Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Black Screen w/ Flashing White Underscore @ Startup


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Carys

Carys

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
Hi guys,

I'm using Windows XP, but can't tell you my specs as I can't start up my pc.

I just finished moving a while back and went to set my pc up. It was turned off but when I plugged it into the outlet, FIRE started coming out of the back of the hard drive (I'm not sure exactly where, because I was panicking :) but it looked near the wireless antenna). Needless to say my pc wouldn't turn on.

I got a new power box put it and everything worked great the first time I turned it on. The second time, it started going to a black screen with a flashing white underscore in the top left right after the first loading screen appeared-I couldn't exit this screen (although I've heard since to try CTRL+ALT+Delete and to just leave it on for five minutes, so I'll try tonight).

I tried restarting and hitting F2 at the first screen next time, and then exiting without saving changes right away, and for some reason it loaded again just fine.

Next time, that wouldn't work either.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks in advance.
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
n3ko

n3ko

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 143 posts
Fire? :)
Wow.

Well, that almost certainly makes this a hardware problem... You're going to need to start testing each device and find out where the fault is. I would start with the power supply your replaced - it could very likely be giving too much or too little power and this could potentially be causing more damage.

Open your machine and get a look at your motherboard. There should be the model printed on the board - look carefully along edges, behind drives & wires, between card slots - it should be written somewhere unless it's a generic (in which case it would be on the underside and you won't see it unless you dismount the board). If you see the number, post it.

If you can't identify a model number this way... Is this a Dell, HP, Gateway or some major manufacturer? The Model Number of the manufacturer's line should be on the side of the computer, printed on a sticker. We can look up the mobo from the company's specs for the machine. If it's a laptop, it would be on the underside of the machine. If you find this, post it.

Also post the specs of the new power adapter - wattage, voltage, make, model etc.

It's more than possible that whatever made the old adapter explode like that also damaged the mobo or other components of your system. Assuming your new power supply is OK, I'd do a diagnostic on your Hard Drive, then your RAM. If these check out, start checking for visible damage on your video card and if you have a known working spare, switch it out to test that. Last thing I'd check is removing the heat sink and checking that your CPU is OK with no scorching around the area - the fire would have been very close to it, as the power adapter is generally mounted just above the motherboard, near the CPU and heatsink.

If you need specific help with the above steps, just post questions and let us know. But, I honestly think that unless you're up for a ton of trouble-shooting devices and general jiggery pokery, you may be better off just buying a new computer. I love doing this kind of thing, myself, but not everyone is up for it - it gets a bit tedious and can be frustrating unless you like doing it. :)

Edited by n3ko, 22 September 2009 - 07:53 AM.

  • 0

#3
Carys

Carys

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 27 posts
Unfortunately I'm COMPLETELY broke and pregnant and my pc is how I make money so.. trouble-shooting it is. xD

Yeah, fire... I unplugged it right away and ran outside with it to take it all apart because it still smelled like it was on fire 10 minutes later. O.O It didn't look like there was any damage though.

I took it into a shop and they figured that was the issue and replaced it and it seemed to work. I don't know if they bothered checking anything else out though. -.-

I will get the specs for you when I get home. I can't think of what type of pc it is for some reason.

"Assuming your new power supply is OK, I'd do a diagnostic on your Hard Drive, then your RAM."

How do I do the diagnostics tests?

Thanks so much. :)
  • 0

#4
n3ko

n3ko

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 143 posts

trouble-shooting it is. xD

That's the way it goes sometimes. :)
It's worth it though. You can learn a lot and save a lot of money in the long run.

I wouldn't worry about the diagnostics just yet. They're bootable programs you burn to a CD then run from startup. One is specific to your hard drive type, the other is a general test of RAM memory and processing function. We'll get to them when it's time to look.

Most important right now is making sure you have the correct power pack to your board right now though. Seriously, it wouldn't be the first time I've seen a computer "service & repair" place put incompatible or poor quality peripherals into a computer, ending with compounding problems. Always best to learn this stuff yourself and do it yourself. :)

If you have time before you go home and want to do some research, I highly recommend the Hardware, Components and Peripherals Forum here at G2G, and the System Building and Upgrading Forum too. Great places to ask questions and learn. :)
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP