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Blinking underscore?

By Hienn
Mar 17, 2010
  1. A few months ago, my pc was running perfectly until my sisters boyfriend suggested that I clean it because it was getting dusty. We took the whole thing apart, cleaned it, and put everything back together. Now, when I turn it on, it goes to the screen that has the boot menu and BIOS options. After that screen, it goes to this black screen with a blinking underscore at the top left corner and stays there. It doesn't get past that screen. If I try to go to boot menu, safe mode, or BIOS settings, it freezes the screen and doesn't even get to the screen with the underscore. I've even tried putting in another HDD but I get the same problem. Help?
     
  2. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    I hope it's "beeping" OK

    Does it make any beeping noises?
    Are you sure everything is back inside and around the right way?
    There is a probability that a 'stray' static electrical current has damaged the microscopic circuitry within some or all of the components.
    Did you remove the CMOS battery during the manual 'clean-up'?
    Did it sink or swim in the kitchen sink or did you use the bath? Shocking
    How many parts got sucked up into the dust master 3000? Shocking and horrific
    :p
    Can you select "first Boot options" in the BIOS (set to HDD if you can)
    Also post any and all information on your system and it's components (what was inside, what was left over after you closed the case) please?
     
  3. Hienn

    Hienn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It doesn't make any beeping noises when I turn it on. I'm just learning about computers but as far as I know, all the major hardware like the hdd, ram sticks, video card, and processor are all there. It's possible that my sisters boyfriend removed the CMOS battery when cleaning but it's still in the motherboard. To clean it, we just took the parts outside in a dry area and blew away the dust. I cant get into the BIOS settings because my pc freezes if I try to go into safe mode, boot menu, or BIOS settings. I don't have my pc with me at the moment but I'll get it back in a day or two.
     
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    It's never a good idea to completely disassemble a computer to clean it, unless you really know what you are doing. It is likely that the motherboard has been damaged or something isn't connected right. You may need to reload the default bios settings, after removing the CMOS battery
     
  5. Hienn

    Hienn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I had to learn the hard way... Its possible that my motherboard is damaged but I want to buy a new one as my last resort. The only things that might not be connected properly is the little led wires with the 2 pins and the cable that plugs into the hdd and CD drive. Not the cable from the psu but the cable that is plugged NEAR where the psu is plugged into the motherboard but I don't know what it's called. Also, how do I reload the default bios setting?
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Get into the bios screen, and look for something like "Press F11" for bios failsafe defaults". Save and exit the bios
     
  7. Hienn

    Hienn TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I can't get into bios/boot menu/safe mode. If I try, the screen freezes before I get to the blinking underscore
     
  8. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    If this is the power for the CPU cooling fan the computer will not post. The HDD requires power to run this will effect start-up but should still open BIOS. You didn't mention it but if you have disconnected the Floppy drive (even though you don't need / use it) this may give boot problems. There are cables that look similar to the power connector from the PSU these are ATA connectors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_ATA

    This will need you to post the credentials of your computer. If it is a 'built system' what are the components that make up the system or alternately what is the manufacturer and Model of your system eg . IBM / Dell / Viao etc. :)
     
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The 2-pin LED wires marked HDD or orange/white is the hard drive activity LED. It has to be connected paying attention to it's polarity. If the hard drive LED doesn't light, reverse the position of the connector on the motherboard. Only the hard drive LED and the power LED have polarity concerns. The big flat cables go to the hard drive motherboard connector marked IDE 0 (or 1) and The CDROM flat cable IDE 1 (or 2). Sometimes the hard drive and the CDROM share 1 flat cable and this goes to the blue IDE 0 connector
     
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