When your PC doesn’t turn on but its fans do, here’s what to do

By: Elsie Otachi
3 minute read
computer won't boot but fans spin

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If your computer won’t boot but fans spin continuously, it indicates a problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

There are three main reasons why your computer won’t boot but fans spin:

When power supply to your computer fails, then it won’t start or power up, but the fans spin regardless.

Similarly, when your computer won’t boot but fans spin constantly, it could be sign of high temperatures or overheating in your computer, which if not dealt with, can cause your computer to fail or refuse to boot until it cools down.

If your fans spin beyond the normal way, you need to check that the airflow around it is not hindered.

When your computer’s components are faulty, or are damaged, they can prevent your machine from booting. Such components include RAM chips, motherboard, and even the BIOS.

Here’s what you can do if your computer won’t boot but fans spin.

Your PC won’t start, yet fans spin?

Solution 1: Disconnect external hardware

This involves unplugging or disconnecting any external hardware such as printers, USB drives, scanners, among others, so that you leave only the basic components before trying again.


Solution 2: Reset RAM chips

computer won't boot but fans spin

One of the reasons your computer won’t boot but the fans spin could be a bad RAM. In this case, remove the RAM from its slot, then clean it and return it back to the same slot or try a different slot altogether.


Solution 3: Check the motherboard

computer won't boot but fans spin


For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

If you see a yellow or amber light on, it could indicate a bad motherboard. Sometimes the motherboard could have bad capacitors, which may cause the computer not to boot but the fans spin. If this is the case, you can have a new one installed on your computer.


Solution 4: Change the power outlet

computer won't boot but fans spin

If you open your computer, removed all connected devices and expansion cards, then turned it on again and it still won’t boot but the fans spin, then you’re probably looking at an issue of power supply.

As mentioned earlier, one of the reasons your computer may refuse to boot but the fans spin include poor power supply. You can try a different wall outlet and plug into it, then try to boot your computer again.


Solution 5: Check with your computer manufacturer

If your computer won’t boot but fans spin, you can also note down the sequence of the beeps or flashing lights your computer shows while trying to boot, then check with your computer’s manufacturer what the sequence means.


Solution 6: Check the peripherals

If your computer won’t boot, but the fans spin, and you hear a beep sound as if it is booting, then one of your peripherals could be causing the problem.

In this case, you can insert one at a time then try and confirm which one is problematic.


Solution 7: Check with a technician

If all else fails, get a qualified computer repair technician to find out what the problem is and how to get it fixed.

We’d love to hear from you whether any of these solutions worked. Let us know in the comments section below.

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For various PC problems, we recommend this tool.

This software will repair common computer errors, protect you from file loss, malware, hardware failure and optimize your PC for maximum performance. Fix PC issues now in 3 easy steps:

  1. Download this PC Repair Tool rated "Excellent" on TrustPilot.com.
  2. Click “Start Scan” to find Windows issues that could be causing PC problems.
  3. Click “Repair All” to fix all issues with Patended Technologies (requires upgrade).

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