How to Fix PC Not Booting Up? (18 Methods)

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How to Fix PC Not Booting Up

There may be times when your computer will simply not boot up no matter which way you try. This can be really frustrating for any user.

However, in case you didn’t know, such types of issues are common and can be resolved by any user with some simple and basic troubleshooting and by making some changes in the settings. Read on for further guidance.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • There are lots of reasons for a PC not to boot up, which involve everything from hardware and software issues to the connected peripherals.
  • Just as the reasons, there is also an equally large number of simple and complex fixes to this issue like checking power, using safe mode and more.
  • Booting to the Command Prompt interface or reassigning the drive letter may resolve the issue.
  • Disabling the Fast Boot function or Windows 10 Bootloader may also fix the problem.
  • Using a factory reset, repair updates and a reliable third-party utility may also resolve this issue.

What Causes a PC Not to Boot Up?

A PC may not boot up for several reasons, but usually it is due to the issues existing in computer hardware and software. This can be even more profound, especially if these are third-party products. It may also happen when you enable secure boot.

Some other good reasons for a PC not booting up in Windows are:

  • There may be issues with the BIOS or Basic Input Output System settings.
  • There may be issues in the browser.
  • You may need to clear the cache, cookies and browsing data.
  • The motherboard may be bad, which is indicated by beeps or in-screen messages when you start your PC.
  • Specific functions, such as Fast Boot and Windows Bootloader, may also prevent the system from booting, which can be resolved by disabling them.
  • The RAM may be improperly seated, faulty, and non-supportive, needing replacement or it may need cleaning and resetting.
  • There may be issues with the power supply to the PC, either from the Power Supply Unit (PSU) or the mains, due to damaged or broken cables, wires, and ports.
  • The small Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS battery inside the PC may have failed and may not be able to retain the boot settings, needing resetting or replacement.
  • Though rare, such issues may also be caused by the Central Processing Unit (CPU) or the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) due to overheating or other similar reasons.
  • Operating system failure due to corrupted or missing files and malware may also result in no boot.
  • The connection between the memory module or the video card and the motherboard can often prevent the PC from booting up.
  • In the case of a laptop computer, the issue may be with the battery.
  • If the computer fails to boot up with XMP or Extreme Memory Profile it is due to improper tuning or incompatible frequency, which must be fixed manually.

And, sometimes, your Windows or Mac may not boot up when you use YouTube and play videos or sound. This may happen because:

  • The software installed may not include the required codec.
  • The particular file you are trying to open may be corrupted.
  • The network conditions may not be set properly.
  • The internet connection may not be fast, stable or strong, thereby causing a temporary network issue.

Also, if you are getting a black screen after booting, apart from the general causes, the issues can be caused by the display monitor itself due to the following reasons as well:

  • The monitor may be faulty.
  • The MS Configuration settings may be improper.
  • The projection settings may be incorrect and need to be rectified.
  • There may be issues with the Boot Configuration Data or BCD store.
  • The internal components can be faulty.
  • The display adapter driver may need an update.
  • The recent installations and system updates may not be supportive.

Many a time, a computer may not boot up from a USB for the following reasons:

  • The USB drive may be faulty, damaged or corrupted and needs replacement or assignment of a drive letter.
  • The driver settings may be improper and need resetting if you want to boot with them.
  • The drive may be formatted in an unrecognizable file system, which requires reformatting it correctly.
  • The drive may be an older version, such as 1.0 or 2.0, which is not supported by Windows 10 or higher.

Well, if you experience such a situation when your PC does not boot, takes a long time to boot, displays black screen, does not play YouTube videos, keep your cool and try first to deduce the reasons for this potentially serious issue with your PC.

Once you find it, it will be easy to fix the problem by following one or more of the below-mentioned solutions.

How to Fix a PC Not Booting Up?

How to Fix PC Not Booting Up

In order to fix the bootup issue, start with the basic checks involving the power supply, cables, and ports and replace them if necessary.

Also, starting Windows in Safe Mode, disabling the Fast Mode feature, unplugging USB and other peripheral devices are some common fixes to this issue.

Some complex fixes include performing an automatic repair, fixing memory errors, updating drivers, and more for Windows or Mac computers. Here is the complete list of solutions for a PC that is not booting up.

Most of these solutions are applicable for any situation, but there are a few specific ones as well that are mentioned in this article.

