Black screen, flashing underscore

By adha0001
Aug 27, 2012
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  1. Hello.
    As you can probably tell I'm facing a somewhat common problem in the world of Windows computers; when I turn my computer on, it goes to a black screen with a flashing underscore/cursor. At first I thought myq problem was that I accidentally left my external hard drive plugged in, so I immediately unplugged it and rebooted my computer, however the problem persisted. I have a Dell 530S running Windows Vista Home Basic. I've read about putting in your boot disks but unfortunately, I do not have one. Any ideas of how I can fix my problem? Any feedback would be much appreciated.
    Gloria Taylor likes this.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    If you can, get into the computers bios and check the boot devices order. Make sure that the internal hard drive is the first boot device. Also make sure that the bios detects the internal hard drive. If you don't see it, the boot drive could be dying or corrupt
  3. adha0001

    adha0001 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for replying. I went in the BIOS by going to Setup>Boot Device Configuration>Hard Disk Boot Priority and from there I saw my internal hard drive was in the first slot/option. However, in Boot Device Configuration, it reads:
    First Boot Device [Removable]
    Second Boot Device [Hard Disk]
    Third Boot Device [CDROM]
    Boot Other Device [Enabled]
    Should I change any of the preceding settings?
    Thank you for your time.
  4. adha0001

    adha0001 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, I've managed to find my Boot CD and started up my computer with it. I did all the necessary steps such as choosing my language, keyboard settings and what not and got to the System Recovery Options menu. I clicked Startup Repair and not too long afterwards I was presented with the message "If you have recently attached a device to this computer, such as a camera or portable music player, remove it and restart your computer. If you continue to see this message, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance." Absolutely everything is unplugged from my USB ports. Is there anything I should try before calling customer service?
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The first boot device should be the hard disk, second CDROM and third Removable. When you use the Boot CD, it wants to re-install Windows. It is possible that the hard drive has failed, so if you want to call customer service you can mention this to them

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