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Many programs and drivers are loaded into Windows at startup. One of them obviously doesn’t play well with the others. The trick is to discover the program that is causing the problem and solve it.
Sometimes your computer may turn on, but an error message during the power-on self-test (POST) stops the boot process.
Sometimes, your PC can freeze simply and error-free during POST. Sometimes all you will see is the logo of the manufacturer of your computer (as shown here).
There are a number of BIOS error messages that can be displayed on your screen, and several reasons why a PC can freeze during POST, so it is important that you follow a logical process like the one I created below.
Obsolete or damaged drivers can also cause frequent computer failures. If the video drivers installed on your system are not updated, the computer may hang up while you try to play a video or game on the system. Scan the Windows Device Manager to make sure that no “other devices” are connected. Also check the device list to make sure that no exclamation marks match a device driver or that there is a red X next to the device.
Correct the cause of the BIOS error message you see on the monitor. These errors during POST are usually very specific, so if you have been lucky enough to get one, the best thing to do is to correct the error you see.
If you do not fix the problem by working on the specific error during POST, you can always come back here and continue with the troubleshooting below.
Restart the computer in safe mode and use Msconfig.exe.
Restart your computer, hold down the CTRL key once your computer has completed the POST self-test, then select Safe Mode from the Start menu.
After restarting your computer in safe mode, use the system configuration utility (Msconfig.exe) to minimize conflicts that could prevent your computer from completing the configuration.
To start and use the system information tool:
- Click Start, select Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click System Information.
- On the Tools menu, click System Configuration Utility.
- In the General tab, click on Selective Start, then click to uncheck the following boxes:
- Process File Config.sys
- Processing of the Autoexec.bat file
- Modify the Winstart.bat file (if available)
- Process System.ini Process File
- Modify the Win.ini file
- Load group elements at startup
Click OK, then restart your computer when prompted.
Check the configuration of your hardware
- At startup, press the button next to the Dell logo to access the BIOS.
- From the left menu, select General > System Information.
- Move the mouse down to display details of the video controller, modem, audio and WLAN.
Did I miss a troubleshooting step that helped you (or someone else) fix a computer that freezes or displays a bug during POST? Feel free to let me know and I will be happy to provide you with this information here.
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CCNA, Web Developer, PC Troubleshooter
I am a computer enthusiast and a practicing IT Professional. I have years of experience behind me in computer programming, hardware troubleshooting and repair. I specialise in Web Development and Database Design. I also have a CCNA certification for Network Design and Troubleshooting.