Dell Computer Does Not Boot to Windows 10

Summary: Don’t know how to fix your PC when Windows 10 won't boot? Explore this page to get some basic troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.

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Symptoms of No Boot

Duration: 00:39
Closed captions: English only

This article describes general troubleshooting steps for computers that are powering up correctly and passing the Dell BIOS screen at boot-up, but do not successfully boot to Microsoft Windows 10. Some symptoms of a computer being in a no boot state:

  • The system powers on, has video and proceeds past the Dell screen (Screen comes on and goes away) but Windows does not finish booting
  • The Caps Lock key is illuminated when toggled
  • The hard drive activity light may flicker, stay on or be off
  • An on-screen error message may be present
  • No diagnostic codes are present, and the power button lights up solid under its normal operating color
  • Operating system sounds are not heard

Table of Contents:

  1. Verify the Computer Finishes Initial Power-Up (POST)
  2. Unplug all external devices, and perform a hard reset
  3. Run a Computer Diagnostic
  4. Check for Specific Error Messages
  5. Reset the BIOS to Default Values
  6. Safe Mode Troubleshooting
  7. Virus and Malware Troubleshooting
  8. Reset your Windows 10 Operating System
  9. Restore the Operating System to Factory Settings

This article is for Microsoft Windows 10.
Click below to change the operating system.

Video guide: My computer will not boot to Windows 10

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Verify that the computer finishes initial power-up (POST)

In many cases a computer will not attempt to hand off control to the operating system. If you power the computer on and you see a Dell logo screen with a bar at the bottom, and that bar fills up completely and disappears, then your computer has successfully completed POST.

If your computer does not complete POST, refer to article, "Dell PC does not turn on or boot into Windows"
If your hard drive is not recognized, refer to article, "How to resolve HDD/Hard drive issues on your Dell System"

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Unplug all external devices, and perform a hard reset

A piece of hardware may be interfering with the normal boot process of Windows. Try unplugging all devices from your computer, including:

  • Printers
  • Scanners
  • Media Card Readers
  • Small Media cradles (iPod, PDA, MP3 player, etc.)
  • Digital Cameras and Video Recorders
  • USB storage devices
  • CDs or DVDs from all optical drives

The only devices that you should leave attached to your computer are your monitor, mouse, and keyboard, if the computer is a desktop.

Once this is completed, unplug the computer from the wall, remove the laptop battery (if applicable) and hold the power button down for approximately 15 seconds. Then plug wall power back into the computer and attempt to restart.

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Run a Computer Diagnostic

To run a hardware diagnostic on your Dell computer, refer to Resolve Hardware Issues With Built-in and Online Diagnostics (ePSA or PSA Error Codes).

Note: For Dell Latitude laptop PCs, you may try to recover the PC using the forced ePSA method. For more information, refer to the Dell knowledge-base article How to Use Forced ePSA to Recover from POST or Boot Failure.

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Check for specific error messages

Try searching for additional solutions on the Web.
Click your preferred search engine below, then describe your problem, including any specific error messages.

Search Dell    Search Microsoft   Search Google   Search Bing   SLN297926_en_US__2iC_External_Link_BD_v1

If you are experiencing a blue screen error on your computer, refer to Windows 10 crashes to a blue screen  for common blue screen errors and how to troubleshoot them.

If you are experiencing a black screen that will not go into Windows, refer to Microsoft article Troubleshoot black screen or blank screen errors.

