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pc wont bootWe’ve all had our fair share of computer problems, but most of them have been about being unable to connect to a network, being unable to run a certain program, or some other software-related issue. However, you have a much bigger issue if your entire computer doesn’t seem to run at all.

Let’s forget about problems that might plague Windows, but concentrate solely on the hardware in your system and what might occur with them. Here are a couple of things that may be going on in your system when your pc won’t boot and what you can do to fix them.

BIOS Settings

pc wont boot
On rare occasions, there may be some wrong settings found in the BIOS, whether they occurred by the work of a program, by playing around with settings such as overclocking, or something else. Wrong settings can lead to the motherboard trying to use the attached components in ways they cannot function correctly, so issues start appearing. The components themselves are fine, but the BIOS needs to know how to work with them.

A BIOS’s default settings will boot, no matter what, to the point where you can get back to the BIOS’s settings (so long as the components actually function). You can reset the BIOS to its default settings by hitting the CMOS button while it is turned off. The location of the CMOS button varies widely by motherboard and computer model, so you’ll need to resort to your motherboard’s/computer’s manual to find where it is.

Is Everything Plugged In?

why pc wont boot
If you built your system yourself, or you’re running a fairly old computer, there’s a small chance that either not all cables are connected (correctly) or that a cable may have become loose over time. If you built your own system, make sure that you really have all cables plugged in which are necessary for each component to work, including power cables, data cables, and so on. Also make sure that all add-on cards are pressed into the motherboard all the way, or else that could cause problems as well.

If you bought your system, you may need to open your case and make double sure that all cables are tightly plugged into where they’re supposed to go. If one happened to pop out, it shouldn’t be too difficult to reconnect it as computer cables are very unique and only require color and shape matching.


Dead Components

pc wont boot
If everything is plugged in how it’s supposed to be, your next issue may be that a component isn’t functioning correctly or is otherwise dead. If this is the case, there’s no other way around the issue but to buy a new replacement component. If you simply bought a computer and don’t feel comfortable picking out a replacement component, you’ll sadly need to buy a new computer, but I highly recommend trying to get help from your local computer store before resorting to such an extreme.


In the end, there aren’t too many things that could be wrong. It’s a bit tricky to figure out exactly what components may be non-functional, such as using the POST beep sounds to determine what kinds of errors the computer is throwing at you, but that needs to be looked up on the Internet for more appropriate, relevant information. Hopefully with a little luck, you’ll be able to zero down on the issue in just a couple of minutes.

For more information on computer components, check out Your PC, Inside and Out [Part 1], Your PC, Inside and Out [Part 2],

What kind of hardware errors have prevented you from booting? How did you figure out what the issue was? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credits: Joz3.69, Yandle, Craig Rodway, Adam

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