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My Computer Locks Up and Won’t Boot. What Do I Do?


My computer locks up and won’t boot. What do I do?

Your computer locks up, crashes, stalls or otherwise fails to completely boot up into Windows. That’s particularly painful, since most all of our diagnostic tools require that Windows be running. Diagnosing the problem with a computer that won’t boot can be difficult.

In this article we’ll look at some of the resources that you do have available, and try to gather a little information about the type of problem you might be experiencing.

I’ll start at a successfully booting Windows, and work backwards to a completely dead machine.

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• Loading User Settings

One of the last steps that Windows takes before being ready for use is to load the personal settings for the user logging in. That includes settings within the Windows Registry, saved network connections, and the security settings for the account. This step exercises a lot of different areas on the machine, so if it hangs, or is exceptionally slow here, it could be for many reasons. Things to check include disk space and fragmentation, physical errors on the disk holding the swap file, and network connectivity that might impact restoring those saved connections. In particular, in a Domain based environment, network connectivity can be a particular problem as the system tries to contact the domain controller. (Domains are common in business settings as opposed to a Workgroup, more common in small business and home).

Diagnosing the problem with a computer that won’t boot can be difficult.

• Blue Screens and Other Hangs

A “Blue Screen” is the name given to the blue screen of strange numbers and information that can sometimes come up if your machine crashes. Essentially any blue screen, hang, crash or lock-up that happens after the Windows logo is displayed falls into this category. If that happens repeatedly during boot, it could be anything from a bad device driver to spyware to a virus.

The best first step to take is to attempt to boot in what’s called “Safe Mode”. Safe mode disables a number of operating system components, possibly avoiding the component that might be causing the problem. Once in safe mode you can try running the system file checker, your anti-virus software, anti-spyware software, and possibly get Windows updates. The Microsoft Knowledgebase has an article on A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP that details how to start Safe Mode, and its options.

If Safe Mode itself won’t work, the next step back is something called the Recover Console. You can install it on your machine before problems happen, as described in this Knowledgebase article How to Install and Use the Recovery Console in Windows XP.

• Hangs before the Windows Logo

If you can’t actually get anything to come up – by that I mean that you never even see the initial Windows logo, you can run the Recovery Console from your Windows XP Installation CD. This article: Windows XP Crashed? Here’s Help gives a step-by-step overview of the process. This also applies if you didn’t install the recovery console beforehand.

Regardless of how you got there, the recovery console will allow you to copy files, undo a recent installation, or fix the master boot record should that have become corrupt.

• Operating System? What Operating System?

One of the scarier messages is “Operating System Not Found”. It implies that the operating system on your hard disk isn’t there any more.

First, remove any floppy from the machine. It’s a common error – when you reboot, the computer will try to boot from it, not find an operating system and halt.

Assuming that wasn’t the problem, get out and boot from your Windows XP Installation CD. You can try the Recovery Console I just discussed – sometimes fixing the MBR (Master Boot Record) is all that’s needed. Other times the recovery is more involved, in which case this article by Microsoft MVP Michael Stevens – How to Perform a Windows XP Repair install can guide you.

Hard Disk? What Hard Disk?

Things start to get a little scarier when your computer doesn’t appear to even have a hard disk. When software like the Recovery Console doesn’t even see that you have a hard disk in your machine, things get interesting.

The most common cause of this in a previously working machine is that the CMOS memory, which keeps your hardware and BIOS configuration settings, has lost its contents. That can happen due to anything from a power spike to errant software – but the most common cause on older machines is that the little battery that keeps the CMOS alive has worn out. The type and location will vary from machine to machine.

CMOS settings on some machines are what tell the computer what kind of hard disk you have. You’ll probably want to review the settings in your BIOS to make sure they are correct. Typically most brand name computers include a print-out of their CMOS settings when they come new, or their technical support resources may be able to help. A misconfiguration can “look like” a hard disk to the BIOS, but in fact be wrong.

And, of course, there is the possibility of hardware failure of the drive itself. If that’s what you suspect, it’s probably time to touch base with the manufacturer or a local repair technician.


If your computer doesn’t even get so far as to try the hard disk, or perhaps not even print anything on the screen, you probably do have some type of hardware problem. For example, if the computer simply beeps a few times and then does nothing, then that’s the POST telling you something is wrong. For what ever reason it might not be able to display an error message, so it simply beeps in a pattern to tell you what it’s found. They vary based on the brand of your computer or BIOS, but POST beep codes can often give a technician a quick idea of exactly what might be wrong.

And finally, when you turn on the power, if your computer does nothing at all, obviously something is seriously wrong. In my experience, it’s typically the power supply that has failed, however it’s also possible that critical components on the motherboard have failed, or that a peripheral card has been inserted improperly or has failed in such a way as to prevent the rest of the system from working at all.

Today’s computers, and the operating systems that run them, are incredibly complex animals. Each problem will have it’s own unique cause. Hopefully this overview, and some of the resources listed below, will help you at least understand the nature of problems you may be having, and perhaps even help you resolve them yourself.

317 comments on “My Computer Locks Up and Won’t Boot. What Do I Do?”

  1. A friend emailed me and stated that her Cox antivirus protection sent back that it intercepted an infected email from me to her computer. I find this difficult to believe as I have Norton Anti-Virus protection with email, Norton Internet Security auto-protection, etc. I manually check for updates every couple of days, also. I scan my computer daily, and the report never shows a virus found. I also have McAfee Firewall protection and Webroot Spy Sweeper engaged. Is there a way to find a virus and rid the computer of it, if there is one, other than to scan with Norton? Specifically, this is what she sent to me:

    An email was sent to you that we have identified as containing a virus.
    Below find the details of the infected message:
    Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 08:54:18 -0400
    Virus Name: W32/Bagle.aa@MM!vbs
    Infected Attachments: 000002b2.EML, /Nervous_illnesses.vbs

  2. My PC hangs just after the windows logo and I get an error stating that “lsass.exe Application Error
    The application failed to initialize properly(0xc0000005). Click OK to terminate”.

    After clicking OK the screen remains black except for the cursor is visible but the system won’t load any further.

    Any ideas what I can do.

  3. You didn’t indicate which version of Windows. My expectation is that you’ll need to boot from CD-ROM and attempt to repair, or reinstall, the operating system from the installation CD.

  4. Then I’d try the steps in the article: safe mode, and then running system file checker, or if that doesn’t work booting from the installation CD.

  5. I was given a custom built computer running under Windows 98. Had problems sporadically but consistently when running games (children’s educational software) from CD. The computer would lock up and sound a steady beep.

    Tried to resolve by replacing the fan, increasing memory and upgrading to Windows 2000. Even formatting hard drive and starting from scratch after suspecting a virus….Still locks up. Not sure what to try next.


  6. I have a problem…. I have Windows ME and i think that my computer crashed. i cannot turn it on without it going to a screen where it asks me to pick from normal mode, safe mode, or step by step confimation. All which leds me to a screen where it is all black with only a cursor blinking in the corner. I have tried to reboot it by simply just placing the recovery disk in but it seems when the recovery disk is done and the system itself is trying to reboot their is always a problem ( like Cmdist or something of that sort goes worng and shuts down the rebooting process)i have also tried by typing in the format command to clean my hard drive up but i am not sure if i am doin it right so Please any help would help me out soo much ..thanks

  7. I started up my system today as normal. My internet was slow then my mouse started to hang up, then finally froze. I checked the connection-fine. So I restarted and when I do all I get is a black screen and one beep every 2-3 seconds. I am a complete novice so any advise would help. Thnx in advance!

    • My laptop has locked up , black screen and a flash on caps lock every 2or 3 secs . Tried caps alt delete nothing tried removing battery nothing how can I fix it, please

  8. Jessica and Patrick both: my gut feel is that you are experiencing hardware issues. I’d recommend getting a local technician to look at your machines.

  9. When I boot up my Dell Optiflex running Windows 2000 Pro I just get a black screen with a flashing bar in the top left hand corner.
    If I press Alt/Del/Ctrl and F12 as it restarts, I can choose to boot from c drive which works fine and takes me into normal windows startup.
    Please tell me how can I get back to normal start up?
    I have no other problems.

  10. I’d contact Dell. That sounds like something that is happening in the BIOS before Windows ever starts. I’m not familiar with it.

  11. Please can you help me, i tried to install a kids game on my home coputer but after the install, the computer crashed and has not worked since, at first i wasnt getting anything on screen but now after running my windows start up disc i am geting to my screen, although when i try to run any programme’s it will not let me, i get an error messege that there is no drivers installed, i cant run my unti-virus to see if there is a virus, so i dont know what to do, just now i am useing another computer but i want to know if there is any way i cant sort my old one, i am on windows ME, its a pretty old computer but it was working fine untill i installed this game, and now it will not let me remove it, help please if you can. regards Sharon.

  12. Can you be more complete about the error message? “is no drivers installed” – what’s the exact wording of that message?

  13. Hello

    Yesterday i had a power failure at my house. after the power was restored i turned on my computer and it blue screen 5 seconds after the login pictures showed. the time is exact cause you have enough time to click the piture before it blue screens. i have disconnected everything and still the same thing. it will reboot and once its back to the pictures blue screens and start over again. any ideas? system was working fine before the power outage

  14. Best I can offer is the information in the article you just commented on. It sounds like your copy of Windows has been corrupted, and you’ll need to repair or reintall.

    • Hi how do I get this windows xp to start I keep coming up this
      No bootable devices strike F1 to retry boot F2 for setup utility

      • No bootable devices means just that – the boot loader can’t find windows on any of the drives attached. Why? Could be anything from a software issue to a hard drive failure to something else entirely.

  15. I am trying to fix a friend’s PC that quit booting about a week ago. It would not power on at all so I swapped the HDD into my system as the slave. I did a virus scan and ended up removing about a dozen different virii. I switched it back to master (in my system still) and it booted into windows xp just fine. I put it back in the original system and it still didn’t boot. What happens… I plug it in, flip the power supply on… the fans all spin once and… NOTHING! I’ve checked and rechecked every connection, every hardware item, and basically just everything I can think of. Could this be anything other than the power supply? Maybe a bios issue resulting from one of the virii? Thanks for the help Leo, you are the very best!

  16. The article you just commented on has my recommendation – in this case sounds like a hardware issue. You’ll probably need to take it in to a PC repair shop.

  17. hello, i’ve read the article above, but i hope i get a more specific answer for the problem im facing.

    my com has some serious booting problems. at times i have to restart my computer from 4 to more than 10 times to see the winxp logo appear. when this constant hanging happens, it even hangs while im inside the BIOS setup menu.
    sometimes i get either one of the following warnings while booting (and hangs after that):

    1. wrong cmos settings (i have no idea how to correct this)

    2. dram timing too tight (i’ve set the DRAM frequency from auto to 400 recently, but it doesn’t really solve the problem ‘tho i don’t see this warning anymore)

    here’s my com specs which i think relevant:

    pentium 3.2 Ghz
    1 gig DDR400 RAM
    50 gig master harddisk (15 gig left)
    10 gig slave harddisk (3 gig left)
    256 MB ATI radeon 9600 graphics card

    all the above are just bought less than 3 months ago except my 2 harddisks, i transferred them from my old pc.

    i suspect this is a hardware problem, but i don’t know which one, pls help thanks, im very frustrated abt it already.

    btw, i realise my computer isn’t running as fast as expected. in fact some of my friends said it runs much slower and less smoother than theirs with lower specs. even though i have my antivirus software and winxp updated, and not have more installed programs than them. one of the obvious problems is computer loading very long when i attempt to open or even rightclick media files > 50 meg. sounds like a read/write problem to me, which again voices down to possible hardware problems.

  18. forgot to mention: when it hangs, no beeps, sths a white screen appears or a black screen with uneven dash characters appearing, most of the time blank or hangs in BIOS setup menu. usually power lights are loading like normal, however when com hangs with all cdrom and power LEDs lit up together, i can’t even off or restart my computer by pressing the buttons on the casing.

  19. Certainly sounds like hardware, I agree. Exactly what, I’m not sure. First step might be to run memtest86 ( ) checking memory. Other than that. Because it could be so many different things, I’d start swapping hardware. My initial reaction is the motherboard or maybe the powersupply, but really it could be anything at this point.

