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Black Screen at Startup (with curser)


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#1 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

Hello and thanks in advance for your assistance.

I have a DELL XPS 400 Desktop. Currently at start up, the computer shows the DELL page with the option to choose F2 or F12. Then it goes to a black screen with a blinking curser found on the top left corner.

One day before the issue happened:
1. Installed a new Dell printer software
2. McAfee installed updates (regular updates)

Two days before issue:
1. Installed updates and ran Malwarebytes (no issues found)

Since the issue Iíve:
1. Removed RAM and reinstalled (When removed and rebooted the computer acknowledged the change in RAM)
2. Removed battery inside computer
3. Unplugged computer from power strip and plugged into wall outlet
4. Checked monitor lights Ė all good

The computer will not allow the F8 option and I've heard no beeps when the computer is rebooted. The only beeps I hear are when I press down the F8 too often.
DELL did not send the XP boot CDís at purchase so I do not have a backup CD. However, my father has the same system. Would I be able to create a XP Boot CD using his XPS 400 computer so I can try to get into the F8 option?
Any additional ideas on how to fix this issue would be great. Thanks!


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#2 noknojon

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:28 PM

I've heard no beeps when the computer is rebooted.

Hi -
Never a good sign - Turn the unit OFF for 5 mins - Restart , Listen to the tower carefully and there should be one beep as the system is starting -
The internal speaker should make just one beep as it is started -
Failure to do this can be anything from Hard drive failure to just the speaker gone - But as you hear beeps with F8 the speaker sounds OK -
Just try one more time and listen carefully - Then post back -

Thank You -
EDIT - If you have a printer connected , please remove/unplug it first -

Edited by noknojon, 16 January 2011 - 09:29 PM.


#3 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 09:48 PM

Thanks for the response. I have everything unplugged.

When I turn it on I don't hear the beep. I know there's the one beep that happens during the boot process - but it's not happening. It shows the DELL screen with the bar and then straight to the black screen with the blinking curser.

Thoughts?

#4 AustrAlien

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:06 PM

at start up, the computer shows the DELL page with the option to choose F2 or F12.

What happens when you press F2?
Are you now in the BIOS Setup Menu?

If so, look at the part that shows your hard drive.
Do you see anything there that indicates that your HDD is detected properly?
(If your HDD is being detected properly by BIOS, I would expect to see the code used to identify that hard drive.)

Tell us what you see please.
AustrAlien
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#5 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:27 PM

When I go into F2 - under drives:

Controller Details:
*Controller = Serial ATA
*Port = SATA-0

Drive Details:
*Drive ID = ST380013AS
*Capacity = 80GB
*BIOS = This device is controlled by the system BIOS
* Link Speed = 1.5Gbs

I hope this helps.
Thanks again.

#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 11:41 PM

Drive Details:
*Drive ID = ST380013AS
*Capacity = 80GB

That indicates one Seagate 80GB hard drive. I take it that you have only the one hard drive on the system?

Press F12 on start-up to enter and use the DELL diagnostics partition.
Run full diagnostics on the hard drive and report the result please.
AustrAlien
Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.

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#7 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:13 AM

The results of the F12 diagnostics are as follows:

Drive 0: ST30013AS - Pass
Drive 1: No Device
Drive 2: No Device
Drive 3: No Device
Drive 4: SONY DVD-ROM DDU1615 - Diagnostics not supported
Drive 5: SONY CD-RW CRX217E - Diagnostics not supported

Thanks again.

Also - I only have one hard drive on the computer.

#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:19 AM

That's a good result on the HDD.

I noticed that you mentioned running Malwarebytes. Any reason for this? Has there been a problem with malware on the computer? Is there currently (before it stopped altogether) any sign of malware being present on the system?

What I am trying to determine, is whether there is any chance that malware, or the attempted removal of malware, may be responsible for your current predicament.
AustrAlien
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#9 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 12:26 AM

Back in 2009 I had a virus and through this site I was told to add it to wipe out the virus and it worked. So I try to run the software every three months or so in addition to my McAfee software. In the past it has found some items - but not like it did back in 2009.

#10 noknojon

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:14 AM

Hi again -
Just butting in quickly - With your Malwarebytes, can you do an Update and a Quick scan about once a week (on average) -
The current Version is 1.50.1 and the Database Update should be about 5540 as of today - Never let it get too far behind with the updates - It is the same with your Antivirus program - If you do not get Auto updates, make sure it is always updated every few days -
Post back if you want to reinstall a fresh new version of Malwarebytes, as we always have a link for you -
Thanks -

#11 AustrAlien

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 01:36 AM

Sorry for the delay ... having internet connection drop outs ...

Please sit tight for now and be patient.

I will request that someone who specialises in un-bootable computers respond to your topic.
AustrAlien
Google is my friend. Make Google your friend too.

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#12 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 08:42 AM

Thanks. I will check back later in the day to see if anyone jumped in. I appreciate your help.

#13 Elise

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:31 AM

Hello, please try the following.

Please download ARCDC from Artellos.com.
  • Double click ARCDC.exe
  • Follow the dialog until you see 6 options. Please pick: Windows Professional SP2 & SP3
  • You will be prompted with a Terms of Use by Microsoft, please accept.
  • You will see a few dos screens flash by, this is normal.
  • Next you will be able to choose to add extra files. Select the Default Files.
  • The last window will allow you to burn the disk using BurnCDCC
Your ISO is located on your desktop.

  • Insert the CD into the CD-ROM drive, and then restart the computer.

  • If your PC is not booting from the CD, you need to change the boot order:
    • Restart your PC
    • As soon as you get an image, press the Setup key. This is usually F2, or Del. On some machines the key can also be a different one. It should, however, be stated on the screen which key is the setup key.
    • Once you enter the computer's BIOS, use the arrow keys and tab key to move between elements. Press enter to select an item to change.
    • Navigate to the tab, where you can set the boot order. It should be called Boot or Boot order
    • The tab should now show your current boot order.
      If the CD-drive is not at the top, please navigate to the CD-Rom drive with the keys arrows. Then move it to the top of the list. The keys for switching boot position are usually + to move up and - to move down. However they can be different, but they should be stated in the help, so that you can find them easily.
    • Once the CD-drive is on top of the boot order, navigate to Exit and select Exit saving changes.
  • Your PC should now boot from your XP-CD.
    Click to select any options that are required to start the computer from the CD-ROM drive if you are prompted.

  • When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
  • When prompted to choose a windows installation, type 1 and press enter.
  • When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.

  • A command prompt will open

Type fixmbr and press enter. Note - if you are using drive encryption, please do not do this, just post back here. Otherwise you can continue, even if you receive a warning about non-standard/corrupted MBR.

Type EXIT and press enter to reboot and let me know what happens.

regards, Elise


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#14 MichiganSpinOut

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 09:15 PM

Hi Elise - thanks for your help. Sorry for the delay in responding I'm just getting back from a business trip.

I've followed each step and when I reboot (even after setting the CD driver to boot first) nothing happens. It goes right back to the curser on the screen. Any suggestions?

Thanks!

#15 datastream

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:01 PM

you could try and run another hard drive test. i had one recently that passed an onboard test and then failed a seatools test a couple of days later. i like to use seatools by seagate. go to this page: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools and download seatools for dos. burn it to a disc. i usually use active@iso burner to burn iso files ( http://www.ntfs.com/iso-burning.htm ). put it in the problem computer. hit f12 at the bios screen and you will get the boot menu like when running the diagnostic test before. choose to boot from the cd drive. first run a quick test and then run a full if the quick test passes.




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