Author Topic: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor  (Read 16491 times)

kstedman

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Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« on: December 23, 2009, 21:40:07 PM »
My Toshiba Satellite A60-S1591ST laptop will only boot to a black screen with a blinking white cursor in the upper left. Basically, I was trying to get Ubuntu 9.10 installed to reinvigorate the old system, which I never use anymore, but I ran into some snags. Here's what happened:

I followed the instructions at http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html#runwin for loading Bootmanager on a Windows XP system. I put the files in their own folder, adjusted boot.ini, rebooted, and everything looked great: I was given the option to load straight to bootmanager, which I did. In bootmanager, I chose option 2, "Write mbr loader only," instead of option 1, "Full boot manager install." This may have been a mistake. I did this because the install instruction page says, "If you install Windows XP after the boot manager, then Windows XP will start instead of the boot manager, because the loader is overwritten with the program from Windows XP. To setup that the boot manager starts before Windows XP you have to use Write mbr loader only."

The program reported that it installed correctly, and I exited the program. But then all I saw was a black screen with a blinking white cursor in the upper left. I waited a long time with no changes, so I eventually shut the computer off and restarted. Nothing--still just the black screen and blinking cursor. I can still access the BIOS when I boot-up, but none of the options there seem like something that will help--though I admit I'm a newbie at BIOS editing, so I might be missing something.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

Elmar

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2009, 22:01:29 PM »
yes, that was the wrong option. number one was the correct. if you are able to boot from cd or floppy then use the installer and select option one (full install)

elmar

kstedman

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2009, 22:12:09 PM »
Nuts--I figured that I screwed up there. The problem is that I can choose to boot from CD, but the CD drive won't work (at least it hasn't worked in Windows for a long time, and when I tried to boot Ubuntu from CD it grinded a lot, gave me lots of errors, and eventually kicked itself out of the boot-up program). And if I had the official Toshiba external 3.5 disk drive, I can tell BIOS to boot from that--but I don't have the drive.

Any other suggestions?

Elmar

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2009, 22:16:45 PM »
there are only 2 options left
1) if boot from lan is available then install the boot manager from network
2) removing the harddisk and put it to another pc that has a cd or floppy drive

kstedman

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2009, 23:57:53 PM »
Thanks for your quick help!

Here's my status: I went ahead and tried making and using a boot manager boot CD, crossing my fingers...and it worked! Couldn't believe it. Tried to use the program to boot from my USB flash drive (onto which I've correctly transferred a checked-out Ubuntu iso), but the boot manager just froze. Tried again and it froze again. Maybe no support for this computer or flash drive? It's a Verbatim 4GB drive; computer specs in my first post.

So, I used PLoP to boot from the harddrive (only one partition to choose from), which successfully brought me to the "Windows or PLoP?" screen. I chose Windows and removed the PLoP stuff from boot.ini, figuring that I didn't need it anymore with my workable boot CD.

But then when I rebooted, the boot CD no longer is recognized--the BIOS tells me there's no bootable CD in the drive, even though there is. So it's the same old problem: I can't boot to ANYTHING. Bleah.

I don't really know if I have a question anymore, just this update. If you have suggestions, let me know. Thanks!

Elmar

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2009, 05:18:21 AM »
hi,
i was sleeping very bad about this wrong installation, so i get up early now and update the installer that this cannot happen again.

did you use the option 5 (short uninstall)? this will remove the boot manager from your pc.

the bios does not see the cd anymore? strange!

usb: did you try force usb 1.1?

regards
elmar

Elmar

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2009, 07:20:57 AM »
the installer is now updated

kstedman

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2009, 20:33:32 PM »
Wow, thanks for the help! I'll keep you updated on what happens.

I've been trying to boot from CD over and over, and on the 20th try the BIOS recognized the CD! I'm going to keep trying to get this to work, and I'll let you know.

I'm going to use option five, the short install, and then try to force USB. I also have an old CD drive I can install in the laptop, so I should be able to get it to work. I'll let you know.

kstedman

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2009, 20:43:54 PM »
This is probably a stupid question: how do I get back to the install screen? Even if I get the Boot Manager to run from a CD, how do I uninstall?

Elmar

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2009, 12:13:38 PM »
the boot manager cd and install cd are 2 different cd's. you find the install iso in the install directory of the boot manager zip

regards
elmar

kstedman

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2009, 16:01:20 PM »
It's fixed!

I made an install CD and kept rebooting until my crappy drive would recognize it. When I got the installer to load, I uninstalled and then did the full harddisk install. It still didn't work when I booted to USB, but I forced to USB 1 and I'm installing Ubuntu right now. Excellent!

malibu

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Re: Boots straight to black screen with blinking white cursor
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2009, 18:19:44 PM »
My . . . laptop will only boot to a black screen with a blinking white cursor in the upper left.
. . .
instructions at http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html#runwin
. . .
Nothing--still just the black screen and blinking cursor. I can still access the BIOS (setup)

I am at the very same spot - my BIOS does support LAN Boot and Wake On LAN -
but CD boot with the plop bootmanager could be easier.

PLoP Linux CD iso works very well everywhere else I have tried it,
 all over the university computers even (I still have my own university account in Windows Vista with tons of software but without full admin privileges) . . .
. . . but so far unsuccessful on my Sharp AL27 Mobile AMD 64 laptop.
Everything tried on the laptop gets only the notorious "black screen with the blinking white cursor in upper left".
(an error message saying "not a bootable media" would probably be a worse message in some ways, but could at least be explained away as faulty boot media). So I am stumped.

I'll be trying all that is in this thread, and hope to get the same great result - someday soon.

I am glad to see you ultimately got the CD boot to work . . .
and I'll also aim for a hard disk install eventually - however I get this booted up again.

After my - still hopeful - data rescue of the Windows XP files, I'll install Fedora 11 and
add Opera 10.10 as a second browser option.