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when I turn my computer on, I get the screen with the'press f2 to run setup' etc.

After that, I get a screen with only a flashing hyphon on it.

How do I fix it?

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What windows are you using? What where you doing before this happen? – chmod Jan 17 '12 at 18:33
    
I was trying to restore my boot partition. I rebooted, then this. – Liam W Jan 17 '12 at 18:36
    
My current and previous PCs both did this at boot if I had a USB drive (flash or HDD) plugged in during boot. Removing the drive and rebooting fixed the issue. – Mike Fitzpatrick Jan 17 '12 at 21:34
    
It's called a cursor. – JdeBP Jan 17 '12 at 23:53
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Hard to say. Perhaps the hard disk has gone bad or the OS has a serious issue. You could try booting from a live CD like knoppix to test memory and see whether the hard disk will mount.

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I think I accident erased the boot partition – Liam W Jan 17 '12 at 18:35
    
Most likely the data is unrecoverable then. There are some tools that allow reconstruction of the boot partition but I can't help there. perhaps gparted will do. take a look at this: tldp.org/HOWTO/Partition/recovering.html – uSlackr Jan 17 '12 at 18:39
    
MiniTool Partition Recovery should be able to recover it. – opsin Jan 17 '12 at 21:41

You could check the boot order in bios. My wifes PC was configured that way, that it tried to boot from every disc, cd, usb-stick or memory-card. If there was a memory-card in the card reader, then it showed the same behavior that you describe.

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