Fix a PC that won't start or partially turns on

Fix a PC that won't start or partially turns on

If your computer does not turn on or freezes during startup, there may be several reasons for this. In this article, you will find out how to fix a PC that won't start, through the most common of the causes of the problem and the solutions to be brought to solve the problem known by your PC which either does not start any more at all, or turns on partially.

Find the source of the problem to fix a PC that does not start

As said in essence, the problem you are facing can be due to several reasons. The very first step in repair is, as you already know, knowledge of the problem.

When a computer experiences a malfunction, a faulty ignition or start-up, there are two main elements to question: the equipment  then the software. Problems related to the software (software part) are sometimes the easiest to solve. This could include uninstalling incompatible software, restoring the operating system, etc.

In contrast, hardware problems are relatively complex and often require special intervention. They often lead to the replacement of one or more physical parts (hopefully this won't be necessary in your case).

Why then does your computer not behave as well?

Repair a PC that does not start: hardware problem?

From battery, power supply, graphics card to hard drive, issues related to hardware (material) can be numerous. Let's take a look at the most common ones and how to tackle them to fix a PC that won't boot.

Check adapter, battery and ignition signals

Your charger and your battery are Ok? If you're sure it's okay. If not, take care to check them. With or without a battery, connect your computer to the mains, make sure it is properly plugged in and observe its behavior when trying to turn it on.

If there is a problem, check whether it is the adapter, cable, or PC power supply.

Check the condition of the battery

Sometimes the problem is not with the battery or the charger but with your computer's power system. It is made up of a series of electronic components, and if only one burns out, it may well be causing the ignition problem. So if you notice that your computer does not start because of the battery or charger, please find a new one.

Check the condition of the adapter

If neither battery nor adapter issue and your PC is reporting it's plugged in, then you're going to need to read on to see how to fix a PC that won't boot.

Read also: Why is your computer battery draining so quickly?

What happens when you press the power button on your computer? This is to identify the power signals, indicating the start of the computer. I'm talking about lights on the keyboard or on the sides of the device, the spinning hard drive, the fan that is activated, etc. If you see these signals, um, your computer is on.

But why then does it not appear to be in operation? It could be a screen issue, display fault, or some other issue that we are going to find out about in this very article.

Check your PC screen and display

Is the screen on or not? Check if your brightness is not too low. Some displays allow the backlight to be dimmed to a level almost equal to zero display.

Sometimes the screen looks like it's turned off when it's not. In fact, there is a room called " Invent ", attached to the back of the screen of your PC (laptops), and which is responsible for supplying the screen with brightness. If that part is down, your screen may be on without you noticing.

It is therefore on but not supplied with interior light, to be sure, come out of the dark and bring your computer in full sunlight or artificial light (bulb or torch). You may be surprised to find that the screen is on. If so, you can have it replaced (invented) by a maintenance professional.

If you think the problem is with the screen, try plugging in another display device (overhead projector or external screen), and check. On the other hand, if you have no doubts about the display or the screen of your computer, the problem probably comes from elsewhere.

Test the graphics card

The graphics card (GPU) is, as I often say, one of the " vital organs From your computer. Its malfunction or failure never goes unnoticed, as with most other components for that matter.

The GPU manages the graphics of your computer, and works in conjunction with the processor. They are often integrated one on top of the other.

If your graphics card is faulty, you will see your computer indicate that it is on, but you will not see anything on the screen, no display. For people who do not know, the problem can easily be mistaken for a failure of the screen or the failure of RAM modules.

How then do you know that it is the graphics card?

Before answering this question, you should know that there are several causes that can cause graphics card failure. The most frequent is the suffocation of your computer, either by a malfunction of the ventilation system, or by habit of using your computer on objects such as a mattress, an armchair, etc.

The computer needs to dissipate the heat it gives off well, otherwise you will soon be paying the price.

Connect an external display to the VGA or HDMI port

To come back to this, if you doubt your graphics card, connect an external monitor to the port VGA ou HDMI. If there is still nothing on your PC screen, while the images are showing fine on the external screen, then you can point your graphics card.

Read also: How to fix a MacBook that won't turn on?

How to fix a failing graphics card?

Some computers have a removable graphics card, others don't, unfortunately most. The best solution for such a problem is to have your graphics card or your entire motherboard replaced. There is still some troubleshooting manipulation, but the moment of happiness does not last long, in fact, the problem resurfaces sooner or later.

The manipulation itself consists of heating the graphics card by subjecting it to a high temperature. There are maintenance tools suitable for this, but with an oven you can try this:

  • Take the graphics card being on the motherboard or apart.
  • Detach the connectors and all plastic or non-plastic components. Anything that might not withstand the heat once the card is in the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to between 190 and 200 ° C or slightly more, around 230 °.
  • Place your motherboard in the oven and turn off the oven.
  • Allow the heat from the oven to circulate through the graphics card for approximately 6 to 10 minutes. Let cool, then reconnect the other components and turn the PC back on to see.
  • If the first try doesn't work, try again at least one more time.

