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Blinking cursor at top left corner

Last response: in Windows Vista
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August 5, 2012 10:38:49 PM

Hello everyone, I am about on the edge of my rope with my laptop. It was working fine a few days ago. I ran a virus scan about an hour before it stopped working, and everything was working fine. My computer then restarted itself and i get a black screen with an endless blinking cursor on the top left corner.

here's a picture of the screen i get before the blinking cursor

If I press F1, I get the blinking cursor, when I press F2, I just get the settings, which I reset to default. My computer will not do anything if I press f8, f12, f11, f10, anything.

I put the vista recovery disc in, and it did not change a thing, my laptop would not acknowledge a cd in.

Computer information

Acer aspire 5570Z‏
Vista
Virus Free
Unable to get anywhere past the blinking cursor

That's all the info I know off the top of my head, if there's any information about my computer you need, just let me know and I'll try my best to fetch it.

Someone please help me, I have very important files and programs on my computer, that i was not smart enough to back up :( 
August 6, 2012 6:14:19 PM

There seems to be basically two possible issues here. The first is that your OS install is pretty thoroughly hosed and you'll have to reinstall. The good news there would be that the drive itself is fine. The other possibility is that the drive has died, and now you have to replace that and reinstall the OS.

And most of the time when you boot the computer there will be some message that says "Press <key> for boot options" or something to that effect. If you do that, you should be able to select the DVD drive to boot from. However, if this is not present on your computer, then you need to go into setup, and be sure to change the order of the boot device so that the DVD drive comes before the HDD.
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August 6, 2012 11:37:01 PM

I get a message that says "press F12 for boot options" but when I press it, nothing happens. :( 
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August 9, 2012 3:49:41 PM

If you have files on the computer, you don't want to do a restore on the drive because that will wipe everything off and put the laptop back to how it was when new.

A blinking cursor means that the laptop could not find a boot sector on the drive, which means the drive is bad, or it somehow lost it's boot info or partition.

Take out the drive, set it up as a secondary in another computer, see if you can copy your files from it that way. Or use a USB enclosure with it.
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