laptop won't boot - blue screen or black screen


Aug 18, 2013
I've had major problems with one of the kid's laptops. It started blue-screening daily and generally running incredibly slowly (e.g 15 actual minutes to launch minecraft, that kind of thing) so I wanted to format the HDD and start from scratch.

Did the format, did the 150+ updates, it was back to basic full windows 8.1 installation, then it started blue-screening again. Did a full format once again, this time installed windows 8, did all the updates again (but not 8.1) and again at the end of the process it was blue-screening again.

I bought a new HDD, installed win 8.1 from disk, did all the updates, more blue-screening. At this point I'd want to run the memory diagnostic utility, but the laptop is basically dead. I still have both the HDDs, both are fully formatted (formatted in another machine), and Windows 8 and 8.1 installation CDs.

Now with one of the HDDs, I switch the laptop on and it just sits on a totally black screen with a flashing white cursor at the top-left corner (but not a command prompt, I can't type anything there). Pressing any key or any usual combination of keys (ctrl+alt+delete, F8, etc) has no effect at all. It never goes to the BIOS or does anything at all.

With the other HDD, I switch the laptop on and it goes to a blue Windows Recovery screen which says there is a system error with a missing or corrupt file (the HDD has been totally formatted in another machine, not a quick format but a full one that takes hours). It gives the option to press F8 for recovery or enter to try again, pressing either of these just makes the screen flicker, then go back to the same blue screen.

Please, can anyone offer any advice or assistance?!

cTs Corvette

Aug 17, 2011
Download and burn a copy of the "ultimate boot CD" and do the memory diagnostic from it. Leave the HDD's disconnected, you don't need one to run the test. If there's no memory errors, I would suspect a motherboard issue.


Jun 19, 2007

It seems your battery just give up.
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