How To Fix A Computer That’s Not Posting

If your motherboard shows signs of power but your computer still won’t post, it may indicate a configuration issue or a faulty component. This guide explores common symptoms and solutions to help you diagnose and fix a no-post situation.

Identifying No-Post Symptoms

Error Codes and Beeps

Most modern motherboards feature a small display that shows Q-codes or error codes, which can help identify the cause of post failures. Reference your motherboard’s manual to decode these signals. Additionally, beeping sounds—either single or a series—can provide clues; consult your motherboard’s documentation for beep codes.

Visual and Auditory Indicators

Look for signs like the power light being on without other activity, or cooling fans spinning without the system starting. These indicators suggest that power is being supplied but the system is not booting.

Preliminary Checks

Power Supply Verification

Before proceeding, ensure your power supply is functioning correctly. Test it with another computer or replace it with a known good one. A faulty power supply can prevent your computer from posting, and this step is crucial for accurate troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Steps

Workspace Preparation

  • Manual and Tools: Ensure you have your motherboard manual and a suitable Phillips screwdriver.
  • Work Area: Set up a clean, spacious work area to operate.
  • Safety Precautions: Ground yourself to prevent electrostatic discharge by touching the case before handling components.
  • Disconnect Power: Make sure all power connections, including the main power cable, are disconnected.

Strip Down to Basics

Remove all non-essential components to simplify diagnosis:

  • Disconnect Drives: Unplug all power and data cables from drives.
  • Remove Add-In Cards: Take out any PCIe cards, including graphics cards, unless needed for display output.
  • Fan Connections: Disconnect all cooling fans except the CPU fan.

BIOS Battery Reset

Remove the BIOS battery to reset the motherboard settings, which can resolve configuration issues affecting the post process. Wait about five minutes with the battery removed before proceeding.

Reassemble and Test

Reconnect Essentials

  • Monitor and Keyboard: Connect only the monitor and keyboard.
  • Power Connection: Reconnect the power and turn on the device to check for changes.

Detailed Component Testing

Beeping Sounds and Error Codes

Refer back to specific beep patterns or error codes. If the problem persists, focus on the indicated component or system area.

Component Isolation

  • Graphics Card: Replace the graphics card if possible, or test with onboard graphics.
  • Memory: Try cleaning RAM contacts and testing one stick at a time.
  • CPU and Motherboard: These components are harder to test at home; consider professional testing if no other faults are found.

If Your Computer Still Won’t Post

Final Hardware Checks

  • Inspect for Physical Damage: Look for signs of damage or failure on the motherboard, such as burnt components or swollen capacitors.
  • CPU Cooler Check: Ensure the CPU cooler is properly mounted and making good contact.


A computer that won’t post can be challenging to fix, but by methodically checking and isolating components, you can identify the problem. If all else fails, professional help may be necessary to diagnose more complex motherboard or CPU issues.

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