Asus Vivobook will not boot - black screen, no bios/uefi, nothing

Hi,

I'm attempting to repair a Windows 8 Asus Vivobook (Q301LA-BHI5T02) laptop and I have exhausted just about every option. I'm starting to lose hope that I'll be able to repair it. Here is the issue and then I'll go into what I have done so far (unsuccessfully).

The laptop will not boot. Pressing power will light up the power button, the caps lock LED (for some reason, but NOT the wireless LED), the Power LED indicator lights up white, the battery LED indicator lights up amber (charging), and the HDD LED lights up white, but then blinks. The screen does nothing - it's black - no flicker, no back light. The original owner told me she thought it was a HDD issue (no idea why she believed that as she is not computer savvy). HDD makes no noise so it perhaps it is at fault. However, I should at least be able to access BIOS/UEFI, right? I pulled the HDD, set it up in an enclosure and ran a health check on the drive. I booted up my MacBook Pro and ran a first aid check using disk utility. The result came back and said there was an issue with the partition map or guide, and it may present issues booting. Well, look at that, I do have issues booting. The HDD works just fine, seemingly. I'm able to browse all folders and files, access pictures and videos, etc.

Here's what I've done - this model doesn't have a removable battery - so I disconnected the battery and tried booting with just the charger. No dice. I've attempted every keyboard/F button + power button combo possible (escape, delete, f2, fn+f5, f5, f9, f12) and I get nothing. My first thought was maybe the screen is busted, so I plugged it into an external monitor via HDMI and tried all the previous steps again, still nothing. Looking at the internals of the laptop, nothing seems to be damaged or anything. I decided to pop off the little cover over the RAM modules to see if maybe the RAM wasn't seated properly, etc. To my surprise this particular Asus model doesn't have any RAM installed! My belief was this model had 4GBs of RAM. I had read that 2GBs was soldered to the motherboard and not up-gradable, and there was a 2GB stick in the other slot that could accept up to an 8GB stick. It would seem that this model has no RAM installed in the removable slot, operating with only the soldered RAM, so that rules out an improperly seated RAM stick. Would buying a new RAM stick and installing it help me out here? I would think not, but I'll try anything to get this laptop working.

Here's what I don't understand - why can't I boot into the BIOS/UEFI? If the issue is with the HDD having a damaged/corrupted partition map, shouldn't I be able to access the BIOS, or boot from USB? By the way, I made a bootable Windows 8 USB (technically it was an SD Card as I have misplaced all my USB drives, doh!) but I can't seem to get any life out of the screen. Furthermore, since this isn't my computer, I don't know how it was used before this problem occurred. And since the owner is not a computer savvy individual, I really have no way of knowing if this laptop had Windows 8 or 8.1, was it 32 or 64 bit? Even the stuff I thought I knew turned out to be incorrect, as this model has only the soldered RAM, and it's the touch screen (in my research before I got my hands on the laptop, it seemed this model did not have a touchscreen. What I do know for sure, is that this laptop came with Windows 8 preinstalled (it wasn't an upgrade from 7). I asked the original owner if she ever updated it to 8.1, and she said she wasn't sure (of course). So I know it's running Windows 8, was probably never updated, has only one soldered stick of RAM (but unsure if it's 2GBs or 4GBs), has the Core i5, and a touch screen.

My idea was to just put a new HDD in it and reinstall Windows, but this presented an issue of course too. I haven't owned a Windows machine since Vista (Vista ruined it for me). It seems now starting with Windows 8, they don't print the product code on the bottom of the computer anymore. So I have no idea how to reinstall Windows if I can't access the product key! I think next I want to see if I can somehow lift the product key from the motherboard. I have found a few programs that claim they can find the product key embedded in the motherboard. Unfortunately, and naturally of course, the freeware program I found can't do it. The program that can will cost me $20-$40 and I'm not really trying to spend that on a product key that's already been purchased. Does anyone know of a good, free (or at least cheaper) alternative to find my Windows product key?

I downloaded a program called Testdisk for Windows to see if I could repair the boot partition table (my MacBook Pro is dual booted with Windows 10). It scanned the whole disk and told me it didn't find anything. I told it to "search deeper" and still said it found nothing. Disk Utility in OSX told me the partition table was problematic, so I'm not sure if Testdisk doesn't work as advertised, or if I told it the wrong thing. It asks for the partition table type, I selected Intel since it was being used in a Windows machine. Should I have tried something different? Is there a different type of program I could use to repair the boot partition table?

