The computer will not boot. Troubleshooting starting a PC on a PC can be very difficult because there are many factors, including software and hardware. Determining where to start with a quick diagnosis will save you a lot of time fixing the problem.

Instructions to fix the computer that does not start

1. Try turning on the computer. The first step is to determine what you need to do to turn on your computer.

2. Do the following based on what happens.

  • No Response – Click here if you can’t hear any sound starting and can’t see anything on the screen, or the computer boots up for a while and then freezes or shuts down.
  • Beep Code or POST Error Message – Click here if your computer does not pass POST (Power On Self Test). This’s usually indicated by a lack of beep and an error message or series of beeps to show an error code.
  • Operating system not found or BOOTMGR is missing – Click here if your computer completes the boot sequence, but Windows fails to load.

Method 1: The computer has no response

Check the power cable. It seems simple enough, but double-check that the power cable is plugged in and that the outlet is working.

  • Plug the computer directly into the wall to see if your surge protector or power strip is the cause of the problem.
  • If you are using a laptop computer, make sure the adapter is securely connected.

Remove the battery of your laptop and connect the power adapter. You can run your laptop with no batteries inserted as long as you are plugged into the mains. If your laptop turns on when the battery is removed, something goes wrong with the battery, and you should contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

Try another monitor. If your computer boots up but you can’t see anything, there might be something wrong with your monitor. Recheck your monitor’s connection and try plugging in another monitor if possible.

Open the computer. To test the internal connection and to test the power supply, you need to open the box. Click here for detailed instructions.

  • Remember to hand yourself with an antistatic armband or touch the felt metal of the case before touching any of the internal components.

Check your power cables. Ensure the cable that connects your power supply (power cable junction box) to your motherboard is securely fastened.

Check out your energy supply. Old supplies tend to fail, but testing them is a relatively simple process. The power supply is the most common cause of problems with your computer’s boot sequence.

Replace your power supply. If your power supply is not working after the test, you may need to replace it for your computer to work again.

Check for loose screws. If a screw is lost in your case, it may cause your motherboard to turn off. Gently turn your case back and forth and listen for a metallic screech. Either use your fingers or a pair of long tweezers to remove screws from the case.

  • Look for any cables that have lost their protective coating, as exposed conductors can cause shortening. Replace any wires that have deteriorated too much.

Method 2: Fix the POST problem

Hear the beep code. If you are “lucky”, your computer will issue a series of beeps when it is not turned on. Find your motherboard manufacturer and look for beep translations. Knowing what the code means will make problem tracking much more comfortable.

  • Beep codes are unfortunately different for each manufacturer, so you’ll need to look for them yourself.

Try opening your BIOS. If possible, try entering the BIOS setup menu as soon as the computer boots. Typical BIOS setup keys include F2, F10, F11, and Del.

Check if all of your hardware is detected. Your BIOS will show all of your connected hardware in the MONITOR, HARDWARE, or SYSTEM section. Check that your hard drive is being displayed correctly.

  • If your hard drive is not showing up, try replacing the cable inside the computer.

Open the computer. To test the different components inside the computer, you need to open the case. Unplug everything from the back and remove the side panels to access internal parts.

  • Remember to hand yourself with an antistatic armband or touch the felt metal of the case before touching any of the internal components.

Reseat all your ingredients. Open your computer and reconnect your graphics card, RAM modules, and all of your cable connections. If anything is lost, there is a chance that it breaks the POST sequence.

  • You could also try using your processor, but this is usually a more challenging job and may not cause the problem. It also increases the chance of damaging the processor, rendering your computer inactive ultimately.

Check your RAM modules. There is a chance that a bad memory module is causing your computer to fail to boot. Try removing the memory modules one at a time and starting the computer to isolate a bad memory stick.

  • You can run a utility like Memtest86 to help determine which of your memory modules has failed.

Try removing your graphics card. If you have a dedicated graphics card, try removing it and plugging the monitor into the motherboard’s display connection. Damaged graphics cards can prevent your computer from starting.

Remove all unnecessary hardware. Try starting your computer with only the most basic hardware attached. This means disconnecting the graphics card, additional drives, PCI expansion cards, and extra RAM. After you’ve removed everything, try turning on your computer.

  • If your computer works with only the essential hardware installed, add the pieces one at a time, checking each time to see where the problem lies.
  • If you still can’t pass POST with your essential hardware, then you need to swap out the necessary hardware for spare parts, take your computer to a repair shop or upgrade to a new one.

Method 3: Fix Windows startup problems

Open the Advanced Startup menu. If you’re having trouble loading Windows, you can try to fix the problem using Startup Repair. This is accessible from the Advanced Startup menu if you are using Windows 7 or later. If you are using Windows Vista or XP, you need to boot from the installation disc to access the Startup Repair tools.

  • You can open the Advanced Startup menu by pressing F8 as the computer boots.
  • If you are unable to access the Advanced Boot menu, you may have problems with your hardware. See the sections above for troubleshooting startup problems.

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Select “Repair Your Computer” or “Launch Startup Repair”. You will have to wait a few minutes while downloading the required files.

Sign in with your administrator account. You will be prompted to log in before you can begin the repair process.

Select “Startup Repair”. Windows will scan for boot-up problems and will try to fix it automatically. Your computer will probably restart during this process, possibly multiple times.

  • If Startup Repair fixes something, you should run it at least two more times before starting it up usually. Maybe it will fix something else when it starts again.

Perform a “System Restore” if Startup Repair failed. Startup Repair may suggest performing a System Restore, or you can select it from the Main Repair menu. System Restore will provide several days that you can try again.

  • Always try the most recent available date first, and scroll backward until you find a working restore point.

Reinstall Windows. If the repair option works, your only remaining option might be to reinstall Windows. This will erase everything on the hard drive, so it’s only recommended as a last resort.