When we face the boot loop display issue for the first time, it can feel as if our hearts are sinking. A confusing and scary occurrence is what it might seem like, especially when there is no display.
However, this is far from the truth. Facing this boot loop display issue is more common than you think, which means there are solutions ready for you on a plate.
Keep scrolling to discover all the details regarding this problem, its core source, and, most importantly, – the solution.
What is Boot Loop?
We will start by giving a few cents about what this means. This will help users understand better where the problem stems from, creating less panic and faster solutions.
A boot loop is exactly what it sounds like – a boot on a loop. Or, in this case, a reboot on a loop. And this does not only happen with PCs, laptops, and mobile phones.
During a reboot, all we get to see is a loading screen. But there is more there than what meets the eye. Behind the loading screen, multiple functions perform simultaneously, completing a bucketload of tasks. Sometimes we set it up, and sometimes it happens automatically when these tasks simply cannot be halted anymore.
Technically, after the reboot, all these pending tasks are complete, and the PC starts again. But in some cases, the PC keeps rebooting. This indicates an issue – one that is pushing the PC to keep rebooting to fix it.
This is when it keeps rebooting over and over again. In some cases, it gets scarier when the display stops working simultaneously. This is because now we cannot see where to click or what to do.
This usually happens at the end of a device’s life. Hence, if you are facing a boot loop, it probably means the device is old. However, it does not apply to all devices, and not all old devices will face this problem. Most only face more lags over time.
What Things Kickstart a Boot Loop?
Some underlying issue in the PC is causing the boot loop. So, what is it? Well, there are a few things it could be, actually.
The source of the problem could be a hardware or a software problem. In the case of software, the usual case is a program not being compatible. This update did not occur (or didn’t occur the right way), or even a malware attack.
Hardware-wise, several things could be the source – such as dust or heat. Although we usually focus more on the software side when it comes to issues surrounding the PC, in this case, we cannot overlook the hardware issues.
The inside of the PC needs frequent cleaning so that dust does not get a chance to build up (which it often does in large amounts). When this dust collects on the motherboard, it can cause it to short out. And when the motherboard gets shorted out, this can be a very big reason we get the boot loop.
A big reason that overheating occurs in older PCs is because of their old thermal paste. Thermal paste exists in PCs to help spread the heat fast and evenly, and the paste itself is placed in the gaps.
With time, this paste can no longer work as properly, so the heat is not transferred as fast. And when this happens, in many cases, the PC goes into a boot loop.
When dealing with software-related issues, one of the primary concerns is usually the RAM. If the boot loop begins when you are working on the PC, there is a high chance of the problem coming from RAM-related issues.
Power Supply Unit
The Power Supply Unit is another suspect in this problem. As this unit supplies power to the entire computer, any problems here can result in significant problems. This means no displays, blue screens, black screens, and boot loops!
How To Fix A PC in Boot Loop?
Knowing where the problem came from is the first step to getting a solution. Now that we have a list of possible problem sources let us see how to overcome those.
Types of Problems
The problem could be coming from the computer’s hardware or software. When dealing with hardware problems, they are a little trickier than software problems. So they might take a little longer to solve. On the other hand, software problems are usually easier to deal with. So I think we can get through them pretty fast!
Fixing RAM Problems
When we suspect our boot loop problem might be because of problematic RAM, it is time to replace it. First, of course, we must remove all our RAM sticks initially. This will allow us to determine whether the problem lies with a particular stick.
After removing them, we have to connect the sticks one by one, observing how it affects the boot loop. If we see that the problem arises or goes away after replacing a certain stick, it tells us which one to get rid of.
Next, if we replace the faulty stick or sticks, our problem here should be solved.
Clearing CMOS Issues
The CMOS, located in the motherboard, is also known as the volatile memory. This is an intricate and important part of the computer and its operations. The reason we call this volatile memory is because of how it loses its content and information if the power goes out.
However, there is a CMOS battery on the motherboard too, which helps keep the CMOS running if and when the power goes out, so the information is not lost.
One way to stop the boot loop is to clear the CMOS. To do this, we must reset the BIOS setting to default. And this will allow the computer to finally step out of the boot loop. So, how do you do it? Follow these simple steps below:
The first step is to turn the computer or laptop off. We must disconnect it from the power source for a PC, and for a laptop, we must remove the battery.