After fixing the HDD I still don't know if that will fix my issues if I can't even boot into the BIOS or UEFI. Does anyone have any insight into this at all? The laptop is not even 2 years old, definitely out of warranty, and only worth like $200 so it isn't even worth getting Asus to fix it - I'm sure they'd charge more than it's worth.

Everything I've tried to find online tells me how to boot into BIOS/UEFI from within Windows. There doesn't seem to be any documentation on how to boot into BIOS/UEFI when Windows won't boot. All I have found is that "when Windows detects an issue at boot, it will automatically boot into recovery/bios/uefi (or whatever). Yeah, I wouldn't really have had much faith in that even if I wasn't in the situation I'm currently in. Because it would seem that if Disk Utility can tell there's an issue, why wouldn't the computer the HDD originally came from be able to tell there's a boot issue, and boot me into the bios or some other method so that I can repair my partition table? I'm just really hoping there isn't an issue with the graphics, because that's the only other thing I can think of. In years past I was given an HP laptop that no one wanted because it "didn't work". It booted up just fine the first two times I used it, then it would get to the bios menu and beep constantly - turns out that model had a well documented issue of the GPU overheating, and needing to be reseated/reglued. The beep "code" told you what was wrong. With this Asus, I'm getting nothing at all.

This was a super long post, if you have read everything I am super appreciative. If anyone could give me any insight at all, or even just a thought as to something that maybe could possibly help I would be forever in debt to you (no joke, this laptop really has me at a loss). I can post pictures, video, and/or screenshots of anything you need to see more clearly. Thanks

Update (12/08/2016)

So I've tried pretty much everything to no avail. I'm still searching online for possible solutions to this day, but I haven't found anything that will work. ASUS of course told me they could fix it if I sent it to them, but there's no way I'm paying as much as this laptop originally cost just to get it fixed by ASUS. ASUS was unforuttnely incredibly unhelpful when I talked to them on the phone. It was basically "send it to us and let us charge you" or look for a new computer. If I could simply access the BIOS/UEFI then I could boot from an external drive and reinstall Windows (or Linux) and I'd be more than happy with that. But it seems these Win 8/8.1 computers weren't built to directly access the BIOS/UEFI from a cold boot. Dumbest thing I've ever heard, I wish I know who was responsible for eliminating any method of entering the BIOS/UEFI from a cold boot so I could slap them across the face.

I appreciate everyone's suggestions; unfortunately no button combination or method of removing the battery has done a thing for me so far. I might try to see if there's something wrong with the on board graphics, perhaps even the CPU, but I'm not sure what all I'd be able to do if I found out one of those components is the problem. I'm worried about the soldered RAM, because if it's a RAM problem I won't be able to simply remove and replace the module like I could on basically any other computer - making a formerly easy DIY fix an expensive and huge PIA (assuming I'd need to send it to ASUS for that).

I will continue to look for a solution to this though, unless of course I find a decent deal on a sub 15" laptop with a Core i5, at which point in time I'll probably give up on this ASUS.

I miss the days where you could just swap in a new HDD, fire up a bootable Windows DVD or USB drive and be on your way. Why did they stop doing stuff like this?

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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i will suggest you to boot the computer in safe mode and check it it works and if not than go to your computer and try restoring the system . there can be many more reason for the problem for this one i would say contact asus and they might help http://goo.gl/HXjBDK and thanks . gud luck

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Lester. This guy can't even get into the BIOS and your suggestion is to boot in safe mode?

That is a really dumb suggestion, sorry.

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Your problem is with the integrated ram. Search how to reflow the integrated ram chips (have a right way to do and can be done at home (oven+hair dryer),it can create bubbles in the PCB if done wrong). The reflow is your best chance.

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Replace your power port. Common problem. I have the same issue and did some research.

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Hi, I have an asus uX31E at my desk. with a black screen. Hey Jordon i think if the ram have to be reflown then the video card has to be reflown as well. now she got 2 unknowns and cannot properly diagnose the problem i.e. the video card and the soldered RAM. From my experience as a repair guy reflowing is just a temporary solution. I advise you resell the laptop as spaceports saving yourself some time. please keep in mind you could buy authentic windows keys from eBay at about 30€.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.