Method 1: POST Checks

Many a time, simple power issues can interfere or prevent POST, or Power On Self Test, which typically refers to a set of self-diagnostic tests a Windows or Mac computer system runs when you power it on to boot up as normal.

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Therefore, checking whether or not POST is encountering a problem is the first step.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Check that the power cables are connected properly and tightly.

PC power cable

  • Check that the power switch and lights are on.
  • Check the fan or fans. They should be spinning.

Check the PC fan

If the other two are fine but the fans are not, overheating of the multiple protection circuits on the motherboard may cause a bootup issue.

If you hear any beep sound or a set of beeps when you turn on your PC, it indicates an issue with the motherboard. Check the motherboard manual for the meaning of the beep code and identify the issue to work accordingly.

Method 2: Hardware Checks

Sometimes, recent replacements of hardware components in a PC may cause issues during normal bootup, especially if these are not seated properly. Therefore, check all of them.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Remove each of them one by one, for example, the hard disk, check them, and reseat them properly.

Remove hard disk

  • Check all the connections, both inside and outside, to ensure they are in the right spots and pull them gently to see whether or not they are secured tightly.

Check all the connections

  • Finally, if you are using an old computer with a BIOS chip on the motherboard, check that it has not become loose over time.

BIOS chip on the motherboard

Method 3: Checking for Memory Errors

Memory error, a bad module, or improper installation is one common cause for a computer to not boot up normally. So, check the RAM, ordinary or XMP, to fix the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Unclip and take the memory sticks out one by one from the RAM slots.

Unclip and take the memory sticks

  • Clean each of these sticks separately and nicely using any standard eraser.

Clean memory Stick

  • Press to reinstall them one by one and boot up.

reinstall memory sticks

Sometimes, if you are using multiple RAM sticks, one of them may be dead, bad or incompatible with the motherboard. You will need to discard it and replace it with a new one.

However, if one memory works in one slot and not in the other, it indicates an issue with the motherboard.

Method 4: Boot Up in Safe Mode

There may be times when your PC will POST but will not boot up afterwards. In such a situation, it is best to boot it up in Safe Mode so that it boots up using minimal software.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Turn your PC on.
  • Continue pressing the F8 key on your keyboard at the same time.

pressing the F8 key

If it starts up successfully, there may be issues in the software or driver. In that case, you will get images like this:

Diagnosing your PC

Method 5: System Restore

Several files and software programs are there in your computer and you may not know which one is hindering the system from booting up normally. Therefore, the best way to fix the issue is to perform a System Restore.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on Advanced Options when you get to this Automatic Repair screen.

Automatic Repair screen

  • Go to Troubleshoot.

Go to Troubleshoot

  • Go to Advanced Options

Go to Advanced Options

  • On the Advanced Options window, click on System Restore.

click on System Restore

  • When the System Restore window appears. Click on the Next button.

If you have already restored your system earlier, the next window will give you the option to choose a specific restore point before which you want to restore the system.

  • Click on the Next button.
  • Click on Yes on the confirmation window.

It will take some time. Once it is done, click on the restart button when the window saying ‘System Restore completed successfully’ pops up.

If you do not have any such restore points, you can cancel and go back to the earlier menu, and follow the next method.

Method 6: Restore Registry from RegBack

The RegBack involves the useful folder in Windows that backs up the registry automatically. It is necessary to recover the registry in case it is corrupted, which will cause issues in boot up and not get to the desktop.

Typically, the Windows directory should be C Drive and in a System32 folder. It may get changed and reside on the D Drive which may cause such an issue.

Therefore, restoring the registry from RegBack by enabling the feature will put it back in place and resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Command Prompt

Go to Command Prompt

  • Type in c colon (c:) and then dir

Type in c colon

  • Check whether the Windows directory is there
  • If not, go back and type in d colon (d:) and then type dir

It will be there and now you will need to change it by writing the command – cd d:\windows\system32 and pressing Enter.

cd d:\windows\system32

You can then make the necessary changes to the operating system.

Now you will need to create a backup of the config folder. You can give any name to it, say configBak.

  • Type in the command – mkdir configBak
  • Next, type in the command – copy config configBak

copy config configBak

Everything that was in the config folder is now in the configBak folder as well.

Now, you will need to change the folder and go to the RegBack folder directory that has the uncorrupted registry backups which will help in successful boot up.

  • Type in the command – config\RegBack
  • Type dir after it and Press Enter.

config\RegBack

You should see data beside the folders. If you see zeros beside them, this indicates there is no information in them and cannot be used for system restore.

