Computer problem...not booting.

Noticed that Windows had updates pending last night when I shut down my computer.

This morning I turned it on, and I got the video card splash, but then nothing but a blinking cursor in the top right corner.

Ctrl-Alt-Del and it restarted. Hit F…hm…12 I think to go into the BIOS. Got menu to choose boot device. Tried booting from my old, now ‘backup’ drive which still has a copy of Vista on it. Got to Windows log-on screen.

Restarted, chose my main HD. This time, Windows started installing updates. It quit halfway through and restarted. Blinking cursor.

I restarted, chose that drive again, and actually was able to log on to Windows. Everything looked ok. Restarted.

Blinking cursor.

The hell.

Sure sounds like a bad HD. Hope you’ve got backups!

That’s what I am afraid of. It’s only a year and a half old.

If I get another one to boot from, what are the chances of still being able to read from it and pull stuff off?

Poking around on Microsoft support, it might just be a device error that’s preventing Windows from starting. That makes me a little more hopeful.

It may be that whatever updated last night changed a driver or file that isn’t working now for some reason. I didn’t try booting from the Windows disc…guess I should do that.

Still sucks…I hate worrying about my computer.

What version of Windows? Can you boot into Safe Mode and roll back the updates?

7…I tried to F8, but it never gave me the opportunity to start in safe mode. Just the motherboard splash followed by the blinking cursor.

Was in a hurry to get out the door this morning, so I didn’t have time to methodically try to figure it out, either…and I had a two-year-old who wanted to watch Dinosaur Train insisting that the computer wasn’t broken. I am going to take a long lunch and go home and try some things.


Unplugged all my USB devices and powered on. Everything started up fine. Plugged everything back in and uninstalled all of the updates from overnight.

No problems now! Made updater prompt me before installing anything else, for the time being.

That’s why you make frequent backups.

And never trust a HD. You turn your back on an HD for a second, they’ll stab you in the eyeballs. Anything in a computer with physical moving bits is going to break, and it’s going to do it at the worst possible time (only 1.5 years old? Ha! The HD cares not for your schedule! It’ll fail whenever it pleases!)

It kinda sounded like your computer was trying to boot from a USB device in the first place and got stuck. Perhaps if you can get in your BIOS, check to see what the boot device priority is. You don’t want to be affraid to install updates.

And yes, back up important shit!

You know, you may be on to something. I transferred a bunch of pictures and video from my phone to my computer using a micro-SD card with an adapter and USB SD card reader. That may have been the first time I restarted since I did that, and the card was still in place. Could the presence of a memory USB device have made the comp want to boot from it, OS or no?

If it is configured to look at that device first, yes. But it *should *move on once it’s determined that the USB has no OS.

The fact that it doesn’t mention even looking for a boot device (or at least, you haven’t said so) means to me it’s something more fundamental. But you might look in the Bios and see if there is a setting to show a more verbose boot process.

We have a couple of identical Dell computers at the office (don’t remember the model, but they’re Core i5 machines from 2010) that have this same problem. The BIOS settings tell the computer not to boot from USB, it tries it anyway, and it doesn’t move on to the next drive when that fails. Yes, we have the latest BIOS.

We’ve had to resort to sticking a little note on the computers in question so that victims will stop screaming “Virus!” when they see the little white cursor on an empty black screen.

Ok…the boot order was main HD, DVD, backup HD, USB.

I just disabled all but the OS HD for boot purposes. If I need to change it later I can.

Still wonder exactly what happened, but as long as it doesn’t happen again I guess I’ll be happy.

My dad’s computer absolutely will not reboot if his Blackberry is plugged in. I think it’s because, without the proprietary driver, data access to the Blackberry’s disks is really slow. And the driver doesn’t start up until Windows does. So I think it’s trying it’s hardest to load the disk driver to see if there’s an OS on it, and failing because the drive is so slow.

My guess is that one of your devices is really slow without drivers, too.