You turn on your computer by pressing the power button… There is no action.
Even in the worst-case scenario, there is a variety of debugging alternatives available, so don’t worry just yet.
When your computer or laptop won’t turn on, it’s because either the hardware or the software is malfunctioning.
Although determining the root cause of a problem isn’t an exact science, if you troubleshoot systematically, you may eliminate many probable difficulties one by one.
We’ll lead you through the procedures to get a non-starting computer up and running again in this guide.
We’ll also go through when it’s better to seek professional help. If everything else fails, we’ll show you how to get your data back from a dead device.
Before we get started, you should be aware that there are a plethora of reasons why your computer might not boot up.
As a result, locating and resolving the issue frequently necessitates a great deal of trial and error. We may not be able to cover every possible problem.
However, we can point you in the right direction for some of the most prevalent issues.
CHECK FOR PROBLEMS WITH THE HARDWARE
Start by looking for problems with your hardware. First, double-check that your computer is truly turned off.
To shut down the machine, hold down the power button for a few seconds on most makes and models.
Before attempting to turn it back on, unplug all superfluous devices such as printers and scanners to ensure that they aren’t interfering.
Next, check to see if your system is getting enough electricity. If you’re working with a laptop, make sure it’s plugged in and the charging light is on.
Double-check that the display is securely attached to a desktop. Make sure you’re using the power cable that came with your laptop or desktop computer, or that you have an exact replacement if the original broke.
Switch to a spare cable if you have one (or can borrow one) to make sure it’s not the source of the problem.
To turn the machine back on after you’ve turned everything down, press the power button for a few seconds.
If your computer comes to life for a few seconds, it’s most likely due to corrupted software… However, this response does not rule out the possibility of a hardware problem.
So keep an eye out for any messages on the screen that might indicate what’s wrong.
Is there a reason why the pc won’t boot? Is there a problem with the hard disc or another component?
If you don’t get any response when you press the power button, it’s a clue that something is amiss with the hardware.
If you’ve already tried that alternate power cable, it’s time to take it to a local repair shop for a professional evaluation.
Is it possible to pinpoint the hardware problem? We won’t be able to cover every circumstance here.
However, if you have an older computer or have recently moved it around, a component may have been damaged or displaced.
If you’re using a desktop computer, try shutting it down, opening the case, and double-checking all of the connections to and from the motherboard.
However, we only advocate this step if you’re comfortable delving around in the guts of your computer. A professional evaluation is probably preferable for the rest of us.
A failing hard disc is one of the most common reasons for hardware failure.
This could be the cause of weird noises on your computers, such as a persistent disc access sound, a high-pitched whirring, or a warning buzzer.
A notice on the screen indicating disc difficulties could also be pointing to the same problem.
Replacing your hard disc is a job best left to your local repair or retail shop. Even though disc replacement is a reasonably simple process,
It entails detaching the existing drive’s power and data wires and plugging them into the new one.
If you’re not sure what you’re doing, there’s a good chance you’ll make a mistake.
If your computer does wake up for a short time, especially if it gets to the operating system loading screen,
Then you’re more than likely dealing with a software issue. We’ll get to those right away.
MANAGE SOFTWARE PROBLEMS: WINDOWS
When software refuses to let a computer startup, it’s frequently due to data corruption: the system is unable to locate a file that it needs to function properly.
If you’re lucky, a notice on the screen will explain what’s wrong and provide you guidance on what to do next.
If not, you’ll have to go through some troubleshooting procedures to figure out what’s wrong.
The computer on a Windows machine can attempt to repair itself. When Windows 10 fails to start three times in a row, it displays a recovery console named Automatic Repair on the screen.
Click Restart when it appears, and the system will attempt several fixes. This may be sufficient to get you back on your feet.
If you try to start up again after that and go to the Automatic Repair screen instead of the Windows desktop, go to Advanced settings > Startup Settings.
Choose Restart from the drop-down menu, and you’ll be presented with a list of boot-up options. Enable Safe Mode by pressing 4 or F4 on your keyboard.
This will start a stripped-down version of Windows, with only the most important apps and tools available.
You might be able to start Windows in this state. If this is the case, consider uninstalling any new programs or gadgets that may be interfering with system startup.
Try a system reset if you can’t get even this basic version of Windows to work: Click Update & Security > Recovery in Settings (through the cog icon on the Start menu).
