How to fix a Dell Inspiron laptop that won’t boot into Windows, gets stuck on black screen during bootup [Troubleshooting Guide]

Addressed in this post is a common issue transpiring on Dell Inspiron laptops that won’t boot to Windows OS or gets stuck on black screen during startup. Read on to find out how to deal with the problem if ever you will encounter this in the future.

There are two possibilities that you have to consider when you’re into a situation wherein all you see on your Dell Inspiron laptop display is just a black screen during startup. Either your laptop just won’t power on or it’s turning on but could boot into Windows. Be sure to distinguish which between these two is the actual problem you’re facing so that you’d be able to obtain a quick ultimate solution. If the problem you’re dealing with is a power issue like when your laptop won’t turn on, then you’ll need to consider a lot of factors including software malfunctions and hardware damage.

On the other hand, if your laptop computer won’t boot to Windows, it’s more likely a software issue. In the latter case, the computer is able to power on but something is preventing it from loading the operating system. And that “something” is what you’ll need to determine beforehand so as to make your laptop work as intended.

Now, before we proceed, if you found this post while finding a solution to a different problem, then visit our Dell Inspiron troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this machine. If you can’t find something useful, then fill up our computer issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

What’s preventing your Dell Inspiron from booting into Windows?

Stuck problems in computers are usually due to a bad program or software glitch. Security suites like antivirus and firewall can be the main culprit. You can rule this out by disabling them temporarily and then see how your computer does without any security software enabled. Will it be able to boot into Windows as intended? If it successfully boots up, then you’ll need to deal with your security settings or make necessary configurations on your antivirus or firewall settings. If you have no idea of what exactly has to be done, then you better contact the software developer or Dell Support for more help.

Aside from security programs that are causing conflict, other factors that can inflict similar issue on your Dell Inspiron laptop would include but not limited to corrupted drivers or system errors that’s causing Windows to crash and get stuck. A piece of hardware may be interfering with the normal boot process of Windows. That said, be sure to take them off from your laptop then try to power on again. Peripheral devices like external mouse, keyboard, flash drive, memory card, and other laptop accessories attached can also trigger the same problem to occur during startup. Back in the days, stuck problems on computers during bootup were usually resolved by removing the floppy disk or CD from the disk drive. And so in these days, the same problem might be due to your SD card inserted in your laptop’s card slot. Broken segments from any of these peripheral external devices could somehow intervene with the system’s normal routine.

Troubleshooting Dell Inspiron laptop that gets stuck on black screen during bootup

Before jumping to a conclusion that your laptop might have acquired hardware damage, you can resort to some workarounds and generic solutions and attempt to resolve the underlying cause. To get started, try to think of what has happened before the problem started. For example, did your laptop gets stuck on black screen after installing an update to certain app or Windows? Doing so will help you determine the root-cause and start working on the fix. If you see any error before your laptop gets stuck, take note of the error message as it usually tells you of what went wrong and what needs to be done in order to make things right again. Otherwise, you can go ahead and refer to the given solutions below.

First solution: Forced restart or hard reset.

In computers, a hard reset does not denote a full system reset or factory reset. Instead, it literally means restarting your laptop the hard way or forced restart in short. Given that you couldn’t restart your computer the usual way as it gets stuck, here’s what you can do as alternative solution:

  1. Power off your computer by pressing the Power button for about 10 to 20 seconds or until the Power light goes off.
  2. With your laptop turned off, remove or disconnect the AC adapter or power cord from the power source. Alternatively if your Dell Inspiron laptop is one of those models with removable batteries, removing the battery can likewise offer the same positive results.
  3. Disconnect all external devices or peripherals such as printer cables, media cards or USB drives.
  4. If you’ve removed the battery, reinstall or place it back in.
  5. Then press and hold the Power button for about 15-20 seconds.
  6. Plug the power cord or AC adapter back into the power source.
  7. Press the Power button to turn it back on.

If your laptop still doesn’t boot into the Windows operating system, troubleshoot your applications and third-party programs.

Second solution: Boot into safe mode.

Safe mode allows your computer to load Windows without activating all drivers and applications. This can help if you are dealing with a system-critical problem that interferes with the normal Windows operation on your computer.

