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Black screen blinking cursor of peril

Last response: in Windows 7
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January 22, 2012 5:20:02 AM

Tech-savvy superior beings, I humbly come before you because my rig is having a fit. Whenever I start her up, I get as far as the splashscreen that reminds me which mobo I have, followed by a cursor blinking on a black field for eternity.

Processor: Intel i7-2600k
OS: Windows 7 64 bit
Motherboard: MSI P67A-GD65
Hard Drive: Samsung HD103SJ
GPU: EVGA GTX 570 HD

Lovingly jumbled together based on my perusal of this very site. It has brought me much happiness until now. A thousand pardons if this problem has been resolved in another thread. I have been forced to look for solutions on a smart phone, which is trying my patience. Please respond as though the most advanced computer I have ever operated is an abacus.
January 22, 2012 5:53:57 AM

That usually means it can't find the operating system to load. Can you go into BIOS to see if your mobo recognizes your hard drive?

For the sake of being thorough, what PSU do you have and what RAM? Also, how long have you had this system running, and what were the last things you were doing before this happened?

Also, if you can, try to make a copy of the ultimate boot cd with another computer. It might be useful for troubleshooting later.

www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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January 22, 2012 6:52:57 AM

BIOS can tell my my hard driver's model number, serial number and the like, but lists its status as unconfigured...not sure if that's important.

PSU: XFX-850W-BES
RAM: G.Skill 2x2GB DDR3 SDRAM

How long have I had this system running? Erm, running in the sense of I have owned it and used it for whatever, one year. Running prior to this mess, several hours worth of The Old Republic. Running since it started acting up, I've started it up multiple times and let it run for an hour at the longest before deciding it was not going to sort itself out.

Before this happened I had just exited TOR, told my system to shut down, and walked away like it could handle that. Of possible note: some folks seem to suggest smashing f8 as part of some remedy, but it has done nothing for me.

Lastly, my work schedule/wakefulness of other people in my time zone will likely not permit me to make a fancy boot CD for a couple days.
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January 22, 2012 7:44:15 PM

I tried doing a little more leg work. I went into MSI's click BIOS, and had it set everything to optimized defaults. I also plugged the SATA cables from my hard drive and disk drive into different ports. Since then, I no longer get the blinking cursor, instead I have been run through Windows startup repair multiple times. Each time it says there is one root cause: boot manager failed to find OS loader. It took the following repair actions each time: file repair and boot configuration data store repair both failed with an 0x490 error code. It also says that the system restore was completed successfully.

So what are the odds of me getting out of this with all of the junk on my hard drive intact?
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January 22, 2012 8:19:21 PM

I think you should be able to recover your data with the Ultimate Boot CD so you won't have to shell out a lot of money to pay for those services.
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January 23, 2012 5:48:25 AM

Everything seems to be just fine now. I used command prompt to do things that were beyond my understanding but worked anyway. I feel like a 40K techpriest. Anyway, I ran bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot. I don't have the words to express what happened next. Startup repair still said that it could not find the OS loader. Then I moved the hard drive to the top of the boot order, restarted, and everything is fine??? It must be as I am currently typing this out on my just recently ruined rig. Rats off to ya!
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January 23, 2012 6:05:05 AM

I'm glad you got it working :) 

Edit: I would recommend using something like Dropbox to store important data so that you won't have to worry about data recovery in the future. One less thing to worry about :) 
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