  20. Hi,

    first thing: my operating system is windows 95 not XP as reffered to in the article

    So here is my problem:

    Once I start my computer and I get “Windows 95 starting” all right, I get a big screen with Java written on it and a this moment the computer freezes.
    Now if I press escape I will have the “windows 95 starting” message again but nothing will happen (not F8, nothing)
    The bizzarre thing though is that I always have a little dash “_” clicking but nothing happens.

    I tried with several boot disks: Dos6.22, windows 95a, windows 95b. None of them worked and I never had a C: prompt or an A: prompt although I heard the floppy drive read the disk.

    I also tried F8 which works when the message “windows 95 starting” appears BEFORE the Java Screen.
    Problem is:once I press enter (any entry), F5 or any combination (shift F5) my computer freezes.

    Additional note on safe mode:

    when I select safe mode I get the Java Screen and the computer will not “react” any more.
    By pressing “escape” I have access again to the Windows 95 startup menu but the keyboard will not respond ALTHOUGH there will always be a flashing dash “_”.
    In addition there will be a message: “Windows is bypassing your startup files” .

    I guess that’s all I’ve got to say…

    Thanks for your help…

  21. one more detail:when I press on the “on” button to shut down my computer savagely (that’s the ony way I found) it emits several beeps which I THINK (not quite sure) may be this: 1 long, 3 short Conventional/Extended memory failure

    Thanks again for your help…

  22. Paul: if you can’t even boot DOS from a floppy, it certainly sounds like you have a hardware failure, and I’d persue diagnosing that.

  23. I have a network (obydomain) When I log on to the domain the acoount works perfectly fine but after restarting the computer, when I try to log on the domain with the same user accout I get this message that account is disabled n can’t go futher. I checked my account on the server its workign fine n I can log on to other computers with the same username. Please help me in this case.
    Thanks & Regards,

  24. Hi,
    When I take a break from using my pc I always put it on standby mode. But then when I moved the mouse again to put it to work my pc doesn’t boot properly. So I end up unplugging the power cord and plugged it again. And then I shut down my pc at the end of the day but when I turned it back on the next day it boots but the mouse doesnt work. So im back unplugging the power cord and plugged it again. Pls. help me. Thank you so much

  25. 9 times out of 10 problems with standby are related to the BIOS on the machine. Check with the manufacturer to see if there is an updated BIOS for your laptop. I’m also assuming you’re running Windows XP … earlier versions of Windows (95, 98, Me) were less than reliable on standby issues.

  26. It’s been a long while since I originally installed XP for the first time when I had a K7T Turbo LE as my main motherboard. Do you know what BIOS you are using as I recall Windows XP installation problems back in 2002 (or so) and recall you had to flash the BIOS to the latest version at the time.

    I had to install verion 3.1 of the BIOS. IT listed:
    “-Fixed problem wherein system cannot install WinXP when using other K7T series board except K7T Turbo2”

  27. To fix the master boot record use fdisk from your operating system and copy it to a floppy.Boot to the dos prompt insert this floppy and type FDISK/MBR and hit enter. This worked on my computer when it would not boot.
    Good luck!

  28. My compaq Deskpro 2000 tries to boot…and goes to “black DOS screen” and reads 32345 (Ram). A few minutes later it goes to WINDOWS welcome page with blue bar moving at bottom of page, then locks up after five stolls across. It goes back and fourth from “black DOS screen” with ram listed, to Windows welcome screen. I can get to a DOS prompt, which allows me to install and open disks. How can I fix this problem? Can anyone help?

  29. hi and thanks in advance, hope you can help! My Compaq PC was working great until i took the motherboard and all components and switched them to a new case, now it powers up i hear hard drive engage , only problem monitor doesnt engage on, checked connection(FINE) checked Video card(FINE) checked my connections on hardware inside (fine) only thing i can gather from your articles is that it may be because i had the battery out of it and it lost its memory or what ever im probably wrong but i have no more ideas to fix this problem

  30. Given what’s changed, I’d triple check all the connections to the powersupply, and perhaps even the powersupply itself. Do you get any “beep” codes from the boot process? That can also lend some clues as to what might be going on. Normally if the CMOS battery goes, the machine will still at least attempt to boot and will show something on screen. Finally, it’s certainly possible that some static has toasted one or more of the boards. You might try removing all non-essential hardware from the box (even hard disk cards) and seeing if the video returns, or borrowing the video card from another machine. Good luck!

  31. Good Day, and Thank You for your help.
    My problem has to do with my computer locking up or freezing up. I have W/98 and use IncrediMail for my e-mail. This has been going on for about two weeks now. I can be online 5 mins. or 50 mins. It happens whenever. My computer also will not shut down, I have to shut it down. Please help me.

  32. Hi Leo,
    I should have mentioned that I have McAfee Virus and the SpyWare Doctor which I use EVERY day. The last thing that I downloaded was the Spyware Dr. 2 months ago, and I paid for that. I find that my computer is much slower doing things besides locking up. Even when I write an e-mail, it tends to lock-up. I’m temped to reinstall my W/98 again, but I don’t want to have to reinstall progams that I have. My last posting was on the 28th. Thanks again for your help!

  33. Leo: I have a Compaq presario PC. It would crash intermittently (and unexpectedly) but then would reboot and everything would be fine. Lately, though, once it crashed, it would not reboot. I turned it off and after a while it would work again. Now it just sits there. No beeps, nothing. No script on screen. No lights on the keyboard. No logo. Nothing. Only the green light indicating the computer is “on”.

    What’s the first thing to do other than check the power? Can you give me a checklist?



  34. For something that dead, the next steps are all technician diagnostic things – time to open up the machine :-). Unplug it first. I would check the power supply – which typically just means replacing it. Another thing might be to carefully blow the dust out of the machine and reseat or push all the cards firmly into their sockets. If that doesn’t do it, then I’d start removing expansion cards one at a time until the symptom’s changed. (This needs to happen with a known good power supply, though – removing a card can cause a failing powersupply to appear to work – for a while.) Swapping memory cards is also on the list.

    And if all that’s greek to you … then it’s time to just take the machine to a hardware technician to diagnose it for you.

    Good luck!

  35. Hi Leo:
    Saw this website when I was running into problems and hope you can help. My computer does the POST, but then just goes to a blank screen with a cursor on the top left corner (no beeps and no ability to do safe mode). it happened all of a sudden (ie working for 1-2 years, now this). i’m using win2000 pro.

    i’ve ran diagnostics on the hard drive and memory, swapped out the the memory modules, and nothing comes back with a problem. i’ve gone into win2000 recovery and ran emergency recovery, and also fixed the mbr. nothing changed.

    my question is this:
    i have a feeling that if i take the computer into a diagnostic place, they will simply tell me that i have to reinstall windows. i am hoping for a better answer than this so that i keep my current programs and settings intact. is there anything that i can do in the recovery console to correct a system file? if not, can i simply buy winXPpro, upgrade to this, and i’ll keep my current programs and settings and the boot will now be fixed?


  36. Well, you can install the OS on top of the existing install, and you *should* keep your existing programs and so on … that’s how an upgrade install is supposed to work. But I’m hesitant, simply because of the problems you’re experiencing. It could be as simple as a bad sector on the hard drive that happens to be in the boot image, for example. A reinstall would fix that, of course. If you can run a chkdisk surface scan that might be an intersting thing to try first, or some of he other non-destructive hard disk recovert/test tools (this article has more:

    I think in your situation, after the hard disk check, I would a) attempt to backup the contents of the hard drive if at all possible (booting from floppy if needed) and then re-install the existing OS before further confusing the situation with an upgrade.

    Good luck!

  37. hi, i just bought my friends’ computer and i want to take all her files out off that computer and reinstall everything. What do i do? How do i take all her files out off that computer?thanks…

  38. Recently I think my computer got hit with lightning. I was sitting near it and hear this wierd little popping sound and not more than a second later heard thunder crack. Well i had everything on a surge protector except the modem so i figured it entered there. But when i turn on the computer, it turns on but doesnt make the little noises when it boots up or even boot up at all. Nothing comes up on the screen either. Also usually if u hold the power button for 5 or so seconds the computer will turn off, but it doesnt do that either. I firgured it was a hardware problem but was praying it wasnt my mobo but its doesnt look good,. Can you help me? thanks.

  39. You’re right: it doesn’t look good. I’d take it in to a repair technician, myself. Could be the mobo, could also be the power supply. Could be something else. A tech should be able to diagnose pretty quickly with the machine in hand.

  40. Hi Leo
    In a post Paul made on July 1, 2005, he describes almost the same problem I am having. I run Win2000Pro on a Gateway mfd in 2001. One day, when booting up, I got the message that my hard drive could not be found. So…I had a new 200 Gig hard drive installed and the old HD cloned to the new HD. I got it home, started it up, I get the Gateway emblem followed by a black screen and flashing cursor in the upper LH corner; nothing else! Restarting the machine gets me all the way through boot up, but many times it cannot find my printer unless I unplug the printer USB cable and plug it back in. Am I having a CMOS battery problem or a BIOS problem? What’s your best guess about this situation.

  41. My best guess would e the cmos battery. Does it have the correct date and time in the bios setup? If not, or if it resets to the same out of date date and time, then it’s almost certainly the battery.

  42. Hi Leo. My son’s computer has been periodically locking up on some games, and then won’t boot. We get the Aware beeps that the BIOS can’t find the video card beeps, but can’t get past the flash to black screen to do anything. I have tried Control-alt-delete to end task and shut the system down, unplugging the CPU and letting it sit for a minute before plugging it back in…that kind of thing. What do I do now? Thanks for all the help. d

  43. It sounds like the game is causing the video card to go into some irrecoverable state. I would look for updated drivers from the video card manufacturer and see if that doesn’t help.

  44. hi
    my comp won’t boot it shows a blue screen after windows logo & that’s all nothing it does after that . No bootin takes place even from the cd after that what should i do .? do u know what is the problem is a wild ram problem or some thing like that? plz help me soon

  45. Hi Leo,

    I’m really hoping you can save my PC! I’ve read through this post and also the Lsass.exe post, but can’t find the solution in either location.

    I am running XP Pro w/ SP2, and all of a sudden, today it won’t boot up. If I don’t put an XP CD in, it will boot all the way (from the hard drive) until it gets the Lsass.exe object not found error message with the ‘OK’ dialog box. Clicking ‘OK’ will cause a reboot. I tried to boot into safe mode, but after successfully selecting that option, it will hang before it boots successfully. (it hangs while the text based ‘progress bar’ is less than half way through). Booting into safe mode with command prompt will hang when the progress bar just completes. Choosing the boot into last known config will cause a reboot before it even finishes booting. so none of the advanced windows options seem to work.

    Since I have my XP installation CD, I have also tried to boot from the CD. I was really hoping that I can do a repair install, and it starts out normally by deleting a bunch of files, and then generating a list of files to be copied. However, in the middle of copying the necessary files (~48% done) it stops being able to copy files. It asks you to check to make sure that the right CD is in the CD tray, etc. I have checked that my installation CD is not damaged (I successfully installed with the same CD on a different machine, except that I couldn’t activate it of course). I have browsed the content of the CD and found the correct files (with the .XX_ extension, as well as a cabinet file) in the directory. So I’m pretty sure the CD is okay. Anyway, I hit ‘Esc’ to skip the file to be copied, but all subsequent files are also not ‘copyable’. Hitting Esc repeatedly to attempt to skip all the files then causes the ‘Windows is forced to shut down to prevent damage’ screen.

    I can get into the recovery console, but for some reason it won’t recognize my administrator password, so I haven’t been able to try salvaging things via command line. I have tried many combinations of my admin passwords to no avail.

    I just want to boot into Windows ONCE so I can salvage some recent family pics from the last few months that I hadn’t backed up yet.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  46. It sounds to me like perhaps you have a harddisk problem. Something’s certainly broke – as you already know.

    My temptation would be to boot from a stand-alone boot floppy (I believe has ’em), or perhaps something like knoppix (stand-alone Linux on a CD). Both should at least be able to read your hard disk and get your pictures. Once you’ve recovered what information you want and can off that disk, I’d be tempted to reformat – perhaps even running’s SpinRite hard disk utility.

