New Computer Build Not Turning On

By | 09/09/2022

Then you’ve decided to build your own reckoner. Kudos to you lot for taking on the ultimate chore in component customization — we hope it’due south an incredibly rewarding experience. Yet, when things go wrong and your PC won’t plough on, information technology can feel demotivating and sometimes overwhelming to solve.

We’ve put together a list of the about mutual reasons your home-built PC won’t start and exactly how to solve them chop-chop and hands.

PC won’t turn on

PC power supply cables on a modular PSU.

This might be the most demoralizing of all PC fixing problems, because yous don’t have much to keep when your PC won’t plow on. Even so, the fact that nothing happens is a clue in and of itself. Somewhere along the chain of you lot pressing the power button and power being delivered to the components, at that place’s a problem, and the most probable of them is that something isn’t plugged in right.

So, first things first. Is the power cable plugged into the wall and the other finish into your power supply? Are the wall socket and PSU switched on? Double-check each finish to make certain everything is connected properly. It’s also worth checking that your motherboard and CPU power cables are plugged in correctly. For more information on that, check out our comprehensive PC build guide.

If you’re still getting admittedly null when you press the power button, expect to run into if your motherboard has any idle indicator lights to confirm that the motherboard is definitely receiving power. If not, then yous might need a new power supply. We’d suggest swapping out the power cable you’re using, and possibly trying a different wall socket before going downwards that route, though. If you do need to buy a new ability supply, nosotros’d recommend these.

If you are getting power to your motherboard, the side by side matter to check is that your front-panel push is connected properly. It’due south unlike for every example, but about accept a thin series of cables that run from your front panel (that includes the power button, indicator LEDs, and whatever front end-panel I/O ports) and connects to a point usually institute on the bottom-right of your motherboard.

PC front panel connectors.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Remove your case’south side panel and locate that cable. Make sure it runs to the motherboard and is well connected. The pivot location and layout will vary by case and motherboard, just information technology should expect like a 2-broad row of pins, usually encased in a plastic outer box.

The ends of the cables will say, for example, “HDD LED” or “PWR,” and some of them have positive and negative contacts. Make certain these are completely seated on their corresponding pin, which is either marked next to the pins on the motherboard, or in your motherboard’south documentation.

If in doubtfulness, pull them out and plug them back in once again.

There’south noise or lights, but nothing appears on screen

If your system starts but doesn’t boot, search below for the relevant department. Simply if when you striking the ability button, fans spin upward and lights plow on while nothing appears on the screen, information technology’s quite probable to be a hardware issue of some kind.

Before we start excavation into the arrangement to endeavor to figure out what’s wrong, brand sure that you are protected as best you can be from static buildup. That includes working on a flat, non-conductive surface like a wooden or plastic desk. Wearing shoes, if yous’re on carpet, isn’t a bad idea either.

Ideally, y’all’ll have an anti-static wristband in hand, simply if not, make sure your arrangement’s PSU is turned off (it should exist when you’re working on it anyhow) and periodically touch the example to ground yourself.

Check the monitor

Information technology might seem an obvious step, but you’d exist surprised how often it’south passed over. Check that your monitor is plugged in and has the right connectedness to your PC. Cheque the indicator lights to meet if the monitor is really turning on. Brand sure the monitor cable you are using is working properly. Sometimes, although less frequently, brightness levels turned all the way downwardly tin can make a monitor await off when information technology’s not, so tweak the brightness and other settings.

Diagnostic codes and beeps

Many modern motherboards will give y’all an idea of what’s wrong if you know where to look and/or mind. If turning your system off gives y’all a series of item beeps, or your motherboard has a brandish on it that shows a particular mistake code, use your motherboard’s manual to diagnose the problem.

Some of them tin be equally mundane every bit you forgot to plug in a ability cable, while others will tell you that your CPU is damaged and needs replacing. Each manufacturer uses different indicators to tell you lot what the problem is, then you’ll demand to refer to your documentation to translate the error code on your car.

Whether your organisation gives y’all a useful fault code or not, though, there are however a few dissimilar fixes you can try to sort the problem out.

SATA cable plugged into motherboard.

Is something shorting?

If your system powers up, the fans spin, the lights plough on, so everything turns off afterwards one-half a second, only for it to echo in a never-ending loop, in that location may be something metallic shorting out the arrangement somewhere.

A brusque occurs when a component in a organization creates an improper electrical connexion betwixt components. For example, a frayed wire might be brushing the motherboard, or a portion of the instance may be touching a component. Did you lot drib a screw backside the motherboard? Make sure all wires are intact, that no portion of the instance is directly contacting exposed PCB, and that the motherboard is installed in the example on standoffs that elevate it from the case surface.

