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XP won't boot. blinking cursor with blank screen


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#91
jpcarlos

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Hey!

Okay, so i had a mean virus on my computer. I finally got a hold of it and i believe i was able to kill it with panda cloud antivirus. However, when panda cloud cleaned it and it said to reboot, which i did, when my computer restarted i got the usual dell logo and the f2 and f12 options but after that it goes to a black screen with the blinking underscore (_) in the upper left hand corner. i have tried to use the, reinstalltion cd microsoft windows xp home edition including service pack 1 and 1a, but when i get to the point where it says press enter to start installation, r for repair, and f3 to exit, whenever i press r or any other button nothing happens. Originally, when i had the virus my computer was running on service pack 3 but i uninstalled it to reinstall internet explorer 7 and had service pack 2. when i rebooted after cleaning the virus i had service pack 2. could that be the reason why the installation cd isnt working. i need help!!!!!!
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#92
noddyWA

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had to sign up and say thanks guys for solving the issue, worked a treat.
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#93
noddyWA

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Hello All,
New to this forum but computer consultant for over 20 years.
Easiest fix for black screen with flashing with cursor = boot off a Windows XP CD
R for repair on the first screen
At the command prompt type fixboot and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Then type fixmbr and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Type EXIT
Reboot
It is fixed.

J


sorry , this was the fix that worked for me
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#94
ZetaByteMe

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With the help of this thread, I solved the following symptom set:
Dell Latitude D400 with Bios A08 (newest on Dell's site)
250GB HDD, Partitioned so C: drive is 137GB
Windows XP Pro w/SP3 worked fine until coming back from hibernate yesterday
Blinking cursor - no boot!!
Couldn't get to F8 boot menu - so hangup was prior to that in boot sequence
Machine booted fine with drive from an identical machine. The drive from this machine exhibited identical problem with inserted in other machine.

Definitely a great idea to try using an USB adapter cable (or enclosure) to get the drive to read in another machine. Mine did, and I was able to get a good backup.

Tried FIXBOOT, FIXMBR, BOOTCFG, etc. with no success. The issue was the 137GB limit in the BIOS. The clue was when I entered Setup, and noticed my 250GB WD drive was recognized as 137GB.

I had already encountered this problem some time back, and thought I'd fixed it by partitioning the drive with a 135GB C: partition, and the balance as a D: partition. The problem is - the limit is actually 128GB Binary size, 137GB Decimal size. I used Acronis DiskDirector 10 (other utilities should work) to increase the size of the D: partition, by robbing from the C: partition, until I got the C: partition down to 127.9GB Binary size. Like magic, the drive started booting flawlessly.

Thanks to all the contributors to this thread!

Another useful thread on this same topic here:
http://en.community....spx?PageIndex=1
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#95
Blioux

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Hello All,
New to this forum but computer consultant for over 20 years.
Easiest fix for black screen with flashing with cursor = boot off a Windows XP CD
R for repair on the first screen
At the command prompt type fixboot and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Then type fixmbr and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Type EXIT
Reboot
It is fixed.

J

The gift that keeps on giving... I too had to register to send thanks your way.


I tried this, now at least windows tries to load (I get the loading screen) but then I get a flash of a blue screen and the PC re-boots. This happens over and over until I turn the system off.....any suugestions?
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#96
rshaffer61

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I tried this, now at least windows tries to load (I get the loading screen) but then I get a flash of a blue screen and the PC re-boots. This happens over and over until I turn the system off.....any suugestions?


  • Start your system and at the Second post screen tap on F8 to get to the Boot Menu
  • Use the Arrow Keys to Scroll down to the line that says "Auto Start On Error" and highlight it.
  • Click Enter to disable it
  • The system should reboot and if not then do so.
  • When the BSOD shows it will stop so that you can reply with the STOP ERROR and any parameters.

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#97
littlebuddie

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Hello All,
New to this forum but computer consultant for over 20 years.
Easiest fix for black screen with flashing with cursor = boot off a Windows XP CD
R for repair on the first screen
At the command prompt type fixboot and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Then type fixmbr and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Type EXIT
Reboot
It is fixed.

J


WOOOOO! It worked! I still don't know what caused the initial problem but this suggestion allowed me to repair and re-install XP without loosing any of my files, photos or programs. I registered just to say thanks Incubatorjones! Thank you also the fine members who contribute to this forum!

Edited by littlebuddie, 02 August 2011 - 01:42 PM.

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#98
Damaged_Goods

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Everyone,

I have been searching for a resolution to this for a while, I have a Dell Latitude Inspiron 600m and this problem would happen ever so often about 2 - 3 months after I would receive my RMA drive from Western Digital this problem would occur. Every time I would have to re-install XP, drivers, software etc. which is a pain. But the last 2 times this has happened by accident I found a solution to my problem (without having to ship the drive back to WD) with the blinking cursor and no OS boot.

Note: Although the system will not boot I have always been able to access the drive via bootable Linux Distro (Normally Parted Magic) and back up the individual files that I needed.