  47. Ok, so my PC powers up, then nothing. The HD-led burns (green) for a while, after which it does absolutely and completely nothing. It cant be a POST problem, cause there are no beeps. I read elsewhere that it might be a +12v problem (too many devices connected to it), but when I disconnect some devices, it still wont boot.

    Fyi: this problem started accuring when I flashed my motherboard BIOS to the latest version. I dont know how, but sometimes I do get it to boot (all the way into Windows), but after a while, it locks up again; anyway I flashed the BIOS back to its original version (I had saved the old BIOS), but it still keeps locking up and I have to unplug my ram and my videocard, leave them out for a while (1-2 hours) before I can successfully boot again.

    So, any ideas on what is wrong (could it be some BIOS settings, cause I put most of them on auto/by spd/etc)?

    Thanks for your reply in advance.

  48. P.S.: Please note that my CPU temp is 72Celsius IDLE!!! (which is NOT good, I know, dont know what to do about it though).

  49. Comment on my previous posts:
    Installed a different heatsink+fan (+arctic silver5 thermal compound) which lowered my CPU temp down to 38c idle. The problem still remains though.

    Because I’ve tried to disconnect multiple devices and replace my videocard and RAM (have an old vid-card and RAM that previously worked on the exact same PC config I’m running now), I think the problem’s source is the motherboard: I’d forgotten that I previously flashed my videocard (using atiflash).

    Also: recently I have encountered the following error messages: “..BIOS checksum error..” and: “..X800 XT..” (the last is the name of the vid-card I flashed, I actually have a regular X800 Pro installed).

    So I’m now planning to flash my vid-card back to the original bios which I saved on floppy (IF i can get trough POST) and if that doesn’t work, buy a new motherboard. What do you think?

  50. Rahul Lukhan:
    If you TRIED to put the P3 chip in the Celeron socket, you might have damaged it.

    Or you might have put the Celeron chip back in, backwards. Just a couple thoughts.

    Did you remember to earth yourself before tinkering about with the static electricity sensitive components inside your PC first too?

  51. I have never seen a 586 or higher processor that would fit in backwards.. so I doubt that is the case. Sounds like either he bent the pins on the processor, or either he generated an electrostatic discharge while touching the computer parts that may have either damaged the system board, or the processor itself. Make sure you have the power supply cords plugged in properly. (some motherboards have an extra square plugin with a four prong square connector with yellow and black wires coming from the power supply.) Unplug all hardware.. hard drive ..floppy and CD Roms… Then try to boot and see if it gets to the bios screen. Unplug all drive cables from the drives, and all usb devices… the only thing that should be plugged in at this point are the Keyboard, Mouse and Monitor. No drives should have ribbons. Try to boot to the bios and if that fails.. check the pins on the processor, or make sure you didn’t plug in a processor other than the original. If you still can’t boot the machine, either the processor is fried, or the motherboard took an ESD surge. (It may benefit you to make sure all AGP/PCI or in some cases ISA cards are securely plugged in…. if so… then remove them and try to boot again.)

  52. My brother bought some ram for his computer which turned out the speed was to high for his so he gave it to me. I took out my old ram and it didn’t say anything on it so I tried to install the new ram. Nothing happened I hit power it would turn on and nothing would appear on the screen it would just give me the monitor test. After a minute the computer would just shut off so I reinstalled the ram it came with and it is still doing the same thing power up , with nothing appearing on screen, and shut off within a minute. Any idea what could be wrong?

  53. If you’re certain that the RAM has been seated properly in its sockets, then it sounds to me like you’ve damaged your motherboard. Might be time to take it to a technician.

  54. Hi, I hope you guys can help me out!

    I have a DELL machine with a master and slave hard disk configuration. Recently upon booting the sequence of events has gone something like this:

    * I power up;
    * Very strange beeps that are presumably codes, but very fast and rasping so I can’t make out the pattern;
    * NVIDIA graphics details displayed on screen;
    * DELL logo displayed and short wait whilst my RAM is enumerated;
    * Short clunky disk access noise (HDD I assume?) and “Operating System Not Found” message displayed;

    My machine was ex-business second hand and runs XP Pro – so consequently I lack the system disk or recovery console mentioned above.

    My system is currently functioning – this is the bit that scares me – I turned off and rebooted my machine several times, getting the same beeps and errors until on the 6th go there were no beeps and XP started. I read somewhere that this could mean my HDD is getting stuck and needs to be rapidly replaced and/or backed up before it fails completely. However, this would imply that my problems have occurred when the HDD fails to spin, and would it still make the clunky access noises I heard if this were the case? Please point me in the right direction here, I have a lot of data to back up and if anybody thinks I have an imminent HDD crash on my hands I really need to prepare!

  55. Absolutely. I would plan on that hard disk dieing soon. Backups are important even when it’s working, but get it backed up and checked out asap.

  56. you have probely damaged your ram with ESD (electrostatic discharge) you will have to buy some new ram for you pc i recomend taking your opld ram with u. also leave ur pc pluged in but turnd of at the switch. before removin the casin of the ram tuch ur pc case on the metalic surface for a minute to release any ESD make sure u insert it the right way and in the right slot!!!! x

  57. Hi, my pc won’t boot up, it just beeps a few times and the monitor isn’t recieving any signal! … i’m on Windows XP Home SP2

    I installed a new dvd-rw last night, i installed powerdvd that came with it and everything was fine … i then installed the Nero 6 suite that came with the dvd-rw and my whole computer froze and the screen turned into a rainbow of different colours all over the screen … i reset my computer but it then wouldn’t boot up at all!!! …

    can anyone please help sort it without loosing all my data? cause i have loads of important stuff stored on my hdd!

  58. Carl: I would start by removing the Ram you added and seeing if that makes the problem go away. If it does, then even if it’s the “right ram”, there’s an issue related to it being installed.

  59. Kushal: I am using GPRS internet via my mobile, when I try to connect I get the error “The PPP link control protocol was terminated, this did not happen before, I am using windows XP professional RAM 384 40 GB HDD.

  60. Your bet bet is to track that down with your mobile provider, OR check for on-line discussion forums specifically for that provider.

  61. Hi Leo,

    I have a problem where as soon as the windows logo boots up, the PC restarts. This happens in all modes of booting – safe mode, last known good configuration and normal mode.

    The problem happened after I took out a graphics card to check it after some graphics problems – I replaced and switched on but the above re-setting started. I’ve replaced the graphics card but that hasn’t worked. I’ve also tried using the XP disc to enter recovery mode but that hasn’t worked either. Do you have any suggestions on how to solve this problem?



  62. If you restored the hardware to the way that it was when it was working, than the likely conclusion is that the motherboard’s been damaged somehow – probably static. You may need to have a technician evaluate it.

  63. Hi. I just got an other stick of ram and when I put all 3 sticks in my pc won’t start up at all. The fans spin but the screen won’t come on.

    It works fine with 2 sticks in any slots but 3 sticks in all 3 slots it doesnt boot up.

    The only time it works normaly with all 3 sticks of RAM is right after I restarted my CMOS and skip the error msg that my CMOS settings are set to deafault but then when I restart again it doesnt work

  64. Hi Leo,

    I have a home built system I built over a year and a half ago. About 8 months ago, my 2 yr old spilled milk down the top vent, resulting in my having to replace motherboard and hard drive. Ever since then, I have experienced lock ups while booting up system but only if I have a DVD or a game in the drive. The levels of lock up vary in that sometimes it will ask me for a boot device, or it will ask me to run set up, but mostly, it will load completely into windows and user accounts, then lock up while loading all the software on desk top. This will only happen if I have a cd or dvd in drive. If not, it will run perfectly. What really bothers me is that although this problem is too frequent, it doesn’t always happen even if I do have a disk in the cd-rom. I’ve tried formatting several times, but the problem is always the same. I’ve even tried swapping out the cd-rom with another computer but the results are the same. I’m running windows xp professional. How can I determine the cause of this anoying problem?

  65. Ven: sounds like you have the wrong type of memory stick, OR your computer requires it in pairs. You’ll need to check with the manufacturer of your computer or motherboard.

  66. Juan: sounds like something besides the hard drive or motherboard was hurt. Did you use the same RAM or install new ram on the new motherboard? I’s also suspect the powersupply. After that – I’d start swapping other removable parts one at a time to see if any of them make the problem go away. Or take it to a repair shop.

  67. well i dont have windows xp cd and i have those boot floppy disc my computer makes a little noise before it goes to a screen were its says somthing about corrupt file sysem32 i forgot the rest but i tried the boot disks and i really cant find out what to do please help hope you understand

  68. Ramon: only thing I can recommend is that you get a Windows CD. Sounds like you need to reinstall, or at least perform a repair install.

  69. Updating BIOS has left my ‘system halted’ due to an incompatible processor. I can not safemode to boot from disk. Really, It won’t do anything,not ever reboot–just powers on & off. How do I fix this?!

  70. When the power goes out my computer will not immediately reboot. I get a blue screen the first 3-4 or 6-7 times I reboot. Then it finally boots up normally with no problems. If I do a normal shutdown or restart, no problems, only if power goes off or machine unplugged.

  71. My computer will not completely power on. It will go on for at best 5 seconds and then power off. I have to reset it just to try again and i still havent been able to access anything. Ive been told by some friends i might need a new power supply. Does anyone out there agree? Thanx

  72. Quite possible, but almost impossible to diagnose remotely. You might try removing unneeded peripheral cards first – try booting with as little hardware plugged in as possible – that could tell you if it’s some other component. But if you have the resources, go ahead and swap the powersupply. Otherwise you may be looking at taking it to a technician for diagnosis.

  73. the bottom line is when your baking a cake, you need to take your sweet time, therefore the cake wll be sweet like me! another thing that has come to my knowledge, is that we need to bring p1 and p3 style connectors back, thats right people, iam talking about the legendary “at” board of doom. now what do you think of that?

  74. i got a virus that when ever i boot up in the cornor it says windows envorment locked and threatens if i dont pay them 10 dollars it will take up hidden space on my harddrive turning it into a recently i tried to save something and it says i have no more hard drive space “0” space to be exact please tell me how to rid this thank you.

  75. Hai All,

    This problem is mainly due to your RAM, please try removing the RAM from the slot and fix it back again, your problem should be solved.


  76. i am using a Dell inspiron 4000 and when i start my laptop it goes to the loading screen, where it says windows xp home edition with the green bar laoding, after that a blue screen pops up and is gone in a second, so i can’t read what it says, then my computer starts again and the samething happens again and again. what should i do, i need help.

  77. my pc is sick.please help .
    i turn on my pc and i get nothing no screen , the fans go round, the hard drive goes round becaues you can hear it , i cant get into the bios and the processer is stone cold.
    please can you help me ? martin

  78. There are so many possibilities, but without seeing the machine, it’s hard to say. Just about any peice of hardware could be at fault. In your shoes, I’d take it into a technician.

  79. Hi,
    I was on a particularly demanding game when there was a sudden power-cut at 11pm. Afterwards, when i switched the pc on, All that happened was the cd-drive span and the screen stayed blank. I thought maybe the power-cut seriously damaged some of my hardware (Is this likely?).
    So i kept trying to boot up. I kept trying and after about 15 minutes it somehow recognised the card and windows booted up…hurray! Everything was normal, and i ran system checks and everything seemed to be ok. I went to bed, reassured by the success.
    Then, the next day, when i joyfully switched on the pc, the same old frustrating blank screen problem happened again. I swapped the video card for one of my old ones…and that only worked after about half an hour.
    I really really need to know what kind of problem this is…
    The most important question is: Is this a mainboard problem?
    Thanks in advance for any help.

    My PC:
    GA-7ZM Mainboard
    AMD Athlon 1Ghz processor
    Ati Radeon Celestica Gold Edition SE 128mb
    2 x 256MB PC100/133 RAM
    1 x 128MB PC100/133 RAM = 655MB RAM in total
    Built-in RAM

  80. hey,

    i was in the middle of something and my computer froze and then i could do nothing so i tried to restart, but now it does not restart, the fan and i think the hardrive is wroking, so can u tell me what could be wrong the motherboard or something else, please try to help me out because this is the only computer i have

    PLEASE HELP, if u can


  81. There’s no way to diagnose that from here. It could be just about anything. If the article you commented on didn’t help, then I suggest you take the computer into a repair technician.