This is a difficult problem to diagnose, especially from our perspective, but if your system has these symptoms you should probably keep a short in mind.

The best fashion to make certain this isn’t the example is to take everything out and rebuild it outside of the case, simply that’s an extreme measure. If you think there might be an errant screw somewhere causing bug, tilting the case from side to side can help y’all find out where it is.

Reset the CMOS

Information technology’south possible that instead of a hardware trouble, y’all’re facing a weird compatibility trouble or settings error in your organization’s BIOS. That’s the code that runs before your operating system starts up and helps configure the PC for use. If this is causing the trouble, information technology’southward a relatively easy set.

If your motherboard has a CMOS reset switch or button, utilize that — refer to your motherboard manual for instructions on how best to use it.

Otherwise, you’ll want to remove the power cable from your PC, then locate the flat, silverish battery on the motherboard itself. Remove it, press and concord the power button on your PC for 30 seconds, so plug the battery and the power cable back in and endeavour again.

If your motherboard is older than your CPU, they may also have some small-scale compatibility issues that are preventing your figurer from starting. You should piece of work on updating
the BIOS
entirely if it looks like this could exist an result.

Annotation:
If you had whatsoever custom BIOS settings like fan profiles, overclocking, or specific bulldoze configurations, you will need to redo those settings.

Power

Attaching the 24-pin power connector to a motherboard.

There are a lot of different ability plugs in a system, and it’s all also piece of cake to miss i of them when your PC won’t plow on. Ane of the nigh mutual is the 4/eight-pin connector next to the CPU. In that location’s already a wide 24-pin connexion, which you should also bank check, just a lot of builders overlook the smaller CPU ability connection.

Then, just run through the other parts in the PC and make sure in that location’south power running from the power supply to each one. In a typical build, that means hard drives and optical drives, but information technology could too include a PCIe expansion or graphics card. If you have a modular power supply, also ensure all of the cables are plugged into the correct spot on the PSU and are running to the correct component.

If everything is plugged in correctly, consider unplugging everything but the essentials and trying to start the PC once more. If it works, you lot can gradually plug everything back in and discover what may be at fault. The components that you will need at a minimum are:

  • Motherboard 24-pin and iv/8-pin power cables.
  • CPU cooler.
  • Graphics card (unless you lot’re using the CPU’southward onboard GPU) and any required half-dozen/8-pin power cables.
  • A single stick of memory.
  • Your boot drive and its ability connector and data cable.

CPU

A CPU AIO watercooler pre-installed.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Installing a CPU is relatively simple, just it’s always possible something’s gone awry, such as the cooler not sitting flush with the processor, or you’ve forgotten to lower the retention arm.

If you think information technology’s your CPU that’due south the trouble when your PC won’t turn on, consider removing it and reinstalling information technology from scratch.

Intel CPUs just fit in one direction because of a pair of notches at one side of the chip that fit against notches in the socket. If you installed the chip yourself, in that location’southward a piece of black plastic that sits in the motherboard slot to protect the pins — make sure it was removed earlier installing the cooling. A frame around the exterior of the socket holds the chip in place, and a small arm correct next to it should be clamped down and tucked underneath the prune at the stop. It takes a fair chip of pressure to clamp the chip down.

With AMD CPUs, look for a gilt triangle on one corner of the chip, and line it upward with the triangle on the socket. Once it’s seated fully into the socket, advisedly lower the arm next to the socket to clamp the chip in place.

An improperly installed processor can as well mean aptitude pins, a damaged cooler, and perhaps a compromised motherboard. Check the surrounding area for damage, like bent pins in the socket or CPU, before reinstalling the chip.

If you exercise see bent pins, that’s the likely culprit for your problem. This impairment tin result in not merely CPU error codes, but besides memory fault codes, as a bent pin tin can impact how the CPU read and writes from RAM.

We’d caution against trying to fix this kind of problem yourself unless you really know what yous’re doing. At this bespeak, lots of additional inquiry is required, or ideally, contact a professional to help you.

Memory

RAM in motherboard slots.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Memory issues can be the cause of all sorts of PC issues. If you think yours might be causing yours, here’s how to check.

Before pulling anything out, brand certain that the memory y’all installed is the correct type for your organization. Did yous buy the right generation — DDR4, DDR5, etc.?

