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Windows 10 PC won't boot - black screen with flashing cursor


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#1 3N1GM4

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Posted 10 November 2016 - 09:42 AM

I have a Windows 10 desktop PC I built a few years ago which will no longer boot.

 

The BIOS splash screen displays (and I can access the BIOS by pressing Del at this point), but after that there is no Windows loading screen as usual, just a black screen with an underscore/cursor character in the top left corner which flashes indefinitely. I have left the machine in this state for over an hour and seen no progress.

 

While this black screen is shown, I can press CTRL + ALT + DEL and the machine will reboot. I can also press the physical power button on the machine's case and it will turn off immediately.

 

I have read around a bit online (I've always worked in IT, so can usually solve my own problems!) and tried each of the following (rebooting several times after trying each thing):

  • Mashing F8 and SHIFT + F8 during boot to try and enter Advanced Startup
  • Checking boot sequence in BIOS has the HDD as first boot device
  • Manually forcing boot from the HDD through BIOS
  • Removing all other boot devices from the boot sequence in BIOS
  • Removing all connected peripherals (USB dongles for Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, even network cable)
  • Physically disconnecting other listed bootable devices internally where possible (i.e. disconnecting power and data between motherboard and optical drive)
  • Resetting BIOS to default settings

Nothing so far has made any difference and I cannot get the machine to boot.

 

I do not have another machine available which can take the HDD (or a caddy to connect it to my Surface via USB), so I cannot currently inspect the contents of the drive at all.

 

I also do not have any Windows installation media to try and boot from - I bought an OEM copy of Windows 7 (which I cannot find unfortunately) when I bought/built the machine and it was upgraded to Windows 10 via the online download a few months back.

 

Other details:

 

MoBo: MSI H67MA-E35 (B3)

CPU: Intel Core i3 2100 s1155 (x64)

PSU: CoolerMaster RS-460-PCAP-J3 (460W) which came bundled with the CoolerMaster Elite 335 case

RAM: Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) Dual Channel DDR3 Memory Kit (CMV4GX3M2A1333C9)

 

What should my next steps be?



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#2 usasma

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 06:07 AM

Sorry for the delay in responding - I've been traveling and also have been very busy.

 

Try these free, bootable hardware diagnostics to start with:  http://www.carrona.org/initdiag.html

 

As you have updated to W10, you can download a tool to make bootable installation media from here:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10/ 


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 3N1GM4

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 07:51 AM

Thanks usasma, I'm running those hardware diagnostic tests now, starting with Memtest86+, will see what results I get and come back if I have more questions.

 

No need to apologise for the delay at all, I don't expect people who are giving up their time to help to respond immediately - just grateful for the assistance!

 

Additionally, I found my original Win7 OEM installation media, so that might come in helpful if the issue is with the OS rather than a hardware fault I guess, although it looks like you've given me a link to creae bootable installation media for Win10 anyway, so thanks for that too!


Edited by 3N1GM4, 13 November 2016 - 07:52 AM.


#4 3N1GM4

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Posted 13 November 2016 - 12:39 PM

Ok, so I ran Memtest86+ through 3 times (took about 2 hours) and each pass came back without any errors.

 

I'm trying to get a bootable version of SeaTools to run off a USB stick, but it just boots to a DOS-type command prompt and I cannot get any actual diagnostic app to run. There's a readme, but it describes booting directly into the SeaTools application, which is not what's happening. There's a seatools.exe which I can see from the command line when booting from the USB, but I ran that and nothing happened, even after leaving it for about an hour.

 

Can someone help me with getting SeaTools to boot from a USB stick? I don't have a CD/DVD writer available to me except for in the machine which I cannot get to boot, so burning a disc is not an option...


Edited by 3N1GM4, 14 November 2016 - 06:49 AM.


#5 3N1GM4

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 07:00 AM

Ok, I managed to sort this by creating Win10 installation media, booting to that and accessing System Restore and recovering to a recent system restore point.

 

Thanks for your help.



#6 usasma

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 03:17 PM

I'm glad to hear that you were able to get it fixed.

Thanks for letting us know (and thanks for your patience!)


My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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