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Windows 7: Toshiba Laptop With Blinking Underscore With Unknown Cause

01 Feb 2015   #1
Quartet

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 
Toshiba Laptop With Blinking Underscore With Unknown Cause

Hello Everyone,

Over the past few weeks I have been having trouble with my Toshiba laptop. Before this problem occurred, my brother was using it most of the time, using it to watch videos and do schoolwork. Then suddenly the laptop started having problems. First, it had a black screen with a cursor, which could be moved. After some work I had managed to get it to where it is now, with the same black screen, except with an underscore.

So far, the only thing that has gotten me progress was using a Windows 7 ISO image from Digital River. Using this I am able to get to the Install Now window and System Recovery Options window. System Recovery adds nothing, saying that the operating system has booted successfully. I also tried formatting the hard drive and then reinstalling Windows 7, although that also does not work, because when it has finished doing the preliminary work and restarts the computer the computer stills brings up the screen with the underscore. With that I also have to mention that I took the USB I am booting off of out.

After many attempts, I was then finally got some progress. While in the command prompt, I was using the bootrec commands, bootrec /fixmbr and the like. Soon I got to where the command prompt asks if I would like to add an installation to the boot list. I typed yes and hit enter, then exited the command prompt. I restarted to computer with the USB taken out to only get the same screen again.

Please help me with this problem, as it is the only way my brother is able to do schoolwork, other than going to a friend's house or the library, which are both relatively far away. We also do not want to purchase another laptop, considering the cost. Considering the hardware problems, the only problem which I can think of is the hard drive, although it is listed in the BIOS.

In closing, here is a tutorial I used to help me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_BN5PPald8


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Feb 2015   #2
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello and welcome Quartet now I know you have done a reinstall but the only legit ISO that can be downloaded is contained in this tutorial.
Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7 it is the most efficient and reliable way of reinstalling using an ISO that w know of and will save you quite a bit of updating afterwards.

Another tutorial that is also very useful in your situation is this by the same author who is an authority on the subject Troubleshooting Windows 7 Failure to Boot

Feel free to post back to the tutorials as Greg is the best person to ask in relation to his instructions we can all help too but please have a read of those tutorials before you go any further because I am suspecting the download you have may not be absolutely wholesome.

Just a matter of interest what did you do with the drive before reinstalling ?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Feb 2015   #3
Quartet

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

We were both using the laptop to use the word processing program (Microsoft Word), using the internet, and playing Steam games occasionally. Also, while attempting to find out what was wrong, I found out that the last time the computer booted successfully was January 5, 2015.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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03 Feb 2015   #4
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Ok mate now try running these as I am not a fan of using anything but installed programs for Word etc and the gaming if you have done this online may have picked up some really crap stuff. In any case maybe attest on that drive might be in order too so you can use this SeaTools for Windows | Seagate and if necessary you can do this by taking out the drive and hooking it up to another machine using a USB to SATA adaptor -see pic.

Just make sure you select the correct drive as listed in Disk Management or just Computer.


Attached Images
Toshiba Laptop With Blinking Underscore With Unknown Cause-usb-sata-adaptor.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #5
Quartet

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Your option may be the one for me, but does my formatting the drive and wiping all of the data off of it affect it? Also, I may have trouble finding one of those adapters.

The drive does seem in order, as it seems to be having the regular sound when it starts up. A main problem here is determining whether this is a hardware or software problem.

I will try taking out a RAM stick to see of that is it, or resetting the CMOS battery, although I have not had much experience with either of them.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2015   #6
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Hello my friend they are quite easy to get - Computer Parts, Laptops, Electronics, and More - Newegg.com if you look down this page there is one for $10 plus shipping I guess and I didn't look at the full listing They are very easy to set up and use.
The wiping and formatting of the drive is not really necessary but you can if you so wish. Now just because it sounds ok on power up doesn't mean there is something wrong with the device and another test you could do is a surface scan which physically checks the platters and to some extent the read write heads and actuating arms. For that you need the Partition Wizard Free Partition Manager for Window PC | MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition and see my pic to see what to do - the program is fre and is very useful for a lot of disk related functions especially with partitions.

Now before you take out a RAM stick run a memtest MemTest86 - Offical Site of the x86 Memory Testing Tool it does takes some time and you will need to make the bootable disk . Insert the disk into the optical drive and make sure the BIOS is set to the optical as the first boot option. It then will run itself and if you have any problems with it they will show up as errors see my pics. Now of course if you have two sticks installed and get errors then you will need to test each one separately to find the bad one. One very important thing with memtest - you MUST run it for at LEAST 8 PASSES any less is not going to provide you with any reliable results if any. Because it takes a long time most people leave it running overnight - having said that if errors come up straight away then you can stop it.

If you have any problems understanding what I have posted or getting things to work please post back


Attached Thumbnails
Toshiba Laptop With Blinking Underscore With Unknown Cause-mini-tool-surface-2.png   Toshiba Laptop With Blinking Underscore With Unknown Cause-mem2.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #7
Quartet

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Sorry for not replying in a while.

As for the programs you mentioned, how will they work upon start-up? I cannot access safe mode, and the ISO on the USB is the chosen program to boot. Will these programs start without my needing to choose?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #8
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Yes mate the memtest just boots off that disk or stick - I prefer a disk but a stick will do. The Partition Wizard will also boot from a stick see this Boot partition manager from USB Flash disk directly to manage disk partition - Partition Wizard Bootable Flash Drive.
Neither involve Windows in any way so forget about safe mode.

Now after you have checked out the RAM and drive let us know what the go is. Just keep in mind both tests take a while to do and the memtest as to be run for at LEAST 8 PASSES anything less is no good.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2015   #9
Quartet

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
 
 

Hello,

I have since given the laptop to my cousin, who is a programmer. He has said that the problem is not the hard drive, but the operating system, and has asked for the Windows 7 disk that came with the laptop, although there was none. I will be giving him the ISO on the stick instead. While doing that I might also tell him about running a MemTest and using the Partition Wizard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Feb 2015   #10
ICIT2LOL

Desk1 7 Home Prem / Desk2 10 Pro / Main lap Asus ROG 10 Pro 2 laptop Toshiba 7 Pro Asus P2520 7 & 10
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Quartet View Post
Hello,

I have since given the laptop to my cousin, who is a programmer. He has said that the problem is not the hard drive, but the operating system, and has asked for the Windows 7 disk that came with the laptop, although there was none. I will be giving him the ISO on the stick instead. While doing that I might also tell him about running a MemTest and using the Partition Wizard.
Yes well all you need then is the code on the sticker to activate the ISO version. Anyway your cousin seems capable of doing whatever so we shall just see what happens. My suggestion to test the had drive was purely one for elimination purposes and perhaps we should have run these first
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1538-sfc-scannow-command-system-file-checker.html
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/433-disk-check.html < if necessary include the /f and /r in the command line as per Option2
in safe mode is best as only the essential files are loaded but again your cousin will know that. Perhaps I had better leave the problem to him but incase things do not get fixed we are always here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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