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Black Screen of Death with mouse cursor - Ethernet adapter related

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#1 Nerevarine


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Posted 05 December 2015 - 09:26 AM


I had some problem yesterday when I was about to turn off my PC for the day, and I got a "regular" old blue screen and a memory dump, which was completed. I restarted the PC just to see nothing was wrong, and it loaded just fine. Turned it off without further issues. Today when I started it up it took forever to get past the Welcome screen (Windows 7, very fast SSD), and when it did there was just a black screen with a mouse cursor I could move. Ctrl-Alt-Del did nothing.

I rebooted a couple of times, same story. Rebooted into safe mode with networking, and it did the exact same thing, black screen, mouse cursor, nothing else. Rebooted into safe mode without network and it loaded up fine. Did some googling on my phone and started with the regular reverting to an earlier configuration, and uninstalled the most recent updates and programs (nothing new was installed yesterday though). Also checked regedit for the value to shell and something else, and disabled a number of startup objects in msconfig. No change. Also ran the starup repair tool in F8 repair thingie and did a chkdsk on boot drive. No change. I then figured the network part of safe mode might be an indicator, and tried to delete the Ethernet adapter in devices, and rebooted into a regular startup. And it worked! I got in, without any network obviously, and Windows immediately installed a driver for my Ethernet adapter. I rebooted again and the black screen was back. So I went back and deleted the adapter again in safe mode, and deleted the software driver along with it, and tried to install another driver directly in safe mode. I know for a fact of three different drivers that work for my network card (Killer e2200). The regular Killer e2200 obv, a windows default something, and a Qualcomm Atheros AR8161 driver (same chip). I tried all three, since I had them on my local hard drive, and have used all in the past successfully. Black screen with all.

I got desperate so I went out and quickly bought a cheap Gigabit Ethernet PCI-E card and tried that, and disabled the Killer e2200 in BIOS, and it booted fine, installed right away, and lets me reboot without any further issues.

Is it likely that somehow the onboard Killer e2200 card actually has broken? Seems to be a hardware issue with it now that all the different software drivers made no difference. And everything works fine with it disabled. There was quite a storm in my area yesterday, but I live in an apartment building with Gigabit fiber cabling, and there is a modem/router in between my PC and wall socket Ethernet port, which works fine still. Also a NAS attached to the same modem, still working fine. Seems unlikely a power spike or such would make it to my PC that way with everything else working fine.

If it is a hardware failure there still is warranty on my motherboard I think, but I'm not sure I want to send it in for this, when a cheap PCI-E card works and should work just as fine in the long run, right? No mobo = no PC for me, and this kinda stuff always takes a week or two minimum..

Edited by Nerevarine, 05 December 2015 - 05:53 PM.

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#2 usasma


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Posted 07 December 2015 - 05:14 AM

Killer software has had issues in the past.

In most cases it was the add-on software for network management that did this (but, FYI, most of the issues that I investigated were BSOD related).

If you have time, try uninstalling all the Killer related stuff - then only install drivers for the Atheros chip


Here's my old canned speech about Killer stuff.
This isn't intended for you to use, but rather is presented so it may suggest some other ways of testing the Killer card:


At times the Killer Network Manager may cause BSOD problems:

NOTE:Link thanks to blueelvis (15Oct2014): 

NOTE:  See this link first:  http://www.eightforums.com/bsod-crashes-debugging/38306-bsod-while-playing-msi-gt70-dragon-edition-2-a-4.html#post358413 (thanks to kaelaan)  It appears that the Killer Service problem was solved with the latest release of the Qualcomm versions of the drivers (so try updating to a version dated from later in 2014).

The Qualcomm Atheros Killer Service/KillerNetManager is known to cause BSOD's.  Please follow the workaround instructions here:

First, open the Run dialog (Win + R keys) and type in "services.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter
Scroll down and locate the "Qualcomm Atheros Killer Service" and right click on it.  Select "Stop"
Right click on it again and this time select "Properties"
In the dropdown box for "Startup type", select "Disabled", then click on the "OK" button at the bottom of the window

Next, open Task Manager (right click on TaskBar and select "Task Manager")
Click on the "More details" dropdown (if present)
Click on the "Startup" tab
Scroll down and locate the "KillerNetManager" entry, right click on it and select "Disable"
There may also be an Install Shield (with the Killer gaming K next to it), if so Right click on it and select "Disable"
Finally, restart the system in order for the changes to take affect.

At times the Killer Network Manager will continue to load.  If so, it's usually listed in the MSINFO32...Software Environment...Startup Programs section.  If it is, please try this:

It may be that the instructions aren't stopping everything.
In some cases, there's a program running out of the Program Files/Program Files (x86) directory.
"c:\program files\qualcomm atheros\killer network manager\killer~1.exe" (NOTE:  killer~1.exe is most likely killernetmanager.exe)
In other cases, there's a program running out of c:\windows\installer\{Long string of letters, numbers, and dashes}\networkmanager.exe_130c27d738f34c89bddf21bcfd74b56d.exe (the long string of letters and numbers may change)

Here's some things to try
1) Please see if there are any entries in the Startup tab of Task Manager that are related to Qualcomm/Atheros/Killer Network Manager (and NOT the card itself) and disable them (please let us know what you find)  Be careful as the wrong selection can disable the network card.
2) Check in "msconfig" for any entries that aren't in the Startup tab of Task Manager. Let us know if you find any Qualcomm/Atheros/Killer entries there (we'll disable them differently if they are there).
3) Locate the "c:\program files\qualcomm atheros\killer network manager\killer~1.exe" and rename the .exe to .BAD (the killer~1 is actually a filename that starts with killer and ends with .exe)  There will be an error in event viewer, but it'll stop the bugger from loading.
4) Locate the "c:\windows\installer\{Long string of letters, numbers, and dashes}\networkmanager.exe_130c27d738f34c89bddf21bcfd74b56d.exe" entry and rename the last .exe to .BAD (the long string of letters and numbers may change)

Just FYI - here are the MSI workaround instructions:  http://service.msicomputer.com/msi_user/TechFAQdetail.aspx?formid=3054


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