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HP Desktop PCs - Computer Does Not Start (Windows 10, 8)

This document is for HP and Compaq Desktop, All-in-One, and HP TouchSmart computers that came with Windows 10 and Windows 8.
This document provides possible solutions to many common computer startup issues. Follow the steps in this document step-by-step to help isolate the problem and find the most appropriate help.
Depending on your version of Windows, some of the instructions and images in this document, and others linked to from this document, might vary slightly.

Try this first: Use the HP Guided Solution

OR follow the steps below.

Step 1: Remove discs and devices before troubleshooting startup issues

Turn off the computer, remove any discs and USB devices, then remove memory cards from the card reader slot. Disconnect all non-essential devices such as printers, scanners, external hard drives, and similar devices. Remove or disconnect all discs and devices from the computer, except for the mouse, keyboard, and monitor.
After you have removed all discs and devices, turn on the computer. What happens?
  • If the computer starts, reconnect devices one at a time and restart the computer to figure out which disc or device is causing the problem. You are done.
  • If the computer still does not start and exhibits the same problem, press and hold the power button to turn off the computer. Do not connect anything and continue troubleshooting.

Step 2: Perform a hard reset

Many startup errors and other problems can be resolved by decreasing the amount of power stored in hardware components. Decreasing stored power is sometimes referred to as a "Hard Reset." Use the following steps to perform a hard reset on a computer:
  1. Turn off the computer completely; disconnect the power cord from the back of the computer.
  2. With the power off and the power cord disconnected, press the power button on the computer for 5 seconds. The power light indicator on or near the power button might turn on briefly but then go out.
  3. Reconnect the power cord and turn on the power.
    • If the computer starts, you are done.
    • If the computer still does not start and exhibits the same problem, continue the troubleshooting.

Step 3: Troubleshoot computer startup issues

Read from the following list of symptoms. If you find a symptom that matches your computer's condition, follow those instructions. A link might take you to another support document that contains detailed troubleshooting steps. If you cannot find a symptom that matches your computer's symptom, go to the step to Run Hardware Diagnostics tests.

All other startup problems

For all other startup problems, go to the step to Run Hardware Diagnostics tests.

Step 4: Run Hardware Diagnostics tests

The HP PC Hardware Diagnostics Windows tool can check the hardware sub-systems to ensure they are functioning properly. For more information about installing and using the HP PC Hardware Diagnostic tests, see HP PCs - Testing for Hardware Failures.
Select your type of computer from the options below, then follow the instructions for that type of computer.

Step 5: Check whether the hard drive is detected in BIOS

If the hard drive is not detected in the BIOS, the computer does not start. Perform the following steps to check if the hard drive is detected in BIOS:
  1. Remove or disconnect all discs and devices from the computer, except for the mouse, keyboard, and monitor.
  2. Turn on the computer and immediately press the F10 key repeatedly, about once every second, until the BIOS Setup tool opens.
  3. Use the left and right arrow keys to select Storage.
    Use the up and down arrow keys to select Device Configuration, then press Enter.
  4. Verify a hard drive is listed under Hard Disk.
    BIOS screen with example hard drive listed and highlighted

Step 6: Refresh or reset your PC

Use Microsoft's "Refresh your PC" feature to reinstall Windows without affecting your personal files, apps, and many settings.
If your computer is not opening to a blue "Choose an option" screen, skip to the step to Run Microsoft System Restore from recovery discs.
  1. On the Choose an option window, click Troubleshoot.
    Choose an option screen with Troubleshoot selected
  2. Click Refresh your PC.
    Troubleshoot screen with Refresh your PC selected
  3. Click Next.
     Refresh Your PC with Next selected
  4. Wait until Windows completes. Read and respond to any screens that open.
    • If the computer starts and opens Windows, you are done.
    • If the computer does not start and opens to the Choose an option screen, continue troubleshooting.
  5. On the Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot.
  6. Click Reset your PC.
     Troubleshoot Screen with Reset your PC selected
  7. Click Next.
     Reset your PC with Next selected
  8. Select the quick option to remove your personal files.
      caution:
    Your personal files and settings are destroyed by performing this step. Make sure you have backed up all your important files before continuing. Do not continue if you have important files on the hard drive that have not been backed up. You might want to seek a professional data recovery service to restore your files.
  9. Wait until Windows completes. Read and respond to any screens that open.
    • If the computer starts and opens Windows, you are done.
    • If the computer does not start and opens to the Choose an option screen, continue to the next step to run Microsoft System Restore.

Step 7: Run Microsoft System Restore from recovery discs

If you have recovery discs, either that you created or obtained from HP Support, you can use System Restore to revert the computer to a time when it started. Follow these steps to run Microsoft System Restore from the recovery discs:
  1. Turn on the computer, then insert the first recovery disc into the drive.
  2. Press and hold the power button until the computer turns off completely.
  3. Disconnect all connected devices and cables such as Personal Media Drives, USB drives, printers, and faxes. Remove media from internal drives, and remove any recently added internal hardware. Do not disconnect the monitor, keyboard, mouse, or power cord.
  4. Turn on the computer.
  5. Immediately press the F9 key repeatedly, about once every second, until the Boot Device Options menu opens.
  6. Use the up or down arrow key to select the CD/DVD drive. Then press Enter.
    note:
    More than one CD/DVD drive selection might be available from the list of bootable devices. If so, select one of the CD/DVD selections from the list to see if HP Recovery starts. If recovery does not start or a non-system disk error is displayed, press the power button to restart the computer, then repeat these steps to select another CD/DVD drive. When recovery starts, continue using the steps to complete recovery.
  7. A window might display and prompt you to choose whether to run Recovery Manager from the hard disk or from the inserted disc. If this window is displayed, select the Run program from disc, then click Next.
  8. Select an option based on the type of recovery discs you have:
    • Recovery discs you created:
      Click Microsoft System Restore under I need help immediately. If the next screen prompts you to confirm your choice, select Yes, then click Next. If no confirmation screen is displayed, continue to the next step.
    • Recovery discs received from HP Support:
      Select Restore your computer to a previous state, then click Next.
  9. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore the computer to a date and time when it started up correctly.
  10. Wait for the system restoration to complete.
    If the computer starts to Windows, you are done.
    If the computer does not start, proceed with the next step to perform a system recovery.

Step 8: Perform a computer reset

If the steps in this document have not resolved the startup problem, perform a system reset to reset the computer to its original factory shipped state. Go to Resetting Your Computer (Windows 10) for more information.

Contacting HP Support

If you cannot find a solution, contact HP Support for further assistance or to have the computer serviced.
For more Information on how to resolve no boot and power issues, see the following HP support documents:

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