screen in a normal fashion.

In short, a restart gets me a black screen but a power-down (then the button) works fine.

I Googled this situation but couldn't find an answer.

Another possible clue... during the black screen if I attach an HDMI cable to an external monitor it right away shows the sign-in screen on that monitor.

Once I sign in everything seems normal about this Win 10 installation.
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Old 26th February 2020, 10:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I hope someone might be able to help.

Yesterday I installed Windows 10 on a friend's laptop which was Windows 7. Everything seems normal except for one problem. If I restart the laptop it goes to a black screen before the sign-in screen. But alternatively if I shut down and then press the power button it will start and go to the sign-in screen in a normal fashion.

In short, a restart gets me a black screen but a power-down (then the button) works fine.

I Googled this situation but couldn't find an answer.

Another possible clue... during the black screen if I attach an HDMI cable to an external monitor it right away shows the sign-in screen on that monitor.

Once I sign in everything seems normal about this Win 10 installation.

Check your monitor to make sure that Monitor 2 is not default. Once the computer is fully booted, run the Command Prompt

Start > Run > cmd

At the prompt type in ... DisplaySwitch.exe /internal

Hit Enter

(make sure you do put in the space between .exe and the / )
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Old 27th February 2020, 12:34 AM   #3
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Here is another thing you might try

1. Plug in the HDMI Monitor

2. Go to PC Settings > System > Display

3. Click "Identify" The laptop monitor should display a "1" and the HDMI monitor should display a "2". If they are the other way around, the HDMI is set to be the (default) main display.

4. Scroll down to Multiple Displays

5. If the result in Step 3 was correct, the "Make this my main display" checkbox should be checked and greyed out. Select "Extend these displays" from the dropdown box (this will make both displays live during boot-up).

6. If the result in Step 3 was wrong, select "Show only on 1" from the dropdown box, and check the "Make this my main display" checkbox, then select "Extend these displays" from the dropdown box.

Close the PC settings dialog and reboot the computer,

If you have the HDMI monitor plugged in, both should be live during the boot
If you don't have the HDMI monitor plugged in, the laptop screen should be live during the boot.
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Old 27th February 2020, 06:47 AM   #4
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Thank you. I will try these things and report on what happens.
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Old 27th February 2020, 09:46 AM   #5
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No joy, but thank you. I was able to do things with your suggestion in post #3, but it didn't solve the problem.

In a nutshell, when I am not using the HDMI monitor...

Telling the laptop to Restart leads to the problem. Telling the laptop to Shut Down (then powering it up again by pressing the physical power button) does not lead to the problem.
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Old 27th February 2020, 09:52 AM   #6
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Maybe I should make a clarification. When I say that the laptop shows a black screen what I mean is that the display is showing all black but it is on. The screen glows in very very dark gray as that is how black looks when the screen is on.
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Old 27th February 2020, 01:59 PM   #7
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Have you updated the motherboard and video drivers?
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Old 27th February 2020, 02:15 PM   #8
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To make sure I understand, it does eventually present a login, or does it just stay on the black screen?

Have you tried extending the external, or just redirecting? In other words, when the external is connected:
1. Is it the only monitor on?
2. If not, I’d it duplicating the internal screen or extending it?
3. Still assuming 1 is no, Does the built-in screen still show black when the external is primary?

Do you have any graphics-related programs running? Something like nVidia’s GeForce Experience of AMD’s whatever they call it now? Some of the things that adjust graphics based on the user preferences or app that’s running?

Or do you have multiple graphics cards? A lot of newer laptops will be set to use the 3D accelerator only for certain things, and the built-in cars for normal use, to save power/heat. Maybe something with leftover settings or resetting that on a log off?
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Old 27th February 2020, 03:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Have you updated the motherboard and video drivers?
Drivers are up to date.
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Old 27th February 2020, 03:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Hellbound View Post
To make sure I understand, it does eventually present a login, or does it just stay on the black screen?
It will stay on the (glowing) black screen indefinitely.

Quote:
Have you tried extending the external, or just redirecting? In other words, when the external is connected:
1. Is it the only monitor on?
2. If not, I’d it duplicating the internal screen or extending it?
3. Still assuming 1 is no, Does the built-in screen still show black when the external is primary?

