mikemans
1 Copper

Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

Over the past 12 months I have replaced the hard drive in my Inspiron 6000 four times. No added software, no driver updates, no changes to the system. I use Ghost 12 as a backup system. When the problem occurs the machine will start the Dell bios screen and then go to a black screen with a flashing cursor in the top left corner.

Each time I have removed the hard drive and attached it to a working computer via a USB cable and all the data is fine. Nothing wrong with the hard drive but I have replaced the drive anyway and use the old one(s) as an external USB drive.

I have tallked to Dell - Reload OS

I have talked to Microsoft - "Talk to Dell"

Cant talk to Norton without $$

I thought that something was happening to the boot.ini or NTldr file and suspect it is Ghost. This last time I had to go to a 10 day old backup and it restored. All 9 other more recent images resulted in the same problem of not booting and the flashing cursor. The prior 3 ocasions I reloaded the OS (XP Pro). I have run the MBR fix program no difference. I have checked the boot files on the working and non working images and drives and they are identical.

Then I thought it was windows up date because I leave my computer on all the time and the problem shows up on a reboot. Sometimes windows update will reboot the computer through the night. Microsoft said call Dell since the OS didn't even load, it's not the OS.

Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?

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11 Replies
husky0894
3 Cadmium

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

This sounds much more like a failing mainboard than a failing hard drive.

Out of warranty you're looking at a $400-500 repair - which probably doesn't make economic sense on a system this old.

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jec4312
2 Iron

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

have you been able to run diagnostics from F12? My immediate thoughts are: possible hard drive cable problem; or (hopefully not) motherboard. 

 

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Highlighted
mikemans
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

This sounds much more like a failing mainboard than a failing hard drive.

Out of warranty you're looking at a $400-500 repair - which probably doesn't make economic sense on a system this old.

 

Seems like I would have difficulty reinstalling the OS or restoring all disk images if that was the issue?

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mikemans
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

Yes. Forgot to mention that. Diags were fine. Bios sees hard drive no problem.

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husky0894
3 Cadmium

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

Not necessarily - the board may have an intermittent fault, or as is often the case, simply be showing the first signs of failure, which can be intermittent.

When the system boots to a flashing underscore, it's almost always a failing or failed mainboard.

 

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mikemans
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

What a shame. I really like that laptop. Are there any other symptoms to look for?[:'(]

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gamco
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

Same problem for me, only gets to black screen and cursor on boot.  Can see the files on the drive if booted from CD.

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dwreece
1 Copper

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

I just started having the same problem. I went back and used the image off my original HD and everything seems to be working OK again. One thing I noticed when I started having problems was the Blue bar that says DELL INC at the top of the screen right after the boot screen was missing. It also looks like the NTLDR file just recently got updated on 2/19/09 and that is about the time I started having problems.

Running XP Media Center Ed on my 3 year old Inspiron 6000. Upgraded my HD to a WD 160GB in June 2008 and has been running good until 2 weeks ago. Just like you said running all the diagnostics show no problems. I am also using Ghost ver 12.

 

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SlamX
3 Zinc

Re: Inspiron 6000 only boots to flashing cuursor

Create a BartPE  rescue CD. Boot with it. Backup you data then try a windows repair install. If it is jsut a corrupt os on the hd this will fix it.

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