Note: If you're using Windows 7 or Windows Vista, please see this article.
My Windows 10 or Windows 8 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.
If you're unable to perform a step (for example, if the step instructs you to enter Safe Mode but you can't do so), skip that step.
You can also skip directly to a system reset if, at any point, the steps 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'll need to purchase a new AC adaptor or battery.
If nothing is appearing on the screen when you try to start your laptop at this point, skip to the last section of the article, "Contact Support."
If something does appear on the screen, continue here. Sometimes the settings in the UEFI system settings change and cause errors. If you're able to do so, enter the UEFI Settings by holding F2 while turning on the laptop. Keep holding it for a few seconds until the UEFI Settings appear. If holding F2 doesn't work, try tapping F2. Once you reach the UEFI Settings, follow the prompts to reset them to defaults.
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. In that case, skip to the last section of this article, "Contact Support."
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 reset. A reset 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 reset, if you're considering having your laptop serviced, a reset is a necessary step of the repair process.
Note that doing a system reset will return the laptop to its default conditions, completely wiping all data, documents, settings, and applications. Remember to back up your data!
To learn how to reset your laptop, see the following article.
If you have trouble starting the recovery procedure, you may consider ordering recovery media. If the recovery does not fix the problem or if you're unable to perform the recovery, your laptop may not be booting due to actual hardware failure. In that case, please call customer support to set up a repair.
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