  • Now, you will have to enter the command – copy * ..\*
  • When asked for confirmation, you should confirm it by typing in

copy * ..\*

This will copy the files and replace the ones in the backup created, which may be corrupted and prevent the bootup process.

  • Close the Command Prompt box off.
  • Click on Turn off the PC.

Turn off the PC

  • Boot it back.

The system will boot back as usual.

Method 7: Cleaning Spyware or Virus

There may be a virus or spyware in your computer system that may prevent it from booting up normally. The obvious fix for it is to clean them up by either performing a quick scan or running different commands in the Run box.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Click on the Up Arrow on the Taskbar.
  • Click on the Windows Security logo.

Click on the Windows Security logo

  • Open Virus and threat protection.

Open Virus and threat protection

  • Click on it to open it.
  • Click on the Quick scan button.
  • Check if the viruses are removed or not.

You may not always see the quick scan button if the antivirus software installed in your system is too good and is efficient and active enough to keep your system virus free. Then you will see something like this:

Virus and threat protection

If the above method does not solve the issue, you will need to use different commands in the run box.

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Run app

  • In the Run box type cleanmgr
  • Click on the OK button
  • Select the drive (usually C) in the new window
  • Click on the OK button again

cleanmgr

  • In the new Disk Cleanup for (C:) window and check all the options
  • Click on the OK button

Disk Cleanup for (C:)

  • Click on Delete files in the new window
  • The Disk Cleaning window will pop up, wait for it to go away

Click on Delete files

Now, you will have to run another command.

  • Go to the Run box again and this time type prefetch
  • Click on the OK button
  • Click on the Continue button in the Prefetch window

prefetch command

  • Select everything you find in the Prefetch window that pops up by pressing the Control and A button together
  • Press the Shift and Delete keys together on your keyboard
  • Press Enter

Prefetch window

  • Skip the files that are not deleted because these are in process

Skip the files

Next, move on to the Tree command.

  • Go to Run once again
  • Type tree on the run box
  • Click on the OK button

Type tree on the run box

All unnecessary files will be deleted in seconds.

In the next step, go back to Run once again.

  • Type temp

Type temp

  • And as before, select everything in the temp folder
  • Press the Shift and Delete keys
  • Press Enter

Again, skip the files that are not deleted.

Now, press Window and R to go back to the run box once again for entering the next command.

  • Type in %temp%
  • Click on the OK button

Type in %temp%

  • Like before, press Ctrl and A keys on your keyboard together to select everything
  • Press Shift and Delete together
  • Hit Enter

Once you are done with all these commands, restart your computer and the issues with booting up will be resolved.

You can also remove viruses from your system by using any reliable third-party software program. These tools are very easy to use. You will simply have to follow these steps:

  • Download and install the antivirus program.
  • Run it.
  • Click on the Scan button or follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Clean the virus found on your computer without booting into Windows.

Remember, the instructions to be followed for different tools may be different.

Method 8: Assigning a Drive Letter

Sometimes, in Windows computers with multiple drives, normal booting may be interrupted due to unnecessary or inappropriate letters assigned to the drives.

Therefore, you should check and assign the correct letter to the drive using Disk Management or the Diskpart command line, where the former is easier and quicker.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Type Disk Management on the Search bar
  • Look down at the drive below the partitions shown
  • Right-click on it
  • Select the Change Drive Letter and Paths option

Change Drive Letter and Paths

  • Select ADD
  • Click on the OK button

Select add and click ok

  • Select and assign a drive letter (usually the one that is not used) from the Add Drive letter or Path window
  • Click on OK
  • Select a new letter from the drop down menu to assign to the drive

dd Drive letter or Path window

  • Click on Yes on the confirmation window when and if asked

You can see the change when you open the PC window.

Alternatively, you can go to the Command Prompt and run the Diskpart command line and change the drive letter to the volumes that are not yet assigned.

run the Diskpart command

When it opens, you will need to run the following commands:

  • list disk
  • select disk X (here, X indicates the disk volume number)
  • list volume
  • select volume Y (here, Y indicates the volume number)
  • remove
  • assign letter # (here, # indicates the new letter you want to assign to the drive)
  • exit

Method 9: Replace Bootloader

Sometimes, the Bootloader utility may interfere with the normal boot up process in Windows. So, in such a situation, it is better to replace it with a Windows iteration.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to the Command Prompt as before
  • Type in the command – bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
  • Restart your PC

Steps to Fix a PC Not Booting to BIOS

Method 10: Restore BIOS Default Settings

The changes made in the BIOS may also create issues in booting up your computer system. So, it is better to restore the BIOS to its default settings.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to BIOS by pressing the power button and the F10, F12, Delete or any other key repeatedly, depending on your computer model.
  • Go to the Exit page
  • Select Load Setup Defaults
  • Click on Yes when the confirmation window pops up.

