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Flashing Underscore no boot.


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#1
Trox88

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Hello, I'm new to the forum. *phew now thats off my chest, maybe we can fix my computer. =P

First the problem-
After countless attempts computer fails to boot. It loads the first screen offering my only two options of [f2] Bios, [f10] Boot Menu. After that it would normally load my windows. Instead it flashs my screen twice both black as if its trying to move on but gets hung up. I get stuck at the 2nd screen with a blinking underscore in the upper left. *Uh oh >.<

My Specs-
Emachines W3503
Sorry for forwarding you to the site, but i believe it will prevent some questions in the future.
Only one thing has changed to my computer and that is an additional 112mb ram added. (Worked fine)

My attempts-

Run WinXp Setup Disc from boot menu, tried to reinstall completely since nothing i couldnt recover online was on my computer.

+ Windows finishs its installation from cd and prompts to restart, remove floppy disc if in to finish installation of WinXp Home SP2.
-Fail, continues to hang at the flashing underscore page no changes.

+ Windows recovery from Cd. Only one partition to choose being my C drive.
- Ran CHKDSK, no errors.
-Ran Fixboot, No changes.
- Ran FixMbr, No changes
-Tried removing the boot.ini and running BOOTCFG /REBUILD

ALL FAIL, still restarting to a blinking underscore after first screen and flashs.

The only thing i believe that caused this was trying out my friends harddrive to my slave (figured it would of ran it fine).
Now my computer's power button is an instant respond instead of press and hold for a few to shutdown.
The HDD light stays constantly lit during the underscore blinks, i can hear my HDD spooling along with a few clicks like a cd being read.
My only hope is this is reversible and nothing had been fried. Any help would be appreciated, any questions ill be more then happy to answer if needed. Thanks.
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#2
Trox88

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Bump ^^ 18 views no replies =(

-Install finished after the reboot, but still hangs at screen. Tried running Fixboot and FixMbr again still nothing.

Edited by Trox88, 24 April 2009 - 11:42 AM.

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#3
rshaffer61

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Are you doing a format and then a fresh install or a repair installation?
Also is the disk a recovery disk for emachines or a Genuine Microsoft Windows XP disk with registration key?
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#4
Trox88

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@R Im using the actual winXP cd. I reformat the drive then do a fresh install, i do not have a copy of emachines recovery.
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#5
rshaffer61

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Ok then with not being able to get into windows at this point lets chebk the issues that we can do from the Dos. Have you tried to get to the boot menu by pressing F8 at the second post screen?
If you can try going into safe mode.
That being asked then do the following:

Click HD diagnostic in my signature below. Choose the manufacturer of your hd. Download the tool. Running this will tell us if there is a problem with HD itself. If not then we will pursue other hardware or software possibilities

After that then do this:


Let's check your memory and make sure there is no issue with it.Donwload memtest86 from the link in my signature below.


Get the file that is named Download - The one you want is "Download - Pre-compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). When it downloads, it will be labeled memtest86+2.11.iso.zip
Unzip the file once you download it. You should have a .iso file in the unzipped directory. It will look like a zip file in some cases but the file name will now be memtest86+2.11.iso

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get burncdcc in my signature below.

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its memtest86.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

Make sure the bios is set for the cd drive as the first boot device
Put the cd in the cd drive and then boot your computer.

Running the Diagnostic Program:

The basic diagnostic screen has five main sections of relevant information. Three at the top which are labeled, PASS %, TEST %, and TEST #. This will basically show you the total progress of the current test, the overall progress of the diagnostic test, and the test number is currently performing.

On the middle left hand side of the of the program interface there is a “Wall Time” section that will keep track of how long the diagnostic test has been running for. This just gives you an idea if you are not attending the testing process.

The main section to look for is the lower half of the screen which is usually blank. As long as the memory testing is going ok with no errors this section of the screen should remain blank. If the diagnostic program finds any serious faults in the memory you will see it display a memory dump of address’s in this section. This is similar to what is displayed on your screen when you encounter a blue screen of death.

You now have most everything you need to know about setting up and testing your memory with diagnostic programs. This guide should help you get to the source of any intermittent problems related to your memory.


Run memtest for at least 2 hours
If it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the memory
If there are no errors after 2 hours press Esc and that will end the tests
We will then try other options

Edited by rshaffer61, 08 May 2009 - 12:23 AM.

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#6
rshaffer61

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Also since you stated you do not have the original recovery cd form emachines I have found the drivers download area for your emachines model HERE
There you can get all the original drivers that were installed on your system from the factory. By looking at the page you supplied and the page I have supplied you can find the correct drivers for your system. We will deal with that issue once we get you back into windows.
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#7
Trox88

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@R, Ok well safe mode i can't get into my computer freezes on the screen after it blinks 2 times and then freezes on the blinking underscore. No means of getting into winXp safe mode or the menu. I can't even get the splash window showing windows is loading with the green bar. So we can rule that out. another thing that might help is my HDD light does stay lit at that screen but it blinks during install,blinks at start up so im guessing my HDD is still working up till Windows boot. But ill look into the rest of the post and see what we can come up with. Appreciate the help.
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#8
rshaffer61

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Thank you for the update.
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#9
Trox88

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File "memtest86+2.11.iso" Burnt with nero, rebooted with disc in computer. Booted from disc. It loads or sounds like its loading but after it spools down it flashs and goes to boot from the next selection for boot. My boot i just have to press f10 to choose what to boot from and the choice is valid everytime being my cd drive. But the program doesnt run from boot. I confirmed the file on disc and it was all right. Any ideas?
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#10
rshaffer61

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Did you change the boot sequence in bios so that the cdrom is first?
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#11
Trox88

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@R Yeah. Its CD,Drive,Ethernet in that order.
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#12
Trox88

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I've got an older HDD 10gig with windows NT on it (eek i know) but im going to reformat this one and install Xp on it hopefully it gets me somewhere. Is it possible to run a higher gig HDD thru the slave of a lower memory HDD?




-Other HDD installed Xp fine and starts. Possible HDD failures on the other 2? Or any other suggestions.

Edited by Trox88, 24 April 2009 - 01:29 PM.

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#13
rshaffer61

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Yes you should be able to do it but be aware the main drive will dictate the speed of the interface.
So if older drive is running slower the newer drive will slow down to match it

Also when you burned memtest did you burn it as a data cd?
If so thats why it won't work. It has to be burned as a iso disk cause the ISO file puts the information in a certain order to allow the disk to be bootable.
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#14
Trox88

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>.< your right i did burn it as a data cd using Nero could of been the problem on that. Oops. Good news is my computer is back up and running. Kinda iffy on running my other drives thru the slave,is it possible to fry a HDD by using a master and slave connection?
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#15
rshaffer61

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"is it possible to fry a HDD by using a master and slave connection? "
No because it is common practice to have 2 drives and in my case 3 hd's and a dvd drive installed.
Since you are back up and running then if you would like we can continue with the issue. Please reply with your decision.

Edited by rshaffer61, 24 April 2009 - 01:55 PM.

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