Flashing cursor

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hello all, im getting a white flashing cursor upon boot up on my computer, after several reboots it will boot but very slowly. the xp screen starts out real light then fades in to normal tone and then it will boot. i read here that it might be a bad cable? hard drive? or boot file corruption. what is my best bet to start with? if u need more info about the computer please let me know what i need and how to get it here and i will do so. thank you so much for any help mark


Posts: 16,321   +36
Mark, some information about the computer would help. Desktop? Laptop? Manufacturer and model?

Problems: You are describing problems that may or may be related:
1. A blinking cursor on boot: did you make any changes or update in the video card? Did you update the video card before this started?
2. Lack of color on monitor: laptop or desk? LCD or older CRT?
3. Slow load on boot: new problem with cursor blinking or slow load anytime?
4. Do you start with a black screen, possibly with white writing, blinking cursor?.
5. Did you may any system adjustment before this began?
6. Do you hear any 'beeps' when you boot?

Check the Device manager:
Start> Run> type in devmgmt.msc> OK> do you see error icon by any sections? That is a yellow triangle with black ! point. If so, click on the + sign in that section to expand the Display Adapter and Monitor sections> and note which device has the error.

Boot into Safe Mode
  • Restart your computer and start pressing the F8 key on your keyboard.
  • Select the Safe Mode option when the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, and then press ENTER.

If a symptom does not reappear when you start in safe mode, you can eliminate the default settings and minimum device drivers as possible causes. If a newly added device or a changed driver is causing problems, you can use safe mode to remove the device or reverse the change.

Using Safe Mode to determine a basic source of a problem:
Safe Mode: Loads the minimum set of device drivers (serial or PS/2 mouse devices, standard keyboards, hard disks, CD-ROM drives, and standard VGA devices)and system services required to start Windows XP/2000/2003.(Event Log, Plug and Play, remote procedure calls (RPCs), and Logical Disk Manager.) User specific startup programs do not run. This is helpful in determining whether problems are due to specific programs.


Posts: 8   +0
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ive sent this attachment to show you what type of computer i have. the cursor is on a black screen after boot up before the xp screen. there is no other lights or anything. the only thing that has changed is i installed Microsoft office on my computer.


Posts: 16,321   +36
The first section of the DX is what I was looking for. As for the rest, a hardware person will have to review that. I would only question why there are so many versions of Direct X on the system.

The flashing cursor on the black screen is cluing you in to where to put the input. IT is actually a DOS screen. If there is an error on boot, you should see some white lettering with message. IF the cursor is blinking after the "C", this is called a C prompt, where information/queries are typed in.

IF the system is booting to the Command screen, the boot.ini file might be damaged:

If Windows system boot file is corrupt, the best thing to do is reinstalling the system.
This can be done either using original recovery CD, or using Windows setup disk.To preserve your data you will need to chose partial recovery or upgrade setup.Windows CDs has also a tool called Recovery Console that can be used to repair this kind of problems.

Here the procedure to fix the problem using Windows Recovery Console:
  • Insert Windows Setup CD, then start the computer.
  • When Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R.
  • When asked, chose the Windows installation you wish to repair (eg 1) , then press Enter.
  • When prompted, enter the administrator password .
  • When command prompt (DOS screen) starts, enter the following commands./ (if C: is not your Windows system drive, then change the drive letter)

  • Remove the Windows CD from drive and restart computer.
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