Fix Windows 10 Anniversary Update black screen issues

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
27 Comments
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The Anniversary Update issue saga gets more complicated with every passing day. We have already covered many of the problems triggered by Windows 10 version 1607, but users alert us about new issues every day, asking for solutions.

Many users are reporting they can’t use their machines after installing the Anniversary Update due to an error displaying a black screen and circular motion with white dots. Unlike other users, they can download the Windows 10 version 1607 package and install it on their computers, but once installation is complete, their machines stall and display a black screen with white dots.

Users are complaining about black screens and circular motion with white dots after Anniversary Update

It ran the installation file and downloaded the updates and i can see the percentage download til it got to 100 percent.  Then it told me to restart my computer.

After restarting, it came to a black screen but i can see it was in processing mode with a circular motion with white dots over and over.  I left the computer on for the next four hours and nothing happened.  It still had a circular motion with white dots like it was processing. [..]

However i tried restarting my computer after this and my computer went back to the black screen and circular motion with white dots again.  It wouldn’t go to the desktop.

It appears that this error occurs because the graphics card driver is not compatible with the Anniversary Update version. So far, all the users impacted by this problem had to roll back the their previous Windows versions to be able to use their computers.

The black screen issue doesn’t affect only old computers, newer ones, such as the HP Envy Phoenix 850-150qe are also plagued.

How to fix black screen issues in Anniversary Update

Solution 1 – Unplug external devices

Ideally, unplug all external devices when installing the Anniversary Update. If you have already installed the update, unplug all your devices, and then plug them in one at a time as you restart the computer.

In this manner you can detect which device triggers the black screen issue. Once you find out which device is causing this problem, you can contact your device manufacturer for support.

Solution 2 – Use the Windows Media Creation Tool

  1. Revert to your previous Windows version.
  2. Use this step-by-step guide to manually install the Anniversary Update.

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  • Thank you for this article! I’ve had this problem for months now, rolling back to previous version of windows every time I forgot to push the reset button when turning off windows to prevent it from installing updates (why on earth doesn’t windows provide non-updating “restart” or “power off” options?).

    My solution was quite ironic. I had a wireless Microsoft keyboard, which I had forgotten about (I had two keyboards connected). When unplugging the keyboard, it worked. Yes, it was a MICROSOFT keyboard that created the problem for me.

  • FIXED.
    Had the Same problem… SORTED.
    First we tried to update Windows 10 all year whenever updates came out (we still had the first version installed from last year)…. BUT the PC REFUSED to Update EVER at all. Calls to Microsoft did not fix. Tried hundreds of online repairs. NONE WORKED.
    UNTIL….
    We went to update to the Latest version… and we tried on last option we had not tried before..
    The Fix..
    1) Do not vote in WW3 Hilarious Clingon.
    2) type in Search “msconfig”… secondary click and RUN AS Administrator (preferably).
    3) Go to “SERVICES” tab.
    4) Click “Hide all Microsoft Services”. To prevent shutting down important applications….
    5) When you have Hid all Microsoft Services, you will have all other background tasks shown…so click “DISABLE ALL”.
    6) Reboot.
    7) Go to Microsoft UPDATE. Should work fine for most scenarios.

    Good luck. Don’t let the vermin grind you down.

  • I black screened (“during”) Nvidia driver update 375.57 Rebooting would take me to black screen with cursor also. I disabled fast boot and regained control of my pc.

  • If anyone is still experiencing this black screen issue after trying various solutions with no success, verify that your motherboard does not have an enabled “Fast Startup” or “Fast Boot” option.

    My Issue:

    I have several computers, each of which I performed a clean install of Windows 10 Pro Version 1511 (Build 10586). Each clean install completed seamlessly, however when installing the Anniversary Update on each machine, one of the machines suffered a black screen during the install process.

    To be clear, this was a black screen; not a black screen with spinning dots, not a “no-display” case (as my understanding of a no-display / no video scenario is when the monitor does not detect the system running altogether). The display was on and recognized the system was plugged in, yet the screen was black and the install hung here for hours without any content on the screen.

    No commands, shortcuts or inputs were recognized by the system.

    My only option was to perform a hard-shutdown. Upon booting, the computer restarted multiple times, reading “Attempting to recover install” and finally “Restoring your previous version of Windows”.

    After multiple attempts with other solutions to complete the upgrade and
    still no success, I finally turned my focus to the hardware
    (motherboard specifically). As each machine had the same clean install
    on it, the only variable between machines was the hardware.

    My Solution:

    After finding and disabling a “Fast Boot” option which was enabled by default in the BIOS of my motherboard (Asus Z-170A) and attempting the install again, the Anniversary Update was successful.

    Why it worked:

    I presume that disabling the “Fast Boot” option in the BIOS of the motherboard allowed the install to be successful due to the fact that during the install Windows restarts multiple times and to my understanding, “Fast Boot” seemingly creates a temporary store for some data (similar to the nature of hibernation) rather than fully dumping it, to allow for a faster boot time.

