BIOS

Why can't my computer boot past the BIOS?

ASUS VivoBook

Episode 1613

Alan from Wakefield, Massachusetts

Alan has an Asus laptop that's stuck in bios during bootup. Leo says that is called the boot loader. It's called the bootstrap process. If it's stopping, then that means the hard drive has failed. The master boot record in the hard drive could be damaged. Try booting to a USB drive. If that works, then you know that it's the hardware. If not, then it's a software issue.

Multiple Smaller Drives are More Reliable than 1 Massive Hard Drive

Leo advises to buy multiple smaller hard drives over one extremely large hard drive. The bigger the size, the higher the error rate...which can be catastrophic in the worst case scenario. In any case, move away from old spinning drives to faster Solid-state Drives (SSD), where the cost per gigabyte is getting conveniently cheaper. You may have so much storage in the future that you could forget to discipline yourself on cleaning out files!

Why Do I Have to Press F1 When Booting Up my Computer?

F1

Episode 1588

Rob from San Bernardino, CA

Bob is having issues with booting up a few of his computers. He gets a message that says "press F1 to continue" and then it doesn't do anything - it just crashes. Leo says it's usually related to the keyboard. The computer can't see it, and pressing F1 wakes up the keyboard and lets the computer recognize it. It could also be a failed keyboard since Bob is using a really old PS2 keyboard.

Why won't my computer boot up?

BIOS

Episode 1534

Josh from Sutters, CA

Josh built his own computer, but when he turns it on, sometimes it stalls on the POST (Power On Self Test). Leo says that it could be a cold solder connection, which needs to heat up a bit before the connection is made and the motherboard boots up. But that is rare these days. It could also be a flakey power supply. Another thing to check is if the RAM is properly seated.

Leo thinks the most likely cause is that the BIOS is corrupt. He should try and refresh it. If that doesn't work, he can try and reinstall the BIOS firmware. It could also be physically damaged, though.

Why doesn't my computer see my optical drive?

Optical Drive

Episode 1518

John from Traverse City, MI

John is having an issue with his optical drive on his computer after a Windows 10 update. Leo says to check the cables to see if there's a bad cable first. Since the EFI Setup/BIOS doesn't see it, then that points to a hardware issue. It could be a bad board. He should try clearing the ESCD data in the memory. That could help. He can look in setup for it. There may also be a jumper on the motherboard to do it. If he still can't see it, then it's likely a bad CD player circuit board. The good news is, CD players are cheap.

Can I get rid of the RAID feature in my bios?

BIOS

Episode 1476

John from West Palm Beach, FL

John bought an SSD from Intel a few years ago, and it installed a RAID program in the BIOS of his computer. Now he can't get rid of it. What can he do? Leo says he should just ignore it. Most modern BIOS / EFI support RAID, but it doesn't really take up any usable room. It's just a firmware feature, so he can ignore it. He shouldn't mess with his BIOS anyway.

How can I get my PC to boot up?

Motherboard

Episode 1454

Frank from Land O Lakes, FL

Frank is having trouble getting his PC to boot up. He's replaced the power supply, but it still doesn't work. Leo says if there's no power on self-test (three beeps), and the fans are coming on, then it's likely a dead motherboard. Can he just replace the CPU without the motherboard or vice versa? Leo says if the power supply is eliminated as a culprit, then Frank could try replacing the processor and see what happens. But before he does that, he should pull all the USB devices and see if they're the culprit. It could be a short in his USB hub. There's so many possibilities.

Why does my laptop display have problems after waking up?

BIOS

Episode 1446

Andrew from California

Andrew's laptop goes to sleep and when he wakes it up, it shows a broken up video screen until he reboots. Leo says it wakes up confused, and he's not surprised since it's Windows. But he's never seen what Andrew describes. It usually causes problems like this with Hibernation, but not sleep. That's why he recommends disabling hibernate. But sleep shouldn't do that since the RAM gets refreshed regularly. If his BIOS is out of date, that could cause it. But it's never happened to Leo. Andrew should also make sure his display drivers are up to date.