Do you have any graphics-related programs running? Something like nVidia’s GeForce Experience of AMD’s whatever they call it now? Some of the things that adjust graphics based on the user preferences or app that’s running?

Or do you have multiple graphics cards? A lot of newer laptops will be set to use the 3D accelerator only for certain things, and the built-in cars for normal use, to save power/heat. Maybe something with leftover settings or resetting that on a log off?
It's a bone-stock standard circa 2012 Dell laptop without any fancy graphics card.

I've tried everything related that applies in your post.
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Old 27th February 2020, 03:25 PM   #11
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There was a windows update that caused a problem similar to yours on some PCs

"If your Windows 10 PC reboots to a black screen, just press Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard. Windows 10's normal Ctrl+Alt+Del screen will appear. Click the power button at the bottom-right corner of your screen and select “Restart” to restart your PC"

https://www.howtogeek.com/425382/how...ng-windows-10/
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Old 27th February 2020, 03:33 PM   #12
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I already read about that. Control Alt Delete causes nothing. It just stays as a glowing black screen.

But it all works perfectly if I tell it to Shut Down instead of telling it to Restart.

There is something meaningfully different about a Shut Down versus a Restart.
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Old 27th February 2020, 05:13 PM   #13
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Well, there is a difference between a shut down and a restart

https://www.howtogeek.com/349114/shu...rting-it-does/

When you click “Shut Down” on your Windows 10 PC, Windows doesn’t fully shut down. It hibernates the kernel, saving its state so it can boot faster. If you’re experiencing computer problems and need to reset that state, you’ll need to restart your PC instead.


... it’s counter-intuitive that the “Restart” option performs a more complete shut down than the “Shut Down” option. But that’s how it works!

Something odd is happening when you restart, and that something really does sound like a faulty graphics driver to me.

Does your laptop have a standard 15pin 3 row VGA connector. if so, you could try connecting a standard VGA monitor and see if you get the same behaviour.
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Old 27th February 2020, 05:37 PM   #14
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Graphics card: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Driver: Intel 9.17.10.4459
Driver date: 5/19/2016

The laptop does have a VGA output and the same external monitor that I did the HDMI with also has a VGA input.

When I find that cable today I'll see what happens.
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Old 28th February 2020, 08:09 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Graphics card: Intel HD Graphics 3000
Driver: Intel 9.17.10.4459
Driver date: 5/19/2016

The laptop does have a VGA output and the same external monitor that I did the HDMI with also has a VGA input.

When I find that cable today I'll see what happens.
Kind of a last ditch effort, but if you go into device manager, right click and remove or uninstall the video card (display adapter), restart, and let windows reinstall it, it might work. I've seen crazier things.

One thing that's been working for me lately is to shut the laptop off, take the battery off, make sure there's no power to it and then hold the power button for about 15 seconds. For some reason that worked on both my father's TV, and a laptop here in the office. I was always under the impression that motherboards held onto power, but it's possible it completely flushes RAM, or something. I'm not sure, but it's worked.
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Old 28th February 2020, 09:58 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Does your laptop have a standard 15pin 3 row VGA connector. if so, you could try connecting a standard VGA monitor and see if you get the same behaviour.
VGA experiment results in the same behavior.
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Old 28th February 2020, 10:06 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Kind of a last ditch effort, but if you go into device manager, right click and remove or uninstall the video card (display adapter), restart, and let windows reinstall it, it might work. I've seen crazier things.
I will try that.

Quote:
One thing that's been working for me lately is to shut the laptop off, take the battery off, make sure there's no power to it and then hold the power button for about 15 seconds. For some reason that worked on both my father's TV, and a laptop here in the office. I was always under the impression that motherboards held onto power, but it's possible it completely flushes RAM, or something. I'm not sure, but it's worked.
I know about that trick and tried it yesterday.

I've also done sfc scannow a few times until it reports no errors found.

Eventually I will get this figured out. Luckily my friend isn't desperate to get the laptop back quickly.

