As the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy said the first thing to do is to not panic. If you don’t calm yourself down, you can’t do anything if you’re in that frame of mind, you’ll only go and break something else.
Ok! What Next?
Now that you’ve calmed down you need to figure out exactly what is wrong. This guide is to troubleshoot problems where the computer won’t boot, or crashes during boot. If your computer point blank refuses to boot there’s a good chance that there is a hardware problem. The best way to diagnose this is to listen for the post beeps made by the computers on-board speaker. These beeps tell you what’s wrong, but you need to know what brand of BIOS you have. I’ve complied a list of sites with the best list of beep codes on:
These two sites cover most BIOS beep codes, but you can find others just by searching google for “BIOS Beeps Codes”.
What If There Is No Hardware Failure?
Well that will probably mean your computer is freezing during boot (like while loading Windows). If so, it’s probably a driver or software problem. The ultimate solution to this problem is to format… Yep, I said it. Format. It might seem extreme, but ultimately it is the only way to make sure you have removed the problem. If you need to get information from the drive, the best way is to add the HDD into another computer as a storage drive. That means you aren’t booting from it & the problem won’t be transfered (unless it’s a virus, then DO NOT do this).
Format?! Isn’t That A Bit Extreme?
Well maybe, but:
- This post isn’t big enough to trouble shoot all problems you could have, and
- While extreme it is the only way to make sure you have removed a driver or software problem.
If you are going to go the long way and not format. The best way to start is to make sure it is NOT a virus by doing a virus scan. Ones that’s done update all of your drivers to make sure the problem hasn’t been fixed by a driver update, then start thinking about any software you have recently installed & remove or system restore to before you installed the most recent program. If the problem re-occurs then remove or restore again. If all that fails… Format.
No problem… While this isn’t the most detailed article I hope it will help some people with what to do in the case of a hardware failure or a software problem. I decided to do this article because a similar thing just happened to me & this is a process I went through (The hardware check) as my graphics card just failed.
Thanks for reading & more soon. Feel free to leave a comment with your tips for fixing or coping with hardware and/or software problems.