Windows 7 was seen as the saviour of millions who were stuck with the Windows Vista operating system. With a sleek look and performance parameters outstripping that of its predecessor, Windows 7 looked to live up to its expectations. It certainly impressed beta testers and garnered glowing reviews. Now all that seems to be in jeopardy with the discovery of a hitch that can potentially ruin its reputation if not checked. This article deals with the unfortunate problem that every person who owns a computer system with Windows 7 on it – Windows fails to start up after a forced shut down. Instead, they are met with the “Black Screen of Death”, similar to the infamous “Blue Screen of Death” that was common in earlier version of Windows operating systems, due to an encounter with a critical error.


Various Windows operating systems, ranging from Windows 95 to Windows 7, face this problem due to a missing file or also when the user enables file compression, as a result of which the operating system compresses. As we have phased out of the age of Windows 95, 98, etc. this issue is more rampant in the latest operating system i.e. Windows 7. So focussing on Windows 7, the main causes of this are

  • When the system is set to enter hibernation or to enter hybrid sleep mode when power button is pressed.
  • Data Execution Prevention is not enabled either in the BIOS or in the Operating System itself.
  • The version of the language that is currently running on the system is a Double-Byte Character Set (DBCS) language. Examples for this are Oriental languages such as Korean and Japanese.

Some exceptional case of this occurring are

  • When the power goes off while the computer is entering hibernation.
  • Hybrid sleep is enabled on desktop computers by default. So, if a desktop computer is configured to enter sleep mode when the power button is pressed, the computer actually enters into the hybrid sleep mode.


Microsoft Support has come out with a solution to fix this persistent problem. It involves insertion of Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008 installation disc into the optical drive of the computer. Make sure the primary booting device is set as the DVD-drive. Re-boot the computer and run Windows in normal mode. For those who are having a Windows PreInstallation Environment disc for Windows 7. Additionally, Microsoft has come out with a hot-fix that is capable of solving this pesky problem. The hot-fix can be easily found on the net by searching with the help of a search engine such as Google or Yahoo!, or by simply browsing through the Microsoft Support website. Moreover, Microsoft has acknowledged this problem persists in a particular range of their products. It is expected that they will make the relevant changes to future versions to allow users to enjoy a wholesome computing experience.