On Wednesday the 11th, I shut down via the shut down option, on my laptop as I use it for work purposes, and left for the day. I went to turn on the laptop that Thursday morning, to see that upon boot, my laptop went to the purple Ubuntu screen with the dots underneath it, and then stalls with a black screen and blinking cursor in the top left corner.

At first, I figured it was because I had accidentally forgotten the external hard drive was still plugged into my laptop. So I pulled out my external hard drive and alt+sysrq+reisub and rebooted my laptop. Nothing, it still went to the Black Screen with Blinking Cursor in the top left corner.

I tried rebooting with the GRUB and a previous version of Ubuntu, and a newer version of Ubuntu, and nothing still. This is my work laptop and I need that information that is on there! I just don't know what happened as I'm still a beginner.

If anyone is out there please let me know. One thing, will ubuntu stop loading if my memory is low? I have an email I back up every month because of the fact I work in an ad agency and I get so many pdf proofs, invoices, sound clips and movie clips, that I have to back up that information monthly for it to not eat my memory. Being December, my email traffic increases with the increased deadlines. Does that have something to do with it?

Edit: Here's a list of what happens when I boot, I have it starred where the black screen and blinking cursor falls. Where I got this from, that advice didn't work.

  1. bios screen
  2. Black with blinking cursor (short). Disk activity LEDs blink and flicker.
  3. Purple without cursor (long)
  4. Boot splash graphic (via plymouth)
  5. Black screen (short) Backlight may go off at this point.
  6. Maybe more plymouth
  7. Login screen. Sound (e.g. drums) plays

Thank you in advanced,


  • 2
    I don't know how to solve your issue but as an emergency measure I'd suggest to boot from a LiveUSB and get your important data from the HDD. On the other side the problem might lay on faulty RAM modules, so try with some other RAM modules (if you have them handy). – user123492 Dec 18 '13 at 16:26

You mentioned that you think your computer may have run out of memory. I assume that you mean disk space, and not RAM, Random Access Memory.

If you haven't encrypted your disk/data, you can boot up your computer with a live-cd, with ubuntu for example, and then you copy all of your files to another hardrive. If you don't know what I mean, search for live-cd on Google. Please respond if it worked out for you, and mark the answer as accepted. If it didn't work for you, then add it in your question, and I will try to help you.

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