Have you added any hardware lately? (memory, printer, camera etc) Installing the wrong software can cause this issue. If you installed memory make sure is correct, incompatible memory causes these issues. Check your harddrive is it making unusual "clicking" noises?
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That cursor indicated that the BIOS can't find an Windows installed on the hdd. Since even the recovery partition appears to be inaccessible the only thing left is to reinstall it using the recovery cd that should have come with it when you bought it If you don't have it you can order it from Dell.
If you are having just a blingking cursor on boot up you must check if there is a disc inside the disc tray, or kindly check as well if there is a USB flash drive plug in on your computer and if there is any please remove them while your computer boots up as your computer might boot from it and it may cause just blingking cursor.
If there is no disc or USB flash drive installed, what you can try is to boot your computer in safemode and perform a system restore. Atleast restore back your computer 2 to 3 days back before this problem happen.
To perform safemode:
- turn off computer
- press the power the botton and after 2 sec tap F8 repeteadly until you see all the safemode options
- select safemode with networking/safemode use the arrow keys to highlight it then press enter
- computer will automatically boot into safemode desktop.
To perform system restore:
- click start > all programs > accessories > system tools > system restore
- click next then select desired date then follow the on screen instructions
- once system restore is done it will automatically restart and boot your computer in normal mode.
when it boots to a flashing cursor in the top left corner and everything else it working, this means that it is NOT finding the operating system on the hard drive, many times due to boot sector issues.
Make sure you set your hard drive to main or first startup device.
Take out the hard drive completely and then see if you hear the clicking noise, if you do then that means the hard drive is bad. Also if it goes right to another message and you don't see the blinking cursor then that also verifies that the hard drive was bad and causing the system to hang.