Black Screen With Flashing Cursor in Windows Upon Startup

By justryan
Jan 7, 2010
  1. I am having an issue with my Dell Laptop. It was working perfectly fine on Saturday night. Sunday afternoon I went to boot up and right after the BIOS POST (?), it goes to a black screen with a blinking cursor and I can not get it past that point.

    I've run diagnostics on it, which came back clear. I also used the OS disk that came with the PC and did a "Windows Repair". It was successful, however upon reboot, it does that same thing. It won't even start Windows from the disk, just gives me the option to reinstall or to repair.

    It will not allow me to start the PC in safemode by pressing F8, it takes me right to the black screen with blinking cursor.

    An options other then a complete reinstall of Windows? Honestly, the only thing I don't have backed up is the .pst file for Outlook that I would rather not lose. The rest of my info is on a flashdrive.

    Is there a way to retrieve this file and save it to a disk and then do a compelte re-install?

    I've tried a few other things I've read on some posts and nothing was successful.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks.

  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,026   +2,557

    You may be able to retrieve your files by downloading Ubuntu Linux and doing a "live run", which means you boot the computer from the DVD drive and run the OS from there without installing it.

    Enter your computer's BIOS and check to see if the CD/DVD drive is first in the boot order, if it isn't you must make it so.

    Ubuntu Linux will read and write files in NTFS, so it can find anything on a Windows HDD.

    The download is in the form of an image (iso) file and you can burn it with "Imgburn". Find that on our download page.

    I've never tried this with a laptop, but it should work the same as a desktop.
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