Lenovo x301 black screen on power-up but internal screen works if external monitor is connected


May 16, 2017
I've read plenty of posts that describe a problem similar to mine, but have never read this exact problem. On power-up running Windows 7, the screen works at first but once the point in the power-up sequence comes for the Windows splash screen, the screen goes black although the laptop continues to boot correctly and Windows loads correctly too. (I can power down with keyboard commands: Windows button / right-arrow key / return => power down.)
When I start the laptop in protected mode, the screen works fine.
Here is the crazy part: When I start the laptop with an external monitor connected via VGA cable **even with the external monitor switched off,** the laptop starts correctly with the **internal** screen also working correctly!
I've tried all the battery removal, hold down power switch procedures with no success. The problem did start after I installed a new battery, though. The laptop is about 9 years old.
If this is a GPU problem, why does connecting an unpowered external monitor make the internal monitor work? Once it's booted, connecting the external monitor makes no difference. The external monitor just shows "Format not supported" and the internal monitor stays black. Any ideas?
Try this....

Make sure you wait until the computer would be fully loaded before trying this, and not try it right away like you would to say get into BIOS. This needs you to actually be where you would be when Windows Explorer loads.

1. Press "Shift" repeatedly until the "sticky keys" window shows up.

2. Now click the the link there that will lead to the "Ease of Access Center".

3. Next click "Cancel" on the the bottom right corner of the "Set Up Sticky Keys" window.

4. From here you want to click "Control Panel" on the upper left corner (it should be right beside the "Make Your Computer Easier to Use" title.

5. Locate the "Computer Settings" menu and then choose the "Recovery" icon (make sure that your view of this is by either large or small icons for easier access).

6. Now click and open "System Restore".

7. Here you want to click next on the bottom right corner (a few times) until the button "Finish" shows up and then click it. (Just follow everything prompt that the window says which will lead you to recovering your previous system, in a certain time.

8. The computer will now do the work it needs to and then reboot.

If that doesn't work, you can try the following...

You can also try doing the Ctrl+Alt+Delete and see if you can get "Task Manager" to show.

If the "Task Manager" windows shows, then choose "New Task" and then type in EXPLORER. If the desktop shows up then you need to go into "Start", "Programs", then "Accessories" and finally "Command Prompt". (Or you can do a search for CMD.)

Make sure you load the "Command Prompt" with Administrator access. Then when it loads type in....


It will do a file check.

To learn more about "SFC" visit this link at Microsoft... https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929833


May 19, 2012
I realize this post is several months old, but one of my users had the same issue and I was able to find a solution. The user was experiencing the issue while running Windows 7 Enterprise x64 on a Lenovo T450s. The fix was as follows:

    ■ Connect an external monitor
    ■ Boot the computer and log into Windows
    ■ Press the Windows Key + 'P' to open the Easy Display Switcher
    ■ Select "Computer only"
    ■ Disconnect the external monitor

After this, I restarted the computer and confirmed that the built-in display worked properly.
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