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HP Notebook PCs - Overview of How to Troubleshoot Problems When a Computer Does Not Start Up or Boot Properly

Lists the symptoms you see if the computer does not boot, an overview of the complete troubleshooting process, and links to other documents with step-by-step details to restore computer to proper operation.If your computer does not startup or boot into Windows, use this document to troubleshoot and correct this problem.

Click here and print a Resolve Start Up and No Boot Problems Checklist (English only).

DO THIS FIRST - Perform a hard reset

If a PC suddenly fails to boot properly, you should perform a hard reset as the first action. Performing the hard reset will correct many problems. If the computer still does not start properly, select your symptom from the list below to guide you to the recommended corrective actions.

  1. Disconnect all peripheral devices and remove all USB devices and SD media cards. You want to test the computer not the accessories!

  2. Disconnect the AC power adapter, remove the battery, and then press and hold the power button for at least 15 seconds to drain all residual power and restore default startup settings.

  3. Reconnect the AC power adapter (but do not insert the battery), Press the Power button, Look for glowing LEDs near caps lock and num lock keys, and Listen for sounds of a fan or other moving parts turning.

Symptom: LED lights do not glow, display is black, computer does not start

Symptom
Possible Cause
When you press the power button: notebook does not react, display is black, LED lights do not glow, and there are no sounds.
Failed AC adapter or power cord, a discharged or damaged battery, a bad connection to the notebook, or a failed notebook system board component.

Glowing LEDs - when the power button is pressed - indicate that electrical power is available to the computer's system board.

Common actions to resolve no power issues

If the computer does not start, the LED lights do not glow, and the display is black, you can perform one or more of the following actions to resolve the no power issue.

  • Verify the computer is receiving power from the AC adapter .

    Verify that the AC adapter is not damaged and is connected correctly to a working wall outlet plug. Verify AC power is connected to the system board by examining the AC adapter, wiring, and pin connection for damage. The keyboard LEDs will glow when AC power is connected to the system board.

    Damaged components, like the AC adapter or the pin in the power connector, may require an HP-certified repair.

  • Use a different AC power adapter .

    If you have access to a different AC adapter or power pack that is designed for the computer, connect it to the notebook and try to start the computer. If you own or have access to more than one notebook, verify that you are using the adapter which belongs to the notebook.

    CAUTION: Using a power adapter that does not meet the power requirements or has the wrong type of connector may damage the computer. On newer notebook models, connecting the wrong adapter to the notebook may cause the power LED lights to blink but not power the computer.
  • Remove the battery and boot on AC power only .

    A discharged or defective battery may prevent the AC adapter from supplying enough power to start the computer. To verify that power from the AC adapter is available for PC; remove the battery, connect AC power adapter, and press power button. If available, try using a different AC adapter, that is rated for the PC, and repeat this test.

  • Remove the AC adapter and boot on battery power only .

    A defective AC adapter may not charge the battery and prevent the computer from booting on battery power only. To verify battery power available for the PC; connect AC power adapter, allow battery to charge for 30 minutes or more, disconnect the power adapter and press power button. If available, try using a fully charged battery, of the same type, from another computer and repeat this test.

    • If LEDS do not glow and the fan or hard drive do not spin, battery may need to be replaced.

    • If tests of both the battery and the AC adapter fail, there may be a problem with system board requiring service by HP.

    • If LEDs glow and PC boots, the AC adapter may need to be replaced.

    • If LEDs glow, but PC does not boot go to LEDs glow, fan is heard, but display is black or blank section.

See Troubleshooting No LED Lights Glow During Startup or Boot
for a more detailed explanation of the this issue and corrective actions.

Symptom: LEDs blink or computer beeps but does not start

Symptom
Possible Cause
When you press the power button: some of the LED lights on the keyboard blink or a beep tone is made to help identify specific hardware component errors,
Blinking LEDS on startup usually indicates a problem with the basic functionality of a critical component, and you will need technical assistance to resolve the error.
The most commonly used LEDs are those located are near the Caps Lock and Num Lock keys.
The number of blinks in a series is used by a technician to help diagnose a problem with specific hardware components.
The number of blinks and their meaning is different for different notebook models.

Recognize Beep Tone Codes

On older computer models, the startup diagnostics use a series of tones (beeps) to identify an error codes. If you hear beep tones (usually 1 - 6 tones), contact HP to report the number and duration of the tones, and receive technical assistance.

Recognize Blink Codes

On HP Pavilion and Compaq Presario notebook computers built in 2009 or later, the startup diagnostics use blinking LEDS to identify errors. If you see the LEDs near the caps lock or num lock keys blinking (usually 1 - 8 blinks in a series), contact HP for assistance.

Blink codes and beep tone codes have a similar purpose but the number of blinks or beeps do not indicate the same error conditions. The codes are specific to individual models, and you will need to know your exact notebook model number.

Common actions to resolve LED blink or beep tone error code

When there is a start-up problem and you see LED lights on the keyboard blink a few times, or hear beep tones, do the following actions:

  1. Press the power button to turn on the computer and look for blinking LED lights on the keyboard, or listen for beep tone.

