Why do I see only a blinking line when my PC boots?

Mamie Nimmons May 27, 2013

When I turn on my computer all that appears is a short blinking line in the upper left. What’s wrong and how can I get my PC to boot?

  1. Manuth Chek
    May 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    AFAIK, you may have a dead hard drive. The blinking cursor appears when the system cannot find an appropriate OS. To check your hard drive, try a Linux Live CD and see if it's recognized or not.

  2. ha14
    May 28, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    go to bios and check the boot order if you have multiple hard drives for example, set bios to boot from the hard drive containing windows OS.

    you can try to startup repair windows if you have windows dvd boot on it and choose startup repair.

  3. Alan Wade
    May 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Was there any warning before your machine failed to boot?
    How long have you had the machine?
    Is there any error message?

  4. Chris Marcoe
    May 28, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Did the computer work before and it just started to do this? if so, what happened/changed when it started doing this? If not, is the computer new? Used?

  5. Oron Joffe
    May 28, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Do you have a USB flash drive plugged in? Some machines will try to boot from USB by default, and will get stumped by a non-bootable device.

    • Justin Pot
      May 28, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      This. At least, you should hope it's this, because if not you've probably got a hard drive failure.

  6. ha14
    May 28, 2013 at 9:58 am

    it can be for graphic cards a message like this windows is powered by...some do add message others not

    • ha14
      May 28, 2013 at 10:52 am

      remove the graphic card and boot from the integrated graphic card
      remove ram (clean from dust), click on On, pc will not boot you will hear beep sound, shutdown, reinsert ram and reboot.

  7. Jim Chambers
    May 28, 2013 at 4:14 am

    .This can also happen if two IDE drives on the same cable are both set as master or if a drive set as CS is plugged into the middle connector instead of end one. Other problems such as incompatible memory can also be the cause. Did you make any hardware changes to your computer just before this problem occurred?

  8. Bruce Epper
    May 28, 2013 at 3:28 am

    When you turn on the machine, does it beep? If so, is it just a single short beep or is there a pattern of 'em? Since it seems you have a text screen, but no post messages are appearing, there may be an issue with a piece of hardware. Your video circuitry has apparently passed POST (hence the cursor appearing on the screen), but the remainder of the testing is not completing and it does not appear to be able to display an appropriate error message. This could indicate a problem with the video circuitry/graphics adapter or a problem with the BIOS settings. Try to clear the BIOS settings (resetting them to the defaults). Some motherboards include a jumper to clear the BIOS and others require you to remove the battery for a few moments. After doing this, try restarting the computer again to see if the issue persists.

  9. DalSan M
    May 28, 2013 at 12:07 am

    This usually signifies that it is trying to boot the operating system (Windows). Are there any errors that show? How long do you wait to see if Windows boots? Usually if there are any boot issues, errors will show stating what the problem is. If Windows does not boot, even after waiting a long time, there may be registry or Windows system files errors. Try getting into Safe Mode by pressing the "F8" key repeatedly after starting the computer. Let us know if Windows starts in Safe mode and we can try to take it from there.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      May 28, 2013 at 1:59 am

      What Dalsan M has suggested is the logical step forward to troubleshoot the issue. Kindly follow it and get back to us with the findings.

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