While in safe mode, you can troubleshoot Windows and try to identify the culprit that triggers the operating system to fail. Here’s how to boot into Safe Mode on your Dell Inspiron laptop using Windows platform:

  1. Turn on your laptop by pressing the Power button.
  2. Hold down the Shift key repeatedly and quickly tap the F8 key during the booting process. Doing so will route you to Recovery Mode menu before the Windows OS starts to load.
  3. If you couldn’t get it on your first attempt, then try again. It may take several attempts before it works so just be patient.
  4. While in the Recovery Mode menu, select See advanced repair options.
  5. Select the Troubleshoot option.
  6. Then select the Advanced options button.
  7. Click the Windows Startup Settings button.
  8. Click the Restart button.
  9. After the computer restarts, you will be prompted by the Advanced Boot Options menu. It enables you to boot your Windows in safe mode, safe mode with networking and safe mode with command prompt.
  10. Click to select your preferred safe mode option.

If your laptop is able to boot in safe mode without being stuck or any errors, then the problem is likely triggered by third-party applications installed on your computer, a firewall or computer virus. You may then proceed to troubleshoot your computer programs and  resolve the underlying cause.

If your laptop still cannot boot in Windows through safe mode, then most likely it’s a hardware issue.

Third solution: Remove or update third-party programs including antivirus software on your computer.

Try this method if your laptop is able to boot in Windows through Safe mode. Some of your applications might have crashed or get corrupted and eventually caused the conflict. To repair or remove any suspected programs, you can head over to the Control Center. But this is only possible if you are able to boot into safe mode.

  1. To do so, click on the Start menu-> Control Panel-> Programs-> Programs and Features-> then select the program you want to remove or repair.
  2. Select the option to Repair (if available). Otherwise click Change.

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the entire process then see if that will fix the problem.

Fifth solution: Update or Reset BIOS to defaults.

Another possible reason as to why your laptop may not be able to boot in Windows is because it might have previously set to attempt to boot to another device. To correct this, you will need to reset BIOS to factory defaults. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Restart your laptop.
  2. When you see the Dell logo, click the F12 key repeatedly until you see the Entering Setup label on the upper right corner of the screen.
  3. Click the option to reset the default settings. You may need to press a key listed at the bottom of the screen to load the default settings.
  4. You can also update BIOS to the latest version if resetting the BIOS to factory defaults won’t fix the problem.
  5. Press ESC to exit the BIOS screen and be sure to select the Save and Exit option. Doing so will save your recent changes.

Last resort: Do a full system reset (Windows reformat and reinstall).

Reformatting and reinstalling Windows might be considered the last resort if none of the prior methods is able to fix the problem and that you still couldn’t boot your laptop in Windows as it’s still stuck on black screen during startup. Please note though that you will need to back up all your personal information and critical data since all these will be erased in the process.

Once you’ve backed up everything, that’s when you can proceed with Windows system re-formatting and reinstallation.

You can reformat Windows through Settings but since you couldn’t get to boot your laptop in Windows, you’ll need to do the other way possible. In this case, you can do a full system reset through a Windows system Installation Disk. The process formats the hard drive and removes all data. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Create or prepare your recovery media.
  2. Insert the recovery media into a USB port or DVD drive on your laptop. This varies depending on the format you used to create the recovery media.
  3. Turn off your laptop.
  4. Turn it on.
  5. When the Dell logo appears, tap the F12 key several times until you see the Preparing one time boot menu appears.
  6. At the boot menu, go to UEFI BOOT then select the device that matches your media type — either USB or DVD.
  7. Select the keyboard language you prefer to use.
  8. Click Troubleshoot at the Choose an option screen.
  9. Select the option to Recover from a drive.

Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the Windows reset process. It may take a while for your computer to reboot so just wait patiently.

Seek further assistance

For more advanced troubleshooting procedures that require dedicated software for Dell system or Windows OS, you may contact Dell Support or Windows Support. Do so if the problem persists or your Dell Inspiron laptop still couldn’t boot into Windows OS or stuck on black screen during startup after doing all prior methods. The problem you’re dealing with might be too complex or tough enough to withstand the standard procedures thus requiring a systematic advanced solution.

Connect with us

We understand that for many computer users, troubleshooting is really difficult that’s why we’re here to help you find a solution…for free. All we need is information about your computer and the problem. Just fill up our Computer issues questionnaire here and give us the information we need. Also include your own observation on how and when the problem started or what you were doing when the problem emerged. We will help you find a solution to fix your problem or advise you what to do.

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