Black Screen with Blinking Cursor on power up

Dell Xps 410 desktop
January 2, 2010 at 21:26:40
Specs: Windows XP
Hey, im having an issue fixing someones computer. It's a dell XPS 410, with standard equipment except for the graphics card. It has a Geforce 9500 GT installed, the one with 2 Female DVI ports. I've done the basic troubleshooting, taking out battery, reinstalling it, replacing it, had it working for a few minutes, at the desktop screen, then it would get BSODed. He has a serious virus before hand, so im not sure if FIXBoot thing should be used. All i know is he needs the hard drive content basically, but i don't know what external device would hook up his XPS 410's harddrive to it. It uses different connections then i know of. If anyone could help, that would be awesome. <3
Also, i did the check that maybe it's the graphics card. He tossed the onboard one, so i cant take it out without losing connection for a monitor. And even if i equip the standard graphics card, i don;t know if that will fix the blinking cursor, i dont want him spending additional money to have it fail on me.

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January 2, 2010 at 22:48:32
"All i know is he needs the hard drive content basically, but i don't know what external device would hook up his XPS 410's harddrive to it. It uses different connections then i know of"

It was sold with SATA Hard Drive
These can be connected to any computer (internally) made in the last 5 years or more.

Plug the drive inside a working computer as a secondary drive (not main boot drive)
Then back up the data from that working Windows computer (ie My Computer in XP)

If you cannot access the data:
1. The drive may be actually dead (And under the fault condition it does sound that way)
2. Change the permissions by right clicking on the protected data (in the Working Windows Safe Mode) and give "permission" for the user to access the data

I hope this helps :)

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January 3, 2010 at 07:56:39
Im going to take a look inside my Dell dimension 3000 and see if it has Sata cables. Im always used to the big white tipped end, and the big rectangle like plug, with all the tiny holes. yea, that one. So let me open my computer and see what i can do if it doesnt have it. xD hold on

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January 3, 2010 at 08:00:15
Okay, my motherboard also does not have the Sata connections. Whats my next option? Is there something that can read Sata HDD's Externally that's inexpensive and i wont have a problem with the protected thing? what about fixing his computer, any thoughts?

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Related Solutions

January 3, 2010 at 10:22:53
Check with your computer shop for a convertor, here is one way.

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January 3, 2010 at 11:36:22
Download a hard drive fitness utility from the drive manufacturers website. Install to disk and boot the Dell from that disk. The utility should be able to diagnose any defects in the hard drive itself. If the hard drive is not damaged then there are various things you could do.

First thing would be to copy personal files using recovery programs or possibly a live version of LInux like Knoppix.

First determine if the drive is good to go and then post back.

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January 5, 2010 at 19:05:38
Okay, so. I got the external Sata reader, got the files i needed off the computer, and reformatted it from the recovery console.
Now i can't figure out how to install the OS, i cant use the original motherboard still, i still get the Blinking Dash.
I think it's the graphics card now.
But i cant install the drivers i need to the Hard drive with the Sata reader.
Nor when i boot to disk. i get an error saying i dont have access that if im using a second party controller i would need some special programs? Im at a complete lost. It's been reformatted, it's partitioned space, but i cant get OS on it. Now what?

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