My Computer Starts With Black Screen And Blinking Cursor

A family member just gave me their Toshiba laptop and told me he was just getting nothing when turning it on. So when I got home and powered it on I immediately got a black screen with a blinking underscore at the top left of the screen as pictured below.

black_screen_underscore

My first instinct tells me it has something to do with the hard drive. Either the hard drive itself is not getting a stable connection, some sort of memory error – or worst case scenario, the hard drive is faulty and no longer works (which means it needs replaced). Luckily there are a few things you can try that may lead you to a quick and easy fix.

Steps To Follow:

1) Un-plug your laptop.

2) Remove the battery

3) Hold the power on button for atleast 10 seconds (This drains the CMOS Battery and any remaining power hiding in the system)

4) Access the bay where your HDD (Hard Drive) is plugged in, and remove the HDD.

5) Plug in external power and power on.

At this point windows should attempt to load normally but since the HDD is removed it will stop and give you an error and a prompt.

6) Turn off laptop via power button (Hold it if you have to, windows won’t/can’t load without the hdd so you’re not damaging the system files)

7) Unplug the external power, and drain CMOS reserve again

8) Re-insert HDD, battery, and external power in that order.

9) Power on and hopefully successful return to normal operation

If this does not work after trying it a couple of times it is likely that your hard drive needs replaced.

In my case, it was a faulty hard drive which I replaced for under $50 by ordering it on Amazon.

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