RAM tabs on motherboard.
Nib Roberson/Digital Trends

Bold you have the right retentivity, information technology has to exist installed in the proper slot or slots, facing the correct management and fully seated. Check your motherboard documentation for the proper slot configuration. If you bought a dual-aqueduct kit, with two identical sticks of memory, they usually have an empty slot between them, only it varies between Intel and AMD. After determining the proper slots, line upwardly the notch on the bottom edge of the stick with the plastic riser in the slot. Push downwards firmly until the tabs on either side of the slot click inward and grab the notches at each stop of the RAM. If the notch is ajar, the RAM is not fully installed. Fifty-fifty if it looks like the RAM is properly seated, it’s a proficient thought to take it out and reseat it to brand sure there are no problems.

It can also be worth trying to kicking with only a single stick of RAM in to encounter if the other one might be defective. You can also change the slot you plugged the module(s) into — to encounter if whatsoever slots may be damaged and causing your booting bug.

Graphics carte

The easiest way to diagnose a graphics card problem is to endeavour to use another one. If y’all have a spare lying around, remove the original and plug that in instead and see if the organization boots. If it does, your other GPU may be the problem.

If y’all don’t have a spare graphics card, merely your PC has onboard graphics, then you tin still test your graphics card. Uninstall your graphics bill of fare then plug your display into the motherboard’s display output. If the arrangement boots, then information technology could be that your graphics card was the trouble.

If you practice call up your GPU is the problem, try plugging it back in anyhow. Sometimes reseating a component can be all information technology takes to fix it.

Installing a graphics card into the PCIexpress slot.
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Besides consider trying different PSU cables for its power if possible. Information technology’s also a expert idea to endeavor information technology in a different PCIExpress slot on your motherboard if you take 1. If you have a separate GPU, double-check that your monitor is plugged directly into the graphics card, not the video port on your motherboard. If the monitor seems to be the component that’south non working, try connecting a different brandish to see if that helps. Y’all may also be interested in our guide on multi-monitor troubleshooting for more complex setups, but mostly, information technology’s a adept thought to offset with just one screen and add more monitors in one case everything is running properly.

Cooler

CPU cooler inside the Asus ProArt PD5 desktop.

Does your PC turn on for a short period and and so crash unexpectedly? Does your processor significantly oestrus up during this trial run? This could be a sign that your cooler isn’t working every bit information technology should. Sometimes coolers can be defective, but it’s also possible that your libation has an installation problem. First, check to see if you tin can hear it: If it doesn’t sound or seem like the cooler is running at all, brand certain the fan is properly plugged into the motherboard’due south fan header. The fan header should exist labeled on most motherboards, making this an easy check, although more complicated coolers may require a couple of different connections depending on the blueprint.

If the fan is running properly and fully continued, it could be a trouble with using the thermal paste to connect the cooler to the CPU. The thermal paste is vital to enabling heat to catamenia from the processor to the cooler: Also light a touch when seating the cooler, or the wrong kind of paste for the chore, and your cooler won’t be able to siphon off heat properly. If y’all suspect that’s the trouble, the best option is to reseat your cooler, and the sooner you do this, the meliorate, as you don’t want your processor to overheat again.

Detach the cooler, remove any bits of dried thermal paste that may be in the way (99% isopropyl booze is really useful for this), and reseat the cooler with a new dot of thermal paste in the center. Then seat the cooler carefully on acme of the processor, and tighten any brackets or screws partially, sequentially, so that you don’t overload any one side of the cooler’s mounting and put undue pressure on any particular part of the processor. Call back, you don’t need much thermal paste, and the paste should never squeeze or run out the sides when you lot are seating.

Collateral damage

When all else fails, cheque every component on the board for physical harm. It may not be immediately obvious that something is incorrect, so check thoroughly for anything that looks out of the ordinary, or even bent or damaged heatsinks and PCBs.

The other danger yous confront when edifice a calculator is static electricity. Unfortunately, parts that accept been damaged due to exposure won’t necessarily testify any physical signs. If for whatsoever reason yous suspect static buildup is responsible for a component failing, you’ll have to replace it with one that works to ostend that’s the consequence.

The arrangement begins to kick, simply fails

If the system is successfully turning on, and a point appears on the screen, but information technology doesn’t reach the actual operating system before shutting down, the listing of possible issues is a lot shorter.

Kickoff, we’ll check the difficult drive’s physical connections. Whether it’s an SSD or mechanical drive, it requires 2 connections, 1 for power, and one for data. The power cable should run from the ability supply to the drive, but there may be other similar connections on the same cable for multiple drives.

SATA is the most popular information connection if yous own a relatively modern reckoner system. SATA is a small-scale, thin plug with an L-shaped curve in the tip, which will run from the bulldoze to a row of plugs on the motherboard.

