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How to Use Forced ePSA to Recover from POST or Boot Failure on Dell Latitude PCs

Summary: Learn how to recover a Dell Latitude laptop from a post or boot failure using the forced ePSA (enhanced pre-boot system assessment) method. Recover a Dell Latitude laptop from a post failure, boot failure, partial boot failure or stalled boot using the new forced ePSA (enhanced pre-boot system assessment) method. ...

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Article Content


This article provides information about how to use forced ePSA to recover a Dell Latitude laptop from a POST or boot failure. Here, you can find information about forced ePSA, how to initiate them on a Dell Latitude laptops, and a video guide on how to use forced ePSA.

Table of contents

  1. What is forced ePSA?
  2. Initiating forced ePSA
  3. Related video

What is forced ePSA?

Dell Latitude laptops have a recovery feature called forced ePSA. Forced ePSA can attempt to recover a Dell Latitude laptop from a POST or boot failure so that additional troubleshooting may be attempted, if required. Forced ePSA can help recover a Dell Latitude laptop in the following scenarios:

  • POST failure: The computer may show signs of power but does not display the Dell logo after powering on. Caps Lock LED indicator may not illuminate when toggled using the Caps Lock key. LCD screen (LCD display) may appear blank or black after powering on the computer.
  • Boot failure: The computer may display the Dell logo after powering on but does not boot into the operating system. This includes failing to boot completely or stalling while booting into the operating system.
Note: Forced ePSA is available only on Dell Latitude laptops.

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Initiating forced ePSA

To initiate forced ePSA on a Dell Latitude laptop:

  1. Turn off the computer. Press and hold the power button for 10-20 seconds until all the lights are off.
  2. Disconnect the AC adapter.
  3. Remove the battery. Refer to User's Manual of the Dell computer for more information about how to remove the battery.
  4. Press and hold the power button for 10 seconds to remove any residual power.
  5. Press and hold the power button, and plug the AC adapter in to the Dell computer.
    Note: Do not release the power button until some text or the Dell splash screen is displayed. Do not connect the battery to the computer until the recovery process is complete.
  6. The Dell ePSA diagnostic screen appears. If the ePSA diagnostic screen does not appear, try recovering the Dell computer using the BIOS Recovery method. Refer to the Dell knowledgebase article BIOS Recovery options on a Dell PC or Tablet for more information.
  7. At the prompt 'Were color bars displayed? (Y/N)', press Y key to confirm.
  8. Press Esc key to stop ePSA and click Exit to safely exit ePSA diagnostics and reboot the computer.

Some Dell Latitude laptops can be recovered by resetting the Real Time Clock (RTC). If Forced ePSA method does not work, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Reset Real Time Clock (RTC) to recover your Dell laptop PC.

  • If the computer does not recover from a boot failure after exiting ePSA diagnostics, initiate forced ePSA again and allow the diagnostics to complete.
    Note: Running the complete ePSA diagnostics will help identify hardware failures on the Dell computer. If a hardware error does occur, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article Resolve Hardware Issues Using ePSA or PSA Diagnostics and Guide to Error Codes.
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Related video

How to use Forced ePSA recovery

Duration: 03:26 (hh:mm:ss)
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Additional Information

Article Properties

Affected Product


Last Published Date

02 Nov 2023



Article Type

How To