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Black Screen with Blinking Cursor in-depth Information and Repair Guide

Written By: andrew - Aug• 06•11

When your computer just gives you a Black Screen with a blinking cursor your most typical fix is here. You will need your Windows Installation Disk to access the Recovery Console. You will also need the administrator password.

If your computer is running XP these instructions are exact. Any other such as Vista or Windows 7 have different steps but pretty much the same.

First turn o your computer and insert the Windows Installation disk. If done quick enough it will say “Press any key to boot from cd.”. if not quick enough simply turn it off then back on. If you do not receive the “Press any key” area you will need to set your boot option as CD/DVD First, then reboot.

After pressing a key it will start loading. When it is done you have the option to “Repair” and you press “R”. It will  then ask which installation of Windows to log into which most will be 1. Enter the number 1 and then type in the password.

Most of the time you do not need to run CHKDSK but you can just to be sure your computer hard drive is in good shape. If you want to run it type in “CHKDSK /R” without quotes and it will scan and repair disk errors.

Next we need to fix the boot up by typing in “Fixboot” then once done type in “Fixmbr”. This should rebuild your Windows boot up procedures. If not go the extra distance and type in “BOOTCFG /REBUILD” and type in “Windows” then in the next prompt type in “/fastdetect”.

Type exit and it will reboot. Remove your cd and Windows should load.

 

Information on the above commands are in detail here and on the Windows Support Site.

To use the Recovery Console, you will need a Windows installation disc.

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to run the computer in Recovery Console. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may prevent you from completing this procedure. If you encounter this problem, you should contact the network administrator.

When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can obtain limited access to the NTFS file system, FAT, and FAT32 volumes without starting the Windows graphical user interface (GUI). In the Windows Recovery Console, you can perform the following actions:

  • Use, copy, rename, or replace operating system files and folders
  • Enable or disable service or device startup the next time that you start your computer
  • Repair the file system boot sector or the master boot record (MBR)
  • Create and format partitions on drives

When you use the Windows Recovery Console, you can use only the following items:

  • The root folder
  • The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows installation that you are currently logged on to
  • The Cmdcons folder
  • The removable media drives such as the CD drive or the DVD drive
  • After you start the Windows Recovery Console, you receive the following message:
  • Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

    The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
    Type EXIT to exit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

    1: C:\WINDOWS

    Which Windows Installation would you like to log on to ?
    (To cancel, press ENTER)

 

Available commands within Windows Recovery Console

 

attrib    del        fixboot   more     set

   batch     delete     fixmbr    mkdir    systemroot

   bootcfg   dir        format    more     type

   cd        disable    help      net          

   chdir     diskpart   listsvc   rd           

   chkdsk    enable     logon     ren          

   cls       exit       map       rename 

   copy      expand     md        rmdir

 

 

Chkdsk

Creates and displays a status report for the disk. The chkdsk command also lists and corrects errors on the disk.

The chkdsk command with the parameters listed below is only available when you are using the Recovery Console The chkdsk command with different parameters is available from the command prompt.

chkdsk [drive:] [/p] [/r]

Parameters

none

Used without parameters, chkdsk displays the status of the disk in the current drive.

drive :

Specifies the drive that you want chkdsk to check.

/p

Performs an exhaustive check even if the drive is not marked for chkdsk to run. This parameter does not make any changes to the drive.

/r

Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. Implies /p.

Note

  • The chkdsk command requires the file Autochk.exe. If it cannot find it in the startup directory (\%systemroot%\System32, by default), it will attempt to locate it on the Windows Installation CD. If you have a multiboot computer, be sure you are issuing this command from the drive containing Windows

The bootcfg command is a Microsoft Windows XP Recovery Console command that manipulates the Boot.ini file. This command has a function that can scan your hard disks for Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Windows XP installations, and then add them to an existing Boot.ini file. The function can also rebuild a new Boot.ini file if one does not exist. With the bootcfg command, additional Boot.ini file parameters can be added to existing or new entries.

To use the bootcfg command, start the Recovery Console with the Windows XP CD-ROM, and then click Recovery Console. Or, install the Recovery Console locally, and then select the command from the Boot menu.

The bootcfg command has the following uses:

  • The bootcfg /default command sets the default operating system option in the Boot menu. The command selects the operating system entry automatically.
  • The bootcfg /add command scans the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP (if it is dual booting) installations, and then displays the results. From this location, you can add an installation to the Boot menu.

