1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Black Screen on boot up for 3 minutes, then boots ok?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by horatio1996, Jun 16, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    About six months ago, my machine started giving me a black screen during the boot up process. As soon as I turn it on, I see the manufacturers logo (dell) for about 1 second, then it gives me a black screen with a flashing white cursor in the upper left hand corner. This screen last about 3-4 minutes, then it boots windows XP normally.

    Last week I was in the room while it was booting, and I noticed that it was accessing the network during the black screen portion of boot up (activity light on cable modem was flashing, alot), which got me motivated to fix it. (not sure what that means). I ran virus scanners (McAfee) which found nothing, but I did check the log file in my scanner which shows that my auto virus screening is diabled everytime I boot the machine????

    Checked partitions on the hard drive, found 2- my c:, and an unnamed partition of about 30 megs. (I dont remember putting a second partitions on there - would the manufacturer put that there to use as a virtual memory??)

    Deleted all partitions and reformated the hard drive yesterday, and reloaded XP, but that still didn't solve it.

    Loaded and booted the Windows Recovery Console, and ran the FIXMBR command twice, both times I get the message that "It appears your MBR is corrupted" or something like that but it doesn't fix it.

    Do I have some sort of virus in the MBR that my virus software (McAffee, was up to date before my reformating) never caught or is this a hardware issue- something on the hard drive or mobo going bad?

    I'm reloading some of the drivers tongiht, will reload McAffee and run it in safe mode to see if it can detect anything.
     
  2. Aitrusskyy

    Aitrusskyy

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Actually you probably waisted a bunch of time and effort.

    The white cursor blinking on a black screen for a few moments usually means the computer is attempting to BOOT to something other than your HARD DRIVE first.


    Most new computers can attempt to boot to a network installation of windows before booting to the main hard drive.

    This can also happen if:

    You have a cd in the drive, a diskette, a flash drive plugged in.

    To keep it from happening, go into your bios settings by hitting the F1, F2, or DEL key (depends on your specific computer, it should say at startup what the correct key is).

    Once you are in the BIOS, look for "BOOT OPTIONS" or "BOOT DEVICES"

    Basically just disable all boot devices except for your hard drive. Also look in the BIOS for "BOOT ORDER" being the order in which items attempt to boot. Make sure the #1 Boot Option is the hard drive.
     
  3. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks, I'll try that tonight and let you know if it works.

    The computer had 5 years worth of junk on it and was running like pondwater, so I didn't mind the reformat/ reload anyway. Its responding much quicker now inside windows.

    Thanks!
     
  4. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Set the boot order to:

    1. Hard Drive - Enabled.
    2. IDE CD Rom - disabled
    3. USB device- disabled

    No CDs or USBs in the computer, and no active network connections (drivers haven't been reloaded yet).

    Still doesn't change anything. I am still getting the same blinking cursor & black screen for several minutes before it boots up. Any ideas what to try next?
     
  5. Aitrusskyy

    Aitrusskyy

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Yes... try this


    In XP click START >> Control Panel >> System >> Advanced (tab) >> then click the "settings" button under Startup & Recovery then uncheck both boxes at the top.

    "Time to display list of operating systems"
    "Time to display recovery options when needed" (on this one you can shorten the time to 3 seconds and leave checked if you like).

    Try that.
     
  6. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    No no luck. Still a 3 minute black screen on bootup.

    While I was under the system menu I checked the boot file manually. Here's the syntax:

    [boot loader]
    timeout=3
    default=multi(0)diskrdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)parition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect
    C:\CMDCONS\BOOTSECT.DAT=Microsoft Windows Recovery Console" /cmdcons

    That tell you anything? What to try next?

    Thanks for your ideas.
     
  7. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Interestinly enough, when I first turn on the computer I get the dell logo screen for 2 seconds or so, and even if I hit F2 or F12 to go to the setup menus, I still have to wait three minutes for it to pop up.
     
  8. Aitrusskyy

    Aitrusskyy

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Go ahead and list the make and model Dell that you have. For example "Dell Dimension 4400".

    As well let me know if your stuff is backed up.

    Probably last time you formatted and reinstalled windows you used the XP CD to do it right? I have a few third party sources for good formatters that can ensure your MBR is erased so that when you do a fresh install of whatever, itll not do this anymore.

    While we are at it though, list your dell make so I can look to see if it has any bios updates as well.

    Often times the XP cd formatting is not good enough and sometimes bits get leftover.
     
  9. horatio1996

    horatio1996 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Its a Dell Dimension 4600, bought in 2003.

    Not sure if I did the complete wipe of the HD or not when I reformatted. Somebody else told me to try it againg using Boot & Nuke, so I'm gonna try that again tonight. I may have only done the partial reformat, and might have residual data in the MBR thats screwing things up?

    I'll try that this evening and see how that works.
     
  10. Aitrusskyy

    Aitrusskyy

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Messages:
    272
    Ok that is good. I also have a cd I can pass you later tonight if you want (the iso download) that will clear the MBR.

    As well I think you should look at updating your BIOS.

    I had a Dell 4400 a few mondels before yours and updating the bios helped a few things.

    I think this link should work for you
    http://support.dell.com/support/dow...-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=1&libid=1&fileid=110561

    If not here is the direct link to the BIOS download for your specific system

    http://ftp.us.dell.com/bios/D4600A12.EXE


    Here are the fixes listed in it which may also fix the issue (if anything they wont hurt and it would be a good idea anyhow).

    The following changes have been made to BIOS rev A10 to create A12:

    1. Fixed Quick Boot menu when no bootable drives are selected in SETUP.
    2. Updated microcode for newer CPUs.
    3. Eliminated possible hang on next boot when AC power is removed.
    4. Fixed intermittent hang in resuming from Standby.
    5. Improved keyboard test when booting from Hibernate.
    6. Fixed possible hang after unplugging and re-plugging USB hubs.
    7. Increased USB keyboard wait time to allow all USB devices being enumerated.
    8. Added to support in PXE boot environments with Spanning Tree enabled.
    9. Prevent false MCE errors from causing "bad CPU" error in POST.
    10. Fixed floppy access failures when CD floppy emulation is turned off.

    To run the BIOS update all you need to do is download it in windows, then run it, then do what it says. Don't shut off power to the machine while it updates.
     
  11. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Similar Threads - Black Screen boot
  1. dragster1981
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    446
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/721839

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice