Used by almost every company, school, or organization around, Dell Laptops are well known for their durability, good battery life, and performance in things like regular office-style computer tasks.
This has made them a favorite choice for everyone, from students to the working professional.
However, some users have reported an issue where upon starting their machine, it will hang on the Dell logo before booting into Windows.
At first glance, this can seem almost impossible to troubleshoot as your keyboard wont be responsive, and there is no Windows interface to help you deal with it. But don’t worry!
Today we’ll explain why this issue happens and give you all the solutions you will need to get it back in working order as quickly as possible.
Why is your Dell laptop stuck on the Dell screen?
If your Dell computer has become stuck on the black screen during startup, something is blocking the machine’s ability to boot into the Windows operating system.
This could be several things such as corrupt windows files, an incorrect BIOS setting, or even a damaged piece of hardware.
Let’s first go through all the primary causes of this issue, and then we’ll look at how to fix it.
A common reason why your Dell Laptop might not be able to boot to the operating system is due to file corruption or a registry entry error.
Fortunately, we have some tools we can use (even when your laptop isn’t able to boot) to diagnose and repair any issues with the startup process to help fix this issue.
The laptop was not properly powered down
When you turn off a machine, you are technically not turning it completely off as additional power is still being stored in the capacitors and residual settings held in the RAM and CMOS battery.
So if your laptop is experiencing an error or glitch preventing startup, a simple restart or even a total shutdown is often not enough to completely restart the machine.
Here we can perform a ‘hard reset’ or ‘power cycle’ to completely drain the laptop of power, giving it a fresh startup.
Incorrect boot manager settings
Some users on the Dell support forum have reported that incorrectly set boot manager settings can cause this issue.
In this scenario, we can access the boot manager and change the UEFI boot mode to Legacy OPROM. Even if you don’t want to use Legacy OPROM long-term, this temporary fix can at least get you into Windows so you can diagnose it further.
Fast startup is a feature of Windows 10 that essentially allows your computer to stay in a state of hibernation when shut down, where many critical system processes are still left active, so when you want to turn the machine on, it will boot up fully within seconds.
This can cause issues when one of the Fast Startup processes is not working correctly, causing the machine to hang on bootup.
By disabling Fast Startup, we can potentially circumvent the laptop becoming stuck as it bypasses this hibernation process.
An incorrect BIOS setting can prevent the laptop from starting, whether by accident or by a bug. In this case, simply restoring it to the factory settings may allow the laptop to boot fully.
Dead CMOS/Bios battery
The BIOS battery is responsible for storing the BIOS settings, which assist with booting the machine. In some cases, this battery can die or not function correctly, resulting in the laptop being unable to boot.
Replacing this battery may allow the laptop to boot.
RAM generally shouldn’t come loose within a laptop. However, some users have reported that by removing their RAM sticks and reseating them again, their laptop has suddenly been able to boot up, so it’s worth trying!
If any files associated with Windows booting are damaged or are unreadable due to a damaged HDD, your laptop will hang on bootup.
In this scenario, we need to replace the HDD with a working one.
How to fix a Dell laptop stuck on Dell screen
As you can see, several potential problems may cause your Dell computer to get stuck on the black screen.
Let’s look at how to fix these problems to get your laptop back up and running.
Run Startup Repair to fix file corruption
We can use the Windows recovery environment to fix any startup issues relating to Windows.
Your computer will automatically enter the recovery environment after three forced shutdowns. So let your computer to the black screen, then hold the power button to force a shutdown. Do this two more times, and it will then enter the recovery menu.
Once on the recovery menu, click ‘See advanced repair options,’ then click troubleshoot, followed by advanced options. Now click Start-up repair in the top right of the screen and let the process run.
Hard reset (power cycle) the laptop
As mentioned, we sometimes need to completely drain the laptop of power to restart it correctly and fix the bootup problem.
To perform a hard reset of your laptop, follow these steps:
- Remove the battery
- Hold down the power button for 20 seconds
- Plug the battery back in
- Restart the computer
Change the boot mode
Some users have reported that by changing the boot mode of their Laptop from UEFI to Legacy OPROM, they have been able to boot up to Windows.
To do this, hit the F12 button as the laptop is booting, and you will be sent into the boot options menu. Swap EUFI over to Legacy OPROM and restart the laptop.
Turn off fast startup
The hibernating aspect of Window’s fast startup feature has been known to cause Dell Laptops to hang on the Dell Screen.
To disable fast startup, navigate to the power options menu from the Windows control panel, then click ‘choose what the power buttons do.’
There is a tick box called ‘Turn on fast startup.’ You need to untick this box to disable the feature.
Reset the BIOS
Because you will not be able to get into the Windows menu to reset the BIOS, you will need to use a CMOS battery removal method which involves physically taking the battery out of the motherboard.
This process isn’t too difficult to do but is also a bit too involved to detail in this article. So follow the instructions detailed here for a solid guide on removing it.
Reseat the RAM
This is a straightforward process where you will need to remove the laptop’s case and locate the RAM sticks. Flip the tabs on either side of the sticks to release them, then reinsert them firmly. You should hear a definitive ‘click’ once they are correctly seated.
Then, turn the laptop back on.
The HDD is damaged
Unfortunately, the only fix if the internal HDD has become damaged is replacing it with a working one.
You will need a Windows boot device to re-install Windows onto the new, fresh HDD.