When your computer will not start/boot into windows there can be a variety of problems. Diagnosing where the problem lies depends on what, if anything, the computer is doing or not doing. The diagnosis process for this can be quite complex so we have simplified it here, if you still cannot get your PC to start after reading this then call us on 01562-885707.
1. The first step in the diagnosis process is to see if there are any lights on on the computer when you switch it on - power light illuminated? Is the hard drive light flashing?
- If there are no lights at all then check the fuse in the plug/the power lead.
- If the power light is on and the hard drive light is not flashing this could mean the hard drive has stopped working and you will need to call us on 01562-885707.
- If the power light is on and the hard drive light is flashing then on desktop computers check the connection to the monitor or that the monitor is switched on, simple I know but it has happened.
2. Ok, so the lights are all showing, the connection to the monitor is fine then you should be seeing some grey text or a logo on the monitor when the computer initially starts, this is known as the POST screen/process (Power On Self Test). This is where the computer checks it's components to make sure they are ok and ready to start the PC properly. This can be a useful screen in the early diagnostic process as it will tell you if there are any 'hardware' errors, such as:
- CPU Error! - this may not be as bad as it seems, it could mean that the processor has become dislodged during a move or that the BIOS is set incorrectly. A physical check to ensure the CPU is seated correctly and/or resetting of the BIOS could be all that is required.
- Memory Fault - again this could just mean that the memory has become unseated during a move, try reseating the memory, if the problem persists then this could mean the memory has failed and new memory will be required.
- No Hard Drive Detected - This could be showing that the hard drive has failed, again, check the cables to the hard drive are seated correctly on both the hard drive itself and the motherboard, maybe try a spare power connector if one is available. If this all checks out ok then it can indicate that the hard drive has indeed failed. We offer a data recovery service to recover any lost data if required in this instance, call us on 01562-885707.
OK, once all the hardware has been checked and verified to be ok the computer should now be attempting to boot into the OS (operating system - Windows etc). Problems at this stage are usually software related and/or BIOS related.
1. The first part of the OS booting process is for the computer to access the hard drive with the operating system on it, if this is set incorrectly in the BIOS then the computer may show an error such as 'No operating system', although other problems can also show this error.
2. The next process to occur at this stage is the loading of various system files into 'working/physical' memory.
So your computer is booting into the OS, screen ouput is fine, and all seems ok, but when you try to do something everything is really slow or a lot slower than when it was new. This is quite often found to be just an accumulation of software running in the background on start-up although it can also be the result of trojans and viruses.
When a lot of programs/software are installed they set themselves to 'run in the background'. This basically means that a smaller version of the software is sitting in the computers memory waiting for you to open the full version of the software, some but not all of these can be seen in your system tray and are quite welcome there, some are pointless to leave running. You can change which programs do this using a program such as 'CCleaner' or for the more advanced user by using "msconfig" (type into run/search box), be a little wary when changing these but the general rule is if you do not use it much and it is not hardware related disable it. You can quite happily change these although beware some could be virus programs, some viruses will not let you into "msconfig".
Hopefully you will be running some sort of anti-virus/Internet Security program which should prevent most if not all of these. If you do not have and believe you have viruses etc then you may need professional help as some viruses lock the computer from any user input. This then requires a reboot into 'safe mode' restart the computer then press 'F8' at start-up, this should give you some grey text on a black background with the opions of 'safe mode', safe-mode with networking' etc etc, highlight 'safe-mode' and try to remove the viruses yourself or using the security software you have purchased. Although the virus can be too deeply embedded in the computer for the software to fully eradicate it. The Anti-Virus/Internet Security software suites are excellent at preventing this from happening in the first place but can struggle with an already infected machines, so we do highly recommend purchasing these for your own security and protection.