  2. Count the number of blinks or beeps in the sequence.

    After the sequence of blinks or beeps, there is a pause for a few seconds, and the sequence of blinks or beeps is repeated (usually 3 times). After the blink sequence is repeated, the LEDs do not glow until the power button is pressed again.

  3. Contact HP for technical assistance, and report the number of blinks, or beep tones. You must also know the exact model or product name of your computer.

If you have just replaced any internal hardware components (memory modules, hard drive, etc.) and you experience a blink or beep code, the component may not be connected properly. To physically check the connections and correct this problem, you should remove and reseat the new components.

Symptom: Error message displays on a black screen

Symptom
Possible Cause
When you press the power button: LED lights glow, a fan spinning sound is heard, the notebook does not start, and a text message displays on a black screen.
There may be a problem with the instruction being sent from the BIOS to a hardware component (e.g., keyboard failures), or an incompatible device driver.
Can usually be resolved by installing updated firmware for a critical component.
You can search the HP support web site of the Microsoft Knowledge Base for a specific resolution.

Actions when no error messages display

If the displayed error message does not appear in the list, search the following web sites for a specific solution:

You should also perform one or more of the troubleshooting actions listed for the previous symptom: LEDs glow, fan noise is heard, but display is black or blank . These actions will resolve most problems that cause the computer to stop and display a black screen.

See HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshooting Error Messages on a Black Screen that May Occur During Startup or Boot for a more detailed explanation of the this issue and corrective actions.

Symptom: Error message displays on a blue screen

Symptom
Possible Cause
When you press the power button: LED lights glow, a fan spinning sound is heard, a text message displays on a blue screen, and the notebook stops responding.
Or, computer may restart or freeze with no message on a blue screen.
There is a conflict when loading drivers and services.
Can usually be resolved by installing updated drivers or changing the loading sequence.
An error message is displayed but it cleared if the computer attempts to automatically re-start.

In some cases, the computer may operate properly in Windows but suddenly crash when you start or exit a program. Problems that cause a blue screen error usually display a specific message and have a specific solution. The computer can usually be restarted by turning the power off and then on, but ignoring the error message does not resolve a reoccurring problem.

It may appear that there is no error message if the computer is set to automatically restart when an error is detected. This setting can be changed and when the specific blue screen error message is displayed, use a computer with access to the internet to search the following web sites for solutions to the specific error message.

Disable the Automatic Restart option in Advanced Boot Options

If no error message is displayed, and the computer cannot boot into Windows, do the following to disable the automatic restart feature in the Advanced Boot Option.

  1. Turn on the power and press f8 to open the Windows Advanced Boot Option screen.

  2. Select Disable automatic restart on system failure to view error messages.

NOTE: For Windows XP, to disable the automatic restart on system failure feature, install XP service pack 2 or later.

Actions when no error messages display

If the displayed error message does not appear in the list, search the following web sites for a specific solution:

If you cannot search on a specific error message, perform one or more of the following common actions to resolve blue screen error messages .

Actions to resolve blue screen error messages

If the computer displays a blue screen and stops responding, you can perform one or more of the following actions to resolve the startup or no boot issue.

Perform Memory and Hard Drive diagnostic tests

In some cases, if there is power to the notebook, you may be able to access the BIOS, or EFI diagnostics, and run memory and hard drive tests. If you cannot access a diagnostics screen, try one of the other actions listed in this section.

  • Mid-2009 and earlier models

    To attempt to access the BIOS diagnostic tests, press the power switch and immediately press and hold the f10 key. On the BIOS setup screen do the following:

    • Select Reset the BIOS to default condition (f9) .

    • Select Perform a Primary Hard Disk Self Test .

    • Select Perform a Memory self test .

  • Mid-2009 and later models with EFI

    To attempt to access the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) environment diagnostic tests, press the power switch and immediately press and hold the esc key. On the EFI Startup Menu screen do the following:

    • Select System Diagnostics (f2) to run theStart-Up Test

    • Select System Diagnostics (f2) to run theMemory Test

    • Select System Diagnostics (f2) to run theHard Disk Test

    • Select BIOS Setup (f10) , then select Reset the BIOS to default condition (f9) .

Use Windows Advanced Boot Options to start computer

If computer does not boot into Windows, turn on the power and press f8 . On the Windows Advanced Boot Option screen, select one or more of the following options. Select them one at a time and press the enter key to attempt a system restart.

  • Disable automatic restart on system failure to view error messages.

  • Repair Your Computer allowsUninstall recently installed software programs Windows to run diagnostic tests.

  • Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced) to return settings to an earlier point in time.

  • Boot into Safe Mode and then Uninstall recently installed software programs .

    When in the computer is running in the Safe mode, click Start , Control Panel , and select the Uninstall a program option. When the computer is operating again, go to program manufacturer's web site for support information.

Run a Microsoft system restore

  • In Windows XP

    Click Start , All Programs , Accessories , System Tools , System Restore . Select a windows restore point from a time when the computer operated properly, and then restart the computer.

