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XP won't boot. blinking cursor with blank screen


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#106
DLD

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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


And yet another Black Screen problem solved with this suggestion. In my case, when I booted from the Windows XP CD, the system asked for an administrator password to proceed (which I, of course, didn't know). I got around that by downloading and running the "Offline NT Password & Registry Editor".

I changed the admin password to blank, re-booted with the Windows XP CD and followed the above instructions. Re-booted and my computer came up exactly as it was before the problem arose.

If you need to use a password editor, make sure you read about it before you just use it. The one I used said you would lose any encrypted files on your system because they are somehow tied to the admin password. Fortunately, in my case, that wasn't a concern.

Thanks to all who helped solve my problem - I greatly appreciate it!

Edited by DLD, 18 October 2011 - 08:44 AM.

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#107
Zak Collins

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Okay, so I registered just to found the solution to my problem. I'm sorry if this is against any rules but yeah. Long story short I had an odd occurrence, and force rebooted my windows xp, which was originally windows 7, but that's a whole different story. after the boot screen, it's the blinking cursor of death. I've tried every trick explained in this thread. I tried fixmbr, fixboot, chkdsk, ntldr, formatting the HD, swapping out RAM sticks, all that crap. I must be missing something, but what? Any help would be awesome.
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#108
WHSKY8

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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


I had the same issue as the original poster and the above instructions helped me. I would like to point out that if it weren't for the Mods helping out with this issue, I wouldn't be sending a reply of thanks on my computer. Thanks to you all for your guidance, wisdom, and advice.

Keith
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#109
Meikahyael

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Here's another geek's experience. Hope it helps anyone else facing this issue. I just had the same issue with a friend's Dell Latitude D610 laptop with Windows XP Professional SP3. I tried the many potential solutions mentioned:

  • chkdsk (which did find and fix what I think were quite a few errors (it didn't list them all), and it seemed to have to cycle through several times before it was through)
  • fixboot
  • fixmbr
  • refreshing ntldr and ntdetect.com
  • there was no options to disable UDMA in the BIOS for this machine, so I couldn't try that
  • there was no Large Disk Mode setting in the BIOS for this machines, so I couldn't try that either
What fixed it for me was to boot to a GParted Live CD and resize the single 240 GB partition down to 120 GB effectively splitting the drive in half. As soon as I did that, the system booted up normally. I'd be really interested to know why that is the fix. I also don't know what the trigger was to render the machine unbootable. I'm wondering if a BIOS update would allow one to go back to using a disk greater than the 128GB or 137GB size limit that caused this problem in the first place. Haven't searched the net for the answer to that one yet. Currently giving the machine a once over, but I suspect it's relatively clean.

Edited by Meikahyael, 12 May 2012 - 11:44 PM.

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#110
Amlak

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Yeah, someone I know had this exact issue too. And resizing the main hard drive partition was what fixed it. It was a pretty old laptop, though. So not surprised about the size limit.
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#111
Digiti123

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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.



The same thing happened to the old Dell Inspiron 6000 that I installed a 160gig hard drive into almost two years ago. I cannot thank the original poster and you enough for this information.I am back up and running because of your help. You never know!
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#112
Matt37

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I have a Dell Latitude 110L laptop running XP Pro, yes I know it is old, but it worked. I replaced the hard drive about 6 months ago and it has worked great since until the other day it froze up. It would not close any windows even after waiting about 15min, so I shut it off with the on/off button. waited about 1o-15 min to reboot. After the boot sequence all I got was a blinking cursor in the top left corner. I have done a little research and read thru some the reviews here on this issue. I have tried
chkdsk /r
fixboot
fixmbr
refreshing ntldr and ntdetect.com
repartition with GPart 140GB to 110GB
still no luck!
Any help from this point would be great!
Thanks
Matt
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#113
rshaffer61

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have you tried checking the hd itself?

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, try the Hitachi DFT CD Image version of the software

Thanks to Broni for the instructions



Do you have the original OS installation disk or is it a branded install disk for the Dell?
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#114
Matt37

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rshaffer61 and Broni for the instructions,

I have not tried checking the HD itself. That is a great idea.
I do not have the original OS installation disk. I just started to do my own tech work when the HD went out the first time. All I got out of the shop that fixed it was it was a bad HD. I do have a branded install disk for a Dell. Why do you ask?

Thanks for the help. I will keep you posted on the results with the HD check.

Matt
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#115
rshaffer61

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I do have a branded install disk for a Dell. Why do you ask?

Repair installation could be tried.

Try the hd diagnostics first though.
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#116
ZetaByteMe

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Hey all,

See my post on 05 May 2011 on this topic. Here it the KEY: Get into your BIOS setup menu, and take note of the size reported by BIOS for your HDD. If the size is reported as 137GB, AND you have a HDD LARGER than this installed, you have a problem! The problem may not have manifested itself yet, but IT WILL. So, if your HDD is larger than 137GB, do yourself a favor and use a partition management utility to make the C: partition SMALLER than 128GB binary, which is 137GB decimal. It matters not how far under this threshold you set it, but it MUST be less. The balance of the HDD should be able to be partitioned as a single drive.

Now, if the BIOS is reporting the correct actual size of your HDD, then the problem is NOT LIKELY to be the partition size of the C: drive, and other solutions will need to be found. However, with the price of large HDDs coming down all the time, and given the number of people who like their old machines (Dell in particular), this problem will continue to exhibit itself for some time.
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#117
ZetaByteMe

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Take the HDD out of the system, connect to a USB interface cable, and see if you can read the HDD in another machine.
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#118
rshaffer61

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This problem occurred on systems that ran XP before the SP1 was brought out. That help break the 137 gig hold on the system allowing the whole drive to be seen. The first order that has to be done is to make sure the HD is mechanically good.
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#119
ZetaByteMe

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With all due respect, SP2 and SP3 have only allowed Windoze to break the 137GB barrier. IF THE BIOS doesn't recognize the larger HDD size, here is what can happen (personally experienced with two different Dell laptops).

1) You buy your new 250GB PATA laptop HDD and slide into your older laptop.
2) Using Windows XP Pro w/SP3, you partition the drive for a single volume of 250GB (or slightly less).
3) Not wishing to spend the rest of the day on the install, you choose "quick format."
4) You proceed to install Windows XP on your 250GB partition, followed by drivers, and applications.
5) You note that Windows sees the HDD size as 250GB. You think everything is just fine.....
6) UNTIL one day the machine WILL NOT BOOT, nor even recognize the HDD!

This is the scenario that most of this thread was talking about. The key is what size the BIOS Setup menu sees your HDD as. Also, in the cases where this particular problem has happened, the victim has been able to use a USB cable, or HDD case to gain access to the data from another machine. This immediately takes us out of the realm of HDD hardware issues. I hope this helps.
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#120
rshaffer61

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Was the original HD size at 140 gigs?
If so after the partition and format the drive should show a capacity of about 135.
If the bios saw the drive fine before all this time I seriously doubt it is a bios issue. I still suggest checking the hd with diagnostic program.
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