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Step 3: Post Codes, Motherboards, And Hardware Tests

Though these indicators can be useful, every motherboard manufacturer uses a different system of codes. Check your motherboard documentation or search online for the codes your motherboard manufacturer uses to see if you can identify the issue you are experiencing. It’s possible that your system is getting power — as indicated by lights on the internal hardware — but still isn’t powering on properly. If your system still isn’t reacting when the power button on your case is pressed, or if it’s turning on for a second then shutting down again, follow the steps below. If you have a spare power supply that you know works, plug in the CPU cable and 24 Pin motherboard cable from your new PSU to see if it successfully provides power to your motherboard. If it does, your previous PSU was likely the problem, and you can contact the manufacturer of the faulty unit for next steps. After getting your case open, you’ll want to check all the connections from your power supply to the components in your PC, see if any are loose, and then reseat them if they are.

Before continuing, unplug anything superfluous from your computer—webcams, external hard drives, USB headsets. Try booting with just a keyboard and mouse to see if one of your USB devices is causing a conflict. Unplug your computer and plug it directly into a wall outlet you know is working, rather than a power strip or battery backup that may be failing.

Download the ISO image from this page, and follow the instructions to "burn" it to a USB flash drive. Reboot your computer and access the Boot menu—usually by pressing F11, F12, or some other key defined at startup.

Make sure the power switch on the back of your power supply is flipped on, and if the outlet is connected to a light switch, make sure that switch is turned on too. Completely ruling out any of those hardware problems is its own troubleshooting workflow. If you have the luxury of spare parts, now is the time to swap them in for your previously installed components and see if that helps. Testing with a different motherboard can be more challenging, as you have to reinstall the CPU and cooler , but having spare hardware is the easiest way to troubleshoot. If you’ve followed the above troubleshooting stepsand are still no closer to determining the problem, it’s quite possible you’re dealing with a faulty motherboard, PSU, or an issue with your CPU. You’ll want to make sure your PSU is powering your motherboard and CPU, but otherwise, your system should be stripped of any non-essential hardware. Of course, you’ll have to press the reset button instead of power button to turn your computer on, but it’s a useful temporary solution.

What To Do If: Laptop Turns On, But Won’t Boot

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Contact your case manufacturer for a more long-term solution. Make sure the 4/8 CPU and 24-pin motherboard power cables are connected and that the PSU is switched on and supplying power. You can usually update your motherboard’s BIOS to the most recent version even if your PC doesn’t POST. The process can vary depending on the motherboard manufacturer, so consult your motherboard documentation or check online to make sure you have the most recent BIOS version for your system.

Choose your USB drive from the boot menu, and it should boot into Hiren’s live environment. It’s possible you have some nasty malware that’s preventing your computer from booting. But with a live environment like Hiren’s Boot CD, you can boot your computer from a CD or USB drive and scan your hard drive for malware without booting into Windows. Enter your BIOS when the POST screen appears, usually by pressing Delete, F2, or some other key to enter download freeware software setup. If you’ve tweaked any of these settings in the recent past, try changing them back. Make sure your Boot Order is set to the correct hard drive, your RAM is recognized, and that your CPU isn’t overheating (if it’s above 90 degrees Celsius in the BIOS, something is definitely wrong). You might also turn off the Fast Boot feature, in case a recent Windows Update is conflicting with it.

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