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Thread: Troubleshooting Guide for Boot / Start Up Issues (Blank/Black Screen)

  1. #1

    Lightbulb Troubleshooting Guide for Boot / Start Up Issues (Blank/Black Screen)

    Getting a black screen when starting up Kali? This thread contains a few common things to check to help out.
    This thread will not be a complete guide, just a starting point and raise a few points that you may have overlooked.

    It's important to know where in the boot process you are having issues/getting the black screen:
    • Straight after BIOS/UEFI?
    • Able to see the bootloader?
    • Are you able to enter a username/password at all (either text or GUI login)?
    • Is there a cursor on the screen (mouse or flashing prompt)?

    A few things to keep in mind can be found below

    Install a bootloader
    This mainly applies to people who single boot Kali.

    You need to install a bootloader (e.g. GRUB2, Lilo, BURG).
    In most scenarios you cannot do 'next' -> 'next' -> 'next' to install Kali 2.0. If you do, you will skip over installing GRUB2 (default bootloader).

    During the install, make sure you install a bootloader on the correct hard drive. when your machine reboots, with some luck you should at least see:

    Verbose Booting (non quiet)
    By default, 'quiet' is set in the boot arguments, which doesn't help when troubleshooting issues. Making it display more data (verbose) is helpful.
    This can be done by selecting the boot option and pressing 'e', and finding the line that starts with "linux" and ends with "quiet". Remove the word "quiet" and press "CTRL + X" to boot using this value.

    Virtual Consoles
    If you have still got a blank screen, this could be a x11 issue. However, virtual consoles could still work, allowing you to interface with the system on a command line TTY1-6 will give you console. TTY7 is GUI output.
    CTRL + ALT + F1 == TTY1 (Command line)
    CTRL + ALT + F7 == GUI

    Recovery Mode
    Another approach could be to see if you can boot into recovery mode. Recovery mode is like single user mode except it will only load core programs that are bare essentials to get the system running. Useful to rule out any corrupt configurations.

    At GRUB, select "Advance options for Kali GNU/Linux" then any options which has "(recovery mode)" at the end. If everything goes okay, you should be at a different prompt, to enter the root password.

    More information:

    Any off topic replies will be deleted.
    Last edited by g0tmi1k; 2015-08-31 at 08:12.
    This is a Kali-Linux support forum - not general IT/infosec help.

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    Troubleshooting: Kali-Linux Installation, Repository, Wi-Fi Cards (Official Docs)
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  2. #2
    What if your using a tablet device, the response to the black screen issue is to shut down power to the device, theres also no video options in the BIOS, this is because the tablet will have a fixed screen.

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