    You may receive a message that is similar to the following message:

Scanning all disks for Windows Installations
Please wait, since this may take a while…

Total Identified Windows Installs: 2

[1] C:\Windows
[2] D:\Windows

Select installation to add: (select a number)

Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)
Enter Operating System Load Options: (that is: /fastdetect)

This process adds a new entry in the Boot menu. When you add an installation, the bootcfg command also makes the installation the default operating system boot entry.

  • The bootcfg /rebuild command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP installations, and then displays the results. You can add the detected Windows installations.

    You may receive a message that is similar to the following message:

Total Identified Windows Installs: 2

[1] C:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)
Enter Operating System Load Options: (that is: /fastdetect)

[2] D:\Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)
Enter Operating System Load Options: (that is: /fastdetect)

  • The bootcfg /scan command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 or Windows XP installations, and then displays the results.

    You may receive a message that is similar to the following message:

Scanning all disks for Windows Installations
Please wait, since this may take a while…

Total Identified Windows Installs: 2

[1] C:\Windows
[2] D:\Windows

  • The bootcfg /list command reads the Boot.ini file, and then displays the operating system identifier, the operating system load options, and the operating system location (path).

    You may receive a message that is similar to the following message:

Total entries in boot list: 2

[1] Microsoft Windows Whistler Professional
Operating System Load Options: /fastdetect
Operating System Location: D:\Windows

[2] Microsoft Windows Whistler Server
Operating System Load Options: /fastdetect
Operating System Location: C:\Windows

  • The bootcfg /redirect command enables redirection in the boot loader with the configuration specified as port and baudrate. This command is used to turn on the Headless Administration feature.

    The following example uses this command:

bootcfg /redirect com1 115200
bootcfg /redirect useBiosSettings

  • The bootcfg /disableredirect command disables redirection in the boot loader with the configuration specified as port and baudrate. This command is used to turn off the Headless Administration feature.

FIXBOOT

fixboot drive name:

Use this command to write the new Windows boot sector code on the system partition. In the command syntax, drive name is the drive letter where the boot sector will be written. This command fixes damage in the Windows boot sector. This command overrides the default setting, which writes to the system boot partition. The fixboot command is supported only on x86-based computers.

FIXMBR

fixmbr device name

Use this command to repair the MBR of the boot partition. In the command syntax, device name is an optional device name that specifies the device that requires a new MBR. Use this command if a virus has damaged the MBR and Windows cannot start.

Warning This command can damage your partition tables if a virus is present or if a hardware problem exists. If you use this command, you may create inaccessible partitions. We recommend that you run antivirus software before you use this command.

You can obtain the device name from the output of the map command. If you do not specify a device name, the MBR of the boot device is repaired, for example:

fixmbr \device\harddisk2

If the fixmbr command detects an invalid or non-standard partition table signature, fixmbr command prompts you for permission before it rewrites the MBR. The fixmbr command is supported only on x86-based computers.

For more information regarding Windows you can visit http://support.microsoft.com and the information above along with much more can be seen at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058

Dell, Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for Setup

Written By: andrew - Aug• 04•11

I was working on a Dell 2400 series that just about made me look for help. It came to me because of a lightning strike to it. I replaced the motherboard, chip, ram and after everything was set I started the computer and got “Device 0 not found”. That was a simple BIOS change to say there was no Floppy Drive. Set it to Not Installed, rebooted, and got  “Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for Setup”.

This was a little confusing considering the circumstances. It simply was not finding the hard drive. It acted like it was not there.

The fix; while its at the “Strike F1 to retry boot, F2 for Setup” screen hit ALT+TAB+F. This redoes the IDE Configuration and will solve the issue of the drive not being seen. You might still have to reset the BIOS by putting a jumper on the two pins by the battery and turning on the computer. It will just be a black screen, then hold in your power button till it shuts off. Turn the computer back on and it my go back to the above error(s) but just use the above fix; ALT+TAB+F and you will be up and running.

Today’s Top 20 Words of Wisdom

Written By: andrew - Jul• 18•11

 1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

 2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

 3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

 4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

 5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

 6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

 7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

 8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

 9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

 11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for
 the rest of the day.

 12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection…again.

 13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

 14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

 15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

 16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

 17. I wish Google Maps had an "A void Ghetto" routing option.

 18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

 19. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod
 and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

 20. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

To enter your words of wisdom simply reply on the post and leave your info.