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Computer crashes regularly with black screen and blinking cursor

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by pjollain, Nov 13, 2009.

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  1. pjollain

    pjollain Thread Starter

    Nov 13, 2009

    I have a computer with the following characteristics:

    • Asus P5Q motherboard,
    • Intel Core 2 Duo processor,
    • 4 GB RAM,
    • graphic card NX8800GT video card
    • 2 Maxtor SATA hard drives
    • 1 SATA DVD burner
    The system was installed 14 months ago with Windows XP Pro. A few months ago, it started crashing, not when I was working on it, and I found it with a black screen and a blinking cursor in the top left of the screen (a cursor like an underscore).

    Along the time, it was crashing more and more often: I was turning it on in the morning, the evening it was still fine, but during the night it would crash... and again each day.

    At that stage I wasn't sure if it was a hardware or a software problem. But last week-end, I installed Windows 7 on it, with an installation from scratch. And guess what, it crashes again, and even more often: today it crashed after less than 2 hours.

    I clearly don't know where to start investigating... Do you have any idea to help me?


  2. lawson_jl


    Aug 3, 2008
    Video card issuefor sure. I'd swap out the card to be 100% though.
  3. pjollain

    pjollain Thread Starter

    Nov 13, 2009
    I followed your advice, and bought a new graphic card. Then I re-installed everything, and, after a few hours, my system crashed once again :mad:

    But I discovered something interesting: when it was crashed, instead of turning it off, I pressed Alt+Ctrl+Del, and went in the BIOS when it restarted: and the main disk, the one on which Windows is installed, was not visible anymore!

    The disk configuration is the following:
    - SATA 0: Maxtor 500 GB disk, with 2 partitions, C (system) and D (data)
    - SATA 1: Maxtor 500 GB disk, with one partition, E (photos)
    - SATA 4: CD/DVD burner

    When I turned it off and on again, the disk was OK and windows could start. But I found the following message in the event viewer:
    "The device, /Device/Harddisk1/DR1, has a bad block."

    If I understand correctly, Harddisk1 is referring to the disk connected to SATA 1, and therefore not the one on which the system is installed, but the one with partition E: Is it possible that a bad block on this non-system disk causes the computer to crash? Knowing that no installed application is using files on this disk, it only contains my digital pictures. And if this disk is causing the problem, I don't understand why the first disk was not visible in the BIOS...

    What I have done so far is that I unplugged from the motherboard the second disk, and I am running the system on only 1 disk to see if it will crash again.

    Your advices are welcome :)
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