  82. I have about the same problem as Joe.

    Sometimes I managed to boot the computer but but not others.

    I don’t either even come to the post screen.

    I’ve tried to trouble shoot, I also tried with replacing the graphic card, how ever it didn’t do any difference.

    All the fans and harddrives seems to get started
    (I get a green power light and red hdd light) on the front of where the start button is which seem to indicate something is starting) and cpu starts (I’ve checked inside) but the monitor refused to start and I don’t think the windows started to load either.

    I have found a way to start the computer and that is to turn everything off, also the monitor. Do a clear C-mos and then put everything on and then re-boot, then it starts…

    Unfortunately I have no money to buy spare parts for a long time now and I would be very grateful for any advice.

    The motherboard doesn’t have give any bios beeps when trying to boot at all, it just goes black.

    But when I manage to start it it stays started and I have no problems ones it have started.

    When I get money in some 2 months I’ll try to replace the power supply and if that doesn’t work, the monitor.
    My monitor is actually some 10 years old so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was that !

    But I still really would like some input if anyone could help me .. please

    I have a AMD64 3000+ CPU
    a ASUS K8V-X mo-bo
    Ati Radeon 128mb graphics
    256 ddr400


  83. I been using windows NT4 sp6 for years on cad program, computer is probably 9 years old, never had a problem but now it locks up occasionally on all programs(pdf’s,opening jpeg,websites,cad program). I have to use the reset button, control alt del is also dead at that time. I’ve run latest Mcafee and hijack this but everything is evidently okay. Any suggestions?

  84. If nothing’s changed, I’d be looking at hardware on a 9 year old computer – perhaps a dying power supply, memory that’s failing, who knows. I suspect it’ll be hard to get replacement parts – or a tech who’ll look at it, but that’s the direction I’d head.

  85. Hey Leo,

    I have a pretty solid understanding of computers. About every 6 months to a year I reformat and just wipe the slate clean. I recently did this, reinstalled all the drivers, updated my OS to XP (had 98 and then the XP upgrade disk) then simply started to intsall my programs etc. I come in the morning to find my computer is off, I go to turn it on and as it boots up I get a series of “beeps” followed by the computer turning itself off. I hvae no clue why the computer wont’ even boot into bios or windows and am looking for some ideas on where to start. Any advice would be greatly appricated.

  86. Thought this might help someone.
    I just had an error where the computer wouldn’t boot at all. It would power up and passed POST but the monitor wouldn’t display anything. I thought it was a video card issue, turned out to be a bad RAM stick. Put in a new stick and it works fine now.

  87. My mums computer now without any provocation is asking for a boot disk, i used my computer to make one but theres a I/O error or something like that. Theres also a horrible noise coming from what i think is the heard drive, it’s a mixture between a click and a scrape and the speaker on the base unit of the case is beeping everytime it scrapes.

    Help, she won’t stop using my computer…

  88. I had the problem when i started windows the screen went blank after the windows logo screen.I tried everything windows recovery (did’nt work computer hanged half way through ?),safe mode unpluged the power supply and still nothing.
    BUT when i pressed the restart button again windows froze after the logo screen,so i just left it to read a few articles on THIS page and voila the login screen came typed in password and everything started normaly.
    My advice is if the screen goes blank after the logo screen leave it for a few minutes (around 5 for me).Don’t know hwy it did that but doing nothing solved my problem.

  89. Today my computer will only start and then goes to a black screeen with a blinking cursur in the upper right of the screen….My computer has been running slow lately so I have been rmoving un needed files (none that have anything to do with the system)…I’ve tried to boot into safe mode, but it won’t go there either…It sometimes gives me an error message that says Keyboard error and then its followed by the blinking cursur….I even used two other key boards and got the same message (sometimes) I’ve been working on this all day, trying different start up disks and boot disks/floppies….still nothing…It’s a two year old Dell deminsion 8400 with windows xp home edition with service pack 2, p4, 250 gig hd, 1 and 1half gigs memory.
    Anyone have any ideas out there….could sure use some help on this one….contact me directly if you like at [email address removed – post responses here – Leo] …good thing my old computer still works…
    Thanks all! and yes, I did read the top article!

  90. Hi:

    I had some troubles with my LapTop, and I want to share my experience… The computer just didn’t boot, the screen was black and I couldn’t even see the “IBM” logo when turning it on… The only thing I did is cleaning the RAM card, and voil

  91. My Windows won’t load at all,when I switch on my computer normally it will show the Intel Motherboard
    sign/wallpaper and after that it wil go directly to the windows logon loading.Now what happened is it still shows the Intel Motherboard sign but after that the screen will go black but not black as if total shutdown but black colour that the screen projects and then on the top left there is a small horizon it happens before but 30 seconds after that it will still load the windows xp now,even waited for 2 hours and the windows still won’t load.What is actually the problem here? my hardisk,my windows xp or my motherboard?

  92. There are a number of reasons your PC might not boot (Viruses, Missing/Corrupt Files, Bad Sectors/Damaged Hard Drive etc) but what I would do 1st of all is check if your PC will boot from a Bootable CD (the PC does not boot from the Hard Drive – just from the CD! and you can run programs from the CD to change passwords, scan for viruses, check and fix the hard drive, recover files, etc).
    You may then be able to fix the problem (using the tools included) or at least determine if it is a hardware or software fault (if the PC boots from CD it must be Windows or the Hard Drive that is corrupt, if it wont boot from a bootable CD its probably another hardware fault. i.e. Motherboard / Memory)
    You can get a Bootable PC Repair CD or a Bootable Bart Disk at
    click here: or here:
    Hope this helps!

  93. on my opinion you should get a flopy disk with a windows start up o operating system.this wil help your computer to start if it doesnt show anything.after it has finished,remove your floppy and insert your windows xp cd,then restart your computer and follow the instruction from your cd.

  94. Hi i have a time 2000 laptop which was working fine then the screen froze and I couldn’t shut down using the alt,ctrl, del task manager as it didn’t come up. I turned the machine off by holding down the power switch left it a few minutes and now when i turn it on all I get is a couple of beeps a flash of a green light by the on button the fan whirling but nothing else the screen is dead. Is it heaven for this notebook, i had heard freezing is sometimes useful.

  95. >> Cannot boot up computer

    My pc cant boot up. I have tried to install a new copy of XP and I cant after a XP loads all the driver and reboots I doesnt comple the instalation , I have tried to Repair XP, new Hard Drive, Memory, disconect all the components, new CPU but nothing I still get a blue screen and is not the Blue Screen of Death, because I dont get any errors, it just take me to a black screen there I have all the opcitons if I want to use safe mode, last , normal……. after taht it doesnt matter wich you u select i takes you to a blue escreen with the mouse pointer only, I cant even do Ctrl+Alt+Del I have to shuted down my self. Can some one help me plz… Thanks!!!!

  96. Hi, I’m having a hard time finding anyone else with this same problem. My PC is stuck/frozen at the Black screen where you can select the system to “Start in safe mode”, “Start in normal mode”, “Start in safe mode with command prompts” etc… When I select one of these and hit enter, NOTHING happens, it just sits on this screen. A friend of mine who is more of a PC expert was able to get into the Bios, use the XP disc and scan and repair the system. He said it did repair and fix what it needed to fix. But when restarting the PC it still gets stuck/locks up at the same black screen with the load “normal,safe” command prompts. It won’t go past that screen. He thinks that perhaps when I downloaded the latest version of Acrobat reader the other day I may have messed up the registry somehow. Any thoughts?


  97. hi, im really having a really bad problem with my computer, first of all i’ll tell you the details, my computer won’t start up property all i hear is the fan and nothing else i don’t even hear the beep no more…..i have a clue that might be the cause of this problem…this all started out when i hit my computer accetendy and the computer just froze and stop responding. This happened to me before…i fixed the problem just by hitting it really hard =P and magicly it just started to work again….but now it doesn’t work no more….=(
    Can Someone plzzz help…meee sorry for the spelling errors im kinda on a rush right now…


    Hash: SHA1

    Hitting your computer is never a good idea and now you know why.

    You probably knocked something loose.

    If you’re technically profficient, you can open the computer and make sure that
    all the plugs are seated properly, and that the memory and expansion cards are
    all pushed into their slots properly.

    If you don’t understand that, or it sounds too scary, it’s time to take your
    machine to a technician.

    But stop hitting it.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  99. Im having an booting error and, as far as I know, it’s some kind of crash depending on an sudden shut down of my computer, that I made. I kept holding in the start/shutdown button, and it just went down. I believe that it is a shutdown command, and that my computer is programmed to do so when I hold the button down. And now, when I try to boot the computer, I get to the black screen with booting alternatives such as “Start in safe mode”, “Start in normal mode”, “Start in safe mode with command prompts” etc. When I select one of these and hit enter, the Windows XP loading screen comes up, and when it disappears, the computer reboots. And it don’t matter how many times I try, or which one of the options I select, it always gets back to the same black screen. I can acces the BIOS menu and advanced booting options and all that, but no matter which one of the advanced options I choose, I always end up on the black screen with booting options. There is one thing I can do though, that not makes the computer reboot, and that is “Inactivate automatic reboot on system failure” and then I get a blue screen with alot of text and the message: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. And all I can do from there is to reboot the computer again and go back to the black screen. Any suggestions?

    Thank’s in advance


  100. My Brother’s Desktop computer won’t start up. My brother was playing a 3D game when it froze(this computer never frezes but crashing happens often)
    after that it just booted till it got to the hardware list screen(the one that you get when you start up)then stoped and the next time I tried to start it up just the fans and a black screen no blinking of the hard drive light or floppy disk drive, how ever the cd-rw drive seems to work fine.
    I have checked all the power supply and data cables.
    I think it’s the mother board or the power supply.
    Im not sure what his system is
    but it has a 900mh AMD prosser

  101. I have an HP machine that the power supply went bad on. I replaced that and now it is booting up. When it gets to the blue/white HP screen it gets hung there for 30-60 seconds. I thought that it could have been the hadr drive but the IDE test came back fine. The RAM has been reseated. I have tried to change the boot sequence and tried to use a USB external CD drive to reformat the HDD. It will not find it. It just boots into Windows XP after the 30-60 second delay. It used to boot right into windowns. Is there something that I can check on the motherboard that may be causing this issue?


    Hash: SHA1

    When my machines spend that long at the Dell logo screen on boot up it’s
    typically because the BIOS is doing an extended memory test. On many BIOS’s
    there’s an option to do a quicker test – perhaps that setting got reverted in
    the change?


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  103. I was using my computer, and i rebooted.
    When i rebooted it got to the initial gigabyte screen (not the black one with all the stats) and just hangs, eventually it went from that to no power at all and the HD light flashes constantly and i can hear like a ticking noise inside, any suggestions?

  104. I restarted my computer(I am using Windows XP), and now it wont boot at all. I tried booting in safe mood, and every other mood, but nothing works. Help.. please… I dont want to loose any of my work on my computer. If anyone has any ideas, please Help!! I’d appreciate it!!
    This is what the screen says:
    Windows hardware or software change might have caused this.
    Try Last known configuration to revert most recent settings that works.
    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Last know good configuration
    start windows normally

    it will keep restarting itself to this screen… nothing else.. and I tried every mode, but nothing works, keeps going back to this screen

    before I restarted my computer…. my friend had tried to sign on to msn… but I had lost my connection, so I restarted my computer.. and *BAM*…. my computer just wouldn’t restart!

  105. Here’s another way when you just need to get in and copy your precious files from a PC that won’t boot Windows:
    Shut down, remove your bad hard drive and put in another one. Install Windows on the new drive. Shut down and install both hard drives, make the new one the Master and the old one the Slave. (If you don’t know what this means, get some help). When you reboot the PC, the new drive will be C: and the old bad drive will be D: or E:, etc. You can then use Windows Explorer to copy files from the bad drive to the new C: drive. If the bad drive is really corrupt (unreadable file segments, etc), you might need a utility that can try to copy your bad files, because Explorer isn’t good at this. Just google “copy bad files” and you’ll find recommendations, some free.

