Computer won't boot

By m.erin33
Jun 24, 2008
  1. it comes on and looks for a second like it's starting up fine. after it flashes the windows flag it then goes to a black screen with a cursor (or something) flashing in the top left corner.

    from there it won't do anything. any ideas?

    it's an older computer (win 98). my son just uses it to play little kid computer games, but he'd be sad if its dead.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415


    It sounds like the windows is corrupt, try booting into safe mode and see if that works, if so try removing any recently added hardware or software.

    If not try booting from the WIn98 CD and rerunning the setup it wont overwrite anything but will repair any corrupt windows files.

  3. bobm

    bobm TS Rookie Posts: 39

    if the HD drive is noisy you might have a dead hard drive.
  4. m.erin33

    m.erin33 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    i got it to start up in safe mode. not sure what i should do now though. i have not added any new software or hardware recently. i'm not sure what could be causing the problem...
  5. bobm

    bobm TS Rookie Posts: 39

    run scandisk
  6. m.erin33

    m.erin33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    hello again

    i got the computer to start up in safe mode, but when i try to run scandisk (or anything else) i just get:

    This program has performed an illegal operation...

    What now?
  7. Aolish

    Aolish TS Enthusiast Posts: 171

    It indeed does sound like your win98 installation got corrupted somehow. You might need to do a full reinstall or repair of the os before doing anything else. Do you still have your recovery disc that u got with that pc when you first got it?
  8. bobm

    bobm TS Rookie Posts: 39

    do as Ididmyc600's Avatar suggests above, wont harm your data.
  9. m.erin33

    m.erin33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for all of the suggestions!

    unfortunately i can't find the win 98 cd that came with it. i'm considering re-formatting and trying to install xp. as it is an older computer do you think that will work? should i install more memory first?..i believe it only has 128.
  10. Nexusiii

    Nexusiii TS Rookie

    flashing cursor

    I had the same problem a couple of years ago with an older PIII dual processor board and also win98, but after many reinstall/repair/tweak attempts and even trying XP it would still not boot beyond that black screen with a flashing cursor in the top left corner.
    M$ knowledge base has several articles addressing the issue (some kind of hardware-OS problem) but no real solution.

    I ended up replacing the system. Haven't had the problem since

    Also, 128MB ram is pretty low for xp even though M$ says it will run on it
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