I’m stuck in EFI shell when turning the computer on [FIXED]

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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stuck EFI shell

Bootloops and BSODs are something every PC user will run into eventually. The important thing is not to panic and try deducing what’s causing the issue. In this case, some users got stuck in the EFI Shell after rebooting their PC.

For some, the error was preceded by a sudden shutdown while others haven’t experienced anything unusual prior to EFI Shell error. We found 3 possible resolutions for the problem at hand and put them below.

How to fix EFI Shell errors when booting up the PC

  1. Plug HDD in a different port
  2. Disable MSI Fast Boot or UEFI Boot in BIOS
  3. Remove CMOS battery

Solution 1 – Plug HDD in a different port

The first step we run into as a possible solution is changing the HDD port. Seemingly, by switching SATA ports some users managed to get out the EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface). This, of course, points towards some hardware based issues, so even though your PC might boot into the system, there’s always a fear of HDD or, less likely, motherboard issues.

In addition, if you’re perma-stuck in the boot loop, try powering off your PC and switching RAM slots. If you have two RAM sticks, change their positions. Also, it’s a good idea to unplug all USB devices with the keyboard being the only exception.

Try booting again and look for changes. If you’re able to access the Boot settings, make sure that the HDD is at the top of the list. If you can’t see your HDD in the list of bootable drives, we’re most likely looking at a hardware issue.

Solution 2 – Disable MSI Fast Boot or UEFI Boot in BIOS

Every motherboard OEM has a few specific settings. Albeit, some of them are gimmicks, features like MSI Fast Boot is frequently used to speed up booting into the system.

However, it seems that this feature doesn’t work as intended with Windows 10. Some users were able to get out of the EFI Shell by disabling this feature.

Alternatively, if you have UEFI boot somewhere within the EFI settings, do disable it. This is another possible reason for the issue at hand. In addition, try resetting EFI settings to factory defaults. That way you’ll be sure no changes were made.

Solution 3 – Remove CMOS battery

Finally, if none of the previous steps got you out of EFI Shell, there’s only one solution we can suggest. Namely, BIOS/UEFI configuration might get corrupt and the only viable way to resolve this, in that current state, is to remove the CMOS battery.

That way, all cached configuration will be reset and you should be able to boot into the system. Of course, this does imply that all HDD is functional.

This isn’t exactly a hard thing to do. Just power off your PC and remove all cables. Access the inside of the case and, somewhere in the middle of the motherboard, you should see a hand watch battery. Remove it and re-insert it. Plug in everything and give it another go. If the HDD is recognized and set as the first boot option, consider reinstalling the system. Just don’t forget to backup your files.

In case you have alternative solutions we forgot to mention, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

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