To begin the reset procedure, select Get started under Reset this PC. Many of the important operating system files will then be replaced and repaired by Windows.
It will also offer to erase your files, but you should keep them unless you have up-to-date backups.
This third step should resolve the majority of software-related boot-up issues.
If your computer still won’t start, the problem is most likely with the hardware.
As noted in the preceding section, we recommend seeking professional assistance to correct this type of problem.
MANAGE SOFTWARE PROBLEMS: macOS
The macOS operating system is often better at self-repair than the Windows operating system (although Windows has caught up a little in recent years).
However, software corruption remains a distinct risk.
macOS offers Recovery Mode, which is similar to Windows’ Automatic Repair. To utilize it, first figure out whether your device has an Apple or an Intel processor.
If it’s the former, turn on your Mac by pressing and holding the power button until a list of starting options shows.
Then click Continue after selecting Options. If the latter is the case, switch on your computer and press and hold Cmd+R until you see an image.
You’ll get a list of alternatives when the computer starts up. Start with Disk Utility, which will check for abnormalities on your Mac’s internal drives.
It will also attempt to resolve any faults it discovers, which may restore your computer’s functionality.
If your boot-up issues began as a result of a recent hardware or software upgrade,
If you go back to an earlier version of your software, you might be able to fix them: Try restoring from a Time Machine backup from the Recovery Mode panel.
A stripped-down version of the operating system, on the other hand, might still work. You’ll need to use macOS Safe Mode for this procedure.
To activate Safe Mode on an Apple silicon device, first, switch it off, then press and hold the power button until the starting options show.
Select your startup disc, then press and hold Shift until Safe Mode is selected.
Restart your computer on an Intel machine, then press and hold Shift until the login screen appears.
A basic restart might fix your problem if you can get into macOS via Safe Mode.
If it doesn’t work, try deleting any non-essential apps or gadgets, especially anything you installed around the time your startup issues started.
If the problems persist, you may need to perform a complete reinstall. Return to the Recovery Mode screen and select Reinstall macOS from the menu.
Only do this if you’ve backed up all of your sensitive data, as this will restore your machine’s software to its factory condition.
A reinstall, like the Windows version, should resolve most program issues.
GET YOUR DATA BACK FROM YOUR HARD DRIVE
Even if all of these efforts fail, your sensitive information may still be safe (unless the primary cause of your startup troubles is a damaged hard drive).
In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to retrieve that data because you’ve already backed-up all of your files.
If you don’t have any backups, you’ll need to retrieve your data from your hard disc.
You can remove the drive from your laptop or desktop and access it from another computer at the most basic level.
You might use it as an external drive, for example, but you’ll need an enclosure like the Inateck ($10 on Amazon) or Sabrent ($10 on Amazon) models.
Just make sure it’s compatible with the hard disc you’re removing from your old machine.
You’ll need to shut down your computer, remove the side or bottom panel, and separate the drive from its housing and connections after you’ve got an enclosure.
You’ll need to discover an online instruction by searching for your computer’s make and model, as well as the term “remove the hard drive.”
If you’re not used to working with computers, we recommend entrusting this chore to a professional repair company.
You can insert your old drive into a functional machine after you’ve set it up in a new enclosure, and it should look like a normal external disc.
If your original files were created on a Mac, you’ll need to access them from another Mac, but if you don’t have one, you can use a PC.
You can access them on Windows with an application like MacDrive ($50 with a free trial) (Windows drives are considerably more accommodating).
On a Mac, you won’t need any additional software to read them).
The files can then be copied to the new computer, and you should back them up this time.
ELSEWHERE ELSEWHERE ELSEWHERE ELSEWHERE ELSEWHERE ELSEWHERE
Accessing your data using a different operating system is another possibility for retrieving it.
This, however, will only work if your computer can power up for long enough for you to boot from a portable system.
To begin, create a USB stick with a portable Linux operating system (full instructions here).
Put it in your dead computer, boot up the Linux operating system, and see if you can access the drive that way.
However, if you want to get as much data off your disc as possible and are willing to pay for peace of mind, you should seek assistance from a data recovery service.
A fast internet search should yield a plethora of possibilities in your area.
The majority of specialists will accept the entire computer, or only the hard disc, in protective packaging.
They’ll access your data using the same methods we’ve already described.
However, the staff has most likely tried it many more times than you have.
As a result, you’ll have a better chance of getting your data and dealing with any issues that emerge.
THE AUTHOR IS DAVID NIELD