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Blank Screen with Blinking Cursor

Compaq Presario
August 28, 2008 at 19:23:46
Specs: Vista Home Premium, AMD Athlon 64, 1024 M RAM

Hello:
This is a Compaq Presario SR5130NX, AMD Athlon 64, 1024 M RAM. Running Vista Home Premium. Was working fine a week ago. My niece took it to college and said it started “acting up”, then it wouldn’t start up at all.
When I took a look at it I found that it boots to a blank screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner.
Things I have tried so far:
Open case, checked cable connections. Unplugged and reseated hard drive power and SATA cables.
Tried booting into Safe Mode, same thing happens (blank screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner).
Booted from Vista DVD (I only have a Vista 32 bit DVD, so I don’t know if these tests are valid or not, since this is a 64 bit edition of Vista).
Tried startup repair. It said that no problems were found.
Tried system restore, and it said that there were no restore points (which is pretty weird, I’m pretty sure that when I looked at this computer last week I created a restore point).
I checked the BIOS and it is recognizing the hard drive, although it list the hard drive as the 3rd drive, and the dvd rom as the 4th dirve (the first and second drives say “None”.).
I verified that the boot order in the BIOS is correct.
Not sure what could be going on. I don’t believe that any new hardware or software has been installed, but who knows.
Any advice or suggestions would be most appreciated.
Thanks.

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#1
August 29, 2008 at 00:10:26

Have you tried the option in the safe boot menu to restore to last known good configuration?

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#2
August 29, 2008 at 04:11:25

btk1w1:
As stated in my initial post, I cannot get to the Safe Mode menu. When attempting to access Safe Mode, the computer still boots to the blank screen with blinking cursor.
Thanks.

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#3
August 29, 2008 at 05:20:56

Tried booting into Safe Mode, same thing happens (blank screen with a blinking cursor in the upper left corner).

I assumed you got the options... do you get no POST (power on self test) screen at all?

If that is the case the assumption I would make is there is a hardware problem.

My first port of call would be the memory, try running memtest to see if there are memory errors present.


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Related Solutions

#4
August 29, 2008 at 06:24:12

Check out the following thread - it should solve your problem.

If you have a black screen or a blinking cursor at first boot

Curious - is this thread also yours?

i_Xp/VistaUser


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#5
August 29, 2008 at 14:32:29

btk1w1:
On startup I get the Compaq BIOS screen with the options for setup (F10) and system recovery (F11). After that screen it just goes to the blank screen with blinking cursor. I'll try running a memory test and harddrive diagnostics.

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#6
August 29, 2008 at 14:34:50

XpUser:
I had previously seen the post you referenced (it's not mine) when I Googled this problem. However that issue refers to the first boot after a new install. In my case, the computer has been working fine for over a year, and now suddenly just stopped working. So I don't believe that changing the settings referred to in that post makes sense.
Thanks.

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#7
August 29, 2008 at 16:41:55

Update:
I have found a partial solution. I went to HP’s website and found that Recovery Console Command Prompt commands are available in Vista.
I booted from the Vista dvd, system repair, command prompt, and ran the following:
bootrec /fixboot
bootrec /fixmbr
and the system booted up to a Windows update screen that said “Configuring update 3 of 3”. I suspected that this may have had something to do with recent Windows Updates, as I found references to this problem when Googling. I suspect perhaps the system was shutdown during the update?
Anyways I thought I was home free. The login screen came up, I logged on, much to my dismay the system hung for a minute or two at the Welcome screen, then faded to a black screen with only the mouse pointer showing. Strangely enough Ctrl-Alt-Del brings up the screen with “Switch User, Task Manager, Log Off, etc”, but the normal desktop is just black. I cannot get to Task Manager. I can however boot in Safe Mode. No Restore Points are available. I uninstalled the 3 most recent MS updates, no change. I downloaded the latest video driver from NVIDIA’s website, no difference. Last known Good doesn’t work either. At this point I’m at a loss other that trying a complete System Recovery. Any other suggestions would be most appreciated.
Since this is a somewhat different problem, perhaps I should start a new thread?
Thanks.

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#8
August 29, 2008 at 18:07:05

Have you tried Windows system file check utility to see if there are corrupt system files?

The link below is to MS instructions:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929833


[Edit] Sorry I didn't check your version of Vista, I'm not sure if sfc is a part of home premium.


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#9
August 29, 2008 at 19:03:45

btk1w1:
that link does not list Vista Home Premium at the bottom, which is what I have, but I'll give it a try anyways....

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#10
August 29, 2008 at 19:04:00

Update #2:
For some reason, when the Welcome screen fades to the black desktop it reminded me of the secure desktop screen for UAC, hmmmm.....
Just for the heck of it I disabled UAC from Safe Mode, rebooted, and viola, Vista booted right up to my desktop. Can't wait to see what happens when I turn it back on tomorrow.
Obviously this Vist installation has some corruption somewhere, for now if everything remains ok I guess I'll just let my niece take it back to school and hope for the best.

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#11
August 29, 2008 at 20:37:46

Nice troubleshooting depawl,

I have read about alot of people having trouble with User Account Control but this would have to be the most severe case I've seen.

Glad you got it worked out in the end.


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