    Windows 10 has a “Fast Startup” feature enabled by default on the operating system specifically stating, “This helps start your PC faster after shutdown. Restart isn’t affected.” Many sources and peers suggest that this option can cause issues with Windows updates if it is enabled when a user chooses to perform a normal shutdown and a normal boot for update installation rather than a system restart (which will not use this option). However, as BIOS settings are executed prior to operating system load, I believe this option enabled in BIOS could indeed be a culprit.

    Please note: Windows was validated on each system, updates fetched, device drivers up-to-date and no peripheral devices connected besides a monitor, keyboard and mouse.

    My hardware for system experiencing issue:

    Asus Z-170A
    i7-6700k
    2 x 8GB – G-Skill DDR4 2400mhz
    2 x Samsung 850 EVO SSD
    EVGA 750W Gold Rating 80+ Fully Modular
    Cooler Master input devices (not wireless)

    For those curious as to what exact point in the install
    process this issue was occurring, the problem occurred exactly 75% into
    the install.

    P.S, in case I get an earful for this “solution”, this is my first-ever forum post of any kind! I was initially hesitant to post, but this issue was really troubling me and I wanted to share! Hopefully this will be useful to someone who has tried other solutions without success.

  • Thanks for the tip. Black screen came with 1607 due to it not supporting wireless mouse. It happens when screen saver is activated. So if I unplug its USB receiver before sleep, it will wake up without a black screen. Somehow Chrome is not blacked out…

    Have a “generic” mouse, so don’t expect any update of drivers unless Microsoft fixes this problem they created with the update.

    • I don’t think the wireless mouse is the issue as I have 2 that had this issue both using regular USB mice.. one Nvidia GPU one a laptop with integrated Intel gpu the gaming rig after 3 days of this mess and trying every option I just did a clean ISO install of 1607 and now back working, the laptop I was able to clear it with 2 reboots and it just started working (funny the lap top started this morning after the past 3 days fighting with the rig… I think its more a USB controler issue, and only the lap top sleeps with a screen saver my rig is always on unless I reboot. Rig is 8 month old built by me no OEM junk in it, and an old gateway laptop.. just a mess

  • My Vaio was stuck on swirling dots, for two hours, just read what some said, and I just unplugged my wireless mouse and keyboard and it went away, immediately the orange screen came back on the computer came back to life. working on updates 75% don’t turn off your pc this will take awhile. If you are using a wireless mouse and keyboard, unplug the chip from the computer. In case it makes a difference mine is Logitech.

  • Enter safe mode to check for the graphics drivers and fix them if there are faulty. I repaired the drivers with Driver Talent. Well, I resolved this black screen after Windows 10 anniversary upgrade.

  • I have been having wicked issues with the Anniversary update over the last few weeks.
    The “use the Microsoft Media Creator” and the Upgrade Assistant answers just do not work. If it was as simple as that, I would be a happy camper.
    For example, I have a Acer Aspire laptop here now, and it was running Windows 10, now it can’t get the AU. If you use the Upgrade Assistant, it reboots, starts installing, reboots a few more times and then you get the black screen with the circular dots busy indicator. This will never stop, and the only way to correct it is to turn the machine off and on enough times that it reverts to the old installation.
    Next, using the Media Creator starts working. It does the download, but when it reboots it eventually gets to a black screen. It doesn’t even have a busy indicator, just black. Have to turn it off and on several times again to get it to revert.
    We also tried using Windows Updates, and that got the same result. I am just about to try doing it with an ISO, which I believe will also be a total waste of time.
    I don’t care what MS uses for excuses, they should not be force feeding people these updates if they cannot guarantee they will work.
    I am so glad I didn’t put this garbage on my very expensive gaming rig. Windows 7 FTW.

    • I had to do the ISO – after 3 days of every other option failed (including an ISO one time prior) I actually had to reformat the SSD,

  • My Asus Tytan does the same (black screen circle of dots) but if I hold the power button to shutdown and try again it boots up fine, but it keeps doing it, almost every day.

  • The article really sucks and is confusing.

    It talks about it, but I’m confused if there is a fix for it.

    The solution at the bottom doesn’t look like a fix for my issues but rather just general things you should try. It’s really bogged down. The article is confusing and not concise. Please redo.

    • Right this is definetly not the solution. i tried with all drivers removed. And its a laptop, so above will not work. HP Envy is a laptop too, so the solution is general and not for this issue,

      • Do you know what to do? I assume you have the same problem I do. I can no longer update from the update screen (I got a seperate update for my previous build). I don’t know if I should take it into the shop. I tried to contact windows. I may have to go to best buy. What have you done? Prior I updated all my drivers. I have no clue how to solve this. It’s a real bummer cause I want the newest stuff. 🙁