This manipulation requires a lot of care and does not guarantee 100% success, but works if properly applied (relative to the magnitude of the problem). It can repair a PC that does not start. Except that in the end, it remains a temporary solution since the problem ends up resurfacing.

Check hard drive to fix PC that won't boot

A hard drive failure can also prevent your computer from starting or fully turning on. When turning it on, the sound of the hard drive is probably the first that is felt. If your disc then spins stops permanently, or spins intermittently, then it will need to be replaced.

Check the RAM memory modules

Have you checked that this is not due to the failure of one or your RAM modules? Sometimes we wonder how to fix a PC that does not start when it is simply a damaged, misplaced or dusty module.

If it is RAM memory, you will recognize the problem like this: the computer is on with no screen display. But meanwhile the shift key (Caps Lock) flashes continuously, sometimes there is also the fan running fully, in a very unusual way.

For other computers, you will also hear several beeps at startup (while the screen displays nothing at all). Before going any further, check if they are properly placed. There is little risk that you will get the wrong direction, since RAMs are designed with a keyless entry, so as to avoid being knocked over.

Check the RAM memory modules

Try to remove it (them) very gently, of course after turning off the computer and removing the battery (for the laptop). Find a piece of cotton cloth, a rag or an eraser and clean the contacts on the RAMs. Try swapping them or, if there is only one RAM, placing it on a different bed.

You can also blow the RAM or rub slowly before placing it (making sure to do so) on the computer. This technique can repair a PC that will not boot, if it was caused by RAM. Then restart your PC to observe the result.

Read also: Your phone heats up enormously: Why and how to end it?.

Discharge residual energy from capacitors

Residual energy in your motherboard capacitors can also block startup in several forms. You can turn on your computer, it starts up and then shuts down abruptly a few seconds later. Or it turns on the signals but does not send anything to the screen.

If you observe any malfunctions, discharging the capacitors is therefore recommended. If this is the problem, then the maneuver can save you time and avoid the question of how to fix a PC that does not start.

Here is how to proceed:

  • Disconnect your PC from the mains and disconnect the battery (for laptops).
  • Press the ignition button for 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Replace the battery or connect the PC to the mains and switch it on again

This manipulation resolves several problems related to startup.

Repair a PC that does not start: software problem?

From the corruption of system files, the failure of the operating system to the incompatibility of certain software, software (software) is in no way excluded. Let's see how you hang it to help you get your computer back to good working order.

Restart the computer in safe mode

Another option to fix a PC that won't boot is Safe Mode. But in this case, your computer must allow you the operation, that is to say if your computer starts and then shuts down immediately, or if it displays a blue screen at startup.

Safe mode is used to undo recent program-related system changes that may be causing the problem. Often the computer freezes after installing, updating one or more pilots.

To restart your computer in Safe Mode, turn it off first. Disconnect the network cable and external devices (USB, hard drive, etc.). Then turn the computer back on by pressing the key several times. F8 (Windows 8 and Windows 10). Select Safe Mode by entering Parameters, and following the steps.

Advanced Windows Recovery Options

Repair or reinstall the operating system

If you still can't fix a PC that won't start, reinstalling or repairing the operating system may do the trick. Missing or corrupting one or more system files can interrupt the startup process and return an error message.

For either of these two operations, you must have a recovery disc, that is to say a CD or a USB key with the version of your operating system.

Read also: Procedures for installing and using Windows on Mac.

Repairing the operating system

To repair the operating system using a Windows installer file, you'll start out as who wants to reinstall Windows. You can also refer to it :

  • Shut down the computer and connect your USB drive.
  • Turn it back on by repeatedly pressing the Boot menu key (F9, F10, F12 or ESC ; depending on the manufacturer of your device).
  • Select your USB repair device and proceed as if you want to install Windows.
  • Do not install Windows. After selecting the language, at the bottom left of the window opposite, select " Repair the computer».

Repairing Windows from an external device

Then the automatic repair will start and you will just have to wait. If it happens that the automatic repair is not successful, you will have several repair options to choose from.

You can therefore choose to restore the system at a later date, from the repair from command prompt, etc. If you opt for the Command Prompt, here are a few commands to try: bootrec / fixmbr ou bootrec / fixboot.

What if the repair is unsuccessful? The last option to fix a PC that won't boot is to reinstall your entire operating system. But that, if only your problem is due to a software error. To do this, start by backing up your sensitive data and get started by being guided step by step through this article.

Another habit that should not be ignored and which can affect the proper functioning of your computer is in fact sudden shutdown. Sometimes due to battery failure, this is an action that can cause a boot failure and damage some items such as the hard drive.

Make a habit of always shutting down your computer using the recommended procedure (from the Windows menu).


In the end, fixing a PC that does not start is not a trivial task. If, despite all these manipulations, you still cannot solve the problem with your PC, perhaps a visit to a maintenance professional is necessary.

If your computer is under warranty, avoid any manipulation and contact your vendor for assistance. Most of these manipulations involve immediate breach of warranty.

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