Solved: Blank (blinking cursor) on boot attempt.

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Mike_Duffy
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Solved: Blank (blinking cursor) on boot attempt.

Post by Mike_Duffy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 11:47 am

I have a USB printer with a slot for SD memory (Brother MFC-240C). It turns out that if the slot is empty, my laptop (Sony VIAO VPCEB37FD) hangs indefinitely (black screen with UL blinking underline cursor) when the BIOS is set to boot from "External Device".

If it has a bootable image, the PC will boot from the printer at USB 1 speed.

If it has a valid but non-bootable disk image, the BIOS goes ahead and tries the next USB device, etc.

If it has the first few sectors zeroed, it says "Remove any disks and hit any key to reboot", but you don't need to remove the stick. Pressing any key will make it move on to try the next USB device.

It took me way longer to diagnose this problem than it should have; that is why I am posting this.

BTW, I am new here. You people are very helpful. I found out how to install the printer & scanner drivers for that thing fairly easily. Everything else was detected okay by the Mint install from CD-ROM.

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jimallyn
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Re: Solved: Blank (blinking cursor) on boot attempt.

Post by jimallyn » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:12 pm

Welcome to the Mint forums, Mike_Duffy! Where do you want the computer to boot from? If from the hard drive, then set that as first boot device (in the BIOS setup). If you want it to boot from a USB device, I'm not sure how to tell it which USB device to boot from.
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Mike_Duffy
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Re: Solved: Blank (blinking cursor) on boot attempt.

Post by Mike_Duffy » Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:15 pm

There is no way to prioritize the USB devices. It will boot the first bootable system it finds. I'm not sure if boot order is deterministic. To prevent the need to go into the BIOS to choose boot device on each boot, it is set up CD-ROM, then USB, then HDD. So I close the drive bay to boot from CD-ROM, otherwise Mint gets booted from the USB, which gives me the choice (with GRUB) to boot Win7 from HDD. It will boot Win7 as well if I just remove the USB key and eject the CD-ROM before boot.

The point of the original post was that the printer, if connected, *MUST* have a mem stick it can read (slow & smallish) in the slot or it will hang.

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