Load Setup Defaults

Your PC may not boot due to specific BIOS issues. These will need specific actions to resolve the issue.

Method 11: Remove and Replace the CMOS Battery

If there is an issue with the BIOS of your PC, it may interfere with the normal booting up process of the computer as well.

In such a situation, you may need to remove and replace the CMOS battery. This solution often resets the BIOS.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Turn off your PC
  • Disconnect all peripheral devices connected to it via the HDMI, USB and other ports
  • Unplug the power cable
  • Press the power button to drain out any static or residual current
  • Open up the computer case
  • Look for the CMOS battery which is flat and coin-shaped located on the motherboard
  • Press gently on the clip to open and remove it

Look for the CMOS battery

  • Replace the battery properly back in its place after 10/15 minutes

Replace the battery properly back

  • Close up the computer case
  • Plug in every device and the power cord back
  • Start up your PC 20632

You may replace the CMOS battery with a new one if it is pretty old.

Method 12: Disable the Fast Startup Option

Though it is a good utility to have in Windows, the Fast Startup option may also cause significant issues in normal boot up of the computer system.

So, disabling this function is a good way to resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Systems
  • Select Settings
  • Choose Power & sleep from the left panel
  • Click on Additional power settings on the right side

dditional power settings

Alternatively:

Control Panel App

  • Choose Hardware and Sound option

Choose Hardware and Sound option

Then, go to the Power option

  • On the new Power options window, click on ‘Choose what the power button do’ from the left panel

Choose what the power button do

  • On the next window click on ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable,’ usually written in blue at the top
  • Uncheck the box beside ‘Turn on fast startup (recommended)
  • Click on the Save changes button

Change settings that are currently unavailable

Restart your PC and you will now be able to get into the BIOS.

In Windows 11, you may enter the command powercfg.cpl, and the rest of the process is same as Windows 10.

Method 13: Force Shutdown

Sometimes, shutting down the computer using brute force may work, if the normal process does not work.

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STEPS TO FIX:

  • Press the Windows and R keys on your keyboard to open the Run command box

Press the Windows and R keys

  • On the run command box type in shutdown /s
  • Click on the OK button

shutdown /s

  • Click on the Close button on the next window that pops up

This will force shutdown the PC.

Alternatively, as a last resort, you can also do the following:

  • Turn on the computer
  • Hold down the power button on the PC cabinet

This will also turn the PC off.

  • Turn on your PC again
  • Keep pressing the BIOS key

You should get into the BIOS.

Steps to Fix a PC Not Booting from USB

Irrespective of the version of Windows operating system, sometimes, when you try to boot your PC from a removable Universal Serial Bus (USB) drive it may not boot.

Method 14: Using Command Prompt

A PC may not boot from a USB due to corrupted files or unrecognized formatting of the flash drive.

Therefore, making the necessary adjustments, cleaning and formatting the USB drive by using the Command Prompt is the way to go. However, remember to take a proper backup of the files stored on the USB drive because everything on it will be erased.

STEPS TO FIX:

Open Command Prompt as before and run as administrator. Once it opens, you will need to enter the following commands and press Enter after each:

  • diskpart
  • list disk
  • select disk 1 (here 1 is the disk volume number)
  • clean
  • create partition primary
  • select partition 1
  • format fs=fat32 quick (make sure you type quick because normal formatting will take a long time)
  • active
  • assign letter=h (here h is the letter to be assigned, for example)
  • exit

diskpart command

This would fix the problem most of the time. However, it may not at times, and then you will have to copy all the contents of the Windows operating system installation disc to the drive. Make sure a DVD ROM drive is mounted and you know the drive letter of the DVD ROM drive.

For this, you will need to go back to the Command prompt and type the following command and press Enter.

xcopy G:\*.* /s/e/f Z:\ (here G and Z are the respective drive letters)

It will take about 5 minutes to complete, and your USB will be now ready to boot your PC.

