What Happens When You Start Your Computer? You see a familiar Windows logo followed by animation, then the Windows logon screen. Instead, some users see a blank or black screen with a blinking cursor when the computer starts up. This can be confusing and scary because you can’t even help out anymore. However, we are confident that our solutions can help you.
There are ways to resolve this error, like the others. You just need to take a deep breath and calm down first. Understand that there is no easy solution and that most solutions will either result in system restore or reinstallation. It’s just the nature of the error, which is why black and blue screens are among the most feared errors in the Windows world.
Note: A black screen with a blinking cursor is different from a black screen without a cursor. We will discuss the first one here. Different errors require different troubleshooting steps.
1. Remove the accessories
Here’s what’s going on. Your computer does not start because it cannot read the necessary files stored on the partition. It is possible that a USB key or an external hard disk prevents it from accessing crucial files of the operating system. To put it differently, he is looking for the wrong reader. Shut down your computer and remove all accessories, including the mouse and the CD or disc, then try again. Press and hold the power button for a few seconds to force shutdown.
2. Safe mode
Can you start your computer in safe mode? There are several ways to start your PC in Safe Mode. The easiest way is to press and hold the power button for a few seconds while the computer starts. This will interrupt the boot process and shut down the computer. Do it three times.
Press the power button> Keep the power button pressed until it turns off – Repeat three times.
You should see a blue screen with a few options the fourth time you start your computer. Welcome to Windows RE (recovery environment). An advanced user interface where you can repair, troubleshoot, restore and reset Windows 10 with a few clicks. Follow the path below.
Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart
You will now press the appropriate key (4, 5 or 6) to start the computer in safe mode with command prompt.
Alternatively, you can press the F8 or F12 key during the boot process, but this no longer works on all laptops. Especially, if it hosts an SSD and uses the UEFI BIOS.
Once you enter Safe Mode, check the following:
- Make an external backup of your data immediately in case you need to restore or reinstall the Windows operating system
- Check for malware using Malwarebytes and also check for viruses that may prevent the operating system from starting
- Uninstall any recently installed applications that you do not recognize or that could cause conflicts
- Uninstall recently updated drivers – remove updates and if the driver is faulty, uninstall it
- Update all hardware drivers that may cause a blinking cursor error
Restart your computer as you normally do in the Start menu to check if the computer remains frozen on the flashing cursor screen.
3. BIOS settings
You will follow the same steps above by repeating the power button three times, but instead of entering safe mode, you will enter UEFI firmware settings. This is the last iteration of the BIOS.
Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings
Click on the following screen to start in the BIOS. You cannot use a mouse, so only a keyboard is allowed. Use the arrow and the Enter or Escape keys to move. You’ll find instructions at the bottom of the screen, but it’s pretty straightforward, so don’t worry. You must change the boot parameters from legacy mode to UEFI mode under Boot Options.
Also check the boot order in the boot menu and make sure it is configured to boot from the hard drive first and from the USB drive or other external drives second. This will ensure that the problem will never reappear when you connect a USB drive during the boot process.
Save and exit to restart and check if the error persists.
Note: Each BIOS layout or user interface is a little different, but the basic functionality remains the same. Just find the options above and make the necessary changes. And don’t forget to save the changes before leaving.
4. Command Prompt
Open the command prompt (in safe mode) and follow the steps below only if you have Windows installation media such as a CD or USB drive.
Run the commands below one by one.
sfc /scannow Bootrec /FixMbr Bootrec /FixBoot Bootrec /RebuildBcd
The last three orders will repair the Master Boot Record (MBR), the Boot Sector and the BCD Store respectively.
5. Restore or reinstall
Well, if you’ve gone so far without success, you’ve exhausted all other options. If you have a backup of your data or use cloud storage for everything, you have nothing to worry about. Restoring the computer will not delete your personal files anyway. This is what reinstalling the operating system does. This is why I recommend that you restore the computer first and see if it helps. This will help you 9 times out of 10.
If the above method does not work for you, use the installation media disc that you may have created on a CD or pen drive. Refer to the Microsoft site for information on how to create installation media. You can also visit the nearest service center.
Always have a backup
Here are two tips that can save you a lot of trouble in the future, and they’re both very simple. One is to make backups. Even better if you go to the cloud because that way you don’t have to do it manually. The second is to create a restore point every time you are about to make major changes to your system. An example could be before installing an application.
I hope we have been helpful. If you found another way to fix the blinking cursor error in Windows 10, share it with us in the comments section below.
OneDrive is a great cloud solution and one of its features is the ability to restore old versions of files. Click the link below to find out how to do just that.
Last updated on June 27, 2020
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