Boot Camp: Windows 7 on iMac – Fix Black Screen

Recently I was making a Boot Camp installation of Windows 7 on my iMac, however, it did not go as smoothly as expected. During the installation process the screen went infinitely black, and it was not possible to continue the installation process.

Software versions:

  • Boot Camp 3.0 (Mac OS X Snow Leopard)
  • Windows 7

Doing a little search, I found the following solution on how to fix the problem.

Update: Apple has made a support article on the issue: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3173

Solution (step by step from the beginning):

  1. Run Boot Camp Assistant from Mac OS X Snow Leopard (Applications -> Utilities)
  2. Create a partition for the Windows installation using Boot Camp Assistant
  3. Plugin your install disc and install Windows 7
  4. The system will reboot a couple of times during the installation
  5. The problem: The second time the system reboots, you the see the Windows red-green-blue-yellow animated logo, and then the screen goes black and hangs infinitely.
  6. Press and hold the power button on your iMac until it shuts down.
  7. Start the iMac again holding “alt” key, so you can select and load Max OS X Snow Leopard again.
  8. Run any application that let you work with NTFS partitions (e.g. Paragon NTFS for Mac OS X or MacFuse)
  9. Find the file “C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ATIKMDAG.SYS” on your BOOTCAMP partition, and simply delete it.
  10. Restart you iMac, and boot up Windows 7
  11. Now Windows 7 should boot normally
  12. Run update windows utility and install Boot Camp drivers from the Mac OS X install disc
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44 Responses to Boot Camp: Windows 7 on iMac – Fix Black Screen

  1. mark says:

    works perfect! thanks!

  2. sknkaSG says:

    hey thanks A LOT! Tried this after instructions from apple didn’t work for me!

    Now Win7 64bit runs perfectly

  3. Dennis says:

    It definitely works! Thanks a bunch!

  4. Jay says:

    Thank you sooooo much. I spent almost 3 hours trying to solve this issue until i stumbled upon your article.

    Cheers!!

  5. Andre says:

    It works like a charm! I spent hours finding a solution to the black screen issue!

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Austevoll says:

    Thanks! Nice to have read this in advance! Couldn’t Get macfuse to work, but paragon trial did the job

  7. Marius says:

    Hey,
    how do I find the file I have to delete? I cannot figure out how MacFuse or Paragon works.
    Thank you.

  8. urramoor says:

    Thank you your solution worked a treat.

  9. Mark says:

    Worked like a charm! Thanks so much!

  10. jim says:

    I have the exact same prob with my 27″ imac but with an installation of xp (sp 3 i believe) – can’t find that specific file however might be somethin similar tho…

    not sure if it started on the second boot or if it happened because i installed apple’s drivers from the snow leopard retail disc.

    funnily enough i can use the bootcamp partition with vmware’s fusion no prob.

  11. Alex says:

    Hey guys!

    Just to let the fellow above me (Jim) that I had the exact same problem (iMac 27″ i5 with Windows XP SP2 on Boot Camp) and solve it by renaming (using the method in this post) the ati driver in my windows/system32/drivers folder. In my particular case was ati2mtag.sys. After that, no more black screen. Hope it helps someone.

    Now I’m having problems with “hold option to dual boot” not working but that’s a whole new google quest…lol.

  12. sande says:

    Yay! That worked, excellent! Thanks a lot.

    Alex, that might be because of that wireless keyboard, I had same problems first. Try pushing that power button on keyboard, it will wake up and pair eventually…

  13. Magnus says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, thaaaaaaaaank you.

  14. Toby says:

    Thank you so much for posting this information. It saved me last night!

  15. Tim says:

    Thanks very much for the fantastic tip.

    Worked perfectly. I used the demo of Paragon NTFS for Mac to gain access to the Windows bootcamp volume.

    I deleted the file, restarted iMac in Windows and the installation finished it’s business nicely (and visibly :-)

    Imac 27″ Core i7 with Win 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

  16. Scoop says:

    Havnt tried this yet but will be when I get home but judging by the comments looks like it will definitely work so just incase I forget later, thanks!

  17. Jon says:

    Just to let anyone reading this know: you can skip all of this if you have a mini display port adapter and an old monitor. When the screen goes black the output is still available on the external monitor and allows you to continue with the installation as normal. If you download and install the ATI update right after installation completes then you’re sorted.

    A bit easier than editing the driver files.

  18. Camry says:

    Thank u so much, you have no clue how much trouble windows 7 has given me

  19. Antony says:

    Thanks for the solution!
    This problem bother me every single time when I update the catalyst!

