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Black Underscore Screen No matter HOW I TRY TO BOOT :/ Please help! :(

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Last response: in Windows 7
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December 11, 2012 7:18:45 PM

Hello guys and thank you for looking at my thread,

I'll start from the top. I have a custom built i7 2600k rig. my mobo is an ASUS p8z68 deluxe gen 3 board. 1155 chip (here's a link http://www.newegg.com/Product/Prod [...] 813131791)

I recently did some upgrades to my rig like adding more and bigger HD's and finally an SSD.

WHen i did so i had reformated and made the SSD where i ran windows off.. Stupidly when i installed it i had never put the key in, so windows automatically gives you 30 days as a trial or w/e..

On the 30th day i realized it was 30 days because it showed me on my background saying this copy of windows is not genuine and bla bla bla...

So i decided to reformat, I reformatted.. i shut down the computer and went upon my day..

Now a few days later I'm trying to boot the thing up, it shows the bios screens and whatever, shows the raid profiles, shows some american megatrend thing, and then just goes to the BLACK SCREEN OF DEATH (This is the screen that is just black with a blinking underscore, and doesn't let me do anything)

I've tried booting from all the boot options, including while having a OEM DVD of Windows 7 in my CD tray and it still gets that black screen.

I've thought the SSD could be dead, but I highly doubt thats a possibility. I've checked the plugs everything is plugged in, I mean i really don't know what it could be.

Im desperate for help guys, I have missed several team practices for League, haven't been able to do any work or gaming, and I have term papers and projects due up the ass the next week or two since the end of the semester is approaching.

If your reading this and might know someone or knows the solution please do me a favor and help me out!!!!!

Thank you for your time, and Happy Holidays

-Ross
a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 7:21:15 PM

Can't help with cracked/pirated software, you should have used legitimate software to begin with.
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December 11, 2012 7:27:48 PM

chugot9218 said:
Can't help with cracked/pirated software, you should have used legitimate software to begin with.


the software is 100% legit.. i knew i shouldn't have even brought that up. I have an OEM copy of Windows 7 Home Premium since the day it came out. Thats the CD i always use when installing windows 7 on any computer.
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December 11, 2012 7:32:16 PM

i used a RETAIL COPY OF WINDOWS 7 HOME PREMIUM DVD WHEN I INSTALLED AND REFORMATED!!! please ignore chugot, and please provide me with some assistance! ill do anything :/ 
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 7:33:12 PM

Sooo, you are installing an OEM copy on multiple computers.... I am wondering how that is possible without a loader?

Yes, you probably should not have brought it up. I suppose the mods will decide whether to close this thread.
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December 11, 2012 7:34:00 PM

I can understand what your saying, but it begs the question. If its legit why didnt you just put in the serial for it?
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December 11, 2012 7:36:18 PM

mellwin said:
I can understand what your saying, but it begs the question. If its legit why didnt you just put in the serial for it?


because i had already used that key.... I'm not denying it, i didn't have a key to put in for the legit registration. i decided to try a loader but it didn't allow me to cause apparently windows had set a partition on my drive which didn't allow me to. SO I DIDNT USE THE LOADER>...........

i reinstalled to gain an extra 30 days till i would go buy another key, but now the computer won't even boot up...
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December 11, 2012 7:38:12 PM

chugot9218 said:
Sooo, you are installing an OEM copy on multiple computers.... I am wondering how that is possible without a loader?

Yes, you probably should not have brought it up. I suppose the mods will decide whether to close this thread.


stop putting words in my mouth... the install DVD isn't different on each DVD.. its the same copy. the SERIAL IS WHAT ACTIVATES THE WINDOWS COPY. I didn't have one so i reformatted again to gain an extra 30 days... which i did. And then when i shut down the computer, every since then when i try to turn it on i get the black screen with the blinking underscore.

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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 7:38:55 PM

What you need to is tell me how you have the system set up with the SSD and the extra HD`s you plugged in and if the two other drives are in a Raid config. You have to watch out on what sata ports you are using and the prior config of the drive or drives in the system before the SSD was inserted. The most common cause is the way the Sata devices are plugged into the Sata ports, for most some boards will state what port you must use to boot from and what ports you can use to set a raid array on after it.
In the Raid config you should see the two or three drives you raided together.
However in the Sata section you will have an option of what drives are in raid mode also or just normal Sata mode. check it is right if you plan to boot off the SSD and have the two or three drives as a raid array. Set the boot order to the SSD as first device since raid config should come after the inital boot device drive check. Obviously all drives and the install Os should of been set to the Sata interface mode first before any setup of the OS drive SSD, and when raid mode was setup with the two other drives.
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December 11, 2012 7:39:18 PM

Usually when a computer has this problem, I can clear CMOS and boot again. Sometimes I have to mix up it's configuration to trigger a reaction, like boot with no RAM, disconnect all hdd's, eventually the lack of some component triggers a reaction. Try changing BIOS settings to optimized or default settings.

