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Blinking White Underscore on Startup - Significance?

Last response: in Windows 7
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July 21, 2012 5:43:09 PM

Hey Everyone,

Let me first say I do NOT have an issue getting my computer to boot up. This is about the time it takes for my computer to boot up--and why that was doubled as the result of this mysterious blinking white underscore in the top-left corner of the screen. I'm aware some computers have this cursor on startup and some don't, but I'm asking you guys about it because I've never seen it manifest on a computer that didn't always have it..

So, a few details:
The underscore appears and blinks for a few seconds both before and after the Asus splash screen (i.e. before Windows even initiates). I did try a Windows repair disc in the off-chance it might find a corrupted file, but to no avail.

The change occurred after taking the computer in for repair--I was assured they only ran a software program which was promptly removed after discovering the issue, a graphics card at the time. I'm not sure what else would have caused the sudden jump in boot up time, but I'm open to any and all ideas or suggestions. While I'm happy that my machine is running smoothly, I would be even happier if it had the same boot up time as when I first built it.

If its any relevance:
i7 2600k
Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
GTX 460 Ti
OCZ SSD
a b $ Windows 7
July 21, 2012 6:09:38 PM

joeman99 said:
Hey Everyone,

Let me first say I do NOT have an issue getting my computer to boot up. This is about the time it takes for my computer to boot up--and why that was doubled as the result of this mysterious blinking white underscore in the top-left corner of the screen. I'm aware some computers have this cursor on startup and some don't, but I'm asking you guys about it because I've never seen it manifest on a computer that didn't always have it..

So, a few details:
The underscore appears and blinks for a few seconds both before and after the Asus splash screen (i.e. before Windows even initiates). I did try a Windows repair disc in the off-chance it might find a corrupted file, but to no avail.

The change occurred after taking the computer in for repair--I was assured they only ran a software program which was promptly removed after discovering the issue, a graphics card at the time. I'm not sure what else would have caused the sudden jump in boot up time, but I'm open to any and all ideas or suggestions. While I'm happy that my machine is running smoothly, I would be even happier if it had the same boot up time as when I first built it.

If its any relevance:
i7 2600k
Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
GTX 460 Ti
OCZ SSD


If you open the bios setup and go through the various settings, you can find the start delay setting and change it...
you can set the HDD to boot first,
There may be several settings you could use to speed the boot...
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July 21, 2012 6:17:50 PM

I am just grateful my PC boots up at all each day to notice things like that. YES! Another day of surfing, gaming, and uh ... more gaming and surfing!
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July 24, 2012 4:59:55 PM

I checked every pixel of the BIOS, but there's nothing denoting any sort of startup delay, and restoring everything to defaults doesn't help either. I notice that the cursor appears even inbetween selecting tabs in the BIOS, which it never did before either.

This is probably an unrelated issue, but I was unable to flash my BIOS as well. Having tried multiple files from multiple servers on multiple flash drives, I got a "Image integrity check failed" every time I tried.
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July 24, 2012 5:51:30 PM

Look for Option ROMs in BIOS, and disable them.
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August 3, 2012 6:07:18 PM

The only options available for Option ROMs is either "Keep Current" or "Force BIOS."
I have tried both, and still the computer hangs. I've looked through every other option in the BIOS, and there doesn't seem to be anything else that would affect startup.

Does anyone have any other ideas of what I could try?
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August 3, 2012 7:39:35 PM

My BIOS has option roms in some menu nested 3 levels deep.

Also, unplug any flash drives you have connected to your computer, and any other removable media.



..also, now your computer hangs? As in, no longer boots?
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August 4, 2012 7:05:55 PM

Shotzo said:
My BIOS has option roms in some menu nested 3 levels deep.

Also, unplug any flash drives you have connected to your computer, and any other removable media.



..also, now your computer hangs? As in, no longer boots?

Sorry, wrong term. It doesn't hang, but there's a significant delay both before and after the Asus splash screen appears. I've unplugged everything and there was no change in the time it took to reach the Windows screen.

I've triple-checked every menu and every available option within the BIOS, and the only mention of ROM is, as I mentioned before, the "Option ROM Messages: Keep Current or Force BIOS," neither of which changes the amount of time it takes to boot up.

I would try to update the BIOS to see if there are any changes between its current and the most recent versions, but as I mentioned earlier, every attempt using every possible method of flashing has failed. I'm simply at a loss of what to do.
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August 4, 2012 9:39:09 PM

So when you say "Computer hangs" - You mean there is a delay while it shows that white underscore, then it eventually boots?

This is interesting, because I just finished working on a Macbook Pro with Bootcamp. By default, when it is booting up to the WIndows partition, it does the exact same thing. It also does this when using the Boot Selector Key assignment, after choosing any windows-related boot disks.

In the Mac, it is simply waiting for the GRUB boot sequence to start, which in Win 7 is invisible. It Vista, you could see the whole sequence, starting with the blinking "cursor" - So I think that's related to what is going on here. Windows 7 uses a Grub boot loader, doesn't it? But I've never messed around with that.

I think there is nothing inherently wrong, but for some reason, your system may be looking for other boot paths. Are you using any kind of Multiple Boot, either the one built into Windows 7 or one of the many Boot Commanders you can get? Because it sounds like something they would do. I have two Windows 7 partitions on my machine, but I gave the system 5 seconds for me to choose, default is about 30 seconds.

I use Yamicsoft Windows 7 Manager which has a Boot Configuration utility to modify your boot options, and you can set the time it waits for a boot choice.

I've seen this happen not only on the Macbook Pro but on other machines as well. But not too often. My Dell laptop does it too when I have my Windows 7 disk installed.
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