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Start Up Issue - Black Screen w/ Cursor...HELP!!

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Last response: in Windows 7
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December 28, 2012 8:39:05 PM

Alright, so I have had this issue for many months and I attempted to fix it a while ago, but gave up after no success. Please take the time to read the details of this thread as I really would like to fix this issue.

The problem: When I first turn on my laptop (Alienware M14x R1) it goes straight to a black screen with a small cursor in the upper left hand corner (right before the screen with BIOS options). The computer gets stuck on this screen I would say about 80% of the time. When it DOES get stuck on this black screen I have to press CTRL+ALT+DELETE to continue through the normal boot sequence. This problem has not caused any other additional problems for my computer, but it still really bugs the hell out of me.

I have a Crucial M4 128GB Solid State Drive in the primary bay and the factory Samsung 500 GB Hard Drive is now in the optical drive (held by a hard drive caddy). Thus, I have no optical drive (I use a portable one) and have dual hard drives.

I believe the black screen problem arose after I tried updating the firmware for the Samsung 500 GB Hard Drive (although I can't remember exactly when it began occurring). If I were to take a guess I would say this problem is probably occurring due to the computer not knowing which hard drive to boot from, but I really am not sure.

I have tried just about everything from going into the BIOS, to doing a full clean install of Windows 7, to trying /fixmbr and other commands of the like...

If you have any ideas on how to possibly fix this or what the issue could possibly be, PLEASE let me know! I would like to upgrade to Windows 8, but want to fix this issue first. Thanks!
a b $ Windows 7
December 28, 2012 8:42:54 PM

I don't think it's the issue but I believe I have read about issues installing Windows on an SSD while other drives are installed, did you try contacting Dell?
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December 28, 2012 9:03:03 PM

I have had no issues in the past with my computer and this issue arose well after I had installed Windows on the SSD. Dell was not helpful and wanted me send the computer to them and get it fixed for $250.
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December 29, 2012 2:45:20 AM

After I took the secondary HD out and did a clean install of Windows 8 it took care of my problem...at least I think..
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a b $ Windows 7
December 29, 2012 3:11:02 AM

CC268 said:
After I took the secondary HD out and did a clean install of Windows 8 it took care of my problem...at least I think..



You were spot on in assuming that the system was getting confused when booting up as it was essentially being caused by both HDDs fighting for control during boot. In the future if this happens again you can go into the BIOS and turn off the secondary drive as being bootable and see if that helps
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December 29, 2012 3:17:04 AM

hedwar2011 said:
You were spot on in assuming that the system was getting confused when booting up as it was essentially being caused by both HDDs fighting for control during boot. In the future if this happens again you can go into the BIOS and turn off the secondary drive as being bootable and see if that helps


thanks! I will definitely do that in the future
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December 29, 2012 3:47:55 AM

hedwar2011 said:
You were spot on in assuming that the system was getting confused when booting up as it was essentially being caused by both HDDs fighting for control during boot. In the future if this happens again you can go into the BIOS and turn off the secondary drive as being bootable and see if that helps


how do you actually make the secondary drive as being NOT bootable??
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