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Windows 7 Blinking Cursor


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#1 stacystacy

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:48 AM

Hi, I have a friend's HP laptop with Windows 7. When I press the power button, it shows the HP splash screen and then a black screen with a blinking cursor.

 

She said that she was working on her online schoolwork and left the room. When she came back, it restarted to the black screen with a blinking cursor.

 

- I tried F8 to access the Advanced Boot Menu but it wouldn't load.

- I also tried F11 to boot to the recovery partition but that won't load either.

- She does not have her original Windows disks.

- I can boot to BIOS, so I ran the hard drive self test and the memory test and they both passed.

- I check the boot options and the hard drive is the first option. (Her CD/DVD drive is the second option, but there is no CD/DVD in the drive).

- I took out the hard drive and scanned it with Malwarebytes on my desktop, but there were no threats found.

- I tried to run chkdsk on the partition with the OS while it was plugged into my desktop, but I get a message asking about mounting the volume, so I selected 'No'. Then it says that chkdsk cannot run on the drive because it is in use by another process, would you like to schedule a chkdsk the next time the system restarts and I selected 'Yes'. (I'm not sure how or why it thinks the drive is in use, but I restarted the desktop and I also removed the drive and put it back in the HP laptop and restarted it, but neither option ran chkdsk.)

- I saved her documents and photos onto my desktop

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for me to get Windows 7 running on her hard drive again? Thank you, I really appreciate any suggestions.

 



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 22 July 2013 - 06:21 PM

The black screen with blinking cursor means that for some reason or other the system cannot find the hard drive when it tries to boot.

 

What has worked for me in the past is to press the 'F8' key while the HP splash screen - the BIOS screen - is showing. This usually takes you to the 'Boot options' page but not in the case of the black screen. What you get is a screen that looks very like the boot order screen in BIOS but it isn't. In this screen use the 'Up' and 'Down' arrows to select your hard drive from the list of drives shown, then press the 'Enter' button and the computer should boot normally.

 

The first time I ran into this problem, on my own computer, I spent about two hours re-booting and pressing 'F8', getting this screen every time, until inspiration struck and I selected the hard drive with my operating system on it !  I have since run into it a few times since.

 

Chkdsk will not run on a disk you are looking at, or if is the one that is trying to boot because that hard drive is in use. It will start as soon as you re-boot because the instruction is stored. When asked 'Schedule chkdsk at next restart ?', press 'Y' (Yes) and then 'Enter', then re-boot. However, you have done the most important thing - backed up all her data.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 stacystacy

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:25 AM

Thank you for your response.

 

I went to the one time boot menu and selected the hard drive; however, it still goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor.

 

I tried to run chkdsk on the laptop hard drive while it was plugged in externally to a desktop. How do I reboot the laptop hard drive with this setup?

 

Thank you.



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 06:47 PM

I tried to run chkdsk on the laptop hard drive while it was plugged in externally to a desktop. How do I reboot the laptop hard drive with this setup?

 

To run Chkdsk on the laptop hard drive while it is connected to the other computer, first of all start the Command Prompt running as an administrator. To do this click on 'Start / Programs / Accessories' and you will see 'Command Prompt'. RIGHT click on 'Command Prompt' and select 'Run as Administrator'. This opens a black box with white text, the last line of which reads 'C:\Windows\System32'. Type 'cd..' (without the inverted commas) and press 'Enter', and do this again. Do not type in ANY of my inverted commas !

 

I am going to make an assumption here, that the laptop drive shows up on this computer as Drive D: .  If it isn't 'D' but some other letter - E or F - use that letter instead.

 

Now type 'd:' (the letter 'd' and a colon) and press 'Enter' and the last line on the screen should become 'D:\'.

Now type 'chkdsk /f' (there is a space after the 'chkdsk') and press enter. You will now be presented with some text, the last line of which says "Do you wish to force a dismount - Y or N". Type 'n' and press 'Enter', and some more text appears. This asks "Schedule a check at the next re-start? Y or N".

Type 'Y' and press 'Enter', type 'exit' and the box closes and then re-start the computer and chkdsk will run on this drive.

 

Assuming chkdsk runs and does not find any problems it doesn't fix, I would put the drive back in the laptop and try again.

 

If all else fails, you might have to re-connect the laptop drive to your computer and do a format on it, then re-install it in the laptop and re-install Windows. You said you have backed up all her data so it is safe to do this. So long as you have a Microsoft authentication number for the computer - and it should be on the case somewhere - you can use any Win 7 install disk to do the install from. It is tedious because all her updates will need to be re-done, and all her applications re-installed, but you should finish up with a working computer !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 AngryRaisin

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:48 PM

What type of computer do you have? If you have Window 7 you can make a repair disc and then boot her computer from that and run a couple commands to fix stuff like this (bootsect /nt60 and bootrec /fixboot and bootrec /fixmbr) but first you would need to make that repair disc from a Windows 7 machine (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/create-a-system-repair-disc).

I kinda hate running these commands on her hard drive when it is plugged up to your computer - It would be safer and easier to run from her computer.

Edited by AngryRaisin, 23 July 2013 - 11:09 PM.


#6 stacystacy

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:41 PM

I have a Windows repair disc for Windows 7, I was actually running through the options on that disc (startup repair [couldn't resolve], system restore [no restore points], etc) and I tried to run chkdsk using that disc before I saw the post from Mr. Cosgrove. I plugged the laptop hard drive into a desktop to do as he instructed but chkdsk ran on startup. It's been going for several hours now and it's almost done. [there were numerous orphaned files and indexes that were moved and other stuff].

I was a little concerned that my repair disc does not actually go to her laptop, someone told me that as of Windows 7, Windows discs can only be used on the machines that they came with, is there any truth to that or did I misunderstand?



#7 AngryRaisin

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 11:07 PM

That is not true. Repair discs are not individual - There are 32-bit and 64-bit repair discs that go with their respective machines but they will tell if you should/can not run them on the machine. If your chkdsk is running and repairing things Do Not interupt it.

#8 stacystacy

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Posted 25 July 2013 - 03:20 PM

I ran the commands that AngryRaisin posted and the computer is back to normal! Thank you very much.






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