If Computer Will Not Start

What To Do If Your Computer Will Not Start

Do you know what to do if your computer will not start? The following steps to take if your computer will not start go from the easiest to the hardest
If your computer is not starting, then you could try some of the easiest things. If you not skilled enough, or too nervous, to try the harder things, just give one of the computer repairers a call.

  1. Make sure everything is actually switched on!
  • There is more than one power button on most computers, so check all the following:
  • The power button or switch at the front of the computer
  • The power button or switch on the monitor (it's surprising the amount of times customers complain that their computer is not working when really the computer is working fine but the monitor is not working)
  • The power button or switch at the back of the computer (most people tend to put this on when they first set up their computer and then forget about it. It's common to accidentally knock it off, but forget it's even there!)
  • The power switch at the wall socket or extension
  • Check for loose cables
    • A loose or unplugged power cable is one of the top reasons why a computer won't start. Check that both ends are fully pushed home, the end that goes into the computer or printer, and the end that goes into the electric socket
  • Check the lights
    • Is the little light working at the front of your computer? If not, unless the bulb has gone, there is no power to your computer.
    • Is there a light showing on your monitor? If not, unless the bulb has gone, there is no power to your monitor.
    • If both lights are off, the problem is probably not with your computer or monitor. The problem is most likely to be a faulty fuse in an extension or adapter plug. Try changing the fuse. The problem could also be caused by a faulty wall socket. Try disconnecting everything and then plug in a portable lamp. If the lamp doesn't work then there is something wrong with the socket itself.
    • If the light works on your computer but not on your monitor, the problem is probably not with the computer. You could have a faulty monitor, so try checking with another monitor if you have one. You could also have a faulty fuse in the monitor plug, so try changing the fuse.
    • If the light works on your monitor but not on your computer, the problem is probably not with the monitor. You could have a faulty fuse in the computer plug, so try changing the fuse.
  • Check the fan
    • At the rear or side of the computer there is a grid in front of a fan. The fan is connected to a power supply unit inside the computer. Hold your hand over the grid to see if you can feel the air being moved by the fan. If not, then the power supply unit probably isn't working and you may need a new one.
  • It's now time to open the computer and look inside.
  • Check the inner connections
    • There are many wires and parts inside a computer, and they can all work loose with time. Make sure you age grounded against static electricity and check all the following:
    • Check all internal cables are pushed completely into their sockets.
    • Reseat the memory module.
    • Reseat the video card.
    • Make sure none of the wires has had its protective cover worn away so that it's shorting against the computer casing (this is often the case when a computer powers on for a second or two but then powers off completely).
  • Reseat the CPU
    • Reseating the computer's processing unit may be necessary, but should only be attempted if the reseating of all other components is not successful. This is due to the fact that this process is a little more involved and runs a risk of damaging the unit. If you are unsure, get professional help.
  • Replace the video card
    • Provided the monitor is working. If the computer power light is on, and the hard drive is making its familiar noise, and the hard drive activity light is blinking, the computer is probably starting normally but the video card is not sending information to the monitor. You will probably need to replace the video card.
  • Check the beeps!
    • Is your computer making a beeping sound?
    • Sometimes a computer will turn on just enough to play a series of beeps from the speakers before it turns itself off. These beeps are a code to tell you about a particular problem that is causing the computer to close down before it has time to display information about the problem on the monitor.
    • Every computer has something called a BIOS (basically a little computer chip that holds enough information to kick-start your computer into its start-up phase). If it fails in its task, it sends out these series of beeps to tell you why it failed.
    • Unfortunately the makers of different BIOS do not all use the same pattern of beeps, so diagnosing the beeps is beyond the scope of this article.
    • You need to call in an expert to check who manufactured your particular BIOS, then check what your computer's series of beeps actually means, and then try to troubleshoot that particular problem.