  • In Windows Vista or Windows 7

    Click Start, type restore in the search field, and select System Restore from the list. Select a windows restore point from a time when the computer operated properly, and then restart the computer.

If the computer does not boot into Windows, you can restore the computer settings to an earlier point in time. Turn on the power and press f8 . On the Windows Advanced Boot Option screen, select Safe Mode and boot into Windows.

Update Windows, the BIOS, and HP device drivers

If you can access the Windows Advanced Boot Options window, and can select Safe Mode with Networking , and have an internet connection, perform the following tasks.

  • Open a web browser (Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for this specific task). Go to www.update.windows.com Non-HP site web site and run the Windows Update.

  • Open a web browser (Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for this specific task). Go to HP Software & Driver Downloads web page. Select the country and language, select Download drivers and software option, enter the model name or product number, and then download and install the latest BIOS version.

See HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshooting Error Messages on a Blue Screen that may Occur During Startup or Boot for a more detailed explanation of this issue and corrective actions.

Symptom: Displays Windows logo on screen and hangs

Symptom
Possible Cause
During startup, the Windows logo displays, but then the startup process stops. The keyboard and the mouse do not respond.
There is a conflict when loading services and program in the Windows environment.
In some instances, the computer may attempt to shutdown and restart, but does not boot fully in Windows.
It may be necessary to press and hold the power button for 15 seconds or more to force the computer to shutdown.

The Windows logo may appear on a blank screen or a specific error message is displayed. The computer can usually be restarted by turning the power off and on. With Windows Vista and Windows 7, the computer may prompt you to select a Windows Startup Repair option when the power button is pressed again after a startup error.

Disable the Automatic Restart option in Advanced Boot Options

If no error message is displayed, and the computer cannot boot into Windows, do the following to disable the automatic restart feature. Turn on the power and press f8 to open the Windows Advanced Boot Option screen. Select Disable automatic restart on system failure to view error messages.

Actions when specific error messages display

  • Use Windows Advanced Boot Options to start the computer .

    If computer does not boot into Windows, turn on the power and press f8 . On the Windows Advanced Boot Option screen, select one or more of the following options. Select them one at a time and press the enter key to attempt a system restart.

    • Repair Your Computer allows Windows to run diagnostic tests.

    • Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced) to return settings to an earlier point in time.

    • Select Safe Mode and then run a Microsoft System Restore to an earlier point in time.

    • Select Safe Mode and then Uninstall recently installed software programs .

  • Restore the BIOS defaults .

    To reset the BIOS configuration to its default condition, turn on the computer and press f10 to enter the BIOS setup , and then press f9 key to reset the BIOS defaults option.

  • Restore the default VGA Low-Resolution graphics settings .

    If there is a graphics driver conflict, turn on the computer and press f8 key, then select Enable low-resolution video . This allows you to download and install the latest graphics drivers. Once the correct driver is installed you can select the desired resolution.

  • Run an anti-virus program .

    Search for and remove any virus or malware. See Resolving and Preventing Viruses on Your Computer .

  • Test the hard drive .

    The HP Hard Drive Self Test can repair most errors. Turn on the computer and press f10 to boot into the BIOS Setup and select Hard Disk Test .

  • Restore the system to a known good configuration using Microsoft System Restore .

    Turn on the computer and press f8 and then select Boot into Safe Mode . When in Windows, click Start , type Restore in the search field and select System Restore . Select a restore point when the computer was operating properly.

Actions when no error messages display

Restart the computer. If a specific start up error message is displayed, search the following web sites for a specific solution:

If you cannot search on a specific error message, perform one or more of the action described above in the Actions when specific error messages display section.

Recover the computer to original condition

If the computer is not responding (1) AFTER you performed all of the other corrective actions in this document, (2) AND if you have the operating system recovery discs, (3) AND if the computer can access the DVD drive, you can restore the computer to its original factory condition.

  • XP operating system

    The Master Boot Record (MBR) within the Windows XP operating system may be corrupt. You must have the Windows Operating System Disc (OSD) provided with your HP computer to repair the Master Boot Record (MBR). See "Operating System Not Found" Error Message Appears On Black Screen

  • Windows 7 or Vista or XP operating system

    Depending on the condition of the hard drive, the recovery utility may allow you to make a backup of all of your personal files because performing a system recovery. For more information, please see Repairing or Reinstalling the Operating System .

See HP Notebook PCs - Troubleshooting Windows Logo when Logo Displays and Computer Stops Responding for a more detailed explanation of the this issue and corrective actions.

What to do when the computer starts into Windows normally

If the computer started after performing a Hard Reset and connecting the AC power only, you should shut down the computer, insert the battery, and restart the computer using the battery only. You should also test and calibrate the battery for best performance, see HP Battery Check Frequently Asked Questions .

If you performed one or more of the troubleshooting processes and your computer booted normally into the Windows operating system, you should do the following to prevent future problems:

  • Run HP Assistant to update HP software and drivers.

  • Run Windows Update to update operating system and software.

  • Run anti-virus program to remove any virus.

See HP Notebook PCs - Update Your Computer After Troubleshooting a Problem for a more detailed explanation of the this issue.

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