  106. what if my laptop can boot only in cool temperature but cant boot again after i have been using it for a while (if i restart it). If i wait until it cool down (sometime take hours!) it can reboot again!

    Hash: SHA1

    Actually that’s pretty easy: that kind of temperature
    sensitivity is almost guaranteed to be a hardware problem of
    some sort. You will need to get your laptop repaired.



    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  108. same problems as nikki above, besides not being able to find my xp disk what can I do?
    I restarted my computer(I am using Windows XP), and now it wont boot at all. I tried booting in safe mood, and every other mood, but nothing works. Help.. please… I dont want to loose any of my work on my computer. If anyone has any ideas, please Help!! I’d appreciate it!!
    This is what the screen says:
    Windows hardware or software change might have caused this.
    Try Last known configuration to revert most recent settings that works.
    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt
    Last know good configuration
    start windows normally

    it will keep restarting itself to this screen… nothing else.. and I tried every mode, but nothing works, keeps going back to this screen


  109. I have had my hp laptop (windows xp) for about 2 and half years now. It has only crashed once and i had to completely reinstall windows with a cd. It has been maybe a year since that and the other day I noticed that the same blue screen came up after the windows logo. It said that it was checking for disk corruption. Now the last time this happened, after the blue screen came a black screen with some options u could choose (i do not remember exactly what they were) but with every option that you chose, it would restart the computer and would go back to the same black screen. but in this case once the blue screen disapeared, the windows log-in came up. i successfully logged into windows and ran my norton full system scan and nothing came up. I also made sure to update my norton securtity and i updated the computer with the microsoft update. I am confused because the computer seems fine. Do you think that the computer detected something and was able to fix it?

  110. Wish I could help but I can’t get any myself.
    Computer kept freezing, then decided to not even boot.
    I had a few instances where there was no reaction at all, no power nothing,then I got power to everything and it would not boot or show bios info
    nothing on my screen as well.

    I had it in for two days with some techs and they reckon they tested everything and nothing was wrong.

    I figure it is a mainboard problem and for sure the bios is stuffed, but how do you fix this if nothing boots?
    The dvd drive spins but will not load anything because of the bios problem.
    At the moment I have it in pieces and have a new board ordered.
    Setup was
    Vista 64bit Business Edition
    M2N32SLI Vista premium motherboard
    8 gig ram (brand new) but problem was there before this purchase.
    Gainsward Video Card
    2 DVD DRives
    WD hard drive
    WD 2nd hardrive for storage
    2 external 500gig WD drives
    1 TB Sata Raid External
    Athlon 64bit 6000+ processor
    620watt Corsair power supply
    Creative Audio card SFX

    The new board will be a Gigabyte GA-MA 790FX-DS5

    Any comments?

    This system is a little over 12 months old, so as far as warranty I have no idea whether the old board is covered.

    I am no genious but any help would be appreciated.

  111. My computer boots up, beep twice then it said a boot file in my C:Windowsystem can’t be found or it has been corrupted, and it asked me to use the Window XP disc to repair the file. I used the CD which I got from my computer manufactor to restore and repair the system, after that it started up. I turned it off on that day and the next day when I started it up again, it gave me the same message.
    I’m really frustrated now. I don’t know what wrong with it. Do you have any idea???

    Could be so many things. My gut reaction is to suspect the hard drive. I’d be tempted to run SpinRite on it, if you don’t mind paying for that.


  112. help my house got hit by lightning and it gets to serup and load bios then it goes back to the load and setup screen again how can i get it to load the os

    After a lightning strike my first guess would be a hardware problem. Take it to a technician for diagnosis.

    – Leo
  113. Hi, Leo,

    I have a booting issue that doesn’t quite fit any discussed above. My computer boots, and boots just fine, but only if I am standing by on a restart to press the F8 key, and then select “Start Windows Normally”. If the computer is left to restart on its own, it simply hangs before the splash screen. This is a hassle for a Media PC that needs to be restarted daily.

    I am hesitant to use the Recovery Console or other tools, as I have worked hard on my HTPC, and Microsoftware has a reputation for “Taking Over” and “undoing work”. I am not sure it would help in my case, anyway.

    I’m impressed with many of the answers you have provided. Although I am a “Lurker” until today, I have made use of a number of your insights, and even extended many. I hope you can help.

  114. I am having a similar problem. I was moving items on my desk and the power got unplugged. I plugged it back in and when I try to boot up my IBM NetVista on XP Pro I only get this message on a black screen “Press F1 for Setup Press F12 for Startup Device Menu” When I do, nothing happens!! Please help,

  115. When I turn On my pc, It acts like it is booting. No screen comes up and no sounds are made, but tha hard drive starting up, and tha prosscer fan running. The keyboard does not turn on eather. After I turn of tha pc five times, I get tha pc to boot up right. I dont know what is cuasing this. If i get tha pc to boot, it runs fine. What could cause this?
    Posted by: Daniel at February 3, 2009 6:18 PM

  116. Yes I have a custom built pc with an athlon processor running windows xp pro. with service pack 2. I can start up with the xp installation cd and everything starts up like in the format stage, it loads all the files and then after that, it’s telling me that it cant find any hard drives on my computer. Windows can’t continue, so I’m even unable to format. I have 3 green lights in the back instead of 4. The 4th light is red. I replaced the ide cable and changed the hard drive and still the same thing. I try’d my old hard drive in another computer and it loads all files and it would format. btw, when it boots I get a cmos error too. Does anybody have a understanding of what might be going on here? Thanks Sincerly, Junior.

  117. I have a Toshiba Satelite u205 laptop for about 3 years. It has been fine until 1 day when I try to log on, it logs me off. There is no cd, built in recovery. Tried to reformat hard drive,no good. I log on,system logs me off.
    Any suggestions?

  118. I have a problem with a Dell Precision 370. When it is turned on the only thing that happens is that the CPU fan winds up to high speed and nothing else happens. I have checked the cpu and memory and both are fine. I have disconnected the hard drives and DVD player so that it is down to basics.
    Any help would be appreciated,
    regards Greg

  119. My computer wouldn’t boot, there were no beeps at all. I took to a professional, they said the reseated the RAM and it worked (I had tried that too). That worked for a day, then same thing. I got it to run again, i took everything apart, even the CPU, cleaned it, put it all back together, and voila i am back up. Would a motherboard or CPU issue be sporadic like this? I have a sony VGC-RB38g.

  120. my computer locks up when play Movie Player, and Netflix player, I have windows Vista, 1GB Ram, even when took out of box it locked up on me first day had to hard boot it.
    My instinct thinks either Vista uses up most the RAM, computer runs out of RAM for the Video Players, or my Video Card.

  121. acer desktop. all was fine until i created a user account for my friends son. the first program he tried to run kept crashing with *app* errors and java errors, now it hardly boots at all and well it does, it hangs when i click on anything, and god forbid i double click on anything. i can still use the wifi for my laptop though, if that has any corrolation . i have since gone ahead and deleted his profile, thinking that could be the glitch. anyone had this problem or similar?

  122. i have a toshiba laptop and installed a new harddrive but it won’t load Vista and it loads Xp but then tells me no HD. The old HD crashed and won’t work should i change the cmos battery

  123. when i switch on my computer(CPU)the power goes up but no action taken on the monitor however monitor still on as well. i have changed different monitors.

    pls advice.

  124. this is for my husband but his system is not staying on and freezing so using my email add.His system freezes Sometimes after only a minute of startng up,sometimes just resets on its own have wiped hd and re installed but the problem still persists its driving him insane can anyone please help oh hes already run it through reg cure and virus checker

  125. i just took out my 25ogb harddrive out my computer to put it in a new desk top but now the old computer wont boot up need help asap if u can help my plz hit me up ty

  126. Hi, my Dell 5150c won’t boot up at all when I hit the on button, the light/button which usually goes green, just flashes orange, my external hard drive comes alive as does the monitor, which then goes into standby after a few seconds.
    Any idea’s?

  127. when i start my computer up the gateway icon comes up then it goes to a blackish blue screen the cursor might flicker but other than that…nothin….please help me!!

  128. MY computer when I turn it on doesn’t do anything, The green light on the DVD/CD constantly flashes but nothing is displayed on the monitor. After about 5 minutes the computer shuts itself off. Do I have a Bad hard drive, or other problems?

    There’s simply no way to know without looking at the machine. Could be any of a hundred different things. Probably time for a technician.

    – Leo
  129. cant start computer just keeps looping in safe mode. tried all options in safe mode but it wont even get out of safe mode. i havve xp on a gateway

  130. My laptop cannot start up. It only says cannot find operating system and totally stays on that screen :s
    Heeelp please

  131. Try unplugging all external hardwares (Printers, Scanners, Phones, iPod). Unplug anything connected through a USB (except the keyboard and mouse). I had this problem happen to me, but I called Dell, and they told me to unplug my external hardwares (my ipod) once I did it continued to boot up and is now working perfectly.

  132. I was looking at a email sent by a friend of mine when my computer froze. I shut the computer off and tried to restart it but when I did it stopped at the windows screen and the loading bar just keeps cycling. Can you tell me what the probem might be? I have all my childrens pictures in there and I would do anything not to lose them. Please help me if you can.

  133. A while ago i used my laptop to download some music and then switched it off. when i went back to use my laptop again about a week or two later, i switched it on and it asked me whether i wanted to ‘launch startup repair (recommended)’ or start windows normally. repair leads to a page that says windows is loading files then just freezes and starting windows normally leads to the usual startup screen but the loading bar just keeps going so either way i cannot use the laptop so any help or advice would be appreciated, thanks.

  134. I have read all of this and more about the recovery console BUT…my cd drivr is broken and
    1.doesnt even open right now
    2.doesnt read cds

    I have tried cleaning it and making sure nothing is loose but it just doesnt work. I have many priceless pictures and videos on my cpu and i just want them on a safe flash drive or memory card…but i cant do that without a cd drivr that works…

    so my question is: it there a way to get/use windows xp recovery console WITHOUT a cd drive?

    Not that I’m aware of – at least not easily. How about just replacing that CD drive?


  135. My Dell laptop will not boot and wants to start in repair mode. Nothing happens an it keeps looping into the same repair mode.

  136. Hello, I have recently been given an old computer with no cd-rom or harddrive. I have installed a ide harddrive and a ide cd rom. I have entered the bios and the new drives are showing: the harddrive as 1de1 primary and the cdrom ide2 as primary. The bios is set to boot from cd-rom first and then harddrive second.
    However when I boot the computer it lists the devices and then says, “Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk And Press Enter”
    I am trying to install Microsoft Windows Professional.
    The componants are: ASUS P4SGX-MX Motherboard
    Intel (R)Celeron (R) 2400Mhz Processor
    Cache memory 120k
    Memory installed 224Mb
    Asus dvd-rom E616
    Hitachi HDP725025GLA Harddrive


  137. Hello!
    My IBM laptop started freezing, so I would shut it off and turn it back on, but then it started freezing on the ‘loading Win XP’ page, to the point that I tried 19 times before it loaded my desktop. It would work for a little while and then freeze again. I took out my HD and put in a different one from my mother’s identical laptop, and it did the exact same freezing thing. A couple days later, we tried it again, and it was fine for 2 days! Now, it’s freezing again, so I did the Windows recovery with chkdsk /r and then fixboot. It found and repaired errors. Windows then booted normally to the desktop, but then froze the second I moved the mouse. I shut it off, turned it back on, and the screen now stays completely blank, without even the ‘IBM’ screen that comes on first. The HD lights don’t come on whatsoever. Is it the motherboard, considering that it did this with 2 different HD’s? Thanks very much.

  138. My computer is brand new. It is a dell inspirion. I turned it on a few days ago and was surfing the web and it started saying I had a trojan virus infecting the files in my computer. I decided to just try to restore the thing cause I didn’t know what to do and it froze so i turned it off. Now everytime I turn it on the black screen comes up saying it failed to boot, it wants me to insert the Windows Installation disk and repair it but when I put the disk in nothing happens.
    Can you help me!?!

  139. My computer starts does the memory check and after that, goes to a screen that gives me the options to go into safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompts, start with last known good configuration, and start windows normally. I cant find my windows start-up disc and was wondering if there was wondering if there was another way. I recently installed a new graphics card if that gives any more insight, thanks for any possible help.

