Use Hard Reset to recover a non-booting Laptop

hard reset laptopSymptom: Laptop won’t boot

If a laptop has been working normally then:

  • fails to boot the next time it is turned on – appears completely dead
  • fails to boot after a restart – again appearing completely dead
  • suddenly cuts out

try performing a hard reset.

Understanding hard reset

If the computer display remains blank and does not boot into Windows, or some device stops working, or the computer freezes, it may be helpful to perform a hard reset. A hard reset will erase all of the information in the computer’s temporary memory and restore functionality. Many times, peripheral devices like USB drives, firewire devices, USB memory sticks, and even SD cards can interfere with the normal boot process. Doing a hard reset will force the system to clear and then reestablish the software connections between the BIOS and the hardware. Other problems that can be resolved by performing a hard reset include the keyboard not responding, or the PC not coming out of hibernation or sleep mode, or the PC freezing during normal operation.

When performing a hard reset, you must disconnect or remove all devices. You should start and test the computer by itself, and then reconnect one peripheral device at a time.

Performing a hard reset

To perform a hard reset, follow the steps below.

  • Unplug the AC adapter from the laptop.
  • Remove the battery from the laptop battery compartment
  • Remove the computer from any port replicator or docking station
    • disconnect cables to printers or devices such as external monitors,
    • USB memory sticks or SD cards
    • headset or external speakers
    • mouse or auxiliary keyboard
    • turn off WIFI and Bluetooth wireless devices
  • Press and hold down the power button for about 15 seconds to drain any residual electrical charge from the capacitors that protect the memory.


  • Plug the AC adapter back into the laptop (without the battery inserted)
    • (but do not connect any of the peripheral devices)
  • Press the power button to turn the laptop back on.
  • If prompted to boot into Safe Mode or select a special type of start up, use the arrow keys to highlight Start Windows Normally , and then press the enter key.
  • The laptop may well boot up normally
  • If it does, power down and reinsert the battery and power on again

If this fails:

  • try removing RAM memory chips and reseating them and repeat the Hard Reset procedure above


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply