PrevX has backtracked on earlier claims that a Windows update caused Windows machines to lock up with a so-called "Black Screen of Death". An updated blog post from the UK-based software security firm withdraws earlier claims that a recent Microsoft update caused a glitch that resulted in affected PCs displaying only the My …
Antivirus firm in self seeking publicity shocker?
Why am I not surprised?
Black screen woes
I can confirm that it does happen... my husband and I both upgraded to Win 7 and recently his PC started to give the black screen when booting. We wondered if it was because he has three HDD's in the system and one wasn't spinning up quickly enough for the system to recognise, as a reboot often fixed the problem.
I think we'll try the PreVX solution next time it happens, to see if this is indeed the problem.
Failure to boot
If you mean "black screen before the Windows logo appears" then yes it quite likely is the hard disk spin up causing problems. there should be a BIOS setting that forces the PC to wait a predetermined amount of time for this to happen.
Had this as well
and really slow shutdowns. SO I wondered what I had changed & realised I had left an external HD (WD30gb if that matters) plugged in. Unplugged it & all is well no B(lack) SOD unless I leave the external HD plugged in (Doh!)
Yes black screen appeared on my machine
Yes, black screen appeared on my dell latitude with WindowsXP last Friday. It wasn't just me but my two other friends were also affected by the same problem. One of them formatted the disk other fixed it.
I fixed it by booting on with "Last Known Good Configuration" option.
Go on then, I'll bite
Was the last known good configuration a linux install?
PrevX might not have been able to provide a screenshot, but I've found one for you here:
Surely a screen grab would just be 1024x768 or whatever of black pixels? And how would they do the screengrab in the first place - it's crashed...
"how would they do the screengrab in the first place"
Erm, in a virtual machine?
With a camera?
With a paintbrush and canvas?
As for the others claiming to have also seen a "black screen" error - there are two things I can think of. a) check the monitor is on. b) check the computer is on.
BSOD is white on blue
B(black)SOD is black on black then?
Exactly, the moment I saw this sat high up on the BBC technology page and here, the fact it only quoted one company blog source (with no independant verification) from the same company that was offering a patch for the problem (again, nobody else was at the time, including all the big consumer AV players such as Symantec, McAfee etc) it just stank of a self attracting publicity stunt.
Also the initial blog post stated that it was backed up by huge public outcry as can be shown from a google search for Windows Black Screen. Right, so basically that's like saying, yep this fix is definately going to work, look at all the google searches for Windows Blue Screen....
How this has got so far, when basically it's one 'security expert' making a rash conclusion over a co-incidental update is ridiculous, and in a way must be disappointing for Microsoft. Such ridiculous claims by attention seeking companies only damage Window's image in the consumer community, which is after all what nailed it for Vista really.
Overall, i guess the real message has to go to the new company who broke this story (not sure who that was) as does a blog really provide an accurate and solid story, when it's confirmed by one persons opinion, and a google search?
Is anyone going to get sued for liable due to defamation of Microsoft's operating system? nope
have the daily mail et al just sold a load of papers to people who are now running home to see if they're PC has got this black screen 'that everyone's getting'? yep.
Will the Daily mail et al get any impact from running what turned out to be a competely false story? Nope and that's that I guess.
Fail reference to the media outlets that decide they can definately use twitter and blogs as reliable news sources.
So you guys experiencing this have got malware on your PCs? I assume you got rid of it?
Idiot mainstream media types
I note that the recent confirmed Snow Leopard bug which caused user files to be deleted didn't get anywhere near as much mainstream press attention as the unconfirmed "desktop fails to initialize" problem, and also that the finger was pointed specifically at Win7 despite the very limited research pointing at all variants of Windows.
I can only assume that the Cupertino PR machine has stopped berating El Reg and iPhone customers who wrongly assume that their phone is their property long enough to mount an offensive against the first out of the box version of Windows in a decade that has lived up to the hype.
I am actually surprised
that no one has highlighted the fact that the 'cause' of the B(lack)SOD was never picked up by a company that advertises "PC and Internet Security powered by the World's largest real time threat database..."!"
I expect that is why a defamation suite would not be forthcoming from microsoft. In terms of PR , Prevx have introduced the proverbial shotgun and foot.
