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When powering up the Toshiba Satellite (C655-S5225) laptop, which is running Win 7 Home Premium, one sees the BIOS screen and then, almost immediately, you get a black screen with a cursor blinking on the upper left hand side.

The BIOS options (Setup and Boot Device Selection) work and the settings seem to be OK (HD recognized in BIOS, HD selected for boot, SATA mode OK, etc.).

I've run multiple test scripts (HD, RAM, system board, etc.) from Ultra X's QuickTech and the hardware seems to be fine. Based on this Superuser question I've booted the laptop with and without [only AC power] the battery, with no difference. As well, following this disassembly guide the CMOS battery was removed, and after a short wait replaced (in an attempt to clear the motherboard). Upon a reboot the BIOS remarked on the battery removal, but the boot to the blinking cursor behavior continued. All of this leads me to suspect a software issue (but see Q2).

  1. Is there a specific hardware issue I should be looking for?

  2. In terms of software issues, it seems it's not booting into Windows at all, but immediately after the BIOS boots it hangs to the cursor. What should be looked at from the software angle that could cause this?

  3. I was wondering if it was safe to delete the Hiberfil.sys file (e.g. using a LiveCD), or if deleting it without first turning off Hibernation in Windows (a step that can't be done as long as it doesn't boot into Windows) can actually cause a boot issue of its own?

Thanks!

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Is this an MBR or GPT boot partition? I have seen this with malfunctioning GPT partitions. I would attempt a repair install... –  Kyle May 7 '12 at 19:24
    
@Kyle - How can I ascertain the boot partition type? I'm trying to diagnose the cause and to avoid a repair install. –  ssvarc May 7 '12 at 19:39
    
Make sure you try disconnecting any peripherals before booting. Have you changed any bios settings? Have you tried booting from your windows install CD - After the location/language selection screen you can select "repair my pc - select recovery tools - then you can select "starup repair" - It won't make any changes until you select "starup repair". –  BJ292 May 7 '12 at 19:57
    
@BJ292 - There are no peripherals plugged into the laptop, and no BIOS settings were changed. As I wrote in the question, "The BIOS options (Setup and Boot Device Selection) work and the settings seem to be OK". –  ssvarc May 7 '12 at 20:00

1 Answer 1

I had a similar problem with an MSI all-in-one PC. After a few weeks of working fine, it stopped booting. No OS boot, instead blinking cursor. Tested the HDD in an external drive, checked everything I could. Booted from CD, ran memory and HDD checks.

Turned out the pre-installed S-ATA cable that was installed was faulty. I exchanged the cable and the computer hasn't hung on boot in 2 months now.

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