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Old 11-03-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Registered: Nov 2009
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Black screen and flashing cursor after start; Ubuntu 9.10 not loading


I have this problem with Ubuntu 9.10:

In about 50-60% of cases, when I start my computer, instead of starting Ubuntu 9.10, there is just black screen, in left top corner a flashing cursor and nothing happens. Otherwise everything runs fine. Previously to Ubuntu I used Win 7 Ultimate for 30 days and this problem never occured. Any help or assistance?

Computer: HP Probook 4510s; Intel Core2Duo; 4 GB RAM; 512 MB ATI Radeon Graphics
OS: Ubuntu 9.10 (as only operating system)

Thank you very much,

Old 11-04-2009, 08:57 AM   #2
Registered: Oct 2009
Location: England
Distribution: Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Debian, Proxmox.
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This means your X (the graohical environment) is somehow broken. Either it needs configuration, or you don't have the right drivers. It would help if you knew the exact name of the graphics chip, then google that along with 'linux'.
Old 11-04-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
tur third
Registered: Jun 2005
Location: Surrey, UK
Distribution: Ubuntu 10.04, 10.10
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Usually your pc will go through the hardware start up sequence, then it will launch linux using a bootloader. In Ubuntu's case this is done using software called 'Grub'.

I think there have been some posts about problems with the version of Grub and 9.10. This could be the cause, as it sounds to me that sometimes Grub is not starting?
Old 11-04-2009, 12:35 PM   #4
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Thanks to both of you, I'll take a closer look at it. Last two days it booted properly, so maybe it was something with the drivers and by some update (which I install every time Ubuntu asks me to do so) it was repaired. I'll wait and see.
Old 01-04-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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Location: Tbilisi
Distribution: Ubuntu 14.04
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I have same HP ProBook 4510s but dual boot: Ubuntu 9.10 & XP. (but it came with Suse Linux installed).
When I try to load Ubuntu 9.10 in normal mode I get same "flashing cursor" on clear text mode screen most of the times. But sometimes it loads normally.

I do not think it is GRUB issue cos If you choose Recovery Mode from GRUB boot options, you will always see linux booting and outputting some lines in console.
These lines show initializations of some devices like ATI, some USB devices and others, and then at some moment it just stops. Every time it stops, last lines of logs are different. So cannot say which device is halting boot or if it is device issue at all.
If I select XP from GRUP there are no problems.

So the problem happens sometimes. I think more often then 50%-60%

This notebook has some strange (for me) security settings in BIOS, like owner tags, and strange protection system. Can such things be reason?

Also usually when I install XP and then ubuntu 9.10 it sets up GRUB to have timer for automatic load. On this notebook after installation there was no timer in GRUB, instead it just show boot options and then waited for user. After running all updates it corrected timer though.
Old 01-04-2010, 09:30 AM   #6
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Here are some BIOS pages.
boot options
Device Configurations
Built-in Device Otions
It also has one very long screen in BIOS called Set Security Level which defines some unknown settings. I could not find any info about this page in doc that come with notebook

There is HP application in windows called 3D DriveGuard. Here's it's description:
HP 3D DriveGuard is a feature on this computer and is only compatible with Microsoft Windows operating systems. 3D DriveGuard protects the hard drive by parking the drive and halting I/O requests when you either drop the computer, or move the computer withe the display closed while computer is running on battery power.
This means that it has accelerometers to sense movements and drops.
Is it possible that Ubuntu 9.10 has driver for this sensor and it is buggy or sensor noise is to hight for that driver and as soon as it loads it randomly blocks hard drive?
Well I know it sounds too fantastic but I am already thinking on everything...


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