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.