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HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - PC Stops at Black Screen with Flashing Cursor (Windows XP)

This document pertains to HP and Compaq Desktop PCs with Windows XP.

When the computer is turned on a boot menu appears showing several boot options to select. Regardless of which boot option is selected, the monitor then displays a black or blank screen with only a blinking cursor in the left top corner of the screen.

Resolving the blank screen

Follow the instructions below in order to fix this issue:

  1. Remove any CDs, DVDs or memory cards from the computer.

  2. Disconnect all devices from the computer leaving only the original mouse, monitor and keyboard and power cord connected.

  3. Restart the computer.

    NOTE: If this resolved the issue, see the Preventing the blank screen section at the end of this document.
  4. Press the F1 key repeatedly during the first startup screen until the entering setup message appears. (Press the F10 key to open the BIOS Setup Utility if computer was manufactured in 2009 or later.)

    The BIOS Setup Utility screen opens.

  5. Press the F5 key to restore the default settings. Use the arrow keys to select YES and press ENTER .

  6. Press the F10 key to save the changes and exit. Use the arrow keys to select YES and press ENTER .

    The PC restarts.

  7. When the system restarts select Last Known Good Configuration from the boot menu.

    The PC should now startup normally. If the blank screen persists continue with the following steps.

  8. Select Safe Mode from the Windows Advanced Options Menu .

  9. Use Microsoft's System Restore feature to restore your computer to an earlier time to correct the issue.

If the blank screen persists or it is not possible to enter Safe Mode perform a system recovery by following the instructions of the document HP and Compaq Desktop PCs - Performing a System Recovery in Microsoft Windows XP .

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Preventing the blank screen

If disconnecting devices from the PC resolved the startup issue, re-attach one device and then restart the PC.

If this is successful, re-attach the next device and restart the computer again. Repeat this process until you find the device that is preventing the PC from starting properly. Contact its manufacturer for advice on this issue.

Please, keep your PC software updated in order to possibly prevent the error from occurring in the future:

  • Click here to learn how to update Windows.

  • Click here to learn how to update the BIOS.

  • The software for the devices may need to be updated or reinstalled. Contact their manufacturer for information on the latest updates for your devices.

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