Note: If you're using Windows 10 or Windows 8, please see this article.
My Windows 7 or Windows Vista computer is unable to boot. What can I do?
Symptoms could include one or more of the following:
There are multiple problems that could cause a computer not to start:
We'll help you figure out which was the cause, fix it if possible, and back up your data if needed.
When the computer powers on, the hardware must know to look on the hard drive for Windows before Windows begins to load. Once we have checked the basic systems of the computer, we will consider the actual windows installation.
If none of this can fix the problem, Windows might be corrupted beyond repair or there could be a hardware failure. We’ll help you backup your data and perform a recovery, returning the computer to its out-of-box condition. Performing a recovery will fix most software-related problems, including corruption of Windows and viruses. You can also skip directly to a system recovery if, at any point, the steps above become too complicated.
The steps below correspond to the steps in the article.
Before Windows loads, the computer must be receiving power and the various parts of the computer must be communicating. Sometimes there can be a problem with the power that stops the computer from giving control to Windows. First, we'll check that these pre-Windows systems are working correctly.
The first step is to ensure that the power outlet is working.
Even when your laptop is off and unplugged, residual power can still be held in some components. While this is normal, clearing it can help with boot problems. Perform these steps to complete what’s called a power cycle.
If your laptop starts normally now, you're done!
If the laptop still won't start, the AC adaptor or battery may have failed.
If the laptop works without one of those two accessories (the AC adaptor or battery), it would seem that the accessory has failed. If your computer is under warranty, please contact customer support. If your computer is not under warranty, you can purchase a replacement AC adaptor or battery from Toshiba Direct.
The BIOS, which stands for Basic Input-Output System, controls the computer before Windows does. It tests the primary hardware components and then loads Windows. Sometimes the settings in the BIOS change and cause errors. We'll reset the BIOS. If you are unable to enter the BIOS settings and perform these steps, you do not need to continue with this article. You may have a hardware failure that would require servicing.
At this point, we've checked the basic systems of the computer and are done troubleshooting the hardware. If your computer could not perform the earlier steps and won't respond at all, you may have a hardware failure that requires servicing.
We're now going to consider the actual Windows installation. Problems with the Windows installation can occur after a recently added or updated application, game, or driver doesn't interact correctly with the rest of the computer. This could even be due to incompatibility.
For information on entering Safe Mode and using it to troubleshoot, see the following article:
If you can't enter Safe Mode or those suggestions don't help, continue to the next section.
If these steps haven't fixed the problem, the final step is to perform a recovery. A recovery will return a laptop to its original, out-of-box state and eliminates software as a possible cause. If the hard drive has become corrupted or if you have a virus, this is a great fix. While you may be hesitant to perform a recovery, if you're considering having your laptop serviced, a recovery is a necessary step of the repair process.
Note that doing a system recovery will return the laptop to its default conditions, completely wiping all data, documents, settings, and applications. Remember to backup your data!
If you have trouble starting the recovery procedure, you may consider ordering recovery media. If the recovery does not fix the problem, your laptop may not be booting due to actual hardware failure. Please contact customer support to set up a repair.
The following links provide additional information about system recover media and system recovery options:
If none of these steps helped you, please call customer support.
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