white cursor boot problems

By muffinman ยท 11 replies
Oct 9, 2006
  1. i just brought a new maxtor 250gb hard drive, plugged it in and unplugged the old hard drive, got it as master, put in the xp disk changed the priority boot device as cd but it brings up the flashing white cursor in the corner after the asus screen. Never comes up with the "press any key to boot from cd" just boots from the cd after about 5 to 10 mins! Anyway when i get into the first xp setup screen, format a partition, bla bla bla! copys the files and reboots but then (because it just boots from cd automatically) it doesnt get to the GUI setup screen. What can i do? ive tried everything, unpluggin hardware, clearing cmos battery, brought the pc back to basics but still doesnt change the boot sequence
  2. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Is it recognized int BIOS?
  3. muffinman

    muffinman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the hard drive?, yep, the hard drive works fine. i realise the problem is to do with my mobo and the boot sequence its doin but i cant seem to change it. Im thinking i might just buy another mobo thier only cheap, the only problem is my cpu and mobo are only about a month old anyway.

    Heres my specs:
    Asus P5VDC-X mobo
    pentium D 820 2.80ghz
    1gb DDR Ram
    radeon 9200SE 128mb gc (AGP)
  4. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    Make sure you are pressing the right keys when you try to change it. Some BIOS setting are different. Try the + or - key to move the device to a different priority in the boot sequence OR the space bar, or F8/59. It all depends

    Asus is great mobo. I doubt its the motherboard but you never know. The board was working with the other drive so I doubt its the motherboard
  5. korrupt

    korrupt TS Rookie Posts: 716

    Just to add, page-up and page-down are also often keys you must press to select boot sequence etc. Also make sure you are saving the changes.


  6. muffinman

    muffinman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    im not an ***** you know, i know how to change the boot device! the problem is its not asking me to press any key its just automatically doing it after a blank screen 4 bout 5 to 10 mins. somethings seriously wrong. everything would be alright if it would let me install windows. its getting through the first first part of the installation its just after it reboots wont get to the 2nd part (you know the bit with 34 mins left etc.) just goes round to the 1st part again!
  7. smore9648

    smore9648 TS Rookie Posts: 697

    I don't know your experience with computers, excuse me for trying to rule out the basic stuff first.

    How old is the disk you are using? It might be a scratch on your CD preventing you from going any further.

    Try a low level format on the HDD, even though it should have already been done by the manufacturer, then try it.

    Do you have another system to try the disk on to see if it loads past the area where it stops you?

    Maybe your CDROM is dirty.
  8. Darth_Terra1

    Darth_Terra1 TS Rookie Posts: 212

    It seems to me to be a problem with the XP disc in that it's having problems detecting that it's bootable hence the long delay and not asking to press a key, as suggested check the disc for scratches or dirt etc, also it may be the drive lens is dirty itself so use a lens cleaner and try again.
  9. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    Use a linux live disc like Knoppix or Ubuntu Live or another winxp cd and see if it boots with it. This will determine if its a disc problem or a boot problem. If it boots then the CD drive is OK, and boot order is ok.

    Do you get any POST or bootup info at all?

    Why its doing it automaticaly could be a POST problem, or its still trying to search for a boot record on a device, then timing out/not finding one before going to the next device etc.

    If i'm wrong and you're talking about after you install windows and it goes "Rebooting your PC to finish Setup.." or something which you're supposed to get that screen to setup the rest of the Time/date, PC info, user/passwords etc and instead its going into that bootup loop, then maybe manualy reset the boot order to the HDD as first etc. or disconnect the optical drive or remove the disc...
  10. muffinman

    muffinman TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i dnt think its the cd, cud b wrong tho, ill try a load of other stuff 2nite
  11. Slick Rick

    Slick Rick TS Rookie

    Slick rick the ruler!

    Yo man!

    I had exacly the same problem with a computer that I had. It wasn't coming up with the flashing white cursor saying "Press any key to boot from CD" and I couldnt get past it to load the rest on Windows! The problem was the hard-drive! As soon as I put a different hard-drive in it was fine and It came up with the "Press any key to boot from CD".

    Hope this help!

    I'm outa here!!
  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    I think an explanation of the boot process might help you troubleshoot. Here's how it works.

    • Computer powers on
    • CPU bootstraps your BIOS
    • BIOS POSTs and discovers bootable devices
    • BIOS bootstraps to the first drive selected in BIOS boot order (typically an optical drive). If this drive fails, it moves to the next, best bootable device.
    • BIOS bootstraps your XP Install CD's boot sector.
    • XP CD's boot sector loads a boot loader which detects valid MBRs (Master boot record) on other physical drives
    • If a valid MBR is found other than the XP CD itself, the boot loader prompts you to "Press any key to boot from CD". If you do nothing, after a few seconds the XP CD will pass the boot process onto your primary, bootable drive.
    • If no valid MBRs are found, the boot loader does not prompt you to 'Press any k ey to boot from CD' and begins the installation automatically.

    When you first attempt to install XP, after the first time it restarts, it has written a new MBR on the drive you chose to install Windows on. So after the restart, your XP CD should always detect this new MBR and prompt you to "Press any key to boot from CD". If you press any key, the installation process will begin all over again from the beginning. However, if you choose to wait, it will continue the setup from where you left last.

    As I understand it, you don't get the "Press any key" prompt. It goes directly to the XP install. This suggests your MBR is missing or damaged which may in turn be the result of a failing or misconfigured hard drive or bad data cable.

    However, you also mentioned it hangs on boot for 5-10 minutes. Why would this happen? Well, I have a few guesses. My first guess is to triple check your jumper settings on the optical drive. Ensure it is set to Master and on its own channel and cable. If it isn't by itself, then make it that way for troubleshooting purposes. While you're in there, check your hard drive jumper settings. Make sure it is set to Single Master / Master (Not to be confused with Master with slave) and on its own cable. Again, if it isn't on its own cable, put it on its own for troubleshooting. Bad CD media could always cause this too, but I highly doubt the XP install would complete the file copy process.
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