Windows 7 blank screen loading with ATI drivers

BangingHead

Recently I decided to add an external 2TB eSATA drive to my PC for two purposes: 1) So I could boot from it if my SSD went wrong (which seems to be happening) and 2) To act as a backup for my main RAID storage drive.

Windows 7 Ultimate installed absolutely fine on this drive, my computer restarted and all was good. Until I installed a few drivers and restarted again that is.

The Problem

Just before the login screen the displays would go blank and it seemed my machine was locking up. The only remedy was to hit the reset button. I tried disconnecting all of my unused USB devices, changing AHCI settings in the BIOS and even tried re-installing Windows. Same thing every time.

The Solution

After much head-scratching and cursing I suddenly remembered that I have my Plasma screen connected to the HDMI out on my ATI 5770. I unplugged it, restarted, and Windows booted! Grrr..

It seems even though I had two monitors connected via. DVI, the HDMI output was given priority by the drivers. So all along my computer wasn’t locking up – it was just trying to output to another display. That was switched off.

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