They not only fail to detect the cause of these problems, but then incorrectly point the finger at Redmond, who THEN do the investigation and find lo and behold is some software a security firm should at least pick up.
/mines the one with the PR for Dummies in the pocket.
SOD It !
Bought my daughter a Tosh Laptop on Nov 5th.
Last week on turn-on it gave a black screen with just a white arrow cursor. Repeatedly.
Tried booting from DVD, same problem. Tried "Last Known Good Config", same problem.
It would only "boot" as far as the black screen/white arrow cursor.
Spent 30 minutes on 'phone to Tosh's Support Line who were very good but could not fix the problem. In the end they suggested I return the laptop for exchange.
Did and currently have a different model Tosh running XP Pro.
Think I'll wait a while before upgrading it to W7, though.
I get a black screen when turning my PC on
..but I usually solve it by turning the monitor on, too
FINALLY... an upgrade to the BLUE screen of death.
"No other security firm we're aware of bar PrevX has issued and advisory on the issue and several others have privately expressed skepticism about a least the extent of the problem."
(tautology as well as the two more obvious errors)
"PrevX chief exec, said it's free Black Screen fix tool had been downloaded more than 50,000 downloads times since its publication last Friday."
(no apostrophe in "its", as well as the more obvious error)
"However PrevX's original advisory is pretty clear is pointing blame towards recent Microsoft patches,"
So the colors associated with MS are now black and blue? Yeah, sounds about right ...
no one questioning the safety of the fix?
Err how come no one is questioning whether this fix is itself dodgy considering the background to this story?
More than one KSOD
It seems the Black Screen Of Death (KSOD? Printers refer to black as K for Key, to avoid confusion with B for Blue) has more than one incarnation; the one PrefX describe is a failure of the shell, with explorer.exe not loading properly, but you can still get a response to ctrl-alt-del, load Task Manager and run their fix tool. The version I've seen - on three systems and counting - has a black screen with just the mouse pointer; no response to ctrl-alt-del, no task manager etc. Rolling back far enough in System Restore was enough to resurrect two of the three systems; on the third, installing a newer graphics driver fixed it.
Just goes to show
You can't believe a single word of news on the w.w.w any more, first it was the BBC, going down to a PrevX blog.
At least PrevX had the decency to correct their misleading information. Others would just have left it at that and waited for the furore to die down before spreading their next malicious rumour.
I'm starting to wonder, just how much consideration for others is there left in the world? Not much it would appear.A glimmer here and there, and that's about all.
I've been fascinated by the type of coverage this story has received in the mainstream press and on the web, often in well-regarded publications and sites.
The poorly researched and poorly written nature of Prevx's original blog post was immediately visible with only a cursory glance, so it's disturbing how the rumblings about this (almost) non-issue has brought all the amateurs and incompetents out the woodwork with supposedly expert articles and commentary in tow. That's not exactly uncommon, of course, but this is a particularly clearly-defined episode.
BkSOD hits ex Vulture :(
Ok this isn't just people being stupid - I used to work for El Reg and it's affecting me too.
Bought a new laptop last week and it worked fine until Sunday; worked fine when I got up, then I turned it on again an hour later and guess what - black screen, mouse cursor, nothing else.
Since the previous boot I had not installed anything, run any new programs or attached any remote devices. I shut it down as normal.
However when I next turned it on it said 'windows was unable to start' and asks me to run Startup Repair, which I did.
It invited me to either go to an earlier system restore point or try to repair, so I selected repair. It said ' cannot be repaired' and (via the 'more details' option) said it could not identify the problem either. I used the advanced recovery options to go to a System Restore point instead, which worked. For about two switch-ons.
It now happens pretty much every other time I turn the computer on. I have to go to a system restore point each time. It still can't repair itself or identify the issue.
It doesn't make a difference if I have an external HDD attached or not, AVG Free (latest version) cannot find anything wrong either.
I just had to do it right now - hence dropping by the Reg to see if there were any fixes / whether the previously noted one was kosher.
Reg peeps - want me to bring it in so you can see for yourselves??
Ok so I tried the PrevX fix on Thursday after placing the above comment - didn't fix it.
Anyone had any joy getting rid of this??!