EDIT: But weaselman brings up a good point. None of my previous experiences included machines with SSD's or RAID's configured.
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December 11, 2012 7:42:05 PM

weaselman said:
What you need to is tell me how you have the system set up with the SSD and the extra HD`s you plugged in and if the two other drives are in a Raid config. You have to watch out on what sata ports you are using and the prior config of the drive or drives in the system before the SSD was inserted. The most common cause is the way the Sata devices are plugged into the Sata ports, for most some boards will state what port you must use to boot from and what ports you can use to set a raid array on after it.
In the Raid config you should see the two or three drives you raided together.
However in the Sata section you will have an option of what drives are in raid mode also or just normal Sata mode. check it is right if you plan to boot off the SSD and have the two or three drives as a raid array. Set the boot order to the SSD as first device since raid config should come after the inital boot device drive check. Obviously all drives and the install Os should of been set to the Sata interface mode first before any setup of the OS drive SSD, and when raid mode was setup with the two other drives.


thank you for your response. right when i boot up it shows my SSD and 1 other drive, and then my other 3 in a raid config..

everything was working fine for over 4 months before now, so i don't believe that the way it is configured is the problem
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December 11, 2012 7:43:13 PM

arson94 said:
Usually when a computer has this problem, I can clear CMOS and boot again. Sometimes I have to mix up it's configuration to trigger a reaction, like boot with no RAM, disconnect all hdd's, eventually the lack of some component triggers a reaction. Try changing BIOS settings to optimized or default settings.

EDIT: But weaselman brings up a good point. None of my previous experiences included machines with SSD's or RAID's configured.


i thinking I'm going to try to boot up with unplugging everything but my SSD and CD Drive, but i still hate the guessing game especially when I'm pressed for time :( 
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 7:58:56 PM

The only other thing I can think of is you have a physical drive letter Clash, one where two hard disks may contain the same drive letter Assignment. That would cause a lockup of the boot sequence of the drive.
As a test plug the ssd boot drive Into sata port 1, have a check that the drive is listed as C:, when windows is loaded up, click on the windows 7 start pearl, then in the search box type: disk man, select format repartition drives ect. see if virtual drive manager lists it as C:
Then plug the cd drive in and do the same, check the drive letter assignment.
If it boots and works fine everytime, then reconnect the drives on the Sata ports that are set up for the raid array. If you get into windows do the check again to see what the raid drive letter assignment is. If it does not show the there will be a drive letter assignment clash. resulting in the raid array not being shown in disk manager on the virtual drive list. So you would have to change the drive letter in disk manager of the raided drives if it matches C: also. You will have to do a juggle of the drives and letter assignment if the case so for example set C: ssd to a daft drive letter like k: refresh the drive list and if the raid array pops up as C: also push it to a later drive letter.last in the chain before K the boot drive, switch back to the k: drive and re assign it as C:

Reboot and set the boot list to the SSD first making sure it is set to Sata mode and Raid mode is not configured for that drive on the sata port.
and the two drives raided are on the same ports setup in raid mode in the sata section.
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December 11, 2012 8:01:31 PM

weaselman said:
The only other thing I can think of is you have a physical drive letter Clash, one where two hard disks may contain the same drive letter Assignment. That would cause a lockup of the boot sequence of the drive.
As a test plug the ssd boot drive Into sata port 1, have a check that the drive is listed as C:, when windows is loaded up, click on the windows 7 start pearl, then in the search box type: disk man, select format repartition drives ect. see if virtual drive manage lists it as C:
Then plug the cd drive in and do the same, check the drive letter assignment.
If it boots and works fine everytime, then reconnect the drives on the Sata ports that are set up for the raid array. If you get into windows do the check again to see what the raid drive letter assignment is. If it does not show the there will be a drive letter assignment clash. resulting in the raid array not being shown in disk manager on the virtual drive list. So you would have to change the drive letter in disk manager of the raided drives if it matches C: also.


i'm going to try that, but is there a way where i could just reformat all of my HD's and SSD to just be blank so when i insert the Windows 7 CD its like I'm starting with a fresh brand new computer???
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 8:22:11 PM

You can but it may be the way the controllers and drives are setup on the Sata ports.
Give me a few Mins and i will read the manual, and give you a step by step on the config to avoid the problem Ross, may be more easy. Hang on.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 8:26:37 PM

Yep you have three sata controllers, need to figure the setup and where the sata cables need to be plugged in ect.
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December 11, 2012 8:34:41 PM

weaselman said:
Yep you have three sata controllers, need to figure the setup and where the sata cables need to be plugged in ect.



hmm so what do u need to me to do?? i just don't see how it could be this cause for over 4 months the computer was working just fine , and i never touched the wiring since then..
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 8:38:49 PM

You don't need two threads on the same topic, nor do you need to use caps in your title. We get it, you screwed up and now you need it fixed right away.
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a b $ Windows 7
December 11, 2012 9:26:05 PM

Well I look at the manual and from what I can tell there are a few options on how to set the drives up Since you in fact have alot of sata ports.
there are two Sata controller chips on the board, one is the intel and the other is the marvell Sata controller, from what I am reading in the manual it looks like the Raided drives have to be setup on the Sata ports use and listed by the intel controller. An option to run two 6gb a second Sata drives in raid mode, or as a single drive, Or two drives in raid mode running in 3gb sata mode.The marvel controller supports a Sata drive of up to 6gb sata interface with the light blue ports listed.
So it is likely the ssd should be set on the sata ports it uses and the mode set to Ahci mode.
The drive should then default as a boot drive and the raid should be set after you have created a raid array from the Intel raid setup of the two or three drives you may be using.That drive should then be set as the Second drive in the list, or simply not selected as a boot able drive In the boot list of the bios.

Anyway Ross its a hell of a bios with a lot of features and setup options. Its my best Guess you may of set it up like this. I did my best to work it out so good luck if it works.
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December 12, 2012 12:45:44 AM

This is not actually a licensing problem, so I won't delete the thread or issue sanctions.

However, I want to make it clear that we won't tolerate any discussion about bypassing or avoiding software licensing. We'll just let this thread die, along with any other such threads.
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