How To Troubleshoot a Computer That Won't Turn On

1:23:00 AM |

It's a dreadful way to start a day - you press the power button on your computer and nothing happens. Few computer problems are more frustrating than when your computer won't boot.
There are many reasons why a computer won't turn on and often very few clues about what might be the problem. The only symptom is usually the simple fact that "nothing works" which isn't much to go on.
Add to this the fact that whatever is wrong could be an expensive part of your PC to replace - like the motherboard or CPU.
Do not fear because all may not be lost! Here's what you need to do:
  1. Read #1 below (it'll make you feel better).
  2. Pick the best troubleshooting guide (#2 - #9) based on how your computer is acting or #10 if your PC stops at any point because of an error message.
Note: All of these "computer won't start" troubleshooting guides apply no matter what Windows operating system you have installed on your hard drive, including Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Steps 1 through 5 even apply to other PC operating systems like Linux.

1. Don't Panic! Your Files are Probably OK

Files and Folders - Your Files are Probably OK
When faced with a computer that won't start most people tend to panic, worried that all the data on their PC is gone forever.
It's true that the most common reason a computer won't start is because a piece of hardware has failed or is causing a problem but that hardware isn't usually a hard drive, the part of your computer that stores all of your files.
In other words, your music, documents, emails, and videos areprobably safe - just not accessible at the moment.
So take a deep breath and try to relax. There's a good chance you can figure out exactly why your computer won't start and then get it back up and running.