Next, we have to remove the CMOS battery from the battery panel. We can do this by removing the back cover, giving us access to the battery. Once the battery is removed, we have to wait for around 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, we can put the battery back in its place, then put the back cover back on, and turn the power back on.
Cleaning The Dust
Having a dusty PC is also a big reason why people face boot loops with no display. So the solution here is pretty clear – getting rid of the dust.
But, this machine is not something we can throw in the dishwasher or clean recklessly. So, we must be precise and careful when cleaning the motherboard. Follow these steps to get the best results.
Prepare the materials to clean the motherboard with. This includes small brushes with soft bristles that will not harm the board, clean cotton swabs to clean the board, and alcohol. We can also use compressed air or canned air, but not a vacuum cleaner which has the chance to damage the PC permanently.
Turn the PC off completely, disconnecting it from the power source. Once again, if you have a laptop instead, you have to remove the battery.
Next, we have to press the power button a handful of times to ensure no power is left in the device. This is done to prevent accidents that can damage ourselves and the computer itself.
Now it is time to open up the back cover, followed by opening the cover of the motherboard.
This is where the cleaning begins. Use compressed air first, allowing the set dust to the surface, making it easier to clean out. Otherwise, we would have to use too much pressure, which can be damaging to the motherboard.
After using compressed air, once the dust has surfaced, we can follow up with the brush and quickly start swapping it out. Depending on the amount of dust or dirt that has built up, we might have to reuse the compressed air again in between if we cannot get the dust in one go.
Next, we move in with the cotton and alcohol. This is used to eliminate the very stubborn and sticky dust and dirt we could not remove before. Dab the cotton into the alcohol, but not so much that it is dripping.
When using a cleaning solution, we recommend using alcohol only because it dries up super fast, making it the safest option for the motherboard. Other types of solutions can take longer, damaging the board.
Allow some time for all these components to dry. Once dried, we can start to reassemble it and then turn the PC back on.
Replacing Thermal Paste
Thermal paste that is very old can be why we see the boot loop screen. Hence, replacing or reapplying it is a way to fix it. But, reapplying the thermal paste is a time-consuming and intricate process.
If you are used to doing it, you can proceed with caution. However, suppose you are not confident and have never done it. In that case, we recommend you take the PC to a professional to have this done. For those who will be doing it yourself, follow these simple steps below.
Turn the computer off and then remove it from the power source. In the case of a laptop, we have to remove the battery. Following this, we have to press the power button a few times to drain all the power.
Once we are sure that there is no power left, we can open the back cover of the PC
Now we have to remove the CPU cooler followed by the processor from the motherboard.
We have to now remove the existing thermal paste first. To do this, we can proceed with a clean and dry piece of cloth. From one component to the next, start removing the old thermal paste.
Now bring out the new thermal paste, and start reapplying it to all the components. This step can take a little longer, but the patience is going to be worth it in the long run.
Once all the thermal paste has been reapplied, we can put the cover back on, and turn the computer back on.
Replacing The PSU
Let’s say we have done all the above, which has not helped with the issue. In this case, we might feel very disheartened. But one major step left to try is getting a new PSU.
In most cases of boot loop issues, especially when a display problem is involved, replacing the PSU has been the solution.
Facing any issue with our computers can feel like the world is ending (quite literally, with all the information we store there). And one of the scariest is when the display starts acting up with it, giving us no leeway.
However, the fact that this is a common issue is actually a good thing, as it gives us so many options for solutions, as we have listed above.
All the methods listed are possible solutions, some more likely than others. We encourage you to give them a go; hopefully, at least one will help you regain access to your precious PC.
Hello Good People! This is Pavel and Welcome to PC Delight!
I’m an Electronics Engineer by profession with a passion for Gaming & PC builds. When I came up with the idea for PC Delight, it was my goal to share & offer the very best PC building ideas to tech-loving people like myself.
Since my school days, I’ve been just addicted to gaming & PCs. That leads me to experiment with various ways around the very niche, resulting in great productivity. And I’m here to share those practical experiences. So that next time you start some experiment with your PC builds or struggle to cope with a certain game, I’m here with the solutions. With these philosophies, I started my journey in 2017 and just kept going.