  140. When i restart my computer most of the time it will display the logo and the f functions like normal than screen will go blank. Than at the top left corner a – will flas for long time than will say operating system not found. I will than have to restar comper either by powering off or ctrl alt del over ans over unill it atarta normaly. I have done a complete reboot to manufacture state and it still does this. Any help?

  141. I installed SP1 and my computer never worked again. I could not reinstall the OS because my disk drive did not work. So I ordered new restore disks and an external optical disk player. I finally got the disks in and set the bios to boot using USB and reinstalled. But alas it did not work and I tried numerous ways to reset the bios with no luck so now my computer, laptop, is at a technicians until next week when they can get to it. My beef is how can Microsoft do this to so many people. I am not the only one who was left with no means to get working because of Microsoft SP. It not only is loosing me money but it also is costing me to get what was a perfectly good, relatively new computer to turn on…. I am really pissed off and I want to know why anyone even needs the SP and why Microsoft just sends it out in important updates with very little information or warnings? I think that Microsoft should have to give some sort of retribution for causing something like this to happen. Then, last night I see the commercial for Windows 7.

  142. I shut the computer off and tried to restart it but when I did it stopped at the windows screen and the loading bar just keeps cycling. It stays on the black screen and shuts down and does that all over again. I have tried replacing the hard drive with a new one but it does the same thing. What could be wrong??

  143. i have a desk top with vista about a 2004 i am locked out when i power up it goes to a black screen saying user password and i have tried turning it off and pushing f12 and f2 and f8 and nothing the same thing and the same screen.

  144. i basically have the same problem that a lot of other ppl have,which is dat my computer only wants to start up on a black screen n only safe mode appears 2 b the only way 2 get it 2 some other ppl i have missed placed the start up cd’s dat came wit my dell laptop.can some 1 help?

  145. I’ve had this issue with three computers now and it’s starting to annoy me. With the first the computer crashed and when i did the “one finger salute” and tried to reboot it nothing happened. The power would come on, the hard disk would whirr a little bit and nothing. The monitor doesn’t turn on, the computer doesn’t do anything else. I don’t think it’s the monitor because the computer makes no other sound and the H.D.D light does nothing to indicate that the other processes are booting up. I thought it was a motherboard issue so have since tried 2 other motherboards to the same affect which makes me question whether it is a motherboard issue at all. I’m running out of ideas so i’m hoping you could help me.

  146. Hello, first of all i would like to thank you.
    Now I got a Virus on my USB, and today, by mistake a clicked on one of the folders on the USB called “Passwords” it was obviously part of the Virus.
    I had no Anti-Virus programme on. so all i did was shut down my laptop.
    After 5 mins or so, i tried opening, it took me to the black page where i chose “Start Windows Normally” or “Safe Mode” i tried them both, and they both took me to a blue screen with some advice on the top such as “Check your BIOS for memory…etc” and at the bottom some Strange lettering and numbers, this screen lasted for about 2 secs, and then my laptop restarted,
    Please please help me.
    Thank you.

  147. I recently installed Windows 7 onto my computer. The installation took about six hours and when I went to turn my computer back on it froze. It now stays on the blue welcome screen every time it restarts. I can get into the safe modes, but if I try to reinstall Windows 7 on there, it won’t work. I don’t know how to make the real mode work, or even to use my backup discs without ruining my computer. At least tell me how to use my backup discs the right way to restore my computer to older setting without having to buy a new disc.

  148. My computer starts does the memory check and after that, goes to a screen that gives me the options to go into safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompts, start with last known good configuration, and start windows normally. I cant find my windows start-up disc and was wondering if there was wondering if there was another way.

  149. Hello, My other PC in which my parents and sister use wont boot up to the login screen. I cannot access the bios and we tried booting from the disc. It goes through the procedure then freezes near the end of it. I need a way to wipe the drive without accessing it. Thanks

  150. My computer always locks up and won’t boot,but these words help me what to do,and why it’s locked up and not booting. At the top of this page, it has good words. What I do is when my computer locks up,all I do is to log out, and log back in. So those words help me. Thank you!

  151. My computer will go on all the way up to the running bar on the bototm of the screen and it will just run and not turnon and then it will turn off suddenly………….idk whats worn with it?

  152. My packard bell windows 2000 xp crashed yesterday. I powered off then on now its stuck on initial screen where all it says is press f2 to enter BIOS setup and f12 to network boot but won’t let me press anything. Don’t have installation cd. Somehow I just got on to, start windows normally etc screen. It installed windows and restarted but back on initial screen. What do I do?

  153. my computer window don’t want to start it keep saying that because of spyware the computer won’t start that i should contact my dell company can some tell me how to fix that and can you also tell me the best spyware, anti-virus, trojan block protection out there thanks

  154. I have a problem – my friends computer will not go past the screen that says checking file system on C: the type of the file system is NTFS

    I scheduled a dsk scan – and when it came up it just gets stuck here – before it needed a hot fix and microsoft sent it and I ran it. then I checked for problems with AVG – but nothing. Then I tried malware scan and it got stuck at 15% everytime and the computer froze – What can I do now?

  155. when i turn on my pc it wont get past the xp logo loading screen, the loading bar just doesnt do anything, and when i boot my computer from the xp installation cd, after it loads it doesnt get passed the part where it says “setup is starting windows” so i cant access the menu to reformat it, run the recovery console or any other tools. In addition i tried safe mode, last known configuration that worked, and all the other options. What should i do?

  156. ive had my pc 4 about 7 weeks now, i was down loading something and since then my pc can be put on but nothing comes up on the screen, all i can here is it loading but nothing comes on the screen and its just black, what can i do if theres nothing at all on the screen?

  157. my laptop turns on but after the windows loading display the screen ask for a user(there is only 1 user at the display because only it only have 1 user…)…then after I click the user name, there is the need of inputting the password…but I haven’t add a password on my laptop so the problem is why there is a need to input a password?..I don’t know the password…
    The problem started when my younger sister plug a usb the it hangs, then she restart the laptop then the problem started…Plzzz help me…

  158. I apologize for leaving out specifics in the post above. The method described in the article utilizes a Puppy Linux liveCD to download and run Malwarebytes’ via wine to scan/remove infections from your windows OS.

  159. My computer boots up but once the desktop appears it seems to lockup. I am unable to open the start window or any files etc. Any idea of what the problem might be? I am running Windows XP. Oh I have defragged and run a virus check in safe mode and everything appears to be fine.

  160. hi
    My computer for past two week, it will alway give a option of pass word to enter,yet am not set PW. Please help me.

  161. Help I did a windows update and my system crashed microsoft knows about this. I don’t have the installation disk. They are sending me one, but need to get to my files ASAP. Can anyone help me? They tell me I have to have the disk to get into the recovery software. Is there any place I can download this for free. Help please

  162. My system served a message about the blue screen and since then my computer has not been able to boot, Pls, I would like you to help me out of this challenge.

  163. when i boot up my computer it passes the post but it just not boot up windows screen the monitor remains blank and when i try to format it with an installation cd it comes with with cd and then goes blank.
    recently I changed my motherboard and from then the worked slowly and evently it crashed.

  164. okay so my computer won’t boot no matter what i try it still keeps on going back to the “select boot option menu”. I have a working hard drive with another operating system on it, is there a way i can get my photos etc. off of my unbootable hard drive and on to a usb device or on to my working hard drive? your assistance will be appreciated – Shane

  165. Before my computer crashed it was not recognizing the CD drive. In fact, I was searching the internet for a solution to that problem when one of those false “vista security” malware apps took over internet explorer and then the whole system crashed. So, installing the CD … not working. When I start up it asks if I want to start Windows normally or in safe mode, etc. No matter what option I choose, the screen ultimately goes black with a pointer in the middle of the screen and that’s all I get. When I put a CD in the drive it doesn’t recognize that there is a CD so it doesn’t start there either even when I turn off the computer with the disk in the drive. I am stumped.

  166. After installing Windows 7 Pro, 32-bit OEM on an HP Media Center machine (built in 2008), I would have to reboot around 3 or 4 times to get windows to load properly, but most times it would just come up to the splash screen just before the gui is loaded. So I used PE disc based off of XP-Pro to see if there were any issues with the install or anything else. After getting it to boot from the CD and verifying that things were indeed working, I had shut it down and rebooted it once more only to find that it no longer POST’ed for me. Removed all of the RAM and booted it up again to see if there was a hardware issue, but I did manage to get the BIOS error code that told me there was no RAM installed. Still no POST and I cannot boot from a CD anymore, not even attempt a new reinstall on a new hard drive… suggestions?

  167. On bootup my computer freezes when the ATI logo comes up. It dose this every time I leave my webcam connected to the usb port. If I disconnect the webcam and hit the reset button it boots up in the normal way.
    Is there a problem and if so what can I do.

  168. About ten minutes into an FPS game, the screen locked and the computer shut down. Now when I try to turn it on, the cpu light, power light, and dvd drive lights come on. I can also hear the fan going. However, it does not move beyond this point ie. nothing appears on the screen and there are no death beeps. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please note that I am running Windows Vista Home Premium 32bit.

  169. Hello, I need help! My computer recently caught a virus, and over the past weeks it has become very slow. It got to the point where it crashed, I press the F5 button at the start up to try and reboot, but it only progresses for about 10 sec. Then stops. Does this mean my computers disk info is lost? Is this even fixable? Please help!

  170. If you need to copy your files to an external hard drive so you don’t lose any data you could try reading this article it worked for me. Then I did a clean install of my laptop after I copied all the files over.
    Read this article

  171. About ten minutes into an FPS game, the screen locked and the computer shut down. Now when I try to turn it on, the cpu light, power light, and dvd drive lights come on

  172. It dose this every time I leave my webcam connected to the usb port. If I disconnect the webcam and hit the reset button it boots up in the normal way.
    Is there a problem and if so what can I do.

  173. have a problem with a Dell Precision 370. When it is turned on the only thing that happens is that the CPU fan winds up to high speed and nothing else happens. I have checked the cpu and memory and both are fine. I have disconnected the hard drives and DVD player so that it is down to basics.
    Any help would be appreciated,Trailers for Sale

  174. When i turn on my Computer (Windows XP) A picure comes up showing COMPAQ but then stays there and does not even gi to the Windows loading screen…please help

  175. I think that it dose this every time I leave my webcam connected to the usb port. If I disconnect the webcam and hit the reset button it boots up in the normal way.
    thanks for sharing us. {spam link removed}

  176. I think that it dose this every time I leave my webcam connected to the usb port. If I disconnect the webcam and hit the reset button it boots up in the normal way.
    thanks for sharing us
    [spam link removed]

  177. my computer flashes on windows XP for a moment then gives me the black screen of nothingness. WOuld the Windows XP install then?

  178. my computer freezes before starting up. i don’t know what to do i cant press any F8 f9 f10 or bios please help it has a lot of memory and everything is working fine but just doesn’t boot up. it doesn’t beep either….

  179. when i was using my pc while power failiure ubruptly there after my pc didn,t boot yet,it displays black screen.can u help me pls..

  180. This happens ocassionally. I hit the power button on my PC, LED’s flash, fans whirr but nothing happens. No beep from the BIOS nothing. I hold the power button down for 10 seconds and it just tries to restart. The power does not go down. The same cycle begins again until I physically cut the power. Then After many attempts it boots fine. Thoughts?

  181. This happens ocassionally. I hit the power button on my PC, LED’s flash, fans whirr but nothing happens. No beep from the BIOS nothing. I hold the power button down for 10 seconds and it just tries to restart.

  182. my computer flashes on windows XP for a moment then gives me the black screen of nothingness. WOuld the Windows XP install then?

    There’s no way to know. It depends on what’s wrong with the machine.


  183. My computer won’t finish the boot process. It hits the cd and dvd disk but not the flex and hard drive. I have changed the bios battery, changed out video card twice, remove and re-insert memory and power appears to be working. No signal gets to the monitor. I have got several suggestions to re-install windows and all drivers but I can’t get to that point. I can’t even get into setup.
    Bill Middleton

  184. I can’t boot up. It hangs up with the screen reading Press for setup.

    No mouse or keyboard will function. The DVD and CD do spin.

