PC Won’t Boot To BIOS (10 Causes, Fixes)

There are many reasons to boot to the BIOS.

It’s frustrating to find your BIOS or operating system is not accessible.

Continue reading to learn why your computer won’t cooperate and refuses to boot to BIOS/Operating System.

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How to Fix a PC Not Being Booted To BIOS


1. Use UEFI Firmware Setups



Accessing the BIOS via the UEFI firmware setting is the best way to access Windows 10.

  1. Open the Settings application and choose the Security section.
  2. Select the Recovery tab in the left pane. Next, click the Start Now button.
  3. Click on the Troubleshoot link in the new Windows.
  4. Next, choose Advanced Options and then the UEFI firmware Settings.
  5. Hit the Start button to bring the system up to BIOS.


2. Repair Faulty Power Connector



You won’t be allowed to boot to BIOS if the power connector for the CPU or motherboard is damaged or not correctly plugged in.

The motherboard comes with a 24-pin connector. Make sure that it is plugged in tightly and the cable is not damaged.

The 8-pin connector on the CPU is usually in a 4+4 configuration.

Connect both ends correctly

Verify that the cables are connected properly to the PSU at both ends.


3. Troubleshoot RAM Sticks



An error in RAM can cause your computer’s failure to boot to OS or BIOS.

It is important to ensure that all RAM sticks are properly seated and healthy.

Turn off the computer’s power cord and unplug it.

Locate the RAM sticks on your motherboard by opening the case.

Take them out of their slots, and then reseat each one.

You should align the RAM module’s notch with the slot when installing it.

The clicking sound should be made by the tabs on the opposite side of the stick if it is correctly seated.

Don’t jam the stick in reverse.

Start your system over again.

If the computer still doesn’t function, remove all RAM sticks and only plug one.

Add the RAM sticks one by one until the system boots.

Sometimes a motherboard slot is damaged and you will need to try other slots in order to get the results that you desire.


4. Reset the CMOS by removing the BIOS Battery



Boot problems can be caused by CMOS battery problems. You need to remove the battery from your CMOS.

Here are some things you should do.

  1. Disconnect any peripheral devices that are connected to your computer via a USB, HDMI or other ports.
  2. Open the case and unplug the power cable.
  3. You will find a flat, coin-shaped, battery on your motherboard. Refer to the manual of your motherboard to locate it if you don’t know where to find it.
  4. You will now need to gently remove the battery. The clip or lever may hold it in place. The barrier can be removed by hand, or with a screwdriver. After that, you can take out the battery.
  5. Allow the battery to rest for 20 minutes outside, then place it back inside. It should be properly seated.
  6. Plug everything back into the computer, close the case and turn it off. The CMOS battery lasts about ten years. It’s possible that your motherboard is dead if you own it for that long, or if you use a second-hand one. To resolve the problem, purchase a new CMOS-battery and replace it.


How to Boot Windows from a PC



This troubleshooting guide is for those who have entered the BIOS successfully but are still having difficulty booting the Operating System.


1. Disconnect External Peripherals



Windows might not boot due to a conflict between one of your peripheral devices or their drivers.


It is necessary to unplug them all and then restart your computer.

Shut down your computer and unplug any USB devices (including the mouse and external hard drives).

The power cable, display cable for your monitor and keyboard are the only cables that should remain connected to your computer.

To discharge any remaining electricity, press the power button several times.

Turn on the system and see if Windows starts up.

Start the computer and connect each device one at a time until you locate the faulty one.


2. Check out the BIOS Error messages




If the system cannot finish the boot process, it will often give an error message or a code to help you pinpoint the problem.

You can either read the error message on the screen, or listen to the beeps during boot up to find out the meaning.

Specific information can be found in the manual of your computer, motherboard or manufacturer’s website.

Continue down the list if you don’t hear or see anything.


3. Troubleshoot Possible Boot Device Problems




If your computer doesn’t boot to the BIOS or loads the Operating System, it could be due to a problem in the storage drive that Windows is installed on, or with the boot order.

The boot order determines how the system prioritizes storage options and scans them to load Windows.

The boot order should show the highest drive containing the Operating System.

Here are some ways to determine the boot order

  1. Removing flash drives and other storage devices should be done before you can restart the system.
  2. During boot time, enter the BIOS according to the sections above.
  3. The Boot section of your BIOS is dedicated to storage. You could name it Boot Order, Priority or something similar.
  4. Place the primary drive containing the OS at the top. You can disable any drive that contains the OS and then boot the system. Continue to scroll down the list until the drive you are looking for is found. Then, prioritize it and enable all storage drives.
  5. Save your changes in the BIOS before exiting.



The BIOS may not detect the OS drive and will not show it in the list.

This means that the drive is having problems.

Verify that the cables are connected properly to the storage drive.

If your OS is stored on an M.2 SSD drive ensure that it’s properly seated.

You can test the drive on another computer if you are concerned about it being damaged.


4. Updating the BIOS




If you have a older motherboard or are building a new PC, updating the BIOS is advisable to resolve boot problems.

If you have an older motherboard, a firmware update can fix the issues caused by the newly paired hardware.

