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Dell OptiPlex: Black screen with blinking cursor

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by whitcheywoman13, 2010/02/15.

  1. 2010/02/15
    whitcheywoman13

    whitcheywoman13 Inactive Thread Starter

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    Hi, I just signed up to this forum after finding it through a search. Please forgive me if this already posted, but I could not find a specific answer to my problem.

    I have a Dell OptiPlex BX260 Intel 1.80 GHz processor, Bios Version A03, Western Digital 160 Gig HD, 512 Ram.

    The problem I am having is, when I try to boot, I get the Dell screen then it goes to the black screen with the blinking cursor. I have checked the bios and it recognizes everything.

    I changed the battery because it said it was "weak ". After installing the new battery, still no boot and still black screen. I can get into the boot sequence (hitting F12) but I go to the option and it "freezes" then says hit F1 to boot or F12 for set up.

    When I hit F1, it just repeats itself on the screen. I have checked with other suggestions, but I can't get into safe mode, and sometimes when hitting F2/F12 will say keyboard failure, then I start it again to get to the bios/setup screen. Cannot hit F8, not cannot get to boot from original XP Pro install CD.

    It recognizes the drives (CD and separate DVD). I have taken out the HD and installed as a slave and it will boot up, so I know the HD is good.

    Have checked all cables, and Ram but I do not hear the fan come on when I first start it up. I do not know if this is the problem or what. I just want to be able to boot to see if I can find out if there are software problems or hardware problems.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I don't know if it is a motherboard problem, hardware/software problem or what. I have also done the basics, ie: taking out ram sticks, checking cables, etc., from suggestions I've found on the net, but to no avail. Also, everything is "onboard ", there are no graphics cards etc. Thanks for any help.

    Edited by Moderator for clarity
     
  2. 2010/02/15
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    A couple of things to try

    In your BIOS look for fail safe defaults or something similar.

    You say you can't hear the fan so the system could be overheating, try powering up with the case off and looking to see if the fans are spinning (whilst you're in there you could clear out any dust bunnies that may have set up home.

    How did you test the RAM?

    I would also suggest you test your HD as well but since you can't boot from CD either it's probably not that. If you're willing to test anyway put it back in as a slave on your working system and download the relevant Disk Diagnostic Software ....

    ExcelStore

    Hitachi/IBM

    Samsung

    Seagate, Maxtor, Quantum

    Western Digital

    Fujitsu

    Anyway a few things to think about, let us know how you get on.
     
    Last edited: 2010/02/15

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  4. 2010/02/15
    kimsland

    kimsland Inactive

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    Wow that was a big paragraph :rolleyes:

    Did you mean Dell OptiPlex GX260 ?

    Do you have the Windows Setup CD, or do you have a Recovery CD, or none?

    Removed text:
    Regarding your 2nd battery installed now, is it charging? Does the power adapter work without any battery plugged in?


    EDIT

    As usual wildfire bet me by that much :D

    Edit2
    Woops as per wildfire's reply below, this is a PC not a laptop obviously.
    LOL I even linked to it without having a better view at the pic
     
    Last edited: 2010/02/15
  5. 2010/02/15
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    Kimsland The Optiplex Range are desktops, I assume the battery that witcheywoman changed was her CMOS one (no charging required) ;)
     
  6. 2010/02/16
    whitcheywoman13

    whitcheywoman13 Inactive Thread Starter

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    Sorry for the long post..tried to get as much info as possible...Yes..sorry..its an Optiplex GX260 (typo) I took the HD out and put it in this computer and all the information is there. I cannot take off the cover on the other one as it opens like a clam shell, will try to turn it on like that, but don't know if it will run so I can see the fan. Dust bunnies are gone..did that when I took the HD out and tested the ram. Took each stick out and replaced them one at a time to test (got that off the net). Don't know if it was right or not. The battery I changed was the one on the motherboard that looks like a big watch battery. I went into the bios and everything looked right, but did not have a "default" to set it to. Will take the HD out again and run a test on it (thx wildfire). I have the original CD that came with the computer..but can't get it to even boot from cd as it keeps saying hit F1 to continue and it just keeps repeating :( thanks for the replies...will try the HD thing next.
     
  7. 2010/02/16
    wildfire

    wildfire Getting Old

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    No problem whitcheywoman,

    Keep us informed, I don't hold out much hope regarding the HD test but it won't do any harm. This is looking like a hardware problem though so don't be surprised if a staff member moves it.

    BTW I don't think kimsland was commenting on the length of your post, just the lack of paragraphs. If you type everything in one paragraph it is more difficult to read ;)
     
  8. 2010/02/17
    Whiskeyman Lifetime Subscription

    Whiskeyman Inactive Alumni

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    Try running Dell Diagnostics on your PC.

    If the keyboard is not functioning and you are using a USB type try one with a PS/2 connector.
     
  9. 2010/02/17
    whitcheywoman13

    whitcheywoman13 Inactive Thread Starter

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    It's not the keyboard. After re-starting it will work fine. The problem is I cannot get past the dell screen for it to load. After going into bios, (no default resets) everything is fine so I go to the boot screen. After selecting to boot from CD I hit that selection then it says hit F1 to continue but all that does is keeps repeating itself over and over on the screen. Does not load. But, as I said, I do not hear the fan come on when I first start it up and haven't tried looking to see if its working with the case off, as it's a clam shell case. Thanks
     
  10. 2010/02/17
    Whiskeyman Lifetime Subscription

    Whiskeyman Inactive Alumni

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    What fan doesn't seem to be running, CPU or power supply? You need to see if the fan runs. If it doesn't maybe the PC will not boot because of no signal from the fan. How bad was the dust build up before you cleaned it? Have you tried pressing F12 and run the Dell Diagnostics?
     
  11. 2010/02/17
    whitcheywoman13

    whitcheywoman13 Inactive Thread Starter

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    I don't know which fan it is. There was not much dust in the machine when I cleaned it.

    I have pressed F12 and get to the choose option, but like I said, it says to press F1 to continue and keeps repeating.

    I believe I will be going to another bulletin board because all I seem to be getting is a correction to my grammar. To many chiefs and not enough indians.

    Thanks to the ones who did help.
     
  12. 2010/02/19
    mattman

    mattman Inactive Alumni

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    You took the suggestions on-board and the way you wrote that post makes it quite easy to read. Making up posts on a forum might be a little different. We read a lot of information and it if you can separate the information, it makes it easier for us to digest and think about.

    When I have come across the blinking/flashing cursor, I haven't found it to be an extensive problem.
    In the BIOS, look at the bottom of the screen for the navigation menu. A guess, it might be by pressing F9 to load setup defaults. After that, you need to Save and Exit.

    I have worked on a few GX260s :) I think it should work when the clam-shell is open. Feel for air-flow coming out the back next to the power/mains connector. There are two fans, one cooling the CPU and the other in the power supply.

    You've checked the HDD cables, but I don't know what you mean by
    You spoke about a keyboard error, don't dismiss it, but if you can navigate in the BIOS with your current keyboard, all should be well. (You can get a keyboard error if you hold down a key while the BIOS is checking hardware.)

    Chiefs/indians? Volunteers here, but if you follow the suggested rules it could make it easier 1) for us to help you; 2) for you to explain your problem.

    Matt
     

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