    What could be wrong?

  185. I could use some help if anyone has any ideas. My boyfriend has a desktop computer that seems to have gotten a virus. He managed to turn it on in safe mode once and was able to back up his files but now if you turn on the computer it goes to a black screen with a blinking underscore and that’s it. ctr-alt-delete still will respond and restart but no f buttons work and it doesn’t go past that. Can this be fixed? Please any help would be great.

  186. I’m using Vista and after the page loads to add my password the cursor blinks, but the pointer is frozen and sits in the middle of the screen and I cannot use it. What is the solution?

    If it’s ONLY the pointer (meaning you can type and Tab around on the screen with the keyboard) then I’d guess your mouse isn’t connected or not compatible. If the machine is literally hung then I’d refer you to the article you just commented on, specifically “Other Hangs”.


  187. I use a Dell desktop with Windows XP swervice pack 3. This started today morning. When I started up the machine, it displayed the POST message, and then tried to boot into Windows, but the monitor keeps showing a blinking cursor. I went to BIOS and checked the drives. I can see 320 GB HDD and an ATAPI CD/DVD drive. i have HDD as first boot device and other boot devices are disabled.

    I changed the first boot device to CD drive and booted from a windows XP SP3 CD. The setup started and I chose R for recovery console.
    the recovery console can show my C:/WINDOWS directory. and it can list all my directories and files from root directory, so the files are there and my system can read them. But for some reason I cant boot into it. What may be the solution??

  188. My computer wont boot up, it will say ACER and then just go to a black screen, with a small blinking line in the corner, and stay there like that, it wont do anything, just beep when a button is pressed.

    Please read the article you just commented on. It answers this question.

  189. My computer is a Windows SP3 computer. After updating it with the most recent windows updates (3 days ago) it will no longer work. When I start it up, it pulls up a screen that is explaining the BIOS and BIOS VIDEO shadowing statuses, stuff like that. It then proceeds to hang up about 5 seconds after turning it on. I can tell it to go to boot menu/setup, but it doesn’t do it. It registers that I told it to, then the hard drive light turns off, and will not light up again. The only solution I then have is to turn it off using the power button. This leads me to believe that either the BIOS is messed up, maybe due to the windows updates (the computer is about 8 years old, so maybe some new software is conflicting with it) or the hard drive is fried.

    PS: When I used to start my computer, it would make a couple of grinding noises, and then a triple beep, and then start up just fine. This had happened since the first day I had the computer. Now, it won’t make the latter sound, but it’ll make the first sound. it hasn’t changed at all either.

  190. im using windows xp home edition.when i start it up, it just shows boot options and anything i choose goes back to the same boot menu options.i cant run in safe mode or any mode.its just goes back to the boot menu options.

  191. My computer freezes up when I boot from the windows CD I’m trying to wipe my hard drive but can’t it keeps freezing up same if I try going in to safemode it freeze up even when I start it and trying to going into most to check cmos setting and the CPU temp it just freeze on everything I try to do on ir

    It sounds like the BIOS isn’t configured to boot from CD before checking the hard disk. Look into your BIOS settings for that option.

  192. I turned on my Dell desktop, which is only a year and a half years old, and I got a black screen with a message: boot files not available (or something like that). I turned off the computer, turned it on, and it booted up just fine. I have Windows 7. My service provider is Verizon. I use AOL as my windows internet explorer and I sign on to AOL every night to check emails and chat with friends. What do you think caused this problem? How do I make or get a recovery disk? I am not very high tech. I am disabled and home a lot and depend on my computer. I am an older divorced female. Thank you!

    That typically, though not always, indicates a transient problem accessing the hard disk. That, in turn, could mean that your hard disk could fail soon. In your situation I’d make certain to be backing up and then see about getting a technician to diagnose the machine.


  193. My PC has black screen, NO POST, but fan & lights come on briefly. PS checked good at CompUSA. I’ve swapped RAM chips with no difference. How can I tell if its MB or CPU? (EVGA 630i/7150 MB and Pentium D945 CPU) Thanks, Russ

  194. i have tried various things but my computer will not get past the bios menue and it wont load the opperating system. i cannot repare the system because it wont let me, i have tried doing theis from the windows 7 installed dvd and it wont load the drive either. please help.

    thanks in advance.

  195. I am sending this via aprevious comp. because my main (dell) has crashed and will not boot with just adark grey screen and a flashing dash sign in the top left corner. I think it was a virus following a (hoax?) virus warning.
    Unfotunately I do not have the XP inst. disc. Can it be cured by the installation of a “cure” disc?

    Unfortunately I don’t know what you mean by a “cure” disk.


  196. I have a Dell Dimensions 4400 (running windows xp) I had taken the psu out of it to test it on another desktop pc and it is working fine. I reinstalled it into the dell and it was working fine that day but a few days later and without any warning it will only started into the safe mode options screen. However, it does not matter if I select to start in safe mode, any of the other safe mode options, last know good configuration, or select/ do nothing and let it start up — all it does is to come right back to the black screen with the safe mode options to select from. There are no post beeps when the computer starts either. I have checked to make sure all the cables are firmly connected as well as the memory cards are firmly seated as well. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

  197. I have a windows vista system and i downloaded spyware terminator and it completely ruined my computer, it keeps restarting, where do i go from here. is there any way at all to get it back working normally.

  198. I bought a computer in Korea and am now back in the US. Now that I’m back in America, it won’t start. I thought it might be a voltage issue so I bought a step-up converter, but I’m still having the exact same problems. When I turn the power on, the lights come on and I can hear the fans, but nothing appears on my monitor. I’m not using the same monitor I used in Korea, but they’re both LCD monitors and quite similar. Any ideas on how to get it to work? I’ve run out of patience.

    I would start by trying another monitor, since that’s one thing that’s clearly changed.


  199. Hi Leo , I have a windows xp , it does not startup right away I have to shut it down and open it manytimes until it works . it just hangs after windows logo and you feel you can work with it but nothing there you can move the mouse but no connection it is completely frozen PC and today it does not want to start or to work at allllll … I have files that I want to save before I can format it . Please help me thank you

    Wrote a new article for that: My machine won’t boot, how do I get at the files on it?

  200. Leo, I have Windows 7 loaded in my Sony Vaio Computer when purchased it from Best Buy 10/11/2010. I have Kaspersky anti-virus program loaded in my computer. I received an email from some xxx website source by accident when I opened the email not knowing what the email was and a virus attach itself into my system. I have tried to get rid of the email virus by using the Kespersky program and also tried optizating the computer. I still have the problem and virus, how do I get rid of the virus and get my computer to finish loading the Windows 7 during the startup process without shuting down the computer by pulling the battery out?

  201. I have FOUR PC’s that won’t boot up. All were working when ‘put into storage’ about 3 years ago. The fan starts, but nothing else, and no input to the monitors. Monitors all work with a different functioning PC, and mother board lithium batteries are not dead. Any suggestions? It can’t be a coincidendal simultaneous hardware failure on 4 computers.

  202. After my computer has been turned off, I am finding that it won’t restart. Just runs through the HDM1, Analog, Digital boxes in the top, left corner. After a while, it stops and just the pilot light on the monitor stays on. I have to try several times to get it to re-start with breaks between each attempt. I’ve tried checking all the cables, changing power points etc.

    It’s warrantied, has security and I don’t add-on anything.

    Any ideas what is causing this? I’d be very grateful if you could advise.

    What is causing this?

  203. Hi, my computer won’t boot up i switch it on and the fans come up but no beeps the red light just stays on I’ve tried replacing the cr2032 battery but not that. Please help!!

  204. I was exploring the net yesterday and all of sudden the pc slowed to near stopped. I couldn’t get task manager to come up so I could shut programs down so I did a hard power down. When I tried to reboot I got the choice screen to start in safe or normal. I chose normal. Logo came up but then just a blank screen and after a couple of minutes the arrow cursor appeared and I could move it and the keyboard let me use unlock and caps lock. Nothing else! Any solution ideas out there?

  205. My pc is custom built and was working fine until today. Pc turns on and stays on the normal motherboard screen which usually comes before windows 7. Windows logo or login does not turn on screen does not move past motherboard screen plz help. I need pc for school

  206. Thanks for helping me fix my Gateway MX6453 laptop!
    I read your article above, and I read the linked article “Windows XP Crashed? Here’s help.” Unfortunately my laptop hangs before the point where it is giving me the option “Press any key to boot from the CD…” and before I can get into the BIOS Settings screens…
    My problem was this: My laptop booted the initial Gateway screen offering me the choice to press F2 for the BIOS Settings or F10 for the Boot Menu. The bar at the bottom went to a point 4/5 of the way and then stopped. Sometimes, but not always, it responded with one short beep and by showing the message “Please wait…”, but the BIOS Settings screens never opened… I found out that one short beep is code for “DRAM refresh failure,” but I wasn’t able to find specific instructions for how to deal with that issue except that I tried reseating my RAM chips using all possible combinations… But to no apparent avail…

    I then came to think of rebooting without the battery in place since I had noticed before that the BIOS indicated a battery error with the battery being “overfull…” Voila, that solved my problem!!!!! Praise the Lord of Hosts, the Creator of the Universe! On first boot I now got to a screen with a bunch of text and an ERROR message near the bottom and then it apparently hung again, so after a while I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and got a warm reboot which was successful for opening Windows. I then proceeded to do the reinstall from Gateway’s Operating System Disk once again from scratch, i.e. including reformatting the HD…
    My problem began while I was using my original Gateway’s Operating System Disk, that came with this computer, for reinstalling the system on the HD. At the point where it had come to 35 of 73 application installs there was a power outage to the point that both the AC and the battery power failed. At that point I saw the screen flicker and go black until I tried rebooting again and discovered the above problem…

    Thanks again for leading me towards a successful resolution to my BIOS bootup problem!!!

  207. PS. Following the above success I reinserted the same old battery and was able to reboot and run my laptop as usual. No problems thus far. Praise my Lord and Savior!

  208. PS II. I should add that upon doing the reinstall procedure I got another apparent hung at “35/73… 2006 Q4 Oeminfo and Emver information (Windows Setup Installation.)” After waiting 40+ hours for that apparent hung to go away by means of a successful install, thanks to a certain taliesin42 post I learned that the trick at this point is to simply push the Enter button. I then got a window saying ‘qInstall… emveroobeconfig.exe doesn’t exist’ and an OK button which i pressed… From that point on it was smooth sailing for a complete reinstall. (Cf.

    Praise the Lord of Hosts!

  209. PSIII. BIOS problem remaining… I thought it was a Battery problem, but very likely it is not that. Per the Gateway FAQ ( ) the “battery over voltage” message is more likely a sign of a failing BIOS which is in need of being reflashed…

    My problem is that the BIOS file I downloaded ( ) from Gateway seems to be defect, most importantly by missing the key file, that “new BIOS” file named 1208.ROM. If someone has a solution for that problem I’d sure appreciate it! Gateways BIOS file at this link was even more defect:

  210. PS IV. I finally got hold of the correct and functional BIOS file for my Notebook that I needed. To my surprise I found out that my original BIOS was intended for Windows Vista rather than for XP. Thus the correct BIOS file is named 8406.exe, which file was recommended by Gateway Support for my Notebook. ( )

    Unfortunately, even after successfully upgrading my BIOS, the BIOS is indicating that the battery is “over voltage…” AND I am getting no power at all from the battery. And I’ve tried three old batteries, all showing the same problem…

  211. Have used Outlook 2007 for years, without problems. Recently I have been having trouble opening emails which contain additional pages and also trouble with opening attachments and YouTube.
    Can you please help.

  212. I have been having with my PC. I was running XP SP3. When I booted up, nothing would happen. You could hear the little start up beep, but nothing happened beyond that. I tried hitting the required keys to get to safe mode, bios, anything. Just a little light flashing in the top left corner of the screen. No response. Often this would require three or more restarts, or just shutdown and start over.

    Eventually it would boot up normally.

    That problem, plus a few other things, led me to move on to a different tack. So we wiped the HD and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. I did install a better power supply at the same time.

    So this morning, after several days of start-up bliss, the same old problem showed up: start up beep, little flashing light in top left of the screen, and the front light rocking along like nothings wrong.

