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Long Blinking Cursor


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#1
funkmastersquirrel

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I have had this issue for quite sometime. First off here is the specs of my computer.

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
Dell Latitude D830 - with the nvidia video card option
Battery Missing - (it was completely dead and usually use this computer sparingly to even want to buy a battery)
All hardware in Device Manager looks fine.

The exact problem is when I turn the laptop on I do get the Dell splash screen and bios load. Then it instantly goes to a complete black screen with a blinking cursor for several mins, approx 5mins. I have set bios to default, changed boot sequence to HDD first. I have noticed however once booted i can turn off and boot and reboot flawlessly everytime, however when I shutdown and unplug power and move else where it does this long boot with the cursor thing. Now I am not completely sure about this but I am about to try once again after I post this.

If that is the case could it merely just be a CMOS battery issue? Would the changes I make in bios still be there and saved on the flash even without a CMOS or would they actually revert to default?

Thanks in advance guys and I will test this last theory out now. I just dont know what to do since I have been working on this issue periodically for quite sometime now. I have even tried different HDDs and different loads of Win7 as well.

I just tried rebooting without moving power source and still got the long blinking cursor, suppose that theory is nil. I did notice however when I tried loading into bios it would get the long blinking screen prior to booting into bios. Is it possible it is having a hard time recognizing some hardware, possibly the harddrive? Do or would I need to install drivers for the HDD even though device manager looks sufficient? I will try loading into bios without HDD present and then possible trying RAM.

Edited by rshaffer61, 14 March 2011 - 01:31 PM.
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#2
phillipcorcoran

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test the hard drive as a first step. You can do this with Seagate SeaTools for DOS by creating a CD from the dowloaded iso file & booting the PC from it. The testing screen will appear on screen, select the appropriate hard drive & run the "long test" from the menu. Seagate SeaTools for DOS is here:
http://www.seagate.c...000dd04090aRCRD

You can also test the ram using a similar method (a bootable CD) using different testing software called Memtest86 from here:
http://www.memtest86.com/download.html

Run the ram test for at least 5 passes.

Edited by phillipcorcoran, 14 March 2011 - 02:43 PM.

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#3
funkmastersquirrel

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I think I will test the ram first bc this issue has happened on 2 separate HDDs and several different operating installs. Thanks for the suggestion.
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#4
rshaffer61

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Just to give further instructions for Memtest86 below.

If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to make it work right.

To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS

Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.


The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#5
funkmastersquirrel

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Thanks for the instructions. I actually have a bootable disc with memtest on it. I'll give it a go when I get back home. Thanks again.
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#6
funkmastersquirrel

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Removed 1 of 2 RAM modules...long blinking cursor.
Removed that RAM and replaced with the prior one that was removed....long blinking cursor.
HDD and MEMTEST all pass and report nothing.

Have disabled video driver, still the same.

Dont know what else to try now. Might give chkdsk a shot and see.
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#7
rshaffer61

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How To Run Chkdsk /r from Recovery Console:


How to run checkdisk from recovery console (Windows xp). (Courtesy dsenette)
  • Insert the Windows XP startup disk into the floppy disk drive, or insert the Windows XP CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.
    Note:Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted to do so.
  • When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
    Note:If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.
  • When you are prompted to do so, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.
  • At the Recovery Console command prompt, type the following then press Enter:

    chkdsk /r

  • Allow this to run UNDISTURBED until completed (45 min or so)
  • Report any errors

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#8
funkmastersquirrel

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Did that already. No errors.
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#9
rshaffer61

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OK the issue seems to be the Win 7 OS itself that is causing your problem so lets do a Repair Installation by following the steps HERE.
Please read and follow all instructions carefully.
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#10
funkmastersquirrel

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About to give this a shot as I really dont know what else to do. Just seems odd to me because it seems to do it prior to 7 booting up. I also seem to have remembered that it did it as well during the reboot to finalize installation when I installed it a few weeks back. Again, you more than likely are right....if it was a failed or botched install than this repair should work. Wish me luck.
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#11
rshaffer61

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Botched install could mean a corrupted userinit file which would stop the startup like you are describing.
Is the Win 7 disk from Dell and is it marked as a Recovery Disk?
If not where did the Win7 come from?
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#12
funkmastersquirrel

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Win 7 is a OEM I have licenses for. Win 7 Ulti x64. Once I ordered it I made an ISO of it just in case DVD got messed up. So as of right now I am burning a new copy of it.
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#13
rshaffer61

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If there is nothing on the hd you need to save then I would suggest a full format and fresh install using the genuine disk.
If there is things you need to save we can get to them using a Linux Live cd to do the backup.
Your call which way you would like to take.
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#14
funkmastersquirrel

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Nah, actually setting this lappy up to sell so nothing to really save. Maybe my post is misleading, I am able to boot into the OS eventually, just takes time. If this repair doesnt fix a full install is whats in store. Just strikes me as really odd as it was this way on 2 separate installations on 2 separate HDDs. But then again I may have just used an acronis image and cloned the 2nd drive. lol I am not sure, ive slept since then.

UPDATE:

I just tried to boot to CD and I dont know if you are familiar with DELL, but their bios gives you an option to press F12 during the splash screen to choose what to boot from. Well once i press F12 it acknowledges that I pressed it then goes to the black screen with blinking cursor for a few mins until finally it allows me to pick which source to boot from, ie HDD, DVD/CD or USB. So this leads me to believe that it may still be either hardware or bios related.

With that being said there is a newer bios version for this model of laptop however Dell will not allow me to install it bc I do not have a battery installed, in fact its completely dead and I tossed it awhile back. Do you know any other way to bypass it? I tried creating a boot CD with the bios.exe on it and running it from there but to no avail.

ANOTHER UPDATE:

Was able to create a boot cd and update bios to newest revision however doesnt seem to help. This really must be a hardware issue. I guess Im going to search for a dell utility to test all components. Unless someone else has another suggestion. :D

Edited by funkmastersquirrel, 15 March 2011 - 06:50 PM.

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#15
rshaffer61

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I would go to a format and fresh install first using the genuine disk. If it fails with that then the option is to look at the mobo as the possible culprit since the memory and hd check out fine.
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