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3 Reasons Your PC Computer Will Not Start

Have you ever had the frustrating experience of trying to turn on your PC, only to find that it won’t start?

Whether you rely on your computer for work or personal use, this can be a real pain when it happens.  There are several common reasons why your PC computer will not start up properly, and fortunately, many of them can be fixed relatively easily.

In this article, we’ll look at three of the most common reasons why your PC may not be starting up, as well as some tips for troubleshooting and fixing these problems.

From issues with the power supply to software issues and beyond.  We’ll cover everything you need to know to get your computer back up and running.

Power Issues

Computer Power Issues - PC Computer Will Not Start

This would be one of the first places to start, as it is probably the most obvious.

Your PC not starting up could mean a variety of things to different people.  Maybe it turns on but doesn’t boot up all the way.  Maybe it keeps rebooting when you’re trying to boot up.  Or maybe it doesn’t turn on at all. 

If your PC doesn’t power on at all, then we definitely need to look at the possible power issues that could be causing it.

Let’s start with the basics, the power cord.

Most if not all PC desktop computer uses a universal power chord, so replacing them is very easy to do.  Replace the power chord with a good one, and if possible, try plugging your PC into another power outlet to eliminate the possibility of the wall outlet being the culprit.

For laptop computers, the power chord, or AC adapter is more proprietary and would require you to contact the manufacturer for a replacement.

If after replacing the power chord and plugging it into another wall unit, you’re still getting issues with the PC starting up, now we need to put our attention on the Power Supply Unit (PSU).  It’s very common for PSUs to go bad after some time.

 The best troubleshooting method for PSUs is to replace them.  It simply isn’t worth attempting to repair or troubleshoot them, unless you’re an electrician.  And even then I still wouldn’t recommend troubleshooting them.  The time and potential electric harm you subject yourself to, simply isn’t worth it.

You can purchase a new PSU for around $150, in some cases even lower than that.  Regardless of how much you pay to get a new one, it’s worth the investment, compared to trying to repair one yourself.

If that doesn’t solve your issue, then we need to turn our attention to other hardware components.

Hardware Failure

Computer Hardware Issues - PC Computer Will Not Start

Another main area that could be contributing to your PC computer not starting is hardware.

The PSU is actually a hardware component, but since it deals directly with the power source of the computer, it was best to discuss it in the power issues category.  But it can also be considered a hardware component for sure.

But let’s talk about the other hardware components that could be contributing to your PC computer not starting.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

We all know that RAM is used for short-term memory for your PC computer.  Information is stored here by opened applications when the computer is powered on.  RAM chips can go bad for a variety of reasons.  It could be from everyday wear and tear, that particular RAM module is bad, or some kind of ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) has happened. 

ESD doesn’t happen very often, but there are some rare cases where it does happen.

Troubleshooting RAM is one of the easiest hardware components to troubleshoot, so I always like to start here.  Just like the PSU, it’s best to replace the RAM with a new one, if you suspect the RAM is the culprit.

To test if the RAM may be the cause, pull out each RAM module one at a time, and reboot the computer.  Do that for each RAM and see if you notice any difference.  If you do discover that one or all of the RAM modules are bad, then go ahead and get those replaced.

The best place to purchase new RAM is over at www.crucial.com.  Not only can you purchase new RAM there, but you can also find out what specific RAM module your computer uses.  Their website will scan your computer and tell the max amount of RAM your computer can take, the type of RAM it uses, and how much it’ll cost.

You can either purchase the RAM directly from their site, go to your local tech or electronics store, or you can purchase RAM online from Amazon.

Hard Drive

This is a bit tougher to troubleshoot because the hard drive contains all your data.  If it goes bad then you run the risk of losing all your data.  You also have to factor in reloading the OS (Operating System) after replacing it with a new one.

But before we determine that the hard drive needs to be replaced, let’s do some troubleshooting first.

The first thing to check is that the hard drive is securely connected.  This part of the troubleshooting process requires opening your computer to get to the inside components.  If you’re using a standard hard drive, check the SATA cables to ensure they’re connected properly.  If possible, try switching it with another available cable.

For SSD drives, ensure that the cable is securely connected.  If it is, then do the same as you did with a standard hard drive, replace that cable with a known good cable, and then try to boot your computer and see if that helps.  If your SSD drive is an M.2 drive, then it’s connected directly to the motherboard via a PCIe slotPull the hard drive out completely and re-seat it back into the slot and reboot.

One final test that you can do is try booting from an external device like a USB drive or DVD-ROM.  This will help determine if the problem lies with your hard drive specifically or with another component in your system.

If you have determined that the hard drive is bad and needs to be replaced, ensure that you do a full backup if at all possible.

Determine what type of new hard drive your PC computer uses, and proceed to get a new one.

Motherboard

This is the main board of your computer, that everything connects to.  Troubleshooting a motherboard means checking all the other components that are connected to it.  One of the first things to check is the power cables it’s connected to.  This is supplied by the PSU (Power Supply Unit), which I have covered in the earlier section of this article.

If you determine that the source of power is bad, then replace the entire PSU.

Next, try removing all RAM and video cards from the motherboard’s connectors.  Try booting your computer without those components and see if your system will load successfully.

If any of the two troubleshooting tips failed to solve your problem, then it’s likely you have a bad motherboard. 

The best resolution for a bad motherboard is to replace it with a new one.  Keep in mind, however, that getting a new motherboard is equivalent to getting a new computer.  So definitely consider your options here, and see if it would be more economical to invest in a new computer as opposed to replacing your motherboard.

In case none of these solutions work for you, or it’s more than you’re willing to troubleshoot on your own, you can always seek professional help to help do it for you.

Software Issues

Computer Software Issues - PC Computer Will Not Start

The main software that I would start with is the OS (Operating System).  If you’re running a PC computer, then chances are you are running some version of Microsoft Windows.  It’s a very good chance that the OS could be the issue here.

It could be that some bootup files got corrupted, the system registry is experiencing some issues, or a combination of the two.

One of the first places to start is to try to repair the OS.

Windows comes with system tools that allow you to repair the OS in the event you’re having major issues with it.  In many cases, you will need the installation media that has a copy of the version of Microsft Windows you’re using.

This could be a CD, a jump drive, or an external hard drive.

To get access to those system tools requires you to reboot your computer and hit a combination of keys on your keyboard to boot from that installation media.  In most cases, it’s usually the F8 or F2 keys, that you need to tap repeatedly as soon as your computer starts to boot up. 

In some instances, you may not need to hit any keys at all, as your system BIOS has been configured to boot your computer from CD ROMs and external drives first.

Once you’re in, follow the prompts that allow you to do a Startup Repair for Windows.

Here’s a video to show exactly what you need to do to get there.

 Final Words

Your PC computer not starting up could be caused by a variety of things that can take you a long time to figure out.  From my experience, the topics that have been discussed here are usually the cause for your PC not starting.

Following the troubleshooting tips provided here will definitely get you on your way to having your PC computer up and running again. 


Tags

Advanced-PCs, computer, computer hardware, computer software, Hard drive, PC Computer, Power Supply, RAM


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