Using Windows Safe Mode and Advanced Options
Computer problems can be tricky to pin down. We’ve often seen minor software bugs produce issues that would seem to be asymptomatic of hardware problems, and vice versa. Some hangs can only be fixed by shutting down the computer and restarting it, others need advanced troubleshooting techniques like accessing the Safe Mode and Advanced Options.
With Safe Mode, Windows will load using a basic set of drivers, which is an ideal environment for troubleshooting problems from recently installed devices, drivers, and applications. You’ll also be able to perform a System Restore in Safe Mode, so you could return your computer to a point before you installed a trouble program or driver. To access Safe Mode in Windows 7, turn on your computer and repeatedly press and hold the F8 key during the initial boot up process, which will bring up Windows’ Safe Mode options.
In Windows 8, you can force the PC to go into Safe Mode from within Windows. Open the Charms bar, hold the SHIFT key, click the power icon, and select Restart while holding down the SHIFT key. When Windows boots up again, it will bring up the Advanced Startup menu. From there, you can select Troubleshoot, Advanced Options, and Windows Startup Settings. Then, choose Enable Safe Mode and select Restart, which will bring up the familiar Safe Mode.
Once inside Safe Mode, you should be able to delete the driver or application that’s causing a problem, or you can try to reinstall the troublesome program or driver to see if it will fix the issue. If removing the application doesn’t solve the problem, try a System Restore to a point when the computer was working normally. If your PC can’t even boot into Safe Mode, you may need to completely reinstall Windows to fix the issue.
When Your System Won’t Boot
Few computer problems are more frustrating than a system that won’t boot. Your best lifeline, the Internet, is inaccessible, you often don’t have an error message to give you a clue, and the software menus to which you do have access may be unfamiliar and difficult to navigate and decipher.
The best way to troubleshoot the problem is to try the most common fixes first and then work your way down to the less common fixes.
Recent Hardware Changes
If your system reboots immediately after you start your computer, that’s often an indication of a hardware problem. If you recently installed anything, such as a new storage device, processor, or memory module, check to see that you installed it as instructed. Remember to exercise caution when working inside your computer: Turn it off, unplug it, and then touch a part of the case frame to dissipate static electricity. The first thing to do is to ensure that your memory modules are properly seated. It’s also a good idea to check that every hard drive or SSD in the system has both power and data cables firmly connected. Be sure to check the processor heatsink to make sure it’s installed and held firmly in place and that the graphics card (if present) is fully inserted into its slot and any external power ports are connected to the power supply. Make sure all the motherboard power ports are connected, as well; most motherboards require a 24-pin power connector on the right edge of the board and a 4- or 8-pin power connection toward the top of the motherboard.
Back To The BIOS
If the settings in the BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) have become unstable, resetting it may solve the problem. To do this, restart your computer and immediately press the designated key that lets you access the BIOS. This key varies from computer to computer, but often it appears onscreen during the boot process. The DELETE, ESC, F1, or F2 keys are all common. Once in the BIOS setup utility, try loading the Optimized Defaults, save the settings, and restart. If your computer still fails, re-enter the BIOS and load the Fail-Safe Defaults. If you can’t even access the BIOS, then you may need to reset the CMOS (complementary metaloxide semiconductor), which retains your computer’s BIOS settings. Consult your motherboard or computer manual for the location of the CMOS jumper, which you can temporarily move between the three pins on the motherboard to perform the reset. After about 10 seconds, move the jumper back and try restarting.
The Safe Mode Or System Restore Options
Try to boot your computer into Safe Mode by restarting your computer and pressing the F8 key as it attempts to boot up. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight the Safe Mode option and then press ENTER. If you have more than one OS installed on your system, you may need to select the OS you want to boot into Safe Mode. If your computer boots successfully into Safe Mode, then the issue may have been resolved, so attempt a normal reboot. If the problem persists, try a System Restore: Re-enter Safe Mode, click Start, type system restore, and then press ENTER. Use this wizard to use a Restore Point to reclaim access to your PC. Be sure to select a point prior to the day on which you began having trouble.
Computer On But The Screen Blank?
Do the basics:
1 Unplug the monitor’s power cable from the monitor (and the wall outlet) and then plug the cable back in. Also, make sure the video cable is firmly connected to your computer and the monitor. Reconnect any unplugged or loose cables.
2 Is there a small colored light illuminated in the corner of your monitor? If not, push the Power button. Locate the Power icon, which looks like a circle with a line protruding from the top of it.
3 Open the monitor’s Brightness Settings. To do so, find the button on the front of the monitor that has an icon that resembles a light bulb or sun. Push it to see if the brightness level is set to a dim level. Increase the brightness to a comfortable level for your eyes.
4 Your PC might be in Sleep or Hibernation mode. To “wake” it and view your desktop, try pressing the ENTER key, moving your mouse, and pressing the Power button.
If all that doesn’t solve your problem, let us troubleshoot your PC or laptop for video issues or laptop screen repair!
What If My Computer Won’t Turn On?
1 Start by making sure that you pressed the Power button. (Make sure you’ve pressed the Power button on your monitor, too.) The Power button typically has an icon that resembles a circle with a vertical line at the top.
2 If you have a desktop, unplug the power cable from your PC (and the wall outlet) and then plug it back in. A loose cable is usually to blame for a PC that won’t start. If the power cable isn’t the problem, look for a switch near the cable at the back of the PC. Some computer power supplies have a switch that can be flipped to cut off power. Flip the switch and then press the Power button again.
3 If you have a laptop, start by reseating the battery. If the battery isn’t firmly locked into place, it may not provide any power to the laptop. If this doesn’t solve the problem, connect the laptop to the wall outlet and let the battery fully charge.
If all that doesn’t solve your problem, let us troubleshoot your PC or laptop for power issues or DC jack repair!
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