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Windows 7: Black Screen with Blinking Cursor

12 Mar 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
Black Screen with Blinking Cursor

Hello and sorry for the generic title:
Recently my computer closed all programs and continued to shut off. When it came back on, it was able to get past the Dell Logo Screen but could not continue to the login screen, instead it loaded a Black Screen with a Blinking "underscore" cursor on the Top Left-hand of the screen.

Prior to this, a process called "svchost.exe" used an abundancy of memory and caused my computer to lag very badly, I found that while "svchost.exe" is a commonly used, important Windows process, many viruses and trojans can disguise themselves by naming their process this. I used a program called "Process Explorer" to ultimately "Suspend" the Process right before it used alot of memory, and I was able to use my computer without problems from then on.

While trying to solve my Black Screen issue, I found a Thread on the hp forums that had a similar, if not exact, replica of my issue. The link is here:
Black Screen w/ Blinking Cursor - HP Support Forum - 1330837

I thought it was weird that with the Black Screen I had, I only had to press the Power Button once to turn my computer off, rather than hold it down. Ultimately, I followed DavidPK's solution, created a Windows 7 Recovery Disc, and as I was trying to presumeably reset or rebuild my BCD, I found that my Black Screen issue had not been solved.

Overall, I still believe the issue is due exclusively to the svchost.exe that plagued my computer with high memory usage, if I can just get into my computer, even with safe mode, I'm pretty sure I can look further into deleting whatever is causing the process.

Also, I'm not sure if this is important, but it might be: About a week ago my computer as well shut down and restarted, this time getting to the login screen and then coming up with a Blue Screen that lasted for 2 seconds and then it shut down my computer. I found that the issue was something called "SoftThinks" was starting on my computer which caused the Blue Screen, I merely stopped the process from starting which ended the issue, and I'm -pretty- sure it could not have caused this Black Screen.

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, let me know! I've installed the latest drivers and I believe the BIOS is fine for my desktop computer, I'm almost 100% positive the Black Screen is -not- due to any Hardware Problems. Thank you so much for your time!

Sincerely, Trace

My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Mar 2013   #2
Saurabh A

Windows 7 64bit

Hi tracethom,

From your description, the issue appears to be 'software related'. Since the system goes past the 'Dell logo', it may be a corruption on the 'Operating System'. However, I recommend you to run 'hardware diagnostics' to check 'hard drive' functionality. This will eliminate the possibility of 'hard drive' as the root cause of this issue. This becomes even more important, as you've mentioned about the system shutting down on previous occasions.

To run 'diagnostics', restart the computer > Repeatedly tap 'F12' key at 'Dell Splash Screen' > Use 'arrow key' to highlight 'Diagnostics' > Tap 'Enter' > Capture error, if any and share details.

You may also try the following steps (If the diagnostics pass) to see if they help:
1. Unplug all devices from the system and release the static charge: Unplug all the external peripheral devices from the system (USB Devices, Monitor cable, Power cables, etc) > Press and Hold down the 'power button' on the tower for 10 seconds continuously > Plug the 'power cables' back in > Plug the monitor cable, keyboard and mouse > Try powering on the system only with the basic (essential) devices attached > Repeatedly tap the 'space bar' at the 'Dell splash screen' > Confirm 'Delete Restoration Data' if prompted.

2. If the issue persists, restart the system again > Tap 'F2' key repeatedly at Dell splash screen (BIOS screen appears) > Check if the 'Hard Drive' is detected here (Capture and share the details) > Usually tapping 'F9' key is likely to restore 'BIOS defaults' (Please check the instructions; should be mentioned on the same screen at the bottom) > Tap 'F10' key to save > Exit from the 'System Setup' and recheck if the system boots up now.

3. If the system still does not enter into 'Windows', you may try 'System Restore' from the 'Recovery Options'. Please follow 'Method 2' in the following tutorial: Windows 7 System Restore
You may find this video useful:
Note: Performing 'System Restore' will not result in data loss. The 'software changes' after the chosen 'restore points' will be lost.

If you still experience any issues, please share the exact model of the Dell system in use.

Hope this helps. Do reply with the findings; would be glad to assist.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Screen with Blinking Cursor

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