Thanks to everyone here for help and keep the ideas coming if you have any.
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Old 28th February 2020, 10:27 AM   #18
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Is it by any chance one with the hybrid Intel-Nvidia dual-GPU video? I was getting the same sort of results with one of those after an upgrade to Windows 10. I ended up having to install a much older Nvidia video driver and set it to always use Nvidia instead of switching to the Intel chipset when possible.
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Old 28th February 2020, 10:56 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Yalius View Post
Is it by any chance one with the hybrid Intel-Nvidia dual-GPU video? I was getting the same sort of results with one of those after an upgrade to Windows 10. I ended up having to install a much older Nvidia video driver and set it to always use Nvidia instead of switching to the Intel chipset when possible.
I don't know. The graphics card is identified as Intel HD Graphics 3000. This is a Dell Inspiron N5050 laptop circa 2012.
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Old 28th February 2020, 11:00 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I don't know. The graphics card is identified as Intel HD Graphics 3000. This is a Dell Inspiron N5050 laptop circa 2012.
Perhaps that's the issue as well. I'd try the device manager and do what I had mentioned before but there's also a "scan for hardware changes". Maybe it lost the correct vid card it should use.
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Old 28th February 2020, 11:32 AM   #21
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I checked that model; nope, it's not a hybrid video. Sorry. There's also no official Intel driver for Windows 10 for that chip, either.
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Old 29th February 2020, 02:40 PM   #22
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Just to be clear

1. If you fresh boot the laptop from completely off, it boots up fine

2. If you then restart the computer it boots to a blank screen.

3. The blank screen isn't black, its very dark grey (indicating that the LCD lamps are on so there is power to the screen but no video signal).

4. The screen remains blank even if you move the mouse/touchpad, tap any keys or press CTRL-ALT-DELETE

5. If you shut down the laptop and power it back up, it boots up OK (no blank screen)


Questions

In PC Settings > Display using the VGA port not the HDMI port), if you set the second display to mirror instead of extend, does it still exhibit the same behaviour as in your OP or does the mirrored display also come up blank.

In PC Settings > Power & Sleep, is the screen set to turn off "Never". If so, try setting it to, say, 25 minutes, then wait 25 minutes and see if the screen goes from dark grey to black
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Old 29th February 2020, 06:09 PM   #23
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Probably unrelated but I have a Win 10 laptop and a new update was sent out yesterday which had me staring at a screen saying "windows is configuring.please don't shutdown" for about 4 hours.

Then everything updated and normal

You might want to just start it and leave it for half a day to let it do its thing.
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Old 29th February 2020, 06:30 PM   #24
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I'm not working on it right now but will soon and will answer questions and do the experiments.

I know it's not in a long process of updating because when I do see the Desktop I can check the updates and know that it's current.
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Old 4th March 2020, 01:02 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Perhaps that's the issue as well. I'd try the device manager and do what I had mentioned before but there's also a "scan for hardware changes". Maybe it lost the correct vid card it should use.
I'm back to working on this crazy thing.

The video card isn't lost. It's there and working when I start from a shut down. It functions properly. I even uninstalled the graphics card driver and let it reinstall itself. Nothing changed.

I also went to the Dell support site for this model and ran a full diagnostics test meant to check and stress everything. It put the graphics card through everything. All tests came back fine.
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Old 4th March 2020, 01:39 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Just to be clear

1. If you fresh boot the laptop from completely off, it boots up fine.
Yes, correct.


Quote:
2. If you then restart the computer it boots to a blank screen.
Yes, correct. That's the glowing black screen that never displays anything.


Quote:
3. The blank screen isn't black, its very dark grey (indicating that the LCD lamps are on so there is power to the screen but no video signal).
Yes, correct.

Quote:
4. The screen remains blank even if you move the mouse/touchpad, tap any keys or press CTRL-ALT-DELETE.
Yes, correct.

Quote:
5. If you shut down the laptop and power it back up, it boots up OK (no blank screen)
Yes, correct. But I can't shut it down from the blank screen because I'm blind to see where to put the pointer to ask for a shut down. From that situation I need to attach the external monitor to click Start > Power > Shut Down.


Quote:
Questions

In PC Settings > Display using the VGA port not the HDMI port), if you set the second display to mirror instead of extend, does it still exhibit the same behaviour as in your OP or does the mirrored display also come up blank.
It doesn't seem to offer "mirror". My choices are...