  20. miqviq says:

    FYI, you can also use Safe Boot in Windows 7.
    Display resolution in Safe Boot mode is enough for doing the remove/rename operation of the troublesome ATI driver.
    Worked for me with iMac10,1 (Late 2009).

  21. Pingback: bootcamp

  22. Alessandro says:

    I don’t want to marry you, but i think I’M FALLING IN LOVE
    WITH YOU!!!! :D :D :D :D :D —

  23. Jeroenxp says:

    Thnx. I burned 4 dvd’s and they give all a black screen.
    With this information it was quickly solved.

  24. Greg says:

    You are the MAN!!

  25. Jonathan Grondin says:

    :D Thank you very much pal

  26. Danone says:

    you the MAN!!! thanks alot

  27. Domdom says:

    Thanks a lot, this worked perfect.
    And then Windows did about 70 updates.
    No mouse or keyboard anymore!! luckily my bamboo did work.
    So update with bootDVD of Drivers and 1 win update later all works fine.
    Thank you very much!

  28. Bangedy says:

    Hi this article helped me at first , i discovered an easier way.
    Seen as you already have the windows disk boot into it select repair load drivers brose to the path and file yoi said and just delete from there :)

  29. Time says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! THIS REALLY WORK. Macfuse didnt but the other one did. Thanks again :)

  30. niccen says:

    hey. encountered the same issue as everybody else here did. however, i installed macfuse, to gain access to my windows-folders located on my newly created partition. the problem is, i cannot delete or change the name of anything on that partition. i dont know why.. hence i cannot delete atikmdag.sys, to fix my blackscreen problem. any advice? im a novice mac-user, but well.. i cannot for some reason change the permissions for my partition where windows 7 is located.. and i really need to delete this file in order to get windows to work properly. any advice?

  31. b8c says:

    21.5″ IMac – black screen after second reboot during W7 install. Was pulling my hair out having tried (three times) the official USB formatted as an MBR approach with the video driver files windows. Your a gem thanks!

  32. Layz says:

    Thx very much! Win7 is up and running.

  33. Ben zilla says:

    Klaus, thank you so much, your solution work perfectly!

    The horrible feeling of despair and frustration replaced by
    JOY because of you! Well done and thanks again!

  34. Ron Baines says:

    Brilliant great fix

  35. Hotrian says:

    niccen, I realize this is a year old post I’m replying to, but I’m answering your problem for other users who might come across it.

    What the article didn’t mention is that macFuse in itself, does not allow you to write to NTFS, which is what Windows uses. No, rather macFuse is a program that loads plugins, that allow you to do that. The most popular one being 3g-ntfs, which worked for me.

    http://macntfs-3g.blogspot.com/

    The above link is currently the main site for the project, but since it’s a no longer developed project, I can’t say how long that will remain active, or available.

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/catacombae/files/NTFS-3G%20for%20Mac%20OS%20X/2010.10.2/ntfs-3g-2010.10.2-macosx.dmg/download

    Above is the file you actually need to install and use, that’s the one that I just used today, and it worked awesome for me so far. The solution mentioned in the article also solved my black screen issue, so it’s still good :].

  36. Pradeep says:

    Thkx ….:)

  37. Pedro says:

    Hi guys, i have the same problem on windows installation but i cant find this files anywhere

    i went to the path on windows/sys32/drivers/ but i cant find the .sys file

    can someone help me?

  38. Justin says:

    After many tries this finally worked….apple’s help was garbage

  39. cs says:

    Removing the driver avoided the black screen problem, but then 3d support no longer worked. I also use VMware Fusion to boot my boot camp partition, so I tried uninstalling VMware Tools, and re-installing the latest boot camp drivers. Now everything works again.

  40. Saby says:

    Hi

    I cannot locate atikmdag.sys in drivers. I did a manual search for the file and it came back with the following files

    atikmdag.sys
    atikmdag.sys.mui

    Should i delete them both or just .sys will do the trick ?

    Any help will be much appreciated

    Thank you
    Saby

  41. Kyle says:

    Hey there, thanks for this fix.
    Only a slight problem.

    I can only find atikmdag.sys.mui and not just atikmdag.sys.
    Any help from anyone would be much appreciated!

  42. Marian Oprea says:

    Hello, i install ParagonNTFS for mac in Lion partition but i’can’t remove file. I use another mac link to firewire connection and delete file windows/sistem32/drivers/atikmac.sys..
    Works fine!!!
    Reboot the mac continue install windows. Succes!

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