Attaching front panel USB connectors to a motherboard.

The motherboard transmission volition specify which plug is which, with different speeds and capabilities amongst the options. Check the motherboard for markings to place the plug quicker if yous need to save time. If your motherboard has any additional settings options, like RAM optimization modes for gaming, make certain they’re shut off for now — yous’ll want to avert any overclocking that could be shutting down your PC before it can get properly started. One time yous accept everything up and running well, you lot can showtime working on overclocking strategies if you prefer.

Frequently, resetting the CMOS is all y’all demand to prepare your PC’s posting and booting problems. Apply the motherboard’south reset push button. If information technology doesn’t have one, yous’ll take to remove the battery.

If the OS logo stays on screen while the PC is rebooting, there may be an installment upshot. You can endeavor booting to safe mode on a Windows program. If you recently switched to Windows xi, the new operating arrangement may be putting more pressure level on your hardware, which can cause kicking failures on older equipment. Make sure your PC can run Windows 11, or be prepared to switch back to Windows 10 if necessary.

If all else fails, try resetting Windows and check out our helpful guide on how to restore Windows to its original settings.

At that place’s no sound

SOUND BLASTERX AE-5 SOUND CARD

Always start by checking manual volume settings and making sure your sound is non turned low or muted — this can happen by blow when you’re working on your PC.

If yous are using external speakers, unplug them and run into if your monitor’s built-in speakers are functioning (if they take them). If they are, plough your PC off, plug the external speakers back in, then turn the estimator on again. Y’all should also visit your
Sound Control Panel
in Windows 10/eleven, get to
Playback, and brand sure the right speakers are set as
Default.

Information technology’s also possible that something has happened to your speaker drivers. Yous can cheque on this by searching for
Device Manager, and locating your speakers or audio carte du jour. Right-click on them, and cull to search for and update drivers.

You lot may as well want to try updating
the BIOS
if yous are running an older organisation and nothing else is working.

Bluetooth isn’t working

Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

If devices aren’t connecting via Bluetooth, beginning by making sure that it is turned on. You tin can find Bluetooth manually by going to
Settings, then
Devices, then
Bluetooth & Other Devices. If Bluetooth is off, turn it on. If information technology’s on, plow it off for a few seconds, then plow it dorsum on. If your PC has already paired with a Bluetooth device, remove that device now and try adding it again to see if it will work.

Information technology’s besides a proficient idea to check that your Bluetooth device is fully charged and turned on, especially if you don’t run across information technology as a pairing choice. If you’re on a laptop, bank check that the Aeroplane Manner isn’t enabled.

If your Bluetooth doesn’t appear to be functioning at all, you can go to
Settings >
System >
Troubleshoot, and notice the
Bluetooth
troubleshooter. Run it, and it should fix problems like drivers that oasis’t been updated, etc.

If nothing is working, y’all tin can head back to
Device Director, find your
Bluetooth, and right-click to cull
Uninstall Device. Reboot your PC later, and information technology should automatically re-install Bluetooth then you lot can check information technology again.

The PC takes too long to boot

Fast Startup option in Windows.

Sometimes your PC may successfully boot, just information technology will take much also long. If this happens repeatedly, there are several things yous tin try to fix the issue.

First, make sure Fast Startup is disabled. This feature is usually enabled automatically, only can sometimes cause problems when the PC is booting. Y’all tin can find it past going to
Settings,
System, then
Power & Sleep. Here cull
Boosted Power Settings, and in the new window, select
Cull What the Power Buttons Do. Now select
Change Settings That Are Currently Unavailable
(you’ll need ambassador credentials for this). Disable
Turn on Fast Startup, and select
Relieve Changes
to finish.

Sometimes issues with your GPU tin as well cause lengthy kicking times. You can visit
Device Manager
and head to
Brandish Adapters
to find your graphics card, then choose to
Update Driver
to encounter if this improves things.

If y’all’ve been playing around with Linux in Windows, you will want to try turning off your Linux beat out to run across if this solves booting problems. Search for
Windows Features, and make sure the
Windows Subsystem for Linux
is turned off.

Connected peripherals aren’t operation or detected

Kickoff by checking that peripherals are properly connected and functional. If yous tin, claw them up to a unlike computer and see if they work there.

If the hardware all appears to be working correctly, it’s time to caput to the drivers again. Go to
Device Director, and find the peripherals that aren’t working. Right-click and choose the
Uninstall
pick to remove their drivers. Reboot your PC and wait for information technology to install the drivers once more. This tin can often fix issues with peripherals non being detected or working.

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Source: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/pc-troubleshooting-guide/