Method 15: Changing Boot Device Priority in BIOS

Typically, a computer system will follow the order of priority while booting. Therefore, if you want your system to boot from USB, you will need to change that order in the BIOS.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Connect your USB drive.
  • Go to the BIOS as before.
  • Go to the Boot page from the Main page using your keyboard arrow keys.
  • Change the Boot Menu Type to Advanced, which will usually be set to Normal.
  • Select the drive.
  • Click the PLUS button a number of times to change the boot order to make it the first boot for your PC.
  • Press Enter.
  • Save and exit from BIOS.

Changing Boot Device Priority in BIOS

  • Restart the PC.

Alternatively, you can also disable the Secure Boot setting in the Boot section of your BIOS and enable Legacy Boot. Save and exit from BIOS, then restart the system to resolve the issue.

Steps to Fix a PC Not Booting Black Screen

Apart from the above methods, in case of black screen on booting specifically, there is another easy fix.

Method 16: Changing the USB Port

Many times, the USB port may be faulty, which may cause such an issue, provided the operating system has not crashed.

Therefore, changing the port from one to another will resolve the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Turn the PC off.
  • Remove the cover of the case.
  • Remove the connector for video and leave the audio connector.
  • Start the system.
  • If you see any change then the operating system is good.
  • Turn the system off again.
  • Check the connector plug-in arrangement.
  • Now plug in the connector into a different port.

Changing the USB Port

  • Start the PC.

You will now be able to see images on the screen.

Steps to Fix a PC Not Booting after Secure Boot

If the system does not boot after enabling Secure Boot, you can follow this particular step.

Method 17: Change MBR Partition to GPT

Often, a drive partition in MBR or Master Boot Record will not boot a system after Secure Boot. In that case, you will need to convert it to GPT or Globally Unique Identifier (GUID) Partition Table.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Go to Command Prompt as before and run as administrator
  • Type in Diskpart
  • Type select disk 2 (if 2 is the disk volume you want to convert)
  • Type convert gpt

Alternatively, you can use a different command for it as well, which is mbr2gpt /convert /allowfullos. The system will do the rest.

Your disk will be converted successfully. Finally, you will need to switch the firmware to boot to UEFI.

mbr2gpt /convert /allowfullos

Steps to Fix a PC Not Booting with Two RAM Sticks

If you have two RAM sticks in your PC, sometimes the system will not boot due to issues with the RAM sticks, RAM slots, or in any other component, the processor in particular.

In such a situation, identifying the cause and taking action accordingly will prove to be useful.

Method 18: Checking RAM Slots and CPU Pins

Faulty RAM sticks or RAM slots or bent pins in the processor location may prevent the PC from reading the RAM properly and hence not boot up or show no display.

Apart from cleaning the RAM as mentioned in Method 3 above, you should also check the RAM slots and the processor to identify the root cause. Sometimes, simple tweaks can fix the issue.

STEPS TO FIX:

  • Open the motherboard to check the issue
  • Switch it on and check whether the reading on the indicator changes

reading on the indicator changes

  • Check the same RAM by changing the RAM slot

Check the same RAM by changing the RAM slot

  • Try the same with another RAM stick on both the slots

Try the same with another RAM stick on both the slots

  • Now that you know which RAM slot is defective, clean the slot with a cleaning solution and a brush

clean the slot

  • Check whether both slots are working or not

If not, you will need to open the CPU.

Remove the CPU fan

  • Unlock the CPU lock

Unlock the CPU lock

  • Remove the CPU

Remove the CPU

  • Check the bent or missing pins in the arrangement very minutely

Check the bent or missing pins

  • Adjust them very gently

Adjust pins very gently

  • Clean the pins with a cleaning solution and a simple air blower

Clean the pins with a cleaning solution

  • Clean the controllers

Clean the controllers

  • Replace the CPU and the fan
  • Check the RAM on both the slots.

The issue should be resolved and your PC will boot up with two RAM sticks now. If there are any signs of burns in the RAM slot or slots, you will then need to replace the motherboard.

Conclusion

So, as you can see, there are several reasons for a PC not to boot up, and for that reason you do not have to think that your system is dead and needs a complete replacement.

Now that you know more than a couple of easy fixes for diverse situations, you may try one or a couple of them and fix the issue on your own.

About Taylor

AvatarTaylor S. Irwin is a freelance technology writer with in-depth knowledge about computers. She has an understanding of hardware and technology gained through over 10 years of experience.

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