I'm having some problems booting my machine (Samsung NP300 (e5a) laptop). I've had problems with windows before, so this is not what's worrying me. What's worrying me is that when I turn it on, and press F2 to access the BIOS (it's labelled 'setup'), I don't get anywhere. I am left with a black screeen with one unblinking cursor in the top left corner. What might cause be to not be able to access it?

The problem started when windows was updating windows 10. The update was interrupted mid way through (power button held down), and since then I've been unable to get onto windows. (Obviously I'll never do this again.)

More symptoms:

  • When trying a normal boot (not trying to access BIOS) I just get a black screen, and the backlight flashes on and off every couple of seconds.
  • When trying to boot off my windows 8 recovery USB, I get a blue page saying "The BCD file doesn't contain valid information for an operating system". "You'll need to use recovery media" which is odd, since that is the recovery media/
  • When booting of a windows 7 recovery CD (the laptop was once on windows 7), no operating system shows in the system recovery options box, and on opening a command prompt, no C: drive shows up.
  • When booting gparted live from a CD, the windows partition shows with a warning triangle, but a 'check and repair' command fails.

Is it new hard drive time? Thanks for any time


I had a similar problem once, and was able to get back on top by finding a live cd linux distro with an install from desktop option. With a working os installed, i had boot access to my hdd and was able to repair my windows installation. If you have extra space on hdd, and don't mind having a dual boot scenario, then this could be a valid option for you. Once windows is running again, you can resize the windows partition to get most of your space back from your linux partition...i left mine there, and took the chance to learn a bit more about using the newer, more user friendly linux distros. I am sure there is a real solution, but this could be a viable workaround for you. Good luck.

| improve this answer | |
  • That sounds like a good place to start, cheers – ACarter Dec 1 '14 at 15:10
  • Let me know how that works out for you. – jason C Dec 1 '14 at 15:58

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