Can't activate Safe Mode, Windows 7 repair, or System Restore. Black screen, blinking cursor, or error 99 issues. Help!


I've had several very annoying issues with my custom-built desktop. It's a bit of a doozie, so please bear with me.

Let me get the specs out of the way just in case:

Side note: lots of broken USB ports and a disc tray that doesn't work.

Onto the problem(s):

A few weeks ago I came to my computer and it wouldn't turn on. Tried everything, figured the PSU had broken (I'm guessing there was an electric surge during a thunderstorm). I think I was right, since I ordered a new one (the EVGA listed above). Plugged it all up correctly. It turned on. Couldn't wait to get back into business, but I encountered a problem.

Upon startup, after the MSI BIOS boot image, the screen stayed black with a blinking underscore for infinity. This is a common issue I've heard, and one I encountered before when my friend helped me put the computer together. I checked the SATA cables and everything was configured correctly, and both harddrives were getting power.

It gave the option for Safe Mode, and I got in! My stuff was still there. I tried performing a System Restore. Nothing happened. I waited and tried again. Still nothing. I ran MalwareBytes and deleted some items, then restarted my computer.

I tried opening Safe Mode again for a System Restore, but hitting F8 brought me to a error "99" (in the bottom right corner) where again, the screen is black and nothing loads. I haven't even been able to get back to the Safe Mode screen again, since it goes back to the 99 error every time after hitting F8. Great.

I open the BIOS menu and the board shows everything connected (aside from my many faulty USB ports, I basically only have enough working ones for mouse and keyboard). My harddrives both show up. Okay, so maybe it's not the common harddrive issue I hear so many people claim online (maybe it is, but I don't know how to fix it since it seems to be plugged up correctly).

I make a Windows 7 repair disc, before realizing that, oh yeah, my disc drive has been broken since I got this computer. That's a whole separate issue. So I put it on a USB thumbdrive, but F8 brings me back to that black screen. I even try finding it in the BIOS menu and it can't be recognized on the motherboard; even when unplugging my keyboard from the working USB port and plugging the thumbdrive in, it doesn't register. Wonderful.

I reconfigure the wiring inside, and power on again - this time I hit F11 and choose my harddrive to boot from. A miracle! It starts loading up like normal! I log on and run a virus scan, delete some items detected, and try to System Restore again. Aaaaand nothing pops up. Over and over.

Windows installed new updates, and upon rebooting my computer, I was re-introduced to the blinking underscore issue.

I'm still able to log on via the F11 method and manually selecting my harddrive to boot from every time, which I'm unbelievably thankful for.

I'm running more virus scans to try and find if this is the result of malware, since that's the only common reason I've found for System Restore not opening. However keep in mind the issues with the blinking underscore on the black screen, and the "99" black screen. These may be hardware failures of some sort, though I'm logged on using my computer right now without issue.

I can't activate Safe Mode again, I can't use System Restore, and I can't use Windows 7 repair from an external device; what would you lovely tech junkies advise a confused user like myself? Since I'm miraculously logged on right now, I wish there was a way to use Windows repair right now while logged in (maybe there is, but I haven't found a way).

Any advice would be much appreciated! I will happily correspond with answers if more information is needed.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about activate safe mode windows repair system restore black screen blinking cursor error issues
  1. Update: it just blue screened for the first time. Well that's a good sign amarite fellas? Oof.
  2. Any luck?
  3. None whatsoever so far. I can still log in by pressing F11 at the BIOS screen and selecting my harddrive manually, but it will still blue screen occasionally and I still have the blinking cursor problem when trying to enter Safe Mode or normal startup. Still can't System Restore either.

    My friend told me to re-install Windows 7, but I don't have a product key or a disc drive; on top of that my USB sticks aren't being recognized by my computer in any of the ports (even if I unplug my mouse/keyboard because those ports definitely work).

    Any tips anyone?
  4. Best answer
    Power surges, never good. It could have fried any number of things though the PS does provide some protection. It sounds as though your hdd might be failing. I have seen these symptoms before on failing drives. You wont know until you try a new drive. Again depends on your $$$ to spend. HDD's are cheap.
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