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Computer Does Not Start (Windows 7)

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This document applies to all HP and Compaq All-in-One and Touch PCs that came with Windows 7.
This document provides possible solutions to many common startup issues.
Select one of the symptoms listed below that most closely matches the condition of the computer. If you cannot find a symptom that matches your situation, use the section "Standard steps to resolve most startup problems".

View a video on what to do when your computer does not start

If you cannot hear noise from the fans in the computer, the lights do not illuminate, and the screen is blank, perform the following steps:
  1. Make sure your computer is receiving power. Check to see whether the power LED lights on the back of the computer and/or the AC adapter are illuminated.
    If the power LED lights are not illuminated, continue to the next step.
    If the power LED lights are illuminated, skip to Step 3 .
    Figure 1: Power LED is illuminated
    Power LED is illuminated
  2. Verify that the wall outlet has power in order to eliminate the wall outlet as a possible cause of the issue. Plug another item, such as a lamp, into the wall outlet and turn it on.
    If the item operates correctly, unplug it and plug the power cord for the computer into same the wall outlet.
    Does the computer turn on? If not, unplug the power cord from the wall outlet and continue to the next step
  3. Remove all extension cords, power strips, surge protectors, and converters; and plug the power cord directly into the wall outlet.
  4. Press the power button.
    Does the computer turn on? If not, unplug the power cord from the wall outlet and continue to the next step.
  5. Remove media from CD/DVD drives, USB ports, and memory card reader slots, and disconnect all non-essential devices (printers, scanners, external hard drives, and similar). Leave only the keyboard and mouse connected to the computer.
  6. Reconnect the power cord, and press the power button.
    Does the computer turn on? If not, disconnect the power cord and continue to the next step.
  7. With the power cord disconnected, press and hold the power button for five seconds.
  8. Reconnect the power cord, and press the power button on the computer.
    Does the computer turn on? If not, continue to the next step.
  9. If the computer has an AC adapter, check the adapter and cord using the following steps.
    If the computer does not have an AC adapter, skip to Step 10 .
    Check the AC adapter and power cord to make sure they are not damaged. If the cord or AC adapter are damaged, replace the AC adapter.
    Figure 2: Damaged power adapter and cord
    Damaged power adapter and power cord
    If the cord and adapter do not appear to be damaged, check the temperature of the adapter. When it is operating correctly, it should feel slightly warm to the touch after it has been plugged in for a short time.
    If the power adapter is warm but the computer does not turn on, skip to Step 10 .
    If the AC adapter is not warm, make sure the power cord is completely inserted into the socket on the power adapter.
    Figure 3: Power adapter and cord
    Power adapter and cord
    Wait 30 minutes and check the temperature of the adapter again.
    If the power adapter is still cold and the computer does not turn on, replace the power adapter.
  10. If all of the above steps have been tried and the computer does not turn on, the computer might require service. Contact HP (in English) for additional assistance.
It is normal for the computer to make one or two short beeps during the startup process. However, if the computer beeps and does not start properly, see BIOS Beep Codes .
If the computer starts, but the screen is blank or unresponsive, see Screen is Blank after Starting the Computer .
Select the error message that most closely matches the condition of the computer. If the error message is not described, see Standard steps to resolve most startup problems .
The computer might require service. Contact HP (in English) for additional assistance.
To resolve disk boot failure error messages, see Standard steps to resolve most startup problems .
For all file missing error messages that cause startup problems, see Standard steps to resolve most startup problems when a hard drive is detected .
To resolve operating system not found error messages, see Standard steps to resolve most startup problems .
During the startup process, the computer is attempting process information from an external media source. Remove any media from the floppy drives, CD/DVD drives, USB ports, and memory card reader slots, and disconnect all non-essential devices (printers, scanners, external hard drives, and similar). Leave only the keyboard and mouse connected to the computer. If the issue persists, see Standard steps to resolve most startup problems .
The CMOS (backup) battery on the motherboard has run out of power. The CMOS battery backs up the date, time, and other settings when the computer is turned off. Remove and replace the CMOS battery, and then correct the date and the time to prevent this error message from occurring. You can also press the F2 key to bypass this error message, however, the date and time will be incorrect and should be reset.
Windows is expecting you to enter a product key for authentication purposes. Enter the product key from the side panel of the computer. If problems persist or you want to learn more, see Windows Product Activation .
Perform these steps to determine if the hard drive is detected in the BIOS:
