Computer will not start (boot up)

Unfortunately, there are many reasons why your computer will not start. Lets start with the really simple (and don’t be insulted, these are actually quite common):

  • Not plugged in or switched on at the socket
  • The power lead has come loose at the back of the computer
  • Some computers have a power switch at the back by the power lead
  • The trip switch / fuse on the house fuse board has gone.

Somewhat more serious and complicated are when the power light comes on but the computer does not get past its start up checks called the POST checks. In other words, the initial “splash” screen appears but little else happens.

  • If the machine produces a series of beeps rather than the usual single beep it could mean that the motherboard, the processor or the RAM memory has failed.
  • You may get a three figure error code on the screen.

These can be interpreted although it depends on the make of the machine or its setting. For these sorts of problems you need specialist help. Call me!

Monitor problems

Again, if the monitor does not come on, check the simple things first:

  • Plugged in to the power at the socket or at the back of the monitor and that the leads are secure.
  • Signal lead is attached correctly to the computer. If the computer does not start properly and continues to beep at start up it could mean that the monitor is not properly plugged in or the graphics / video card has malfunctioned.
  • If you have recently plugged the monitor signal lead in have you bent one of the connection pins in the lead plug as I found recently on a friend’s computer!
  • Check that the monitor brightness or contrast has not been turned right down. This often occurs where children have been fiddling!

In a situation where the monitor comes on but the image is poor or strange

  • The refresh rate for the screen is inappropriately set. Access the monitor settings either via the control panel or by right-clicking on the desktop … but be careful.
  • If you seem to get images repeated over the screen it could be that you have the screen resolution set incorrectly. Again, you may try to adjust this via the monitor settings.
  • In a laptop, if the screen is completely blank you may have the graphics switched to an external monitor … one doesn’t have to be connected. Try holding the Fn button down and then press the appropriate F button on the top row … which button varies from one laptop to another … look for a likely symbol on the keyboard button.

Hard drive problems

As the hard drive carries all of the files that make the computer work as well as the applications you use and documents, music photos etc you save. Problems with the drive can be serious. There are numerous things that can go wrong. Here are a few:

  • If the computer will not boot up it could be that the power supply to the hard drive or its ribbon connector that carries the data are not properly attached
  • If after the POST start up checks you get a message saying that there is no operating system it could mean that some files have become corrupted and/or the drive is damaged. You may get a message saying that certain files are either corrupt or missing. If this is the case, you will probably need to reload the operating system. Some times it is possible to repair the missing or corrupt files using a generic Windows disk. Unfortunately the Recovery disks that came with the computer or you made when you first set the machine up will not work in this respect.

If you continue to have problems, call me!