I joined because I found some valuable information for an error that recently took place on my wife's computer, but the problem isn't resolved so I wanted to get custom help, if possible.
Here's the details:
Dell Inspiron 6000, 2gb ram, brand new 160gb seagate momentus hard drive, 1.5ghz processor, Windows XP Pro
Apparently while my wife was at work, the computer tried to go into standby mode while she was in the middle of something. she rebooted it and once it gets past the initial Dell bios screen, it goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner.
I have checked the bios setup and it is detecting all of the hardware just fine. But F8 doesn't work - no safe mode, restore point or last good configuration options. The only options are F2 (bios setup, nothing helps there) and F12 (one-time boot menu).
I booted the computer with the Windows XP Pro CD and went to the recovery console. I tried fixboot by itself, fixmbr by itself, fixboot and fixmbr at the same time, nothing works!
I have even gone all the way to repair install of XP Pro and after it goes through the entire file copying process and gets to the reboot phase, as soon as it reboots it goes to the black blinking cursor screen and we're back to square one.
This computer had similar problems almost immediately after we purchased it, and since then we have replaced the RAM with entirely new sticks, we replaced the hard drive with an entirely new drive and we have even installed a different operating system (it had windows xp home by default but when we installed the new hard drive we put XP Pro on it with a different windows disk). So basically a lot of the hardware and even the OS are new but we're still having the same problems we had almost two years ago.
The one thing that is causing me to not lose hope is that it did boot up successfully, just once, in the middle of all of this chaos. I was able to back up everything she needed - which of course includes 15gb in digital photos and two years of her final coursework from college. Phew.
But when I went to reboot the computer and see if the problem was fixed, it went back to the black screen and since then, nothing has changed. I have done repair installations, I have replaced ntdetect.com and ntldr files from the XP pro disk, I've tried fixboot and fixmbr in every possible combination, I've gone through the bootcfg menu, nothing is making any difference!
If anyone can help that would be amazing. I'm a fairly advanced computer user so I'll be able to keep up with any technical tips.
Thanks so much!