Troubleshooting - Why Won't My Computer Turn On?

PCs are great for gaming, but it can be frustrating when they won’t turn on. When it comes to troubleshooting why your computer isn’t turning on, there are a few things you can do. Modern computer systems usually have a few things in common that can cause them not to turn on.

Because of this, it’s essential first to determine why your computer won’t turn on before you go through the troubleshooting process. Choosing why your computer isn’t turning on can be easier said than done because there are a lot of possibilities.

Whether your computer won’t turn on because it unexpectedly shut down, or you can’t get the system to start up at all, there are a few troubleshooting tips you can try.


Knowing why your computer won’t turn on will help determine why it’s not working. If you are receiving any error messages, take note of them. This information can help you troubleshoot why your computer isn’t starting up.

If your computer is turning on but not booting up, there might be a problem with the system files. In this case, you can try repairing your computer.

If your computer is completely unresponsive, the issue may be with the power supply. Try plugging your computer into a different outlet to see if it turns on.

If you’ve tried all of these things and your computer still won’t turn on, it might be time to call in a professional.

Common Problems

A few common problems can cause your computer not to turn on. One of the most common issues is when a computer unexpectedly shuts down. When this happens, the computer might not start up again because of damage to the system files.

Another common problem is when a computer doesn’t recognize the operating system. If your computer isn’t turning on because of this issue, you can reinstall the OS.

If you’re using a laptop and it’s not charging, this could also be why your computer won’t turn on. In this case, you might need to replace the battery or the power adapter.

GPU Connector Pin
GPU Connector Pin (Image credit: intel)

There are also a few other possibilities that could cause your computer not to turn on, such as a problem with the motherboard or the CPU.

When it comes to troubleshooting why your computer won’t turn on, there are many things you can do. Hopefully, by following these tips, you can get your PC up and running again.

If your PC is still not turning on, then here are some more tips you can try:

Step 1: Check Your Cables

One of the simplest things you can do to troubleshoot a PC that won’t turn on is to check the cables. Ensure that all of your cables are connected correctly and that none of them are damaged.

Start by checking the power cable, ensuring it’s securely plugged into both the PSU and the wall outlet. If it is, unplug it and plug it back in, ensuring that the connector is aligned correctly.

PSU Power Cable
PSU Power Cable (Image credit: intel)

Next, check the data cables connecting your motherboard to your hard drive, DVD drive, and other components. Ensure they’re all plugged in securely and that no pins are bent or missing.

If you’re still having trouble getting your computer to turn on, there might be a problem with your motherboard or PSU. These are complex issues to resolve, but if you have experience with computer hardware repairs, it might be possible for you to pinpoint the problem and fix it yourself. If not, contact your motherboard or PSU manufacturer for support. As a last resort, consider replacing the component that’s preventing your computer from booting up.

Step 2: Internal Wiring

If you’ve eliminated all of the above potential problems and your computer still won’t turn on, there may be a problem with the internal wiring or power supply. This can be tricky to troubleshoot, but it’s worth checking out if nothing else has worked.

Power Supply Pins on Motherboard
Power Supply Pins on Motherboard (Image credit: intel)

Start by checking the power cables going into your computer. Ensure they’re plugged in securely and that no debris is blocking them. If you’re using an extension cord, try plugging the computer directly into the wall outlet to see if that resolves the issue.

Next, check the internal wiring. You might need to get help with this, as it can be challenging to see what’s going on inside your computer. Look for any broken wires, kinks, or cuts. You might need to remove the side panel of your case and peer inside with a flashlight to locate these problems.

If you’ve identified a specific section of wiring that looks damaged, it’s possible to replace it yourself if you’re familiar with soldering equipment and computer parts. Otherwise, take your computer in for professional repairs before attempting any significant upgrades or replacing large sections of the wiring on your own.

Step 3: POST Codes, Motherboards, and Hardware Tests

If you’re still experiencing problems with your PC, it’s time to start troubleshooting the hardware. One of the first steps in this is deciphering POST codes, which are error messages that your computer outputs during the boot process.

Various programs can help you do this, such as the free POST code reader from EasyPCBuilder. Once you understand what each code means, you can start troubleshooting the specific hardware issue.

