Why does my computer show a black screen with only the cursor at boot?

Cristián T December 9, 2013
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My computer boots into a black screen with a cursor at startup. I know this version of Windows is already activated, even though before activation I noticed that there were messages claiming that I was not using a genuine version of Windows. After activation I tried changing the boot order in the BIOS to something else and the problem was not fixed; in fact, nothing changed. I also changed the boot mode to the low resolution video mode, if that’s what it’s called, which I don’t remember exactly. But nevertheless, Windows does not load properly, and the problem persists.

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  1. Cristián T
    December 10, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    @Hovsep A I have been able to use a live CD when using this computer. So yes.

  2. Cristián T
    December 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    I get everything to start out normally, until after the "Starting Windows" animation is complete. Also, I don't get a flashing cursor, but it's the only icon I see on the screen after the "Starting Windows" animation has ended.

    • Hovsep A
      December 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      1) open cmd with administrative rights
      2) Type sfc /sannow, wait the scan finish
      3) Type: chkdsk/r wait the scan finish
      4) reboot

  3. Cristián T
    December 10, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    @Alan W I don't connect the computer in question to a monitor. It is a laptop.

  4. Cristián T
    December 10, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    @Dalsan M What if I don't have a Windows repair or installation disc on me? Could I use my USB drive or a blank writable DVD?

  5. Bruce E
    December 10, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Alan & Oron, OP states that there is a black screen WITH CURSOR. This cannot be a cable or card issue as there would be no cursor at all to see. I'd go for a problem with the system POSTing (after graphics initialization) or a problem with the boot files/drivers prior to graphics mode initialization. Startup Repair, bootrec or Safe Mode and removal (or rollback) of current video drivers followed by a reboot should fix it.

  6. Hovsep A
    December 9, 2013 at 9:35 am

    are you able to boot with a live cd like hirens boot cd....and have correct display?

    • Cristián T
      December 11, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      A I have been able to use a live CD when using this computer. So yes.

  7. Oron J
    December 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Are you actualy getting into the Windows boot screen at all, or only getting the flashing cursor? If you only get the cursor, it's either a BIOS setting issue or a harware problem.

    BIOS: replace the BIOS battery (it's a button battery on the motherboard, usually CR2032 but check carefully before buying a replacement). When you take out the battery, note the polarity, leave the battery out for at least 30 seconds, then put in the new battery. Also, if you know how to do this (or have the motherboard manual), reset the BIOS settings.

    Hardware: could be a faulty cable, as Alan suggests, or even a faulty screen, so try it with another monitor (which you have seen working!). If that fails, it could be the graphics card, or even the power supply, so unless you have spares, it will probably be best to take it to a professional technician for repair.

    If you DO get to the Windows boot stages, follow Dalsan's suggestions.

  8. Alan W
    December 9, 2013 at 7:34 am

    My wife had much the same issue and that turn out to be the monitor cable so dont rule that out.

    • Cristián T
      December 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm

      I don’t connect the computer in question to a monitor. It is a laptop.

  9. Dalsan M
    December 9, 2013 at 5:55 am

    I would start with a Startup Repair from the System Recover Options. You would need a system restore disk or an Windows installation disk in order to start the Windows Recovery Environment. You may have to select the language, time, currency, and keyboard as these options show up (it will seem as though you are reinstalling Windows, but you are not) in order to get to the System Recovery Options. Click on Repair your computer, then click on your operating system (that you wish to repair), and then click on next. When the System Recovery Options window pops up, select Startup Repair.

    If this does not work, then try the Bootrec.exe tool from the Windows Recovery Environment. Repeat the process that you performed to get to the System Recovery Options, but do not click on Startup Repair. Instead, click on Command Prompt, then type Bootrec.exe and then press ENTER. For the information you would need in order to try to fix the issue you are having, go here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392, and click on the + sign next to "Bootrec.exe options".

    I would think that it would be corrupt Windows files or drivers that is causing your issue since the flashing cursor on a black screen means that it is trying to load Windows (or other operating system). Definitely start out with the Windows Repair option before trying the Bootrec.exe tool. If these do not help your situation, let us know as there are other options that you may be able to use.

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