... a blank, black screen with a flashing/blinking underscore/cursor in the top left corner ...
... when i hit the power button the Dell start up screen comes up, and then as if to start up it goes to a new screen where all it shows is a black screen and a blinking _ in the top left corner. I have tried to press F8 but it will just not allow me to go into safe mode.
This indicates that the system is attempting to boot to a device that is not
bootable. If that is the case, tapping F8 on startup will have no effect and not bring up the Windows Advanced Options Menu
or Advanced Boot Options
(depending on your Windows version) menu screen.
Firstly, check to ensure that there is no removable media that may be affecting the normal startup process, such as a CD or DVD disk in the tray, a memory card or something similar in any slot, and that no USB (or other type) devices are connected to the computer.
If there is no external media in or connected to the system and the problem persists, then it is likely that the MBR (Master Boot Record) has been corrupted.
What was happening on the system prior to this problem developing?
- This can happen any number of ways, but malware has been a common cause over the last few years.
- Were you aware of any possible malware infection on the system before this problem arose?
- Were you attempting to remove malware when the system became unbootable?
- Have you had to deal with malware on the system recently?
- If not malware, was there any other problem evident with the system?
- Were you doing anything unusual that may have inadvertently caused MBR corruption?
Please answer Allan
When the system first boots begin tapping the F8 Function key. Does that take you to the Advanced boot options screen or does it still boot to a black screen?
Does tapping F8 on startup take you to the "Windows Advanced Options Menu
" ... or not? I suspect not, from what you have previously posted ... but cannot be absolutely sure of that.
================Let's have a look at the MBR:
You will need a USB drive/flashdrive and a new blank writable CD. Please do the following on a working computer:
You will use this CD to boot the ailing computer from. Boot the ailing computer with the xPUD CD.
- Download GETxPUD.exe to the Desktop.
- Run GETxPUD.exe
A new folder will appear on the desktop.
- Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
- The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
- Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
On the working computer:
- (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
- Click on File.
- Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
- sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
- sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to a USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
- Click on the folder that represents your USB drive (sdb1 ?).
- Click Tool on the top menu, and choose Open Terminal.
- Type the following at the hash prompt:
dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1
- Note: Leave a space between the following:
- dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
- if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
- of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
- bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
- count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
- Press the <ENTER> key.
After it has finished a file will be located on your USB drive named mbr.bin.
- Go to Home > Power Off > Turn Off and remove the flashdrive as the system shuts down.
- Insert the USB drive, and navigate to the file mbr.bin
- Zip-up the mbr.bin file:
- Right-click on the file and choose Send to .. > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
A zipped folder will appear in the same location as the mbr.bin file.
- Please attach the zipped file to your next reply.
This will allow the MasterBootRecord of your hard drive to be checked to see whether or not it is infected &/or damaged.
Edited by AustrAlien, 27 December 2012 - 01:27 AM.