Windows 10 Fall Creators Update: blank screen in HP Z1 Workstation

Well, I just got automatically upgraded to Windows Fall Creators Update on my HP Z1 Worksation and as you can guess, I got exactly the same problem when the machine screen turned black and the machine went into some kind of zombie state.

Since this already happened to me during the Windows 10 Creators Update I knew what to do 🙂 My recommended steps to solve the problem are the following:

0. Like before doing any major upgrade operation, perform backup of all your data and make sure you will not suffer in case something goes wrong and upgrade fails

1. Get IP address of your Z1 machine by launching cmd.exe and running ipconfig in the console

2. Configure Remote Desktop access to your Z1 machine from another device. Make sure you can connect to Z1 from another machine before you start upgrade to Fall Creators Update

3. Make sure there is no external drive connected to Z1. I had a problem when upgrading to Fall Creator Update when an SD card was connected to the device – everything just hung and machine did not reboot (the LED that indicates disk activity was inactive, and machine was in zombie state forever, once I removed the SD card the machine automatically rebooted and upgrade continued)

4. Cross the fingers and start the upgrade

5. As expected, the screen will switch off, be patient and fearless 🙂

6. Periodically go to the device and monitor the LED which indicates the hard disk activity (right corner, top). If it is working, it means upgrade is going on

7. From another machine open cmd.exe and try to ping Z1 ip address using the command

ping [here comes the ip address you obtained in step#1]

8. Check ping results. If you get ping response continue further:

9. Connect to machine via RDP

10. Go to device manager and locate your video driver

11. Click remove device and choose also to remove the software driver

12. Perform reboot of the machine by executing the command:

shutdown -r -t 1

13. After the reboot the display will work, the resolution will be very poor, but after a few minutes Windows 10 will reconfigure the video driver and it will work correctly

P.S. If you encounter problem at step#8 (I actually did encounter it) monitor the LED of the disk to find out when the upgrade is finished and machine is idle. If you determine that machine is idle or you really can’t determine anything wait 2 hours and reboot the machine. After the reboot the ping will indicate that machine is online, so it’s time to connect via RDP and fix the problem (step#9).

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2 Comments

    • Glad that it worked out well. The only problem with the above instructions is that you should have RDP enabled before you start the upgrade. Many people will start the update, reach the point when they have a blank screen and they realize that they have no way to enable RDP. An alternative solution may be to connect external screen at this point, but I did not try it myself.

      How did you solve the problem? With RDP or with a screen?

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