HP Pavilion will turn on but will not boot to windows

TechGuy_007 used Ask the Experts™
I have a HP Pavilion Media Center m8100n TV PC running Windows Vista on it. The computer will start (give the starting screen), but then will not get past that point. The computer sounds and looks like it is working, no beeps, no lights, nothing that indicates that there is a problem with the computer. I changed out the RAM, same issue. I checked the Hard Drive, it is good i can still get to all the files. Its for sure not the video card or the power supply, sence you can see stuff while first starting the computer and the computer is powering on.

Also I can get into the Bios.

Any ideas on what can be the issue? Also I can get into the Bios.
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
when you say that the computer will not get past the starting point does it freeze and  you have to hard-power off the pc?

I would start pulling pci cards and usb cords one at a time, and/or update drivers from safe mode with networking.  Try first updating the sound and video drivers.


it does not freeze, it makes it past the HP screen where you can get into bios and advanced boot menu


will not let me get to advanced boot menu either
Rowby Goren Makes an Impact on Screen and Online

Learn about longtime user Rowby Goren and his great contributions to the site. We explore his method for posing questions that are likely to yield a solution, and take a look at how his career transformed from a Hollywood writer to a website entrepreneur.

no errors?
do you have a recovery cd that will let you into repair the startup?


I do not get any type of error or beep or lights.

I do not have a recovery cd for HP
My first thought is that it is your video card or motherboard.

When you start up your computer. Push F8 to get to the boot menu. Select "Enable VGA mode". Well, that's what most computers say. You'rs might be different but will be something like VGA mode, basic/reduced graphics mode, or something like that.

See if you can get into windows using that.

When you're booting up the computer the post screen and windows loading screen use a very limited section of the video card. This "VGA mode" is used as a compatibility mode so that before you load the video card drivers you can still see the screen to get the drivers loaded. Once windows gets past the loading screen it then begins to use the installed graphics drivers and the video card starts using an entirely different chipset on the card.

try this - turn off the computer completely and open the box, pull the cmos battery out and press and hold the power button for a good 20 -30 seconds.  Put the cmos battery back in and close the case, restart the computer.  

Be sure to be touching some metal on the case when working inside the case to prevent static, or wear a electro-static strap or glove.


I am unable to get to the advanced boot menu, it doesnt do anything when I press f8

Nothing happened by holding the power button down with the cmos battery out, I also changed out the CMOS battery with a new one. No difference
I would then get a copy of the OS and backup data and reinstall
Top Expert 2011
If you can read the hard drive, copy your personal data to another media for replacement after reinstall

If your hard drive is good,

You may not need to have recovery discs to perform a System Recovery. The recovery information is contained on a partition on the hard drive. Recovery discs are necessary in case the recovery partition is not functioning properly. If your computer originally came with Windows 7 or Vista, turn on the computer and repeatedly press F11

If your recovery partition does not exist for some reason, you can order recovery media from here (assuming Vista 32 bit), scroll down to Recovery Media
Software & Driver Downloads - HP Pavilion Media Center TV m8100n Desktop PC

Your product number (needed) is GC673AA

You will also need the serial number, and the BID (build ID number) if special ordered.  These should be on labels on the PC.

Read this before ordering your Recovery Discs! (US and Canada Only)

LInk to 32 bit Vista Recovery Media

Vista Home Premium 32b 73NAv3PrA1 + Supp 4 Recovery Kit

This is for US and Canada only.  Cost was unavailable since location and shipping methods could not be provided by myself.

It sounds exactly like the toasted video chip issue with that series of laptops.  There was even a class action suit filed against HP and they issued a BIOS update that made the fan run faster (but didn't really fix the problem, which is a bad heat sink design).


See this general search:


It can be fixed but it is daunting.  I have done it successfully, but only on a laptop I was ready to give up on.  There is a service that will fix it for about $200.

Watch this:

Top Expert 2013
what i do is test ram and disk first; best download UBCD to run memtest86+ and the disk diag for your disk brand :  
then at least you are sure about the basics
If HP screen and BIOS screens display properly, there is no problem with your video card and the problem is with your HDD. If the HDD and its files can be read on another computer, then the drive, Master boot record and partition is OK.

If you can get into the BIOS, check if it can detect the HDD. If not, it maybe just your HDD cable is broken.

If you video card is on-motherboard and not separate card, and HP/BIOS screens display but nothing after that, then part of your RAM maybe faulty. If it gets to the windows bootup screen (not logon screen) and then hangs, then video driver is faulty and you need to use F5/F8 and boot using Safe mode or VGA mode.
"If HP screen and BIOS screens display properly, there is no problem with your video card and the problem is with your HDD. If the HDD and its files can be read on another computer, then the drive, Master boot record and partition is OK."

That is not true.  The video chip, when first "toasted", works in VGA mode but as soon as it is switched into full function, it shuts down.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial