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Former Member
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Message 1 of 16

Black screen at boot up (Known issue)


For a long time i have had an issue where my Dell laptop will not boot up. The only way I can to my desktop is to go through safe mode.

I have tried pretty much every fix without known the exact issue. However over the past 2 days I have found out that it is a McAfee issue and a known issue. As a test I removed mcafee and my laptop boots up perfectly - I then reinstalled mcafee and the issue reoccurs - remove again and laptop boots fine.

I have found numerous threads from here regarding this issue from 2010 (yes that is approx how long it has been going on for me - however after hard booting a few times i get a message saying chdsk is about to start - if I skip it I can actually boot up the laptop and have being doing this since then)

Below are the steps and some of the threads relating to this issue however none have ever actually being resolved - the users just uninstall mcafee. after paying my renewal i dont think this should be the only method to resolve the issue (remove the product I have just renewed)

my steps are copied and pasted from the second thread belwo as they are the exact same steps (I do not believe it matters what model my Dell is or any other info as this is an issue that has occured across different makes / models etc. my o/s is xp (contains links to other thread about the issue)

As above the common thread is

1) when issue started

2) only way around it is to remove mcafee

3) reinstall mcafee and issue reoccurs


1) At reboot, after the Windows logo, the display went black & HDD shut down (no drive activity), even though power switch was on.  Waited for several minutes -- no reboot.Nothing.

2) Tried to reboot into normal mode from the power switch -- same problem.  Windows logo -> black screen, no boot.

3) Tried to boot into safe mode with networking and got BSOD, and then still wouldn't boot.

4) Did eventually succeed in rebooting into safe mode (no networking).

5) From safe mode, was able to open McAfee GUI, but it said "not protected" and wouldn't turn on protection.

6) Uninstalled McAfee from control panel and ran MCPR.exe and checked to make sure all McAfee files were gone.

7) Rebooted normally -- everything fine, with McAfee uninstalled.  Computer completely normal.  Network connections fine, all programs fine.

😎 Went out to McAfee online account,downloaded and installed a fresh copy from my account.

9) Everything looked fine -- GUI opened fine, system protected (green check mark), checked for updates, normal desktop shortcut, normal system tray icon.

10) I thought it was OK. I had not yet even tried to reinstall MBAM or SAS. It was ONLY McAfee installed at this point.

11) Just to be safe, I tried a normal Windows shut down and cold start one last time.

12) EXACT SAME PROBLEM:  SYSTEM WILL ONLY BOOT INTO SAFE MODE, not normal, not safe/with/networking.

13) Had to boot once again into safe mode, uninstall McAfee, run MCPR and reboot.  Voila! System is back to fine again.

14) Have done several system shut downs to check, and computer is working fine.

any help to a fix where i can actually mcafee on my laptop and NOT experience the issue would be fantastic

Message was edited by: rnswba on 17/07/12 7:47:45 PM
15 Replies

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Surprised it is XP this I feel caused by old atheros network card drivers. I also feel you have reboot if an error found selected ie BSOD not turned on so instead of blue screening during boot it sits at a black screen . to check follow this.

Please let us know one more info before we proceed further .

  1. Right-click Computer.
  2. Click Manage.
  3. In the left panel, click Device Manager.
  4. Expand Network Adapters.
  5. Right-click the Atheros network adaptor.
  6. Click Properties.
  7. Click the Driver tab.
  8. And let us know what version of WLAN Atheros driver versions you see there ?

Or do this via System icon in control panel

If you have a driver version earlier than than, you  must update this driver before you install your McAfee security suite. Please Contact the manufacturer of your computer or network card and update the Atheros driver card to or later and then reinstalling McAfee suites should go fine . . .

Former Member
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Message 3 of 16

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

my real bad - it is vista not xp. Apologies. Hope that may help

No Atheros adapter in the network adapters.

(also rereading my post it seems unnecessarily rude -again apologies)

laptop is a inspiron 1545


vista home premium



Message was edited by: rnswba on 18/07/12 05:35:22 CDT

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Darn sounded like that issue as it also was on dells but win 7 64bit.

Can you enable stop on error option IE do not automatically restart I want to see if you see a BSOD?

The other posts were all atheros issues . What are you network and wireless drivers?

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Former Member
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Message 6 of 16

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Thanks Tony - I will post the stop on error results when I get home adn get to the laptop

I am on wireless.

I will double check the Atheros but am sure there is none (certainly none showed in devices). and get the details of the other adapters and post them here.

everything is still running smoothly for the first time in ages since uninstalling mcafee

Message was edited by: rnswba on 18/07/12 9:08:44 PM

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

If you type in your Dell service number you might show the drivers installled in the initial setup. been a while since I have had a Dell I know HP does this.

Message was edited by: Peacekeeper on 22/07/12 9:04:38 PM
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Message 8 of 16

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)


Sorry for not getting this sooner. These are what shows under devices. I have also gone to dell website and updated all drivers and flashed bios. still have not reinstalled mcafee


Intel WiFi Link 5100

Marvell Yukon 88E8040 PCI


Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Well the drivers for all seem old. Also strange google implies you have atheros drivers however....

Google shows that

the marvel is at

The intel seems to be at 14.3.0

Re other 2 items seem to be Ipv6 releated and I am not familiar with them. Try to update the other drivers and see what happens.

Re uninstall you did that so another go not necessary initially as It still I feel is  network/wireless related.

If getting all the latest drivers does not help and a reinstall that sees the new drivers still does not help call support you have done more than most to chase the issue.

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Message 10 of 16

Re: Black screen at boot up (Known issue)

Got update from Mcafee this morning, no windows explorer when i get past log in.  Black screen, spent about 8 hours of my Sunday in task manager, safe mode, and google plus 2 calls to Mcafee help because I was also getting a "buffer" message from Mcafee security center I had never seen before.  Finally got smart and put 2 and 2 together, in safe mode desk top I uninstalled the Mcafee program that was installed that morning and BAMMO no more problems.  This problem is all over the internet, for a security program they should be much more helpful and knowledgeable.  I am very dissappointed with the service and would dump them if it wasn't free with my internet provider.  Hope this helps other.

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