Dell Troubleshooting: How to Fix Windows 10 Startup Problems

If you are experiencing Windows 10 startup problems related to either overheating or spontaneous shutdowns, or you are getting any heat-related errors, here are some useful troubleshooting tips. The first to do is to run a few diagnostic tests to determine if your PC has any hardware issues.

How to Fix Windows 10 Startup Problems

Open Dell Support Assist and on the main page select the Scan Hardware option and wait for the test to complete. If an error appears, you might need to contact Dell Tech Support.

If for some reason your system is not booting, then you will need to run the ePSA test. Read our post on How to access and use the Dell ePSA. It’s a good idea to inspect the condition of your PC, both inside and out, and look for any physical damage or anything that may cause temperature increases.

Verify there are no unfilled gaps in the system where a peripheral or blanking plate should be. If there are any gaps, then replace the devices or plates. This will help ensure proper airflow. Make sure the vents are clean and that they are not obstructed when the computer is in use.

If you are comfortable opening the computer, check the heat sink pipes and the blower fan for damage or wear. Look for the presence of thermal grease or thermal pads. If there isn’t any grease or there are no pads, updating the BIOS could be the solution to your PC needs.

Update Your BIOS

Start your PC. When the Dell logo splash screen appears, press the F2 key to enter the BIOS. Wait a few minutes to see if your PC shuts down or overheats when it is left in BIOS mode. If it does, do not try to update the BIOS when the PC is randomly shutting down or rebooting as this may cause damage to the System BIOS. In this case, contact a Dell tech support agent for help.

If it doesn’t, check to see if you have the latest version of BIOS installed on your computer and if not then update it. Do this by going to dell.com/support, enter your service tag or use detect PC, click on Drivers & Downloads, verify your operating system, and in the category field select BIOS. Download and install the latest version then restart your computer.

Common Startup Errors and Their Solution

If you’re getting a startup error, compare it to the BIOS system event log. From within BIOS, check the system Event Log option and look for thermal messages or fan failures. If the error displayed doesn’t match any of these 4 types listed:

  1. HEATSINK related error message
  2. FAN related error message
  3. AIR TEMPERATURE error message
  4. ALERT! AIR TEMPERATURE SENSOR NOT DETECTED error message (displayed during the boot)

If the error does match one of these, here’s what to do about each one:

  1. When you see a heatsink related error message at startup, clear the system event log in BIOS, then reboot your system. If the error re-occurs, reboot again, but this time goes directly into BIOS using the F2 key. Check the system event log for any other thermal messages or fan failures. If no related errors are showing, then the problem is resolved.

  2. For a fan-related error message, reseat all the fan power cables connected to the motherboard and thoroughly clean any dust and remove any debris on the PC’s fans and fan housing area and restart your PC. Next, check the system event log for any thermal messages or fan failures. If there is no error in the event log, then the problem is resolved.

  3.  
    If you get an air temperature error message, clear the system event log in BIOS. Check for dust or other debris in the PC’s fans and remove all third-party hardware from the PC. If your PC has a video card that has its fan, verify that its fan is spinning properly; if it doesn’t then replace the video card. Next, run the ePSA diagnostic test. If there are any errors, make a note of the error codes and contact a Dell tech support agent and inform them of the error codes.

  4. If you get the error message “Alert! Air temperature sensor not detected” displayed during boot, then you might need to contact a Dell tech support agent for further assistance.

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