PC Boots to Flashing Cursor (and etc.)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Danley, Nov 9, 2014.

  1. Danley macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2014
    So I'm pretty new to this forum, don't know if this is a flame-worthy topic or too OT for the OT room...

    I bought my Macbook Air after my already aged Win 7 PC started Blue Screening and freezing randomly... Now that I have something secure that I've replaced it with, I'm interested in looking into the feasibility of fixing/using that PC as a living room Netflix machine.

    I feel like I may have one or more major hardware issues, as the blue screening has been replaced with:

    -Boots directly to a flashing cursor (no Bios screen, and can't access by pressing F-whatever)
    -Only outputs video at all if I hold the power button down for 30 seconds prior to turning the machine (unplugged)
    -Boots the first few seconds of an install disc for Ubuntu, but then switches to flashy cursor mode again

    So I'm thinking it might be the motherboard, as no Bios is visible... But then wouldn't it not know to access the CD when I try to install Ubuntu? Or is this sounding more HD oriented?

    It's a five year old Compaq desktop with an ancient spec motherboard and some sort of old AMD processor, but I'd rather make it somewhat useful than see it go to waste.

    Thanks for any help.
  2. Southern Dad macrumors 68000

    Southern Dad

    May 23, 2010
    Shady Dale, Georgia
    Swing by the Apple Store. Bring a credit card. You can go MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, either way you'll be far happier.
  3. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    If it were an HDD issue, you'd get a boot disk failure warning from the bios, and still be able to boot off your Ubuntu CD.

    It could very well be your motherboard flaking out, but I'd only assume that as the last resort. My first and primary guess would be that you've got a power supply issue, and probably need a new one. This one's kinda hard to troubleshoot. You could take it apart and check for swollen capacitors in the PSU itself. That's about the easiest way to tell if one's bad without extra equipment.

    But if everything looks good in there, you'll have to buy that extra equipment I mentioned. something like this, which, fortunately, isn't too expensive. All you do is plug it in, and see if everything lights up green. They're not 100% accurate, but considering that the problems you're having sound pretty severe, I'm thinking this is all you'll need to verify a problem.

    The third and most direct option is buying a new one, plugging it in, and seeing what happens. If it works, it was your PSU. If it doesn't, it's something else.

    Oh, and the swollen capacitors I mentioned above? You can check the motherboard for those while you're rooting around in the thing.

    My second guess, and this one's a bit of an outlier, would be a ram issue. If you've got two sticks in your machine, take the stick out of the second bank, then reboot your computer. If that doesn't work, swap the ram you had in the second bank into the first, and try it again. You might luck out, and that'll be all it takes to fix your problem.

    It's a lot of work, but if you really, really, really want to save your computer, these would be the first steps I'd take.
  4. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    He already did that. He simply doesn't want to waste a computer. ;)

  5. Danley thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2014
    Nice, good suggestions, I'll make a trip to Fry's and see what happens :D
  6. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    It does sound like a RAM issue. I would try replacing that first before wasting your time which anything else.

    I'm pretty sure you already checked, but make sure all connections are good. Also make sure RAM slots are dust free.
  7. Huntn macrumors P6


    May 5, 2008
    The Misty Mountains
    He's asking about his PC, already has a new Mac replacement.

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