Duplicate these displays
Extend these displays
Show only on 1
Show only on 2

Quote:
In PC Settings > Power & Sleep, is the screen set to turn off "Never". If so, try setting it to, say, 25 minutes, then wait 25 minutes and see if the screen goes from dark grey to black
I had it set for 30 minutes, but never looked to see if it went from glow black to black. I now set it to 10 minutes and will watch what happens.
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Old 4th March 2020, 01:58 PM   #27
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It stays on glow black.

I do know that when I have it booted from shut down the (normal desktop) screen will shut off at the designated time.
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Old 4th March 2020, 03:14 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It doesn't seem to offer "mirror". My choices are...

Duplicate these displays
Extend these displays
Show only on 1
Show only on 2
Is what it shouldn't be. If you have more than one monitor it should always be set to Extend these displays, unless there's a specific reason otherwise. Like you're using a projector or something, even then windows has a projector mode built in.
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Old 4th March 2020, 03:43 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Is what it shouldn't be. If you have more than one monitor it should always be set to Extend these displays, unless there's a specific reason otherwise. Like you're using a projector or something, even then windows has a projector mode built in.
"Mirror" is not a choice listed in the drop down menu for "Multiple Displays".
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Old 4th March 2020, 04:08 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
"Mirror" is not a choice listed in the drop down menu for "Multiple Displays".
Sorry, I wasn't clear. "Duplicate these displays" is just a long way of saying "Mirror Mode". It just duplicates Display 1 on to all other displays. "Extend" will do exactly what it says, extend the desktop across all screens.

If you hit "identify" it'll show you what it's labeled as, number wise, on-screen too. It's obviously picking up both screens since it's showing you the option to show only on 1 or 2. I think you're on the right track.
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Old 4th March 2020, 04:27 PM   #31
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Sorry, I wasn't clear. "Duplicate these displays" is just a long way of saying "Mirror Mode". It just duplicates Display 1 on to all other displays. "Extend" will do exactly what it says, extend the desktop across all screens.

If you hit "identify" it'll show you what it's labeled as, number wise, on-screen too. It's obviously picking up both screens since it's showing you the option to show only on 1 or 2. I think you're on the right track.
It sounds like you are saying that when smartcooky told me to select "mirror" he actually meant to select "Duplicate these displays". Is that correct as far as you can tell?
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Old 4th March 2020, 08:42 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
It sounds like you are saying that when smartcooky told me to select "mirror" he actually meant to select "Duplicate these displays". Is that correct as far as you can tell?
Yeah, sorry. I did mean duplicate

What I was trying to establish is if the software driving the VGA signal is at fault. If its faulty, and the displays are extended, then you could get one display on, one display off, but when mirrored, if one is off, then both should be off.

As I said earlier, its rather counter-intuitive that a shut down does not shut down the computer to as great a degree as a restart. For mine, the fact that you get this puzzling fault only when you shut down (and not when you restart) may indicate that something is not being saved correctly to the kernel hibernation file on the HDD.

Have you tried disabling fast startup and seeing if a full shutdown and startup gives you a good screen?

Go to PC Settings > Power & Sleep Settings > Additional Power Settings > Choose what the power buttons do.

Uncheck the "Turn on the fast startup" check box

NOTE: This checkbox might be greyed out, so you will have to click "Change settings that are currently unavailable" in order to make the change... you will need to be logged in as an Administrator to do so

Save it, and try a shut down and restart.
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Old 5th March 2020, 02:31 PM   #33
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You should install Linux or OS X.
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Old 5th March 2020, 04:01 PM   #34
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Yeah, sorry. I did mean duplicate

What I was trying to establish is if the software driving the VGA signal is at fault. If its faulty, and the displays are extended, then you could get one display on, one display off, but when mirrored, if one is off, then both should be off.
When I choose "Duplicate these displays" everything is identical on both the laptop display and the external monitor.

I don't know if this is normal... when I choose "Extend these displays" the laptop displays and works normally but the external monitor only shows the taskbar, it shows no app icons, and there is no mouse pointer moving around.


Quote:
As I said earlier, its rather counter-intuitive that a shut down does not shut down the computer to as great a degree as a restart. For mine, the fact that you get this puzzling fault only when you shut down (and not when you restart) may indicate that something is not being saved correctly to the kernel hibernation file on the HDD.
You have that backwards. My problem happens after a Restart, not after a Shut Down. You understood this a few days ago just fine so maybe right now you are just writing it backwards but do still properly understand the problem in your mind. Again... Shut Down always works great with no problems. Restart never works and always results in the glowing black screen.


