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Windows 10 black screen startup issue after installing latest patches

Some Windows 10 devices may boot to a black screen when they are started for the first time after installing the latest updates for the systems.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue on June 14, 2019. Client and server editions of Windows 10 are affected by the issue according to Microsoft’s post on the official release information website.

The company lists Windows 10 version 1809, Windows 10 version 1803, and Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2019 on the client side, and Windows Server 2019 on the server side. Other client and server products are not affected according to Microsoft.

windows 10 black screen start issue

The black screen issue is a temporary one. A reboot of the system should resolve the issue. Microsoft recommends to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete on affected systems and to select the Restart option in the lower right corner of the screen to restart the system. The system should boot into desktop normally after the restart.

Workaround: To mitigate this issue, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete, then select the Power button in the lower right corner of the screen and select Restart. Your device should now restart normally.

Microsoft acknowledged that it is working on a fix for the issue, and that reports suggests that only a “small number of devices” is affected by the issue. It is too early to tell if this is related to other issues that users may experience on Windows 10 devices, e.g. issues related to antivirus applications causing issues such as prolonged startup times or freezes.

A similar issue was experienced in 2009 on Windows 7. Back then it was called the Black Screen of Death as Windows 7 devices would boot into a black screen. The issue was caused by Registry changes back then.

The updates that cause the issue are the latest cumulative updates for the affected Windows 10 versions.

  • KB4503327 for Windows 10 version 1809 and Windows Server 2019
  • KB4503286 for Windows 10 version 1803

The latest update for Windows 10 version 1903 is not affected by the issue according to Microsoft; the version has quite the number of unfixed issues as well, however.

Windows 10 version 1809 is installed on the largest number of devices currently. The number of affected devices is unclear as Microsoft provides no information other than stating that it is a “small number”.

The rollout of Windows 10 version 1903 picked up pace recently but many systems cannot be updated to the new version because of blocker bugs.

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