Quick Overview:

Using Acronis True Image Home 2011: clone the non-booting drive to a backup drive. Reboot and boot into ATIH2001 again then clone from the backup drive back to the the non-booting drive. Shutdown disconnect attached backup drive and boot from previously non-booting drive

Solution (Full):

What you need -

Hard Drive equal to or greater then the amount of data on the disk ***ALL DATA ON THIS DRIVE WILL BE DELETED*** (example: My case I had a 259GB w/only 40GB of data which fit on my backup 80GB laptop drive)

External Drive enclosure, SATA/PATA to USB(anything that will enable you to move the data off the affected drive to the backup drive, For me I used the SATA/PATA to USB)

Acronis True Image Home 2011 (Sorry this is not a free tool but this is the only imaging/cloning software that I have used for this process, not tested Norton Ghost or Clonezila)

Procedure:

Boot into Acronis True Image Home 2011 Click>tools & utilities >Clone Drive: use the Non-Booting drive as the source drive and the backup drive as the destination

After clone process completes Restart and again boot into Acronis True Image Home 2011 again click>tools & utilities >Clone Drive: but this time select the Backup Drive as the source and the NON-booting Drive as the destination

Once the Clone Process is complete shutdown disconnect the backup drive and reboot to the non-booting drive and it should now function as normal booting into Windows


Failed Fixes:

Boot XP recovery console:
FIXMBR
FIXBOOT
CHKDSK

SpinRite Drive maintenance scan and repair


Conclusion:

This worked for me but may not for you, Mileage may vary. This is my second time doing this on the same drive and it has worked both times. I have little explanation for why it works, possible that re-imaging the drive with the same data rewrites the affected areas on the disk. I just hope this helps.
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#99
pch340

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Hello All,
New to this forum but computer consultant for over 20 years.
Easiest fix for black screen with flashing with cursor = boot off a Windows XP CD
R for repair on the first screen
At the command prompt type fixboot and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Then type fixmbr and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Type EXIT
Reboot
It is fixed.

J


There are a lot of different possible fixes for the black screen with a blinking cursor, but I think this one is the most common.
If you don't have a Windows XP disk, you can buy one from Best Buy or any other store for like $10. Or you can make one if you have the time...
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#100
sabershadowkat

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I've just encountered this problem today - black screen with white, movable cursor. It occurs on boot. The computer worked fine yesterday and shut down normally. I've perused the forum but as I cannot enter into safe mode, open the task master, or boot from XP Pro disk, I'm at a loss. Ctrl + Alt + Del restarts the computer every time. The white cursor moves when I move the mouse.

Things I've tried -
removing and dusting ram
putting XP disk into drive for disk boot
moving hardware plugs around
Hard re-starting
F8 on boot
Ctrl + Shift + Esc
Windows button
Win + R

The computer does make a beep upon being started, indicating POST. As the mouse cursor does move something is working, but it gives me no help with a black screen.


ETA - it's the hard drive, through the common sense plug/unplug and boot until something different happens. Attempting to follow prior Repair instructions to see if that'll work.

Edited by sabershadowkat, 24 August 2011 - 04:53 PM.

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#101
secondlaws

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For those reading this thread because your "xp won't boot with blinking cursor" don't give up! I am no geek, so I don't really know all the details of what happened but my trusty dell inspiron 6000 laptop was suffering the same issue. I had it at my local trusted computer shop for diagnosis and they had given up and were telling me that they simply needed to reinstall the os, which would have been an enormous headache for me. I found this thread, printed it out, and begged the tech to read through it and try some of the fixes that had been successful.

What worked for my machine (as I understand it): simply adding a partition on the hard drive so that both partitions were under 100 GB (on a 160 GB hard drive), i.e., it sounds to me as though my machine was suffering the 137 GB issue discussed above.

Thank you geekstogo!!!!

Edited by secondlaws, 15 September 2011 - 10:23 AM.

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#102
tnbot

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On my desktop, I have XP. I can't tell you much else about it since I can not boot the PC. I have a Windows XP System Recovery Disc Live Boot CD 32 bit. If I press F8 while booting the computer, I get the following choices:

1st FLOPPY DRIVE
3M-ST380817AS (Third IDE Master)
PM-HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GSA-4163B (Primary IDE Master)

It tells me to arrow up or down to move selection, ENTER to select boot device, ESC to boot using defaults.

I have tried the second two, knowing I don't have a floppy disc. and it just gives me a black screen with a blinking cursor.

Also, I have tried hitting DEL while booting to run setup and see nothing about booting from a disc there.

CTRL+ALT+DEL does reboot the pc from the blank screen, but nothing else works as far as I know.

I don't know where to go from here. =(
Please help!

Edited by tnbot, 21 September 2011 - 03:55 PM.

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#103
WTNA

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I was experience a failure in the boot loader as well after replacing my 80GB hard drive with a 250GB on an Inspiron 9300 running WindowsXP, original Dell BIOS A03. After countless, re-installations of WindowsXP which got to be a pain, I came upon this thread and tried this fix:

**********************************************************************
Incubatorjones, on 17 February 2010 - 12:22 PM, said:

Hello All,
New to this forum but computer consultant for over 20 years.
Easiest fix for black screen with flashing with cursor = boot off a Windows XP CD
R for repair on the first screen
At the command prompt type fixboot and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Then type fixmbr and hit ENTER ("Y" to agree to perform command)
Type EXIT
Reboot
It is fixed.

J
*************************************************************************************

The above fix did not work and I have since encountered the same blinking screen. I recently purchased and installed Acronis Disk Director 11 and split the 250GB drive into two C: 127 GB and E: the remainder. I will let this forum know whether this fix works.
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#104
themidge

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It was the 137GB limit that was causing problems for me. Upgraded the HDD in an old Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop about a year ago to a 160GB HDD and it hasn't given me any trouble up until now. Resized the system partition to 120GB using GParted https://help.ubuntu....mmunity/GParted and then put the spare space in another partition. Booted right up! Strange that it took so long to stop working.
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#105
WTNA

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Yep, it was the 137 GB BIOS limit that was causing the problem all along. The existing BIOS installed could not recognize the hard drive after working for 2-4 weeks. Computer has been working fine so far.
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