You might need to perform a motherboard or component-level hardware test in some cases. This type of test will help you determine if a particular piece of hardware is malfunctioning and causing your system not to turn on. Motherboard and component-level tests can be performed using software or, in some cases, a physical diagnostic tool.

If you’re having trouble with your CPU or the RAM, for example, you can run a memory test to check for errors. If you’re dealing with a graphics card issue, you might want to try running a stress test on the card to see if it’s overheating or otherwise not functioning correctly.

If you’ve tried all of the above and are still experiencing problems with your computer not turning on, it might be time to contact the manufacturer of your hardware for support. Even if you’re comfortable doing your repairs, some issues are too complex or time-consuming for the average person to troubleshoot. In these cases, it’s best to get help from professionals.

POST and Beep Codes

If your computer has trouble booting, it will often output an error code or series of beeps during the boot process. These codes can help you determine the specific issue preventing your computer from starting up.

Beep codes can also help diagnose issues. Many motherboards will produce a series of beeps if there is a problem with one of the components. Each motherboard manufacturer has its own set of beep codes, so it’s essential to consult your motherboard’s manual if you’re not sure what the beeps mean.

Motherboard BIOS Updates

If you’re getting a code that indicates a memory problem, for example, updating the BIOS might resolve the issue. Your motherboard’s BIOS is like your computer’s instruction manual, and it can be quickly updated to fix bugs or compatibility issues with different hardware components.

Updating the BIOS is pretty simple; all you need is your motherboard manufacturer’s update utility (provided on their download page). Download the file, extract it if necessary (make sure not to change any of the files inside), and run it as administrator, following any instructions provided by the program.

Step 4: Power Button LED

If your computer seems to be booting up, but you’re still not getting video, it might be helpful to check the LED on your PC’s power button. This light will often flash or change color when you first turn on your computer, and many modern motherboards use this LED as a way of indicating which component is causing problems during the boot process.

Motherboard Power Button Pins
Motherboard Power Button Pins (Image credit: intel)

For example, if the LED flashes once after you first turn on your computer, but nothing else happens, there is likely an issue with either your CPU or motherboard. In comparison, if the LED stays solid after you first press the power button but then turns off, it means that there may be a problem with one of your RAM sticks. This test can help point you in the right direction when troubleshooting a computer that won’t turn on.

Consult your motherboard’s manual if you’re not sure what your motherboard’s power button LED looks like. The diagram below shows the location of the power button LED on an ASUS motherboard.

If you’re still experiencing problems with your computer not turning on, there are a few final things you can try. These steps might seem a bit daunting, but they can help resolve some of the more complex issues preventing a computer from starting up.

  • Verify that your power supply is plugged in and turned on.
  • Check that all of your cables are plugged in correctly (Power, SATA/IDE, Graphics, etc.).
  • Try clearing the CMOS by removing the battery and unplugging your computer for a few minutes before restarting.
  • If your computer doesn’t turn on when you press the power button, try plugging it into a different outlet or using a different power strip (some power strips might only let the computer turn on when they’re in specific modes).

Step 5: Test Your Components

If you’ve eliminated all of the potential problems above and your computer still won’t turn on, it’s time to test your components. This process can be a bit tricky, especially if you’re not familiar with how to use a voltmeter or oscilloscope.

Please start with the basics: remove all components from your computer and test them individually. For example, try plugging your graphics card into a different PCI-E slot or using a separate power connector. If you’re not getting any video, it’s likely that your graphics card is wrong and needs to be replaced.

If you’re still experiencing problems, it might be necessary to test your components more extensively. This usually requires special equipment like a voltmeter or oscilloscope, which can be expensive if you don’t have access to one. If you’re not sure how to use these tools, there are plenty of online guides and tutorials that can walk you through the process.

Once you’ve determined that a particular component is terrible, you can start looking for a replacement. Ensure to inspect all of your cables, especially power cables, before buying a new component to ensure that they are correctly working.


Hopefully, by following these steps and using some of the resources we’ve provided, you’ll be able to solve the problem of why your computer won’t turn on. If not, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. PC building can be a daunting task, but it can be much easier with the right tools than you think.

Fixing a computer that won’t turn on can be a daunting task, but by following the steps in this article, you should be able to troubleshoot and resolve the most common issues. If you’re still having problems after trying these steps, it might be necessary to take your computer to a professional.