Even though it’s hard to cause critical PC malfunctions without physical damage, it’s indeed possible. Two words: BIOS update. BIOS flashing is the fertile ground for critical system errors, and some of them might result in boot halt.
In addition, the worst case scenario includes bricking your motherboard which is a result that no one wants.
There are multiple reasons why BIOS update prevents Windows from booting:
- You flashed BIOS with an unsupported version.
- You used the unsupported third-party software to perform this procedure.
- Or, you interrupted the flashing procedure.
All 3 can bring a lot of trouble and affect your PC. Today, we’ll try to offer you a few solutions in hope that at least one of them will help you save or salvage your PC.
If you’re not sure what to do, make sure to check the instructions below and we’ll start from there.
How to fix system boot failure after faulty BIOS update in 6 steps:
- Reset CMOS
- Try booting into Safe mode
- Tweak BIOS settings
- Flash BIOS again
- Reinstall the system
- Replace your motherboard
1. Reset CMOS
This is a grave problem that insists on careful approach. In addition, you’ll need to get your hands dirty and perform a simple hardware tweak in order to manually reset BIOS.
Once you remove the CMOS battery and shorten motherboard pins, the BIOS settings should restart.
Hopefully, after that, you’ll be able to boot just like before. If you’re uncertain how to do that, we prepared instructions below.
Furthermore, we advise you to look up for your exact motherboard and find a model-specific, detailed explanation on the web. Either way, act with caution:
- Shutdown your PC completely.
- Unplug the power cord and remove the battery in case it’s a laptop.
- Hold the power button for 60 seconds to completely discharge your PC.
- Open the PC case and touch a metal surface to discharge your own static electricity.
- Remove CMOS battery that should be 3V standard flat wristwatch battery.
- Wait for a few minutes and place it again carefully.
- Power On your PC and look for changes.
On the other hand, if you’re unable to reach and access the CMOS battery, you can reset BIOS settings by temporary removing motherboard jumper pins and re-connecting them again.
In addition, once you boot again, make sure to set the proper BIOS time in Boot settings. Without it, you won’t be able to boot in Windows 10.
2. Try booting into Safe mode
Even though this workaround is a long shot, it can help you, nonetheless. Most of the time, you’ll need to perform the aforementioned resetting of BIOS settings in order to access Safe Mode in the first place.
After you’ve done that, restart your PC and give Safe Mode a tryout.
Sadly, it’s not easy to access Safe Mode like before. In order to do so, you’ll be needing a bootable media drive with the system installation or a recovery drive of some kind.
Either way, you’ll need a bootable drive to access the recovery options and Safe Mode, respectively. You can create one on any other computer by using the Media Creation tool or Recovery drive creators in Windows 10 settings.
Follow the instructions below to try and boot in Safe Mode:
- Plug in or insert bootable drive (USB flash stick or DVD) and restart your PC.
- Access boot menu and select the drive as the primary boot device. You can do it in BIOS settings, too.
- The loading process of the installation file should commence.
- Select your preferences and hit the ”Next” button.
- In the following dialog box, select ”Repair your computer” from the bottom left corner.
- Open Troubleshoot.
- Choose Advanced Options.
- Choose Startup settings.
- Select Restart.
- Once your PC restarts, press F4, F5 or F6 to boot in various Safe Mode options.
- Safe mode – F4
- Safe mode with Networking – F5
- and Safe Mode with Command Prompt – F6.
- When/if system boots in Windows 10 finally, you can restart your PC and start the system in a standard manner.
Many users reported that, somehow, the Safe mode ‘forced’ the system to boot and, therefore, resolved the stall caused by the flashing failure.
If you want to know how to create a Windows 10 installation media, follow the steps in this simple guide.
3. Tweak BIOS settings
Now, this is a strictly individual and it highly depends on your PC’s configuration and motherboard model. For that purpose, we advise you to google your motherboard and look for the preferred settings.
It’s redundant to explain what you’ll need to change since the options themselves are quite diverse.
If you’re not 100% sure, don’t meddle with BIOS settings. You should either contact the official support or try explaining your problem to knowledgeable folks or PC enthusiasts.
That’s your safest bet to tweak BIOS settings and retrieve full functionality.
4. Flash BIOS again
You flashed BIOS once and the hell broke loose. It seems ludicrous to do it again, but that might just resolve your problems. Namely, you probably installed the wrong version or interrupted flashing and bricked your motherboard.
Luckily, some users that managed to get over the initial boot screen (and get stuck in Windows 10 animation), resolved the problem by flashing BIOS again with the proper version.
Nevertheless, this time we advise you not to rush and to take every step carefully. In order to help you address this, we recommend reading the article below with the thorough explanation of flashing.
Make sure to check it out before you move to flashing.
5. Reinstall the system
Some users reported that the problem can be solved by reinstalling the system completely. It seems that the failed flashing procedure affects the hard disk in some manner, and that, consequently, forces you to start from a scratch.
And, on the ”Bad scale”, that’s only ”Moderately Bad” if we take into consideration the possibility that you might need a motherboard replacement.
The Windows 10 reinstallation procedure isn’t as complicated as it was on some older Windows iterations, back in the days.
Nonetheless, for a novice user, it can lead to a prolonged hardship. In order to avoid that, make sure to read the complete instructions compiled in the article below.
6. Replace your motherboard
Finally, if none of the previous steps helped you, we’re sorry to inform you but you’ll be needing another motherboard. On a side note, you can ask for a repair which is also an option but that’s a long shot and odds are not in your favor.
That should conclude it. In case you have any questions or alternative solutions, make sure to share them with us. You can do it in the comments section below.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.Editor's Note: This article was originally published in October 2017 and was revamped and updated in June 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.