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Blank screen blinking underscore Toshiba laptop after startup

\015 I have a Toshiba laptop with Windows XP. I had turned it off normally, then turned it back on a little while later, about ten/fifteen minutes. The Toshiba logo comes on as normal, then it switches to a blank screen with a flashing underscore in the top left corner, and remains like that. This happens every time I turn it on now. I am in serious need of assistance, relating to urgent school work, and I am not that great with the technical side of computers, so assistance would be much appreciated!\015

Answers :

If you can get into the BIOS-setup, verify if your hard drive is recognised as a bootable device and set as first boot device. if the disk is not recognised, you might want to verify if the P-ATA/S-ATA controllers are enabled. if this is all the case, but the problem remains, then your hard disk is probably broken.
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