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View Full Version : Black screen of death has me puzzled



Aceag
11-19-2011, 04:30 PM
I am new here, so I figured I might be able to find some help. The issue at hand is that my girlfriends Dell laptop running off of XP goes to a black screen with a backslash on startup (the backslash flashes violently). There is also no cursor present. We tried to go in through safe mode but it won't even let us go to that screen, Is there anyways to do a MBR format from here (She doesn't have the original disks)? We can't type anything and every time we try to it just beeps, when we tried the safe mode it also beeped. Ventilation on the system is working as good as ever. Any answers are VERY appreciated.

mjc
11-19-2011, 04:57 PM
What model Dell?

Can you get to the BIOS setup screen?

Aceag
11-19-2011, 06:04 PM
What model Dell?

Can you get to the BIOS setup screen?

I don't know the model, she just left, I can call and ask her but we can't access anything. My friend has an extra copy of XP I was going to try to re install that or upgrade it to 7, do you think that might work?

mjc
11-19-2011, 10:03 PM
If you can't access the BIOS, the problem is BEFORE Windows even loads...which means it's likely to be hardware.

If it has a removable Wi-Fi card, pull it out. Pull out the DVD drive and for the time being, pull the hard drive and the memory sticks. It should, if it is going to do anything, beep at you and flash something on the screen about no memory or something like that.

Paul Komski
11-19-2011, 10:41 PM
We can't type anything and every time we try to it just beeps.

Are these beeps specifically when you hit keyboard keys?

If so the keyboard may well be faulty and need removing - either in isolation of in addition to the removal of other hardware described by mjc in order to detect a hardware culprit.

It's not generally that hard to remove the keyboard but please first tell us which model of Dell you are using and you can then be directed to a service manual or we may be able to help more directly.