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Computer only boots to a blinking cursor... help please

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Aurien, Jul 19, 2006.

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  1. Aurien

    Aurien Thread Starter

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    Inexplicably during a routine restart my computer said it wasnt able to find a few key files to restart windows, and gave me a few options suggesting I choose booting to the command prompt. Apparently that was the only selection that did anything anyways... I tried everything I could think of to make the drive boot since I could still see all the info on it from the command prompt to no avail. Finally I took the drive, reformatted it (seeing as it didn't have any important info, just mainly the OS) and reinstalled Windows XP Pro.

    After doing so the computer would begin to load, check for all the drives attached etc just fine, but on the screen right before it would go to the windows loading screen I just get a blank black screen with a flashing cursor indefinitely. I can use a boot disk to look at the files on the drive and everything still seems set up properly but it just refuses to boot into Windows.

    At this point I took the drive and put it into my other machine, which then gave the option to boot up either XP Home or Pro just fine. This I took to mean that the hard drive was fine, not faulty as far as I could tell. I also tried putting the Windows XP Home Edition drive in the problem computer and got the same results. At this point I also swapped all the cables to be sure they were working fine.

    The only other thing I can think of is that my mobo possibly died on me? Does this sound like its the right answer? Id hate to spend a bunch of money on the board if I overlooked something stupid. I also thought that it may not be the board since I could still detect the drives just fine and see all of the data on them. Any info at all would be much appreciated - this has me totally stumped at this point...
     
  2. Alex Ethridge

    Alex Ethridge

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    Successful operation in DOS mode and in Windows are very different, indeed. Doing it in Windows requires vastly more resources and capabilities. I have seen situations where I could use a bad board to successfully image a drive in DOS mode; but, it would not run Windows and gave a similar response as yours is giving right now.

    You've eliminated your disk and your software so it definitely isn't either of those. You mentioned you have another system there. First, I would remove everything from the troublesome system that can be removed that isn't essential and try it again, like disconnecting the CD/DVD drives, modem, network card, etc. Then try the memory from the troublesome system in the known-good system. I would stick to trying various parts from the bad system in the good system because if it is one of those parts, you'll see an immediate failure on a known-good system and you will have then determined which part is bad.

    Eventually, you'll have narrowed it to the main board, which is what I suspect is the failed part.

    Oh, and don't forget the power supply.
     
  3. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Yep Alex is right on a dead cdr writer can easily cause what you have happening so as he suggests get down to 1 hard drive, 1 stick of ram, psu,1 cd rom and video and see if you can boot to cd and install. To be safe clean cd with warm susdy water and run cleaner through cdrom also. You may have to use another cd drive as well to test this as with nothing currently on the hard drive, you have to try to boot to cd.
     
  4. Aurien

    Aurien Thread Starter

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    Ok I tested everything I possibly could after disconnecting all my extra drives and such. I did have to leave my video card in the problem machine tho as I have no on board video... and I couldnt put the card in the good machine to test it as its a cheap older machine with no slot for it. Id guess that theres also a chance it could be the video card, but would you guys agree that its most likely the board at this point?

    I was pretty stumped for a while... I thought maybe it could be the board, but I feel alot more sure of things now. Thanks a ton for all the help.
     
  5. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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    Have you ruled out the power supply as an issue?
     
  6. Aurien

    Aurien Thread Starter

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    Well its a relatively new supply so I figured that between that and the fact that it still runs power to the drives when they were hooked up - that it most likely wouldnt be the power supply. Everything powered up as it should, dvd drives would eject and all like they should and the hard drives would spin & show me their data... is it even possible the power supply could be bad after that?

    Edit: Decided it was better to spend the 5-10 minutes rigging up the power supply in the other case rather then bug you guys and it did work like I thought...... sooooo now Im pretty certain its the board :)
     
  7. Rollin' Rog

    Rollin' Rog

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  8. Aurien

    Aurien Thread Starter

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    I guess unfortunately it wasn't the caps... I never even would thought about looking into those tho - thanks for bringing that up. If Id gotten lucky I coulda saved myself a bit of cash on a new board.... I guess its upgrade time!
     
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