    My nephew thinks the problem the motherboard is going. That would make sense, given the o/s has changed and nothing else. A friend says it might be the monitor. Easily checked if I had a spare monitor I guess. But this bootup problem can happen so randomly, who knows if it will happen or not with a different monitor.

    The system, except for the power supply, is about 3.5 years old.

    Motherboard is a good quality Asus.

    Ideas welcome. Thanks

  213. my pc will boot and ask me to press f1 but if i press it the screen will not display anything. so i want to what is the problem and how to fix it

  214. Please solve my first i tried to boot from cd and during istallation i format c drive..but during installation of os error occured after then i applied another cd but now nothing appears nor i can boot

  215. hi
    leo jst passed on week my computer doesnt start properly . it restarts again n again . jst shows windows logo. now what to do . please do the needful..

  216. i tried to recovery my computer but suddenly power went off before the process would get complete and the computer has failed to boot to windows. what should i do

  217. when i was installing linuxmint ,i cancellend the installation, due to this my hard disk(which is having win 8 before) is now not read and how to unlock it and save my files…..please help…

    • I’m not sure what was overwritten when you tried to install Mint, but you should be able to boot a live version of Linux from your DVD or USB stick and see all of the files which are on your hard drive. If the files you want are still, there you should be able copy them to a USB drive.

    • Remember – installing an OS typically >>erases everything<<. If you can find your files you’re very VERY lucky. It also tells me that you weren’t backed up, and you should always back up the existing hard disk before installing an OS.

      • Wouldn’t it depend on when the installation was stopped? I’ve seen some installations that I aborted early in the process, and all that was damaged was the Boot Sector. It might be a long shot, but occasionally you get lucky.

    • A failed install of XP most likely wiped out the previous version. You’d probably have to reinstall the previous version of windows from scratch using the installation media.

  218. I am currently using windows and when i start it up it brings me to my password screen, and i type in my password. After that It brings me to my desktop but all my icons and folders are not there and it freezes, i cant move my mouse or anything but turn it off, i tried hitting the windows button but no nothing. I have shut it down and started it back up multiple times and same thing. Any ideas?

  219. I installed a mouse driver yesterday.then it says to restart my computer and I clicked that.after that my system is not opening.when lock screen appear in yellow coloured I press enter to input my password but it is not working. How can I solve this problem???? please help me……..I am using HP notebook laptop.

  220. Hi I’m running a MSI gaming 970 motherboard with a AMS FX 8350 8 core 4.0ghz cpu and a MSI Radeon r9 270x graphics card. It all started when I was playing advanced warfare then all of a sudden my keyboard looses its lights and power and my mouse shuts off and my monitor doesn’t display picture. After a bunch of reboots nothing happens not even a windows logo. Please help me I just built my pc and I don’t know what to do/:

  221. my pc is working fine but when i shutdown it,and traying to start it cpu is on but nothin on the display.after 2 days when i try to start it. It start normally and work good as normal but after shutdown it is not started again.

  222. i cant access bios settings or install new operating system because of bios password.
    my pc model is gateway laptop, intel atom N2600.(LT4008u)

    • If there’s a BIOS password you need to contact the manufacturer to see if there’s a way to reset it. There may not be. (That would defeat the purpose of having a BIOS password in the first place.)

  223. My computer (laptop HP) just closed out yesterday. I turned on the power and the power works but my system never went into windows and the message said repairing disc errors this may take more then an hour. I cant get any other screen and have been waiting for the disc repair for over 24 hours. Tell me what I need to do. Thank You.

  224. Someone gave me pc to format then I did the process of the pc to windows8.1 but the drivers of the system are outdated then I did the update to,then it required for restart then I did that also…..but the problem is that when I restart the pc the engine keyboard comes up but the screen did come up at all….so what can I do to solve this problem?……

  225. My PC is a Comcast windows XP my problem is after its turned on it says Windows is loading files finishes and goes to a light blue screen and sits.

  226. hi leo.
    i put a password in bios system but when i inter password it did not open then i searched in the internet and found out that i remove the cmos in system board for 3 min all password will be clear so i did that for about 20 min but it did not work and my Notebook is locked with bios.i wana u to give me a solution
    my Notebook is hp probook4530s
    i m waiting to your answer.
    thanks gas

  227. Hey 🙂 I’m a complete amateur when it comes too computers but recently when I turn on my computer by the power button it stays on for 5seconds and the it beeps and turns off? The article said this was just a way of telling me there is a problem within the computer itself? All I can tell you about my computer is it’s a Windows Vista Home Premium OEMAct Packard bell. There’s a red light on the power button when my computer turns it’s self off and I have no clue what any off this means 🙁 help please!
    Please email me with a reply at {email address removed}

    • It’s dangerous to include an email address or other personal contact information in a public forum. Spammers collect this information.

  228. I have a dell windows 98 when I plug it in screen lights up but won’t do anything else. I don’t have a disk but put it away got tired messing with it. I was wondering I do however have a samsung galaxy s5 think I can maybe use that route thanks

  229. I have a USB 2 (laptop drive size) hard drive container that stops my laptop from booting if it is attached at bootup. If I plug it in after booting, it works fine.
    One place on to look on boot failure is at new devices attached/installed.

  230. Hi, I have a problem with my Dell laptop. I recently install windows 8 in it but one day it just refuse to boot up! have tried safe mode but all in vain. Kindly advice me on the best way out.
    Thanks in advance

  231. I have an older hp laptop it’s about 8-9 years old windows 7 home premium. I haven been on it for about a month and now that I’m trying to log on into the computer it’s saying my user name or password is incorrect. The username doesn’t change and I haven’t changed my password in almost 2 years. I’m going insane what can I do??

  232. I pressed “lock” on my laptop. It’s windows 8. Now the screen is black,i tried to fix something but it didn’t worked. So could you tell me what to do? Thanks.

  233. my computer basically wont go back to the homescreen after putting on the password. It only freezes on a blank screen with windows logo on the bottom. I tried rebooting it many times but the same thing happens. The mouse still works and caps lock but that was it. what do i do?

  234. My laptop had locked up, showing a blue box, and asks for an HH password. I have brought it to friends and IT. It has been reset (battery has been removed and put back). No luck. I think who ever had the laptop before me had set a password for the BIOS. I don’t know what to do.

    • I don’t know what you mean by HH password.

      If the BIOS has a password you’ll have to check with the manufacturer to see if there is a way to reset it. There may not be.

  235. I put my windows 7ultimate on and entered the administrator password, on pressing enter key nothing happens. Please what do I do

  236. My p.c has window 8.1 version when i started the pc as regularly and there is admin lock bt mouse and keyboard dosent work i attach usb’s at different port bt nothing works
    Mouse light is on bt nothing works and also keyboard shows none lights my pc is locked
    So what i do

  237. When I switch on my Desktop HP computer all I get is Blue Screen and none of the F buttons will work, as I say all I get is a blue screen and nothing else. no buttons on my computers keyboard work, what can I do. The operating system is Windows Vista

    • The operating system is irrelevant since by the sound of it, it hasn’t even loaded. This feels like a hardware failure that a technician needs to look at.

  238. Thank you in advance for any helpful answer you can give me.
    I was installing Java when half way my laptop’s monitor turned to black screen. All I can see is my mouse pointer which is working correctly.

  239. when i start my laptop it says “no bootable device -please insert media and start again”.
    i checked following actions: inserted a bootable cd then i cleaned my hard drive and formated it. i disassembled my pc and checked hard drive wires they connected good way. then i reinstalled my windows 7, at first time it started correctly it is working then i shutted down it.
    OH! it says ‘NO BOOTABLE DEVICE still’ then i inserted my cd it is started without installation as my old windows that i installed at first time. now every time i starting i am using cd to boot it. any way to fix it. it was a temporary problem that occurred to me at one time without knowing cause.

  240. hi leo
    my pc begun to be remarkebly slow, cachememory filled up in hours. so i tokk away windows 10 (bad idea after) and thought i nstall windows 7 ( have recoverydisks) all went well until installation. that didnt work. run the “smarttest” and it showed that i had biohd8. i format the harddrive with recverydisk and stopped there, so now i have a formatted disk and cant come in with programs i downloaded to fix the problem. how do i do now ?

    greetings, mats

  241. I was installing win8.1 On my laptop but some installation files were missing so I had skipped the installation process hence right now I’m not having any OS available in my laptop later I tried to install win10 but now I’m facing a new problem that is “boot configuration missing or contains errors” I have tried using the Bootable USB drive but nothing comes up now I wanna know what’s the solution of this problem!!!

  242. Hi Leo,
    I recently updated my windows 8.1 to the version 10, everything was fine and smooth with the transition, but the next day i tried starting up my system it just wont, now this have happened before, after upgrading from windows 8 to 10, it refuses to boot on, but back then i was able to reverse back to windows 8 and everything was fine, now it just wont listen to anything, when i try to start the PC, it will just show me the lock screensaver i used before, it wont show up where to log in my system, it won’t even slide, just the picture, now i tried to restart like a zillion times but no way, the thing i had to was restore, all options using the cmd, restore without deleting files didnt work, now after restoring and losing everything, the system always shows me two operating systems to choose from, the first one opens up very fine, the second one tells me shows me the same information as when i couldnt log in the first time, now what does that mean

  243. Regarding the “not responding” in AOL which can last for minutes before you are connected, quite by accident, I discovered that after I click on the aol icon on the desktop to start aol, the next step is to simply use the enter key. I don’t know if this is a real fix, but it sure works on my system, An HP Compaq Elite 8300 all-in-one with 16 gig of ram.

  244. Hi Leo,
    I have a Toshiba Satellite P855-s5200 wit windows 7. I have been getting blue screens recently, but today I got one while the computer was installing updates. It shut down automatically. Now when I turn it on it shows the Toshiba logo, the goes to a screen with the cursor in the upper left. It won’t do anything else. I can’t even put it in safe mode. Only thing I can get is the f12 key to come up. HELP!

    • Only via secondary markets (like eBay). It’s no longer supported at all, and more and more new software and hardware won’t run it. If you want to avoid 10, I’d recommend going back no further than Windows 7.

  245. My Start button isn’t working and I can’t turn my computer off. I can get on the internet without a problem. Please help me.

    Thanks, Betty Bond

  246. My ASUS laptop won’t let me sign in all of a sudden. Please could you advise?
    It will let me open up temporary, but I have lost my personal files.

  247. dear leo
    my computer has a problem its saying that force network boot attempt failed check cables wjhat does that mean what cable it is talking about

  248. dear leo
    my computer got a problem with switching instead of displaying anything its only saying force network boot attempt failed I must check the cable. which cable is talking about please help

  249. My lap top won’t come on it says preparing to automatic repair I’ve left it on for hours and nothing happened what do I do to get it to come on it shoes the preparing to repair that all I get can you help me

  250. I have a old dell touchscreen computer. It has finally failed on me. It boots up but it goes to a blank screen name. I can’t log into the computer because it’s not excepting the screen name & password. How do I get pass this?

  251. Hi Leo, I am Hoover I put on my laptop it display the bios and tried to load then it goes off and comes back on…. Plz what should I do??

  252. Ok im running windows 10 im getting the blue screen when i put my windows cd in restart the computer it lets me get all the way to the reinstall window when i click on the option to reinstall windows a nessage pops up telling me i need to unlock windows???? How do i do that when i click the upgrade ootion it tells me to take out the disk and start. Windows then update with the disk but my computer will load sometimes but when its logged i cant do nothing cuz a bunch of pop ups over load my screen then i get the blue screen again

    • This sounds like you might have an actual problem with the machine itself. I’d be very tempted to take it to a technician for diagnosis.

  253. If your computer locks up while running a program, try holding down the 2 keys ctrl and alt, then press the delete key. That should take you to the control window. Then delete the program than is running. Then reboot your computer.

    • To clarify, that control program you are referring to is the “Task Manager”. You can save one click by holding down Ctrl + Shift + Esc and go directly to the Task Manager.

  254. Hi leo please could you help me with my laptop motherboard as when i try to put a o/s on it, a thing comes up and says blancco information. And it stops my install (how do i get rid of this thing call blancco when i have no o/s on it.

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