  1. Remove any media from the floppy drives, CD/DVD drives, USB ports, and memory card reader slots, and disconnect all non-essential devices (printers, scanners, external hard drives, and similar). Leave only the keyboard and mouse connected to the computer, and then restart the computer.
  2. Turn on the computer, and then press the F10 key repeatedly to open the BIOS Setup tool.
  3. Verify that a hard drive name is listed from the main screen.
    Figure 4: Example of a hard drive name listed in the BIOS (Western Digital)
    Image of the BIOS setup tool
If the hard drive name is listed, exit the BIOS without saving any changes, and then perform the following steps to repair the file system on the hard drive:
  1. Turn off the computer, and then wait at least five seconds with the computer completely turned off.
  2. Turn on the computer, and then press the F8 key repeatedly as the computer starts.
    The Advanced Boot Options screen opens if the system partition on the hard drive is still working correctly.
    If the Advanced Boot Options screen does not open, obtain a set of recovery disks . Insert the first recovery disc into the drive, and then turn on the computer. From the Recovery Manager main screen, select Advanced Options , and then run the Microsoft Startup Repair Tool . Continue using these steps.
  3. Select Repair Your Computer , and then press the Enter key.
  4. Select a keyboard layout that matches your country/region, and click Next .
  5. When the login prompt displays, select the user name with Administrator rights (not the Administrator) from the User Name menu. The user name with Administrator rights is usually the first user account set up during the initial computer setup.
  6. Type the login password in the Password field, and then click OK . A System Recovery Options window opens.
    NOTE: If you do not know the password, leave the Password field blank and click OK . If you cannot get past the password window, notify the system administrator for the password, or perform a system recovery to restore the system to its previous state.
    Figure 5: System Recovery Options
    Image of the System Recovery Options
  7. Click Startup Repair . A Startup Repair window opens and automatically scans for startup problems.
    Figure 6: Startup Repair
    Image of the Startup Repair
  8. Perform the actions suggested by Startup Repair: system restore, correct damaged or missing files, or other action.
    NOTE:A window might appear stating that Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically. If an Internet connection is active, click Send information about this problem to help Microsoft better understand and react to these issues. Otherwise, continue to the next step.
  9. When finished using Startup Repair, try to open Windows.
    • If Windows opens successfully, troubleshooting is complete.
    • If Windows does not open, repeat steps 1 through 6 to open the System Recovery Options window, and then continue.
  10. From the System Recovery Options window, click Command Prompt .
  11. Type the following at the command prompt, and then press the Enter key:
    bootrec /fixboot
  12. Type the following at the command prompt, and then press the Enter key:
    bootrec /fixmbr
    Figure 7: Command console
    Image of the command console
  13. Type exit to close the Command Prompt, and then press the Enter key.
  14. Click the Restart button in the System Recovery Options window to restart the computer and open Windows.
    • If Windows opens, troubleshooting is complete.
    • If Windows does not open, continue to the next step.
  15. Perform a full system recovery using recovery discs. For more information, see Performing an HP System Recovery in Windows 7 .
  16. If the computer does not startup properly after performing a full system recovery, replace the hard drive.
If the hard drive is not detected in the BIOS, or the text Auto or None is listed, exit the BIOS without saving any changes, and then perform the following steps:
Reset the BIOS to make sure the BIOS settings are correct:
  1. Turn on the computer, and then press the F10 key repeatedly to open the BIOS setup screen.
  2. Press the F5 key to reset the default BIOS settings. Use the arrow keys to select Yes or OK , and then press the Enter key.
  3. Press the F10 key to save settings and exit. Use the arrow keys to select Yes or OK , and press the Enter key.
  4. Turn off the computer.
  5. Remove the power cord.
  6. Press and hold the power button for five seconds.
  7. Reconnect the power cord, and then turn on the computer.
    If the startup problem is gone, troubleshooting is complete.
    If the startup problem still exists, continue to the next section.
To reseat the hard drive, perform the following steps:
NOTE:For detailed instructions, go to the HP Support Web site , enter the computer model number, and then search for replacing the hard drive .
WARNING:The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
CAUTION:This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.
  1. Remove the back hard drive cover(s).
  2. Remove any hard drive screws that hold the drive to the chassis.
  3. Disconnect the cables from the hard drive.
  4. Lift the hard drive out of the computer.
  5. Reinstall the hard drive back into the computer, and then turn on the computer. The computer should display the either the HP or Compaq logo screen.
    • If the startup problem is gone, you are finished but you may want to update the BIOS if one is available for your model of computer.
    • If the startup problem still exists, the product probably requires service. Contact HP (in English) as the hard drive or motherboard might be defective.

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