My Computer Doesn’t Turn On

Facing a computer that just refuses to power on could be very frustrating, especially when you know that every single file you need to work on is in it. There’s no need to panic though, because once you find the exact cause and diagnose the symptoms correctly, then you’re on your way to coming up with the best resolution.

The Causes and Symptoms

When a computer does not turn on, the causes could be in any of the following:

  • Power Issue
  • Hardware Issue
  • Software Issue

These issues could result in any of these different symptoms:

  • No power
  • No power on self-test (POST)
  • No video

To correctly diagnose the problem, it is important to figure out which of these symptoms you are seeing. Once this is done, basic troubleshooting can be done in case the problem is not as critical as you may initially think.

No Power

There is zero power in the system if you receive no response at all no matter how much you push the power button. The power LED may also be off, or could be displaying an amber light.

If this is the case, check all the cables, making sure that everything is connected properly. Try other devices on the power outlet and see if it’s working. Remove peripherals like printers or external hard drives and see if the system will start without them.


There is no POST if you stay stuck at the screen that displays your computer’s brand or logo, but fails to move on to the usual tests that it runs before booting up. You may also see a blank screen, but you may hear your computer beeping, which means that there is still some activity. The lights may also flash in a specific pattern.

Try removing peripherals and see which of them might be causing the problem. Check the screen for any error message that might be displaying in case the POST started, but failed to finish. If none of the peripherals are causing the problem, then try removing some of the internal parts one by one. Remove the hard drive, then try powering it on. Try the CD drive next. Then move on to the WiFi card. If you remove any of these parts and the PC suddenly responds, then the last part you removed would most likely be the suspect. A possible replacement would then be in order.

No Video

You may see your power lights responding as usual, but your monitor remains dark. You would also hear the fans powering up and the system beeping normally even if there is no activity showing on your screen.

Check on the cables on your monitor and see if anything is loose. If you have extra cables, might as well try replacing some of the cables as well to see if this is where the problem lies. If you see the monitor’s stand-by light on, there’s a chance that it’s the HDMI or VGA cable connecting it to the computer that needs to be replaced. If the monitor is completely off, it may be a problem with the power cable or the power outlet.

Aside from these common causes and troubleshooting steps, there may be a lot more that you’re missing out on. It’s best to consult an expert so that they can identify more specific symptoms, therefore allowing them to come up with more specific solutions for your computer issue.