Windows Bootcamp frustration ūüė°

The emoji says it all….

But just in case it doesn’t, here’s what happened to me and how I fixed it. ¬†So I’ve been running Windows under Boot Camp on my MacBook Pro for something I have to do at work. ¬†Now this is a REALLY cool thing Mac offers right out of the box, so I’ll praise it first briefly before getting into my troubles. ¬†It helps you through the setup process of installing and running several versions of Windows right on your Mac. ¬†You need have some things in place before this will operate smoothly (enough memory on your computer, a Windows license, etc in the link above), but you can run a fully functional version of Windows. ¬†Cool!

Now with cool tech comes some growing pains and challenges. ¬†First and foremost, after finally getting used to using a Mac from a UX perspective (hot keys, trackpad features, scroll direction, the friggin’ ‚Ćė key,etc.) going back to Windows felt foreign and frustrating at times. ¬†Especially before I plugged in a Windows USB keyboard. ¬†Oh and a mouse, because I kept trying to use the trackpad and Windows didn’t like that.

Here’s where I ran into some issues. ¬†I don’t know if this is an issue with running Windows on the Mac or a problem with Windows itself. ¬†Normally, when I’m done using my Mac, I just shut the screen and know it will be fine and maintain most, if not all, of the battery power it had when I closed the screen. ¬† When I do that while running Windows, the SOB kills itself. ¬†Whatever, right? ¬†Not a big deal, just plug it and turn it on? ¬†WRONG!

This is probably a very specific situation, but hopefully this helps someone. ¬†When I’ve been using Windows on my Mac, I’ve been using an external monitor and since I was only looking at the external monitor, I dimmed the screen on my actual laptop all the way to off to conserve battery. ¬†Since I was using a second monitor when the computer died, upon rebooting to Windows, I guess it still believes there’s a second monitor hooked up? ¬†I’m not totally sure what happened. ¬†But it would show me the Windows icon, the little spinning dots that show it’s loading, and then the screen would go pitch black.

I couldn’t tell exactly what was happening. ¬†I thought the computer was crashing when it tried to load for a while. ¬†I kept rebooting and the same thing. ¬†I tried turning up the brightness, CTL+ALT+DEL, pushing the CTRL key, etc. ¬†Couldn’t find the mouse. ¬†Went through this for a while before plugging in a second monitor. ¬†Eventually I realized I could move the mouse off the black screen of my laptop to the now extended external monitor. ¬†The second monitor was black too, but at least I could see the mouse cursor moving!

From here, I must’ve looked at two dozen articles about ways to solve this issue. ¬†Eventually what I realized is my laptop monitor had the brightness stuck to zero, but I couldn’t turn it up from the screen I was on from my mac keyboard nor from the external monitor. ¬†So once I booted up, and was able to see the mouse cursor on the second screen, I read that if you push the Control key, that will move the text input into the password box on your login screen. ¬†Once you’re in the input box, type your password and push enter. ¬†Hopefully you get some sort of affirmation that your login was successful. ¬†It was only once I did that did I see Windows open up on the second monitor. ¬†Success! ¬†Almost, but not totally. ¬† Everything was still stuck on the main monitor, so I couldn’t actually do anything. ¬†If I tried to open up settings to click “clone display” or anything, I couldn’t see it because it would open on the first monitor that was pitch black.

After toiling around for another 10 mins or so, I tried again to turn the brightness up, and that finally worked.  THANK. GOODNESS.  I saw all the windows and stuff that I had opened from the external monitor.

So to recap the issue and the fix –
Issue: Start Windows on my Mac. ¬†See the Windows Icon and load screen, but it goes pitch black. ¬†Can see mouse on second screen but can’t login or anything from second screen.
Fix: Once it loads, even though you can’t see it, click “control” to move into password input field. ¬†Enter password and push Enter. ¬†Turn up brightness.
Lesson Learned:¬†Shut down Windows properly before closing it or don’t mess with the brightness ūüôā

Until next time,


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