PC - Dell logo appears and then blinking cursor top left on a black screen

Possible causes / fix ?
feck1Asked:
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
No boot drive or corrupted boot sector.  Have you tried getting into the BIOS to see what is enabled?
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Restart the Pc, press F12 as soon as you see the dell logo and select Diagnostics. Run a short test which will cover multiple areas. if that completes with no errors, run the long test. This sounds like a corrupted windows partition or a bad hard drive.  No real way to tell without a diagostic app evaluating the PC before it starts.

Hope this helps!
nobusCommented:
try starting it in safe mode with the F8 key
does it run  now?
then do a system restore to a date it was ok
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Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Have you tried our suggestions?
feck1Author Commented:
F8 - no good.

Attached the drive to another xp pc and started up.

It req to fix the disk like a fdisk or what ever its called.

Booted up and I could see the file structure and got the files I needed to recover.

Ive tested the hdd and its fine.

The fat table perhaps has gone.

Anyway put the drive back in and it suggested a "r" repair using the orig media.
I don't want to do this as its never been successful in the past and lets just pretend I don't have the media.

So ... .

Will a fdisk /mbr fix it?

What boot up cd to use to do this?
nobusCommented:
i always run a disk diag  first - to be sure it operates ok
then i run chkdsk /f

usually, the black screens are caused by updates - often a video driver

>>  What boot up cd to use to do this?   <<  your windows  install CD
here is how :  https://kb.wisc.edu/page.php?id=6565
feck1Author Commented:
Thanks Nobus ... .

Will that work in xp?
nobusCommented:
a bit different , yes :
boot off of the Windows XP CD.
It firsts asks you to Press a key to boot the CD, hit any key.
As it's loading, press R to load the recovery console. From there, choose the Windows installation,
now type the Administrator password, then run your CHKDSK C: /f

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feck1Author Commented:
Ok thanks - will give that a go ...

I ve 2 cloned Disk so there is no risk.

Would you be tempted to fix the MBR first?

Ah sure I can do each as Ive two cloned....

Ok will report back
nobusCommented:
when booted from the XP install cd, here's what you can do :
Boot using the Windows XP installation disk, press R. Then type the following commands:
note : you can test after each command

      FIXMBR
      FIXBOOT
      BOOTCFG /rebuild

      cd\
      copy E:\i386\NTLDR c:\
      ATTRIB -arsh ntldr
      copy e:\i386\NTDETECT.COM
      ATTRIB -arsh ntdetect.com c:\

E: should be the location of your CDRom where you have the Windows install disk located.
and check if those files are in the root :   NTLDR   boot.ini     ntdetect.com

Contents of the boot.ini file :
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect

check this too for more info :  http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm#What_if_none_of_the_options_worked?
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