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[SOLVED] Dell Inspiron 1545 Black screen with flashing cursor

This is a discussion on [SOLVED] Dell Inspiron 1545 Black screen with flashing cursor within the Laptop Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello I have been trying to fix this dell laptop for a friend of mine for a couple weeks now


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Old 09-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
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Hello I have been trying to fix this dell laptop for a friend of mine for a couple weeks now and it has me stumped.

When I got the laptop, when you turned it on it would run through the dell loading screen and then stop on a black screen with the blinking cursor in the top left corner. No buttons on the keyboard would work, couldn't enter bios or boot menu. I figured that she had gotten a virus on the computer so I removed the hdd and hooked it up to my personal computer. I scanned her disk for problems and 22 files were infected. So I cleaned those and put her drive back in. Still the same problem.

Next thing I did was to reformat her disk and load windows back on to the hard drive using my computer. Windows was working correctly while I used her disk as primary on my machine.

I stuck the hard drive back in and still black screen with cursor. I did nothing with the computer for the next couple days and when I tried to turn it on again it came up with a message that the computer had shutdown because it became warmer than expected and dell error code #M1004. I selected F1 to continue and windows started. After shutting down I removed the heat sink and found that there was a fuzzy material blocking the heat sink from the fan. I cleaned everything, re-applied thermal compound and reinstalled everything.

I thought once again I had solved the problem but after 30 or so start ups and a few days I was back to the same black screen.

I tried restarting for 3 days and it once again started working and a few days later was back to the black screen.

Other things I have tried:

holding down power key without battery and power cable.
removing ram and starting: message that no ram is installed.
removing hdd and starting: message that no hdd is installed.

Please help I am stumped, sorry that post is soo long wanted to make sure I had all the information. Thanks!

Dell Inspiron 1545
Windows Vista Basic
Celeron Processor
Age: Year 2 months

Sorry couple more things

I saw where the problem might be in the BIOS version. So I went to dell and did the update. Sorry I don't have the version numbers but the update was successful.

I did a system check while the computer was working on the hardware using FN+turning on the computer. Hour long check everything passed.

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:35 PM   #2
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Download and run the HDD manufacturers Diagnostic Tool.

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Old 09-13-2010, 06:50 PM   #3
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I completed the test using my desktop. Looks like it passed.



Test Option: EXTENDED TEST
Model Number: WDC WD1600BEVT-75ZCT2
Unit Serial Number: WD-WXE409U95061
Firmware Number: 11.01A11
Capacity: 160.04 GB
SMART Status: PASS
Test Result: PASS
Test Time: 20:49:31, September 13, 2010
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Old 09-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #4
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run through this

http://www.techsupportforum.com/f108...ng-498132.html
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Old 09-13-2010, 08:50 PM   #5
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I have ran through those steps and I'm beginning to think its a problem with the motherboard, just don't see why it will work for a couple days then not for a couple.

I think we have lost a couple post on this thread. It was suggested that I go through steps in a previous thread on black screen diagnostics. I had completed those with no luck. I'm thinking its a motherboard issue but since the computer works fine a couple days and not the next couple has me confused. Any other suggestions?
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:00 AM   #6
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do you have another hdd you can try? i would try that and see how it goes (you'll need an OS on it though).
i had a simialr issue with my 1545. but left it too late and the wouldnt boot at all. replacing the m/b solved that problem for me.
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Old 09-14-2010, 09:48 AM   #7
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I have used the hdd as a primary on my desktop and everything works fine. Also I believe I have put a known working hdd in and got the same result of black screen
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Old 09-14-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
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Have you tried rolling back the video driver to a previous version just for grins and giggles?
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:33 PM   #9
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if it is installed properly there should be no video driver to roll back to
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Old 09-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
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True....to a point. He should be able to go to the company website and find a previous driver. I had to do the same thing with my Linux laptop because the most current nVidia driver gives me nothing but a black screen. Only the older driver works for some reason. I've seen a corrupt driver more than once and just thought I'd throw it out there.

Good day!! :-)

Mike
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Old 09-15-2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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Can you access safe mode (press F8 immediately following DELL splashscreen, choose Safe Mode)?

It sounds like your O.S. is getting hung up on boot. The reason I had you run the HDD diagnostics was to rule out the possiblility of a failing/failed HDD. Do you have access to a Windows Vista install DVD? It needs to be the same version that is installed on the computer (32 or 64), the feature set (basic/home premium) doesn't matter.

When the install disc boots up you have the option of repairing windows startup.


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Originally Posted by Budro86 View Post
I have ran through those steps and I'm beginning to think its a problem with the motherboard, just don't see why it will work for a couple days then not for a couple.

I think we have lost a couple post on this thread. It was suggested that I go through steps in a previous thread on black screen diagnostics. I had completed those with no luck. I'm thinking its a motherboard issue but since the computer works fine a couple days and not the next couple has me confused. Any other suggestions?
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:46 PM   #12
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I had re-installed vista on the hard drive but it seems that its not working when I try to run my desktop off of it. I tried using another hdd from my laptop thats running XP and still am getting the black screen

Im going to wipe the HDD again tonight and reinstall vista to see what happens. I have to do this using my laptop, since none of the buttons do anything during start up of the laptop. If you hit F2 for setup or F12 for boot options it just makes them brighter and never goes to their screen. Also F8 doesnt do anything while im getting black screen. When I had the computer working it would take me to a screen for repairs.
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Old 09-15-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
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You have to install Windows on the PC you are using it on. It is not advisable to install Windows on a HDD using one computer and booting it in another. The installed H/W drivers will cause major issues. You will need to run all diagnostics and install/repairs in the laptop with the problem.
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Old 09-15-2010, 07:04 PM   #14
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I can't get the computer to do anything to where I could make it load from the disk. Would having the HDD completely empty help anything?
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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You may need to go into the BIOS and set the CD/DVD drive to boot before the primary HDD. Having the HDD empty may force the computer to boot from an alternate source or you could get a Boot Manager Missing error.
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Old 09-15-2010, 08:42 PM   #16
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Erasing the hdd got the computer to do something. It gave me the boot manager missing error but I was able to go into the boot menu and select my cdrom. Vista is loaded again, we will see how long it will stay running. I'll keep you updated.
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Old 09-18-2010, 04:46 PM   #17
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So far computer is still starting up correctly. Installing Windows using a different computer was hopefully the problem.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:10 PM   #18
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good to know it's fixed.

but guys wasn't the black screen with flashing cursor a known bug for vista caused by a bad update?

i had that issue once, something about the uac permission request notification coming up to ask for permission for a program to load which is actually something that vista needs to load and since vista hadn't loaded yet the notification wasn't shown and so all you would see was a black screen with flashing cursor...or something

just a thought.

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