How to Fix Black Screen with White Cursor, Part 2

Often when a computer boots to a black screen with a white cursor it means your hard drive has too many errors to boot properly. Your hard drive is just too error-stricken to get its act together. You’ll need to help it.

If your computer does this and you have an XP Windows machine, you can do what it says in the first How to Fix a Black Screen with White Cursor. Or else you can try this, run Checkdisk from the Windows XP cd Recovery Console:

  1. Put your XP Windows Install disk into the optical drive, the CD/DVD drive.
  2. Reboot the computer.
  3. Some computers will boot off the cd without changing boot order. Just “press any key to boot from the CD” when you see that message. Or you may have to:
  4. Set the boot order so the computer boots off the CD, instead of going into ordinary Windows. Some computers are set to boot CDs by default and others have an option to change the boot order temporarily. Look for one of these messages as your computer starts:
    • Press F12 (or another key) = Boot Menu
    • ESC (or another key) to select boot device
  5. If you have to press a key to enter the boot menu , you should now see a selection of the devices your computer can try to boot from. Choose the CD drive and press Enter.
  6. When you see the “Press any key” message, your computer is ready to boot from the Windows XP CD. Just press Enter.
  7. Your system will now load files and bring you to the Windows Setup screen.
  8. This is the Windows Setup screen.

    This is the Windows Setup screen

  9. Type r to go into the Recovery Console.
  10. Once in the Recovery Console you’ll have to pick which Windows installation you would like to log onto. Usually this is C: or 1.
  11. You’ll be asked for the Administrator password, the password you picked when you setup Windows the first time. Sometimes this is blank. If you don’t know it, just press Enter.
  12. Now you’ll see the command line or C prompt. It’ll look like this C:Windows>.
  13. Type chkdsk /r. (Don’t type the period.)
  14. It’ll look like this: C:Windows>chkdsk /r.
  15. Hit Enter.

Checkdisk will now run. It may take a long time, in some cases, a few hours. Usually it finds many errors on a computer that is booting to the black screen with white cursor. When it is finished type exit and hit Enter.

Your computer will now reboot, hopefully into regular Windows.

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How to Fix the Black Screen with White Cursor

This week I fixed a computer that booted through the Welcome screen and the login screen to a totally black screen with only the white cursor and nothing else. The poor cursor was in total darkness! I tried booting into Safe Mode and Last Good Configuration (that worked) and still the cursor stood alone. Heigh-ho the dairy-o, the cursor stood alone.

So I took out the hard drive and attached it to my own computer using this process. It’s not hard. All you need is another computer.
1. I ran checkdisk.

2. Then defragmented the drive.

3. Also I ran Malwarebytes and AVG on it.

4. After this I put the hard drive back in its own case and it booted up all the way through to the desktop. Yay!!! But it took 3 minutes and 30 seconds to boot. Too slow.

5. So I ran Malwarebytes and AVG again and did all my usual tricks to speed up the computer. When I was finished it booted in 40 seconds. Not bad, huh?

And the cursor stood on the restful TeleTubbies-like rolling green hill landscape of the default Windows XP wallpaper which, according to Wikipedia, was taken near Sonoma, California.

You can also check out How to Fix the Black Screen with White Cursor, Part Two.

I look forward to your comments.

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