11 Answers

Chosen Solution

After some more investigating and opening up the bottom case, I can say with a fair amount of certainty that my motherboard is either fried, has shorted, or one of the connections from the board to the CPU fan has faulted. After opening it and attempting to turn it on I noticed the CPU cooler fan was not spinning. I decided it could be worth it to find a replacement fan, and I found one brand new on eBay for $4. My thought was the fan was dead, as the fan and cooler assembly seemed to move like it was broken in some way. The new fan from eBay was one solid piece, it did not move, which further cemented my thought that the original fan was broken. I removed the fan and cooler by removing the three screws from the fan assembly and the four screws for the heat sink over the CPU. I tried removing as much thermal paste as I could from the CPU. I reapplied thermal past to the CPU - I've never had to do this for a laptop so I have no idea if I used enough or too much. Since this laptop's CPU is more rectangular than desktop CPUs, I used more than I would have used for a desktop. I then reseated the cooler and placed all 8 screws back.

TL;DR - To my disappointment the fan still showed no signs of life when attempting to turn the computer on again. At this point I believe either the fan header or something with the motherboard itself is at fault. I am not skilled enough with a soldering iron to replace the fan header, assuming I could find a replacement header online. I do not believe it was a HDD problem or a memory problem. The HDD did give me errors when running a health check but even replacing it with a new HDD gave me the same dead results. Even with the original HDD it still should have let me boot into the BIOS/UEFI/fail to post. At this point I am scraping this laptop as there is little more that I can do with it; I don't think I'll be able to repair it.

In short, if you are experiencing issues like mine it may be worth it to check to see if the CPU fan cooler is working on your laptop. If not, replacing the fan is not difficult to do and the part is cheap. It could work for you if the fan itself is at fault.

Thank you to everyone who responded, I very much appreciate all the responses I've received over the last 11 months.

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I have ASUS X201E and have experienced similar problem but after flashing new bios and reboot. I found out that combination CTRL+FN+LEFT and power up leads to accessing HDD and searching something then all repeat. (After testing USB Stick, SD Card, USB FDD, USB DVDRW - not working! Only access to internal HDD) I don't have original HDD with recovery and other hidden partition containing recovery bios or UEFI to start (Thoughts) but as I understand you do. Try to press and hold CTRL+FN+LEFT (or in your case it might be CTRL + HOME just on X201E key HOME = FN+LEFT) then power up notebook. If you have hdd ok you could boot somewhere I think. Let me know if you succeed.

P/S Problem IMHO in the way modern bios with win 8 works. By default you can't enter BIOS without win 8. I don't understand it who would do that!?

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-acce...

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/...

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The above worked perfectly.... Thanks heaps on ASUS E200HA .Once I booted up .....I then went to windows it had an issue installing updates clicked the fix it button and away she went the netbook that is not the wife.... shame . Anyways in the past (its My wife's Netbook) she would just sit it for a couple of days or charge her phone to flatten the internal battery. It seems always when an update goes in over night and must shut itself down during updates. So I just told the netbook to stay awake to see if this fixes the issue.

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I had exactly the same problem last night. HP's 'Health Check' recommended that I flash the BIOS of our new HP Dv7-1175. Had the computer about 3 days, and was receiving some strange errors reporting unrecogized USB devices not recognized and a buggy USB driver. So, OK, Flash the BIOS.

Precisely the same thing occurred. The utility for flashing the BIOS ran, seemed to work, shut down the computer. Then nothing.

I restarted to a backlit screen, no POST or BOOT. Here's how I solved the problem (though I can't tell you why it worked, other than it obviously reset the CMOS).

1) Turned off the computer

2) Removed Battery and disconnected power cord.

3) Waited, pensively, for 5ish minutes (read several places to wait for 20 minutes; I didn't)

4) Plugged the power cord back in (I did NOT reinsert the battery)

5) Holding down the Insert/Scroll button, I held the power button down for 20-30 seconds. Nothing happened until I released the power button. When I released the power button (still holding the Insert/Scroll button depressed), the computer came up and Windows booted. Could not, at that point, get ESC pressed; wouldn't let me into the BIOS.

6) Restarted and prayed, came up normally; opened the BIOS by hitting ESC at the proper time, reset to defaults (just to be sure).

