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Thread: Black Screen During Cortana's Initial Setup into SSD

  1. #1
    kmpres is offline New Member
    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Black Screen During Cortana's Initial Setup into SSD

    Hello Friends,

    I hope you can help me with an extremely vexing problem I've been having while installing a fresh copy of Windows 10 into a new SSD.

    The system is a nine year old desktop, ASUS P5K3 Deluxe Mobo, 6 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 3850 Graphics Card, 750 GB Hitachi HDD and the usual bells and whistles. It runs perfectly in all respects except for the three sector errors I found lurking in the middle of my C partition. These errors have corrupted four files that I can tell but have not yet affected Windows operation. The system will hang if I attempt to access those four files so I don't go near them.

    The new SSD is a Samsung 860 EVO 500 GB running off a StarTech Express eSATA 6 GB/s Controller. My mobo chipset cannot go higher than 3 GB/s so I expect the SSD will not be as fast as it could be, but it should certainly be faster than my old Hitachi HDD was.

    I have been unable to backup my data using Windows Backup, nor can I use any third party OS Migration Tool to copy my data and OS into the new SSD. I tried Samsung's Migration Tool, Macrium Reflect, Partition Magic, and Partition Wizard (from MiniTool) and all either hung hard, slowed to a crawl or gave uselessly cryptic errors and aborted. I have had to do a manual backup instead by moving what I can into a 2 TB USB drive, but I cannot backup any system files that happen to be in use so a complete Windows image backup with system files is impossible. That is the reason for trying to do a complete clean install of Windows 10 into the SSD.

    CHKDSK, surprisingly, runs clean and fails to find these errors at all. It was Partition Wizard's Surface Test that finally pulled them out.

    While working on this problem I found that new Windows ISO images now prefer AHCI for SATA format instead of the old and reliable IDE format. I've used IDE in every computer I've had since 1992 and somehow never heard of AHCI until today. This will present a problem when I try to remove data from my IDE formatted HDDs, but I'll worry about that after I am able to boot Windows 10 from my new SSD. The BIOS will accept AHCI if I set it for that format, fortunately.

    The big problem now is that I cannot get past more than four of Cortana's setup questions before the system goes into Black Screen. No mouse, no keyboard, and no screen. I have no secondary screen attached so that is not an issue, and the problem occurs whether I use a bootable USB drive or DVD. If this happens while Cortana is talking I can still hear her, so she's not dead, I just have no means of inputting keystrokes in order to answer her questions. And since Windows still isn't fully operational at that point I cannot boot into Safe Mode to try to troubleshoot the problem.

    So, I'm stuck with an OS that won't install and data that won't backup or migrate. I've never seen a PC problem this severe before.

    I appreciate any help you can give!

  2. #2
    kmpres is offline New Member
    Join Date
    May 2018


    OK Guys, I have found the solution to my problem with Cortana. Seems midway through her questions she without warning switches to the secondary VGA video tap coming off my graphics card. I normally use the DVI tap for my work-a-day desktop and use the VGA tap for my legacy Vista and XP systems through a KVM switch, but I've not used those systems in several years. The DVI serves as master and comes up automatically on bootup, the VGA requires I press a Port 2 switch on the front of my monitor to bring up the video. A simple fix and another cause for baldness eliminated!

    Sorry to have bothered you about it.

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