Quote:
Have you tried disabling fast startup and seeing if a full shutdown and startup gives you a good screen?

Go to PC Settings > Power & Sleep Settings > Additional Power Settings > Choose what the power buttons do.

Uncheck the "Turn on the fast startup" check box

NOTE: This checkbox might be greyed out, so you will have to click "Change settings that are currently unavailable" in order to make the change... you will need to be logged in as an Administrator to do so

Save it, and try a shut down and restart.
I did that and it didn't fix the problem, but it did produce a new symptom that may or may not reveal something. When I set it to not do the Fast Startup the Shut Down produced the same problem as Restart. That's right... when I did a Shut Down it went to the glowing black screen. I noticed that the text beneath the Fast Startup checkbox says, "This helps start your PC faster after shutdown. Restart isn't affected."

Shut Down never before had led to a glowing black screen but it did after I unchecked Fast Startup.
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Old 6th March 2020, 08:08 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
When I choose "Duplicate these displays" everything is identical on both the laptop display and the external monitor.

I don't know if this is normal... when I choose "Extend these displays" the laptop displays and works normally but the external monitor only shows the taskbar, it shows no app icons, and there is no mouse pointer moving around.
When you had the settings put on duplicate these displays and did either a shut down or a restart, was the behavior the same between the two? I know you said it was the same after the fast startup (both created the black screen), but was it the same (only opposite) when you had the duplicate screen set?

ETA: There is also a location under "Settings > Accounts > Sign-In options > that's labeled as "Restart Apps". Make sure that is disabled as well. Perhaps there's something stuck in there that's causing it to restart to that monitor.
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Last edited by plague311; 6th March 2020 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 6th March 2020, 09:59 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
When you had the settings put on duplicate these displays and did either a shut down or a restart, was the behavior the same between the two? I know you said it was the same after the fast startup (both created the black screen), but was it the same (only opposite) when you had the duplicate screen set?
I've done this a bunch of times but will now report exactly what I see.

Quote:
ETA: There is also a location under "Settings > Accounts > Sign-In options > that's labeled as "Restart Apps". Make sure that is disabled as well. Perhaps there's something stuck in there that's causing it to restart to that monitor.
There is nothing there called "Restart Apps". But there is something called "Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart." Is that what you are talking about?
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Old 6th March 2020, 10:47 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I've done this a bunch of times but will now report exactly what I see.
I speed read the other posts, my bad if i missed it.

Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There is nothing there called "Restart Apps". But there is something called "Use my sign-in info to automatically finish setting up my device and reopen my apps after an update or restart." Is that what you are talking about?
Yessir.
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Old 6th March 2020, 10:50 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I speed read the other posts, my bad if i missed it.
You didn't miss it because I never reported exactly what I see. I only said it didn't fix the problem when I set it to Duplicate. The info will come in my next post.
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Old 6th March 2020, 11:01 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
ETA: There is also a location under "Settings > Accounts > Sign-In options > that's labeled as "Restart Apps". Make sure that is disabled as well. Perhaps there's something stuck in there that's causing it to restart to that monitor.
This didn't change anything and the problem remained. I then put the setting back where it was.


Quote:
When you had the settings put on duplicate these displays and did either a shut down or a restart, was the behavior the same between the two? I know you said it was the same after the fast startup (both created the black screen), but was it the same (only opposite) when you had the duplicate screen set?
When set to "Duplicate these displays" and then a Restart, the laptop has a true black screen (not glowing black, so power to that screen is off). The external monitor shows everything normally. At that point if I look at Settings > System > Display, it doesn't show any information about the laptop display and only shows info about the external monitor display.

I want to thank you for your continuing help. Obviously I'm baffled with this whole thing.
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Old 6th March 2020, 11:55 AM   #40
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Do you have another external monitor? I'm curious if the behavior happens with a monitor that it doesn't "know". At this point, there truly isn't much else to troubleshoot. Obviously something is happening, but at this point if it were my computer I'd back everything up and do a reset (keeps all the files, lose the apps and stuff). This is a stumper
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