When you press the power button your PC is supposed to roar to life with fans spinning and lights glowing. What if it doesn't though? If you PC lights and fans constantly start and then stop again, you are stuck in what is referred to as a boot loop.
If your PC is stuck in a boot loop there could be a number of reasons why. Below you will find a number of troubleshooting steps that will cover all of the most common reasons your PC is stuck in a loop.
1. Reseat the RAM (Random Access Memory) sticks
The RAM sticks of your PC are responsible for moving data on your storage drives to active use. If one or both of them are not seated properly then the data transfer may not happen. Attempting to reseat the sticks or even switching channels may solve your boot looping issue. Please make sure the PC power cable is unplugged and you have discharged all stored power by holding the power button for 30 seconds before proceeding to open the PC and troubleshoot.
To reseat the RAM you must first unclip the RAM from the slot they are in. To do this you will push the clip located at the top of the slot down away from the ram stick like so (please note some motherboards have clips at both the top and bottom of the slot):
After removing the sticks from their slots, return them to the same slots making sure that enough pressure is applied to reengage the clips creating a small click:
After reseating your RAM plug your PC back in and attempt to boot again. If the problem persists try removing one stick and placing it in every slot, if no luck then try the other. Also, try reseating the sticks in the other 2 slots as well (some motherboards may only have 2 slots). Please note RAM sticks are paired in slots 1 and 3 and 2 and 4 on 4 slot motherboards. If seated next to each other the RAM may not function properly.
2. Clearing the CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)
The CMOS is a type of battery powered memory within your motherboard that is responsible for storing date and time data as well as the system setup parameters. If the saved version of the setup parameters is faulty it may cause the boot loop.
The first way you can clear your CMOS is by doing a BIOS reset. This can be done from either within your motherboard BIOS screen or by flipping the BIOS switch on your motherboard. Flipping the switch allows you to boot in the backup BIOS settings and reset the BIOS that way. Once reset flip the switch back to the original position to preserve the integrity of back up settings. Please make sure before flipping the switch your PC is completely powered off. To access the BIOS when the PC powers on press your motherboard specific BIOS boot key usually (F2, F11, or DEL).
An alternative way to clear the CMOS would be manual memory wipe. Some motherboards come with a button located on the back of the PC that will kill power to the CMOS battery wiping your current saved settings.
However, other motherboards may come with an exposed battery on the motherboard itself. Before opening the PC please make sure to completely unplug your PC and hold the power button for 30 seconds to discharge any power being stored in the motherboard. Then remove the battery for 60 seconds. This will also clear the CMOS.
3. Your SSD (Solid State Drive) or HDD (Hard Disk Drive) connection may be loose.
Depending on the specs you have chosen for your PC your Window's operating system will be either be installed on an SSD or HDD. For all standard (non-M.2) SSDs and HDDs there are 2 cables attached to each, the SATA data cable and the SATA power cable. If the drive with your operating system on it has a loose connection it may not be getting sufficient power or transferring enough data to successfully boot the PC.
To remedy this we recommend disconnecting and reconnecting the SATA power cable to the drive as well as the SATA data cable to the drive and motherboard.
If you have an M.2 SSD then disconnecting and reconnecting it is not as simple. Please be advised the following is considered an advanced troubleshooting step. If you are not comfortable with your ability to do these steps, please contact customer support for further assistance at www.nzxt.com/support
Your M.2 drive(s) will most likely be under the motherboard M.2 shields or heatsinks. You will need a small Phillips screwdriver to remove the cover and access the drive.
Once the cover is removed the drive will be exposed and the back end should pop up creating a slight angle. You can then pull the drive out at that angle.
Once removed you can try reinstalling it into the same slot again by plugging it in at a slight angle and then replacing the cover. You may also want to try seating into different slots to rule out a motherboard slot issue.
If you have tried all of the above troubleshooting steps and your PC will still not boot into Windows then please contact our customer support team at www.nzxt.com/support so that we may help you further.