You will need to update your motherboard according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


5. Use Windows Safe Mode




Because it will start Windows with minimal software and bypass driver and software issues, booting Windows in Safe Mode solves many of your problems.

You can use Windows Recovery to enter Safe Mod.

To force Windows Recovery to be activated, you will need to interrupt the boot process at least three times.

The screen should have ” Choose an Option” in the title.

Click on the Troubleshoot button, then go to Advanced Options then choose Startup Settings

Now, reboot your computer into Safe mode.

A Windows 10 recovery drive is another way to access Safe Mode.

You will need to create a drive containing the Windows 10 recovery environment.

Access to another computer running Windows 10 and an external USB drive of at least 512MB is required.


Open Control Panel on the other computer and choose Create recovery drive.

Follow the instructions to save your data on the USB drive.

Set the USB drives to bootable mode through the BIOS if you haven’t done so already.

Make the drive a priority.

Start the computer again and switch to Safe Mode.


6. Restore the BIOS default settings



Some BIOS settings and configurations can cause problems when you try to boot.

You may be able disable them to allow your computer to start up again to Windows.

Fast Boot is the first setting. This allows Windows to load faster by preloading drives.

Some Windows updates may cause boot problems by affecting Fast Boot compatibility.

This feature must be disabled via BIOS.

After you have entered the BIOS, search for Fast Boot under Advanced Option or Boot options.

If it is not there, refer to your motherboard manual. It will tell you where it is located on your particular computer model.

Once you have it turned on, you will need to power it off.

Secure Boot is the second problem setting.

This feature helps protect your system from malware by checking the loading hardware, drives, and other information when the computer is starting up.

Secure Boot will stop the booting process if it doesn’t recognize hardware and drivers.

This setting can be disabled through BIOS to fix the problem.

It is usually located under Boot Options.

Other incorrect BIOS settings can also cause problems with booting. If you don’t know what to do, reset the BIOS to its default setting.

Enter the BIOS to search for options that say ” Setup Defaults” and ” Load Options.”

It could be anywhere depending on where you are located, but make sure you check the Configuration and Security sections.

After clicking on the option, select Yes from the dialog box to restore the BIOS’s default settings.


7. Standoffs for Motherboards



It may not seem like it, but improperly installing the motherboard standoffs can cause boot problems in some systems.

Verify that all standoffs are aligned with the holes.


8. Do a Malware Scan



Your computer may not be booting if malware or viruses have infected it.

The only way to avoid this is to use an antivirus rescue disk.

You can find the best options for a rescue disc here


9. Use System Restore



System Restore can be used to fix problems caused by changes made to your system. It will restore Windows to an earlier point where everything worked normally.

Here are the steps to restore your system.

  1. As explained in previous sections, go to the Windows Recovery environment.
  2. Select Troubleshooting Advanced Options More Recovery Options Startup Options
  3. Click the Restartbutton.
  4. Select Disable driver signing enforcement from the list of startup settings and press the 7 or F7 keys.


Do not rush.


10. Factory Reset



A Factory Reset or, as Microsoft calls it, a ” Reset” or ” Refresh”, is your last resort. It’s a more dangerous solution than other options.

Some or all of your files and data will be lost.

After you have entered the Windows Recovery environment, navigate to the Troubleshoot sections and select Restart this Computer.


What is BIOS?



The BIOS, or Basic Input Output System, is a pre-installed firmware or ROM chip on your motherboard that contains the information necessary to set up and access your system’s most basic settings.

The BIOS acts as an intermediary between the OS (the OS) and the hardware that it runs.

It manages the data flow between OS and I/O devices like the hard drive, keyboard and mouse, printer and so forth.

After you turn on the computer, the microprocessor of the computer uses the BIOS to initiate the system.

A boot device is an item of hardware that stores files the computer requires to start up.

The BIOS checks that all necessary attachments and boot devices are working before it boots the OS.


What are BIOS Functions?



You need to be familiar with the BIOS functions and their jobs in order to identify and understand the problem.

  • POST The Power-On Self Test checks your computer hardware to ensure that there are no errors before the BIOS loads OS. Your system will not boot to the BIOS or operating system if it fails the POST test. This indicates that there is an issue with the hardware. There might be a series of beeps that indicate that something is wrong.
  • Bootstrap LoaderThe Bootstrap Loader searches for the Operating System and, if it does, will give control to the BIOS.
  • BIOS drivers: These low-level drives provide basic operational control of the system’s hardware.
  • CMOS isCMOS, which stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor.


You can modify the hardware and system settings using the configuration program, such as time, date and passwords.


How to Correctly Enter BIOS



Each computer and motherboard has its own unique way of allowing users to access the BIOS setup.

The BIOS is the same for all computers, but it requires a keyboard.

During computer boot up, you will need to press the following keys:

  • F1
  • F2
  • F10
  • Del
  • Esc


Your computer’s information might be different, so consult the manual of your computer or the manufacturer’s website to learn how to enter your BIOS.

If you have built your own PC, you will need to read the manual for the motherboard.

If the above method doesn’t work, continue to the next section.


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