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Reset the BIOS to default values

If your computer is set to first attempt to boot to another device, this may cause issues with successfully booting to Windows. To reset your computer's BIOS to factory defaults, perform the following steps:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. At the Dell logo during restart, tap the F2 key repeatedly until you see Entering Setup in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Depending on the BIOS, you may need to press a key that is listed at the bottom of the screen to load default settings.
  4. Press ESC to exit the BIOS, and be sure to select Save and Exit to save your changes.
    Note: For Windows based tablets, perform the following steps instead.
    1. With the tablet off, press the Power Button, and then immediately press and hold down the Volume Down until the System Setup page (BIOS) appears (if the tablet boots to Windows, try again).
    2. Touch or click Load Defaults.
    3. Touch or click OK.
    4. Touch or click Exit, if the tablet does not automatically reboot.
Note: If resetting the BIOS to factory defaults does not resolve the issue, you may also try to update the BIOS to the latest version to resolve issues that are related to the BIOS of your PC or tablet. Refer to the Dell knowledge-base article What is BIOS and How to Download and Install the latest BIOS? For more information about BIOS update or downgrade procedure.
Note: System BIOS may get corrupted if the BIOS upgrade or downgrade procedure is not completed successfully or interrupted.
A corrupt BIOS is one of the possible causes of your PC unable to complete POST or some times even boot into the operating system.
If your Dell PC or tablet supports BIOS recovery, you can recover the corrupt BIOS by using the BIOS recovery method applicable for your Dell PC or tablet. Refer to the Dell knowledge-base article BIOS Recovery options on a Dell PC or Tablet for more information.

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Safe Mode Troubleshooting

The software may be causing your system to not boot properly. For more information about booting to Safe Mode, and to troubleshoot using clean boot troubleshooting, refer to the following links:

Clean boot troubleshooting

A clean boot is performed to start Windows by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This helps eliminate software conflicts that occur when you install a program or an update or when you run a program in Windows 10. You may also troubleshoot or determine what conflict is causing the problem by performing a clean boot.

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Virus and malware troubleshooting

Your computer may be affected by a virus or other malicious software. Dell recommends strengthening your PC against malicious attacks by keeping your anti-virus software up to date.
View our Virus and Spyware Removal Guide.

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Reset your Windows 10 operating system

If your system files have been damaged, a reset of Windows 10 reinstalls these files without damaging your data. After the third attempt to boot has failed, Windows 10 will automatically boot into the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Follow these steps to reset Windows 10:
  1. At the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
  2. At the Troubleshoot screen, select Reset this PC.
  3. At the Reset this PC screen, select Keep my files.
  4. Select your user account, and enter the password if prompted.
  5. Select Reset.
  6. Windows will perform the reset process
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Restore the operating system to factory settings

If the previous troubleshooting could not resolve your issue, it may be necessary to restore your computer to factory settings. To restore your computer's operating system and software to the original factory settings, refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "Reset or reinstall Windows 10 on a Dell computer"

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Contact Us

Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Visit the website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Currently, offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, and France PC customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties

Affected Product

Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 15 7572, Inspiron 7580, Inspiron 3052, Inspiron 20 3064, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 3452 AIO, Inspiron 3455, Inspiron 24 3464, Inspiron 24 5488, Inspiron 27 7775, Inspiron 3252, Inspiron 3268, Inspiron 3655Inspiron 3452, Inspiron 15 7572, Inspiron 7580, Inspiron 3052, Inspiron 20 3064, Inspiron 3264 AIO, Inspiron 3265, Inspiron 3452 AIO, Inspiron 3455, Inspiron 24 3464, Inspiron 24 5488, Inspiron 27 7775, Inspiron 3252, Inspiron 3268, Inspiron 3655, Inspiron 3656, Inspiron 3668, Latitude 5290 2-in-1, Latitude 5290, Latitude 7290, Latitude 3390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390 2-in-1, Latitude 7390, Latitude 3490, Latitude 5490, Latitude 7490, Latitude 3590, Latitude 5590, Latitude 5591, OptiPlex 3050 All-In-One, OptiPlex 3050, OptiPlex 3060, OptiPlex 5050, OptiPlex 5250 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7050, OptiPlex 7060, OptiPlex 7450 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7460 All-In-One, OptiPlex 7760 All-In-One, Vostro 5370, Vostro 14 3468, Vostro 5471, Vostro 15 3568, Vostro 3578, Vostro 15 5568, Vostro 3470, Vostro 3670, XPS 27 7760, XPS 8920See more

Last Published Date

17 Mar 2021



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