Boot Failure

Have you ever experienced an issue when your PC fails to boot up? This means you are not able to see any thing on your monitor, not even the POST screen. Many people panic and run to a technician, but usually the problem can be solved very easily at home. In this post we will learn how we can solve such an issue.

When we turn on the PC, the BIOS runs POST (Power On Self Test), in case it finds an error in critical components, system doesn’t boot. The reasons can be many-

Basic: Check if there are any power signs to the CPU, like power light, or fan sounds etc. In case not, check if the power cable to CPU is fixed properly and if the supply fuses are intact. Use a multi-meter to confirm, else connect your hair drier to the line! 5-6% cases are a cause of supply failure, not related to PC at all.

RAM: The most usual issue involves your RAM. A loose contact in RAM contacts means your PC powers up, fans blow, no display on monitor, and PC restarts. And this cycle continues. The solution is to remove the RAM from the slot and first wipe it clean with a cloth. Dust off any dust in the RAM slots. Clean the RAM pins with a clean non dust eraser (This is to remove any deposition of carbon that might have come over time) and wipe it clean again to remove eraser dust. Re-fix your RAM back and boot again. This usually solves the issue 50 % of the times.

In case you still don’t boot up, go to next step.

Fans: Fans too, particularly the processor heat sink fan, if not functional, can lead to boot failure. Re-fix the power cable to the fan and also clean the heat sink and apply a fresh layer of heat sink compound. Usually motherboards have a BIOS feature that checks overheating and shuts down PC to prevent damage. This feature plays role here. Cleaning and application of fresh heat sink paste layer must solve the issue.

Power shortage and failures: Firstly verify all the power cables are fixed tight. If ones to mother board are loose, it results to boot failure. PC fails to boot up in case there is a power shortage too. This occurs at three levels.

Temporary– Here the voltage drop in your home causes failure to boot. This can be easily noticed with dim lights in room. In this case, stay calm and wait until supply gets normal.

Internal– This occurs on addition of any new hardware to the system, which consumes a lot of power, particularly high end graphic cards. Your PSU should be in a position to support such needs, else it results in lower voltages to components and PC fails to boot up.

Permanent– This arises on account of a faulty PSU. This can be caused by a power surge, burning capacitors or the transformer of the PSU. To check if the PSU is working properly, do this trick. Take a small piece of wire and connect one end in GREEN wire port and other in the BLACK. Switch ON the supply. If the fan in the SMPS is working, the SMPS is good, check loose contacts. Else, you may need to call the technician here.

Some other tricks: Resetting CMOS too sometimes solves the issue. Just remove the little disc battery on the motherboard and re-fix it. This will reset the CMOS. In case still it doesn’t help, remove all cables, and re-fix them.

There is a possibility that there can be a defective RAM. Here, if you have two cards, switch cards, one at a time and see if the PC boots up. Else try fetching a RAM of same bus speed & type and fix it in and check if it helps.

Also a faulty SMPS needs a repair or a replacement. Technician is called for here. Some times damage is much deeper which can’t be easily detected. You can approach your product care for more help. But this is really rare, 75% cases are solved by above tricks.

Windows Genuine Advantage

Having a genuine copy of windows is really worth it, considering support and updates from Microsoft, and even new upgrades asks for validation. But there are events reported that even genuine licence holders some times get caught in WGA trap, if forums are to be believed.

Windows Genuine Advantage is Microsoft anti piracy tool that verifies if the licence you use for your windows is genuine or not. It comes included in a few upgrades, or as a update online in windows update, or is asked to get validated in case you download something from Microsoft. The tool upon verification of licence, if it fails sets up a startup process that pops up  a window that informs that you use a pirated version of windows, on logon screen and toolbar on desktop as well, making it really annoying.

Lets be on right side and believe you got caught in this issue even though you hold a genuine licence 🙂 , here is solution that stops the annoying process while you get the issue solved from Microsoft.

The hard way- The startup application uses files wgalogon.dll and wgatray.exe . To get started, go to folder options-view and un-tick hide extensions of known file types. Apply and exit. The process of stopping it consists of two steps-

i. Cutting the database- Go to C:\windows\system32 and search for a file named wgalogon.dll . Rename it to wgalogon.dll.bak . Create a new text document and rename it to wgalogon.dll . Upon saving, a confirmation is asked to change extension, confirm yes.

ii. Now in same directory search for a file wintray.exe . Using killbox, while ending explorer shell, delete the file. Restart the system. The pop up will no longer come.

The soft way- A software counterfeiting error may also be generated  even when we change the original key with a software generated key, resulting in conflict. So, in case you have the original key, use the magic jelly bean key finder tool. It not only displays the current key, but you can also go to options and change the key installed as well. Just change the key to original one and the pop up should no longer appear.

The easy way- There are programs available that can remove WGA error on a click. For novice users, it’s a bliss. Check out the one available at- .

In case you haven’t get troubled yet, and don’t want your windows verified, just run MSCONFIG, go to services and disable automatic updates and also security centre (else it pops up error that automatic updates are disabled). A little disconnected from Microsoft, you can continue your secret life!

The next post is going to be about being the BAD guy… a dose of batch file programming to make your own kitchen made viruses! Trick you friends, play prank on pals, make your enemies suck, its time for a little mischief!!

Solving the Overheating problem

Often in older generation CPUs, the issue of fans blowing hard making rattling sound and CPU restart on its own with sometimes giving reason as heating are caused by overheating of processor. It can be because of three main reasons-

  1. Dusty interiors and bad ventilation.
  2. Damaged layer of heat sink compound.
  3. Damaged processor heat sink fan.

Here we take a systematic approach to solving the problem, expecting the least damage and proceeding step by step.

Step1. Open the cabinet and clean the dust settled in it. Use a brush or a vacuum cleaner for better results. Clean the chassis fans and the ventilation meshes and the heat sink fan to the extent you can.

Step2. Dismount the heat sink from the processor. It may be mounted using clamps or using screws. After you have removed the heat sink, you can see the processor top exposed. Clean the area from any traces of dust.

Step3. Clean the dust and dust swabs from the heat sink fan using a brush. Use tweezers to pull off dust swabs struck in fins of heat sink.

Step4. You will notice some layer of white or silver paste on the processor top and on the bottom surface of heat sink. This is heat sink compound. Its function is to transfer heat from processor to the heat sink, so that it can be dissipated through the heat sink fan. When this layer gets worn out due to time or usage, the heat isn’t transferred effectively. Hence the processor sensor senses heat and makes heat sink fan blow fast, but heat isn’t transferred. Hence processor makes the fan blows even harder and harder until a limit is reached where vibrations are induced and a large rattling sound is heard.

Clean the old layer of heat sink compound from the processor surface. Use a cotton cloth dipped in white petrol or nail polish remover for better results. Also clean the bottom surface of heat sink in the same manner (step 5).

Step6. Apply a reasonable quantity of heat sink compound to the centre of processor. Take caution not to add excess quantity that may spill when heat sink is fixed. Use Arctic silver or ones from Cooler master for best results. Place the heat sink back in place and fix it.

Changing the heat sink compound...

Changing the heat sink compound...