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Black Screen, Flashing Cursor

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September 22, 2010 4:11:33 AM

Dell 8400 Dimension...Had multiple blue screens constantly, then finally the black screen with a flashing cursor at the top left is all it does now. Even after a hard drive replacement. Could it possibly be the motherboard?
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 4:47:28 AM

have you tried Save Mode
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 5:17:54 AM

How did you replace the hard drive?

Did you copy your old one to the new one and install the new??

Did you install the new one and use your Recovery Disk to put back the original disk image?
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September 22, 2010 3:56:27 PM

Twoboxer said:
How did you replace the hard drive?

Did you copy your old one to the new one and install the new??

Did you install the new one and use your Recovery Disk to put back the original disk image?



With the old HD installed, when I power up the PC, immediately (no Dell Logo appears) it goes to a black screen with a flashing cursor at the top left. No keystrokes can be made. I just bought a new HD thinking it was my HD that crapped out...Still the same symptoms with the new HD installed. I can't even run the BIOS. A guy from work told me to remove the battery from the mother board to reset the logic on the mother board and put it back after about 3 minutes. So I did so. Now when I press the power on, the monitor won't come on (stays in standby) and the fans run really fast. Cleaned all the dust out of the tower actually. :lol:  Also before all this started, as I stated before, when the old HD was in the system before all this started to happen I would get a blue screen sporadically. Before the total blackness, it got to the point where every time I would start up, I'd have about 3 minutes before the blue screen of death...I'm hoping its the mother board, because I just ordered a replacement. Thanks for your help.
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 5:09:47 PM

do have any BEEPS?

have taken out the memory?
September 22, 2010 5:26:22 PM

Emerald said:
do have any BEEPS?

have taken out the memory?



Yes, now it just starts beeping with no rhyme or reason. Also, this should have been included before, but I added some RAM about 2 months before I was getting this blue/black screen problem. I added 2 GB's (Corsair 800Mhz) to the existing stock SAMSUNG chips. Did I screw something up by mixing these? :??:  I tried leaving the stock RAM in and powered the PC, but still nothing. Same for the newer RAM.
September 22, 2010 8:50:49 PM

I'm also assuming that this Dell J3492 Dimension 8400 Socket 775 Motherboard is a dinosaur compared to what's out there. Does anyone think I'm wasting money getting another one?
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 9:59:13 PM

mr_spectabulous said:
With the old HD installed, when I power up the PC, immediately (no Dell Logo appears) it goes to a black screen with a flashing cursor at the top left. No keystrokes can be made. I just bought a new HD thinking it was my HD that crapped out...Still the same symptoms with the new HD installed. I can't even run the BIOS. A guy from work told me to remove the battery from the mother board to reset the logic on the mother board and put it back after about 3 minutes. So I did so. Now when I press the power on, the monitor won't come on (stays in standby) and the fans run really fast. Cleaned all the dust out of the tower actually. :lol:  Also before all this started, as I stated before, when the old HD was in the system before all this started to happen I would get a blue screen sporadically. Before the total blackness, it got to the point where every time I would start up, I'd have about 3 minutes before the blue screen of death...I'm hoping its the mother board, because I just ordered a replacement. Thanks for your help.
You didn't answer the question:

HOW did you replace your HD? Did you copy your old C drive to a new one? Did you do a fresh Windows install?

All I hear you say is "I bought it." "I installed it."

We need to know exactly how you did that.
September 22, 2010 10:15:41 PM

OK everything went black. I assumed bad HD. How and why would I copy an assumed bad HD to a new one? I was planning on using my recovery CD for the new one. But now, the CD drive won't open, I can't get into the BIOS, the fans ramp up right after I plug it in. It won't shut off unless I unplug it. Pretty much a paperweight...
a b V Motherboard
September 22, 2010 10:25:21 PM

mr_spectabulous said:
. . . Even after a hard drive replacement. . . .


Your original post said you *replaced* the HD.

How you could and why you would copy the old disk have several answers, but is irrelevant now that we know you are experiencing these problems solely with your original HD and OS.

The most likely problems are heat related (Did you dislodge the cpu heat sink perhaps? Gently check if its firmly installed) or a failing/failed psu.

Since this is a Dell, what do the four status lights on the front panel say? Assuming they stay lit, you can match the pattern of lights to symptoms listed in your manual. if you can't find the manual, it is probably available for download.

Note: While the odds say heat or psu, it could be the mobo.

September 22, 2010 11:54:39 PM

Twoboxer said:
Your original post said you *replaced* the HD.

How you could and why you would copy the old disk have several answers, but is irrelevant now that we know you are experiencing these problems solely with your original HD and OS.

The most likely problems are heat related (Did you dislodge the cpu heat sink perhaps? Gently check if its firmly installed) or a failing/failed psu.

Since this is a Dell, what do the four status lights on the front panel say? Assuming they stay lit, you can match the pattern of lights to symptoms listed in your manual. if you can't find the manual, it is probably available for download.

Note: While the odds say heat or psu, it could be the mobo.



As soon as I plug the thing in, it starts up.

The power button stays amber.

No other lights besides the HDD light. Its a Dimension 8400.

I checked the cpu and heat sink. Getting another PSU.

Thank you for your help.

Best solution

a b V Motherboard
September 23, 2010 12:42:04 AM
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Sorry, on your PC the Diagnostic lights are on the back panel:

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/SYSTEMS/dim8400/en/om/U70350LRs.pdf
September 23, 2010 12:53:02 PM

Best answer selected by mr_spectabulous.
a b V Motherboard
September 23, 2010 10:24:41 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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