Tech Support Forum banner

[SOLVED] Blank screen with blinking cursor

8528 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  jcgriff2
I am posting this reques tfor help only after scouring the internet for help and suggestions, but nothing I have tried has helped so far.


Lats night I shutdown my DELL notebook as a colleague came over to chat. Without thinking, I then closed the lid of the notebook while the shutdwon was still in progress. I immediately realised what I had done but figured it was too late to simply reopen the lid so I let the process finish until all the lights went out.

Today the startup was normal, but when I tried the first process (to open Googe's Chrome) I got error message regarding unreadble file or similar .. so then I remembered wha thappened last night so I decided to shutdown properly and fully and reboot.

The reboot now doesn't work. Instead I see the DEll logo display but then just a blank screen with a blinking cursor in the top left corner. I think it doesn't even get to start loading Windows.

My only options are F2 (BIOS Setup) and F12 (Boot menu) plus CTRL, ALT + DEL will reboot with the same result .. back to the blank screen


1. F8 for a safe mode reboot ... doesn't work ... not result

2. F2 to check BIOS ... these things are beyond me, but I did check the boot device sequence on the basis of one post I saw and it seems ok with HDD as the first in the sequence

3. I created an Emergency Windows Boot disk, and then boot using this .. then select Repair Computer .. but instead of going to the repair menu I geta message saying "Select an OS to repair and then click next" but the dialogue box which should list all available OSs is blank .. so nothing to select. A note on the dialogue box says "If you do not see your OS above, click here to load drivers for the hard drives" .. I think wholly hell, the notebook can't even read its own HDDs .. I go to the DEll website to download HDD drivers for my model which I seem to be able to do but I note they are .EXE files .. but nevertheless I copy them to a CD and try to get the notebook to read them .. but it wont .. so I can't proceed.

I am really desperate to get this fixed as I have done and added so much wrk since my last backup about a month ago. So any advice or suggestions are very gratefully welcome.

See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Re: Blank screen with blinking cursor

3. I created an Emergency Windows Boot disk
Hi Robert -

How did you create the disc?

See if Dell Recovery Partition works. Try CRTL+F11 keys during boot-up.

Also, F8 -

HDD may have failed.

Run HDD diagnostics -

Regards. . .


See less See more
Re: Blank screen with blinking cursor

Thanks for taking the time to consider and reply.

CTRL + F11 = didn't work
F8 = also didn't work

Since posting, this is what I have done or found out:

1. The Dell driver files named as xxx.exe are actually self-extracting zips .. so I unziped and loaded those drivers using the repair disk
2. Even though the dialogue box asking me to select the OS for repair was blank, I discovered I could still click to NEXT .. which allowed me access to all the repair options
3. I first tried the option to repair the boot files ... this completed ok after about 2 hours but had no effect
4. I next tried the option to display the command prompt, which then enabled me to type DIR A:\ and see the contents of my 150GB HDD
5. To my shock it displayed only about 20 files ... and no WINDOWS directory at all.
6. I then knew that the repair routines would not work for me because it seemed I had no OS files left on the HDD and also none of my critical data files
7. I showed the problem to a friend who had the HDD out of the notebook in about 5 mins and connected to an adapter into a USB port which allowed him to look at the drives contents on his computer. This gave much the same results as my DIR command
8. He then used a utility called GETDATABACK which I think scans the drive and somehow comes up with a list of files on the drive. After about 2 hours it was able to display a list of several hundred files, including the critical files I thought had been lost (because they were not visible from the DIR command)
9. After the utility displays a list of files, it gives the option to extract/copy those files to another drive ... which we did painlessly and another 2 hours later I had useable copies of my data files
10. This if course did not fix the HDD from my notebook, so next I will

i) check the dive is not damaged (run a utility), then reinstall back to the notebook
ii) reformat the drive
iii) reinstall Vista and all my Dell drivers
iv) reinstall all other programs I need
v) copy the recovered data files back to the Dell

I reckon about a week of evening work.

Its a pain but I am just so grateful to have my data back and I'll be doing daily incremental backups from here onwards.

I have no idea what caused the problem but my assessment is that the NTFS got corrupted so that most of the files on the drive became invisible.

And I now know that the blank/black screen with the flashing cursor is what happens when Windows can not be loaded .... though the cause of the problem and so the rectification process can be any one of numerous options .. some of which are documented elsewhere on the net.

Hope this helps someone else one day who encounters the same problem.

Also, just in case it was the cause, my advice to all is do not close the lid of a notebook while it is in the process of a full normal Windows shutdown.

See less See more
Re: Blank screen with blinking cursor

Glad to hear you got it sorted out. Thanks for posting back - much appreciated.

Regards. . .


1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Not open for further replies.