The computer has seemed to work operate normally since, though for the life of me, I can't tell you why this worked. I was, for the record, trying to press the Insert button, so if yours has these separated-- as my Toshiba does-- then I'd start with that.

Hope this helps someone.

Source: http://ccm.net/forum/affich-73142-laptop...

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I have the same Asus vivobook as Chris, and I have the same exact issue. My laptop is about 1.5 yrs old, and it all started some months after getting the free windows 10 upgrade. Although mine, somehow, after several attempts at keeping the turn off button pressed and waiting around 10-15mins it does turn on. I have no idea how to fix it... I sent emails to ASUS and I am still waiting on a response.

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I have the same problem with my x202E. When I press ctrl+fn+left (home), nothing's showing up. I have this laptop for about 3 yrs already.

Pressed anything (f2, f9, f8, f12) but nothing's showing up.

**No removable battery for my laptop.

Before it happened, it's working fine. Just after i used the ccleaner, all my apps are not working that's why I decided to restart my laptop then It didn't turn on, just a blank screen.

Please help me.

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Hi! Just to clarify. You need to hold ctrl+fn+left (home) then power up notebook. It will start some kind of recover proceedure it will take some time you need to be patient look for led indicators. Flashing bios with recovery proceedure can take from 15 to 60 minutes. Bios file must be on first partition and corresponds to model of notebook. In my case it was x201ep.bin (Though Model on back sticker show X201E) How to see correct bios name (irony is you cant see it unless you can enter bios F2): http://www.asus.com/support/faq/114958 If your HDD OK you probably have this file on it. In my case (I have read bios from motherboard with programmator) I had corrupt bios. Only 40% flashed. After flash with programmator all start OK.

P.S. Experimenting with entering BIOS I can tell what you can try.

1. Hold F2 and power UP notebook.

2. Cyclicly press F2 and power UP

3. Power UP and cyclicly press F2

You can try connect USB DVD drive with windows DVD and boot from it and try to troubleshoot your problem from there.

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I have an asus vivobook e200ha laptop, I went to do a reset and it turned off on me. I'm now unable to boot my laptop past the asus start screen. It's driving me mad, and it won't work with a USB. Please tell me there is a reset button somewhere. What do I do?

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Guys i have an asus vivobook k451L and im experiencing a similar issue

Im pressing the power button and all the white led light up and then light off

[caps lock and wifi led are on above the keyboard just near the power button, and also i have at the rear of my laptop a lightbulb and some sort of tube, both light up and light off in 1-2 seconds

I could try powering it on over and over and sometimes it took me up to 2 hours

And it would power on and lunch windows just fine.

Now i tried the same and it doesnt seem to work.

Im stuck without a computer for 2 weeks now

I tried doing the battery duscharge thing plugging it off the power cord and holding for 30 seconds and it doesnt work

The tutorial in youtube said that i need to remove the battery and try the same procces, but my laptops battary isnt removable.

And now im just *!&*^#% stuck

I would love sombody to help me and tell me wtf is the problem.

Thanks for your time

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Guys i have an asus vivobook k451L and im experiencing a similar issue

Im pressing the power button and all the white led light up and then light off

[caps lock and wifi led are on above the keyboard just near the power button, and also i have at the rear of my laptop a lightbulb and some sort of tube, both light up and light off in 1-2 seconds

I could try powering it on over and over and sometimes it took me up to 2 hours

And it would power on and lunch windows just fine.

Now i tried the same and it doesnt seem to work.

Im stuck without a computer for 2 weeks now

I tried doing the battery duscharge thing plugging it off the power cord and holding for 30 seconds and it doesnt work

The tutorial in youtube said that i need to remove the battery and try the same procces, but my laptops battary isnt removable.

And now im just *!&*^#% stuck

I would love sombody to help me and tell me wtf is the problem.

Thanks for your time.

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Do none of you read the posts the guy said it doesn't boot to BIOS!!

Andy

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i've got same issue, but i backup up the internal card on an ext hdd with clonezilla;

cloned it back and i got the issue.

after waiting about 15 minutes there was starting windows again. i don't dare to reboot now anymore..

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Your problem is with the integrated ram. Search how to reflow the integrated ram chips (have a right way to do and can be done at home (oven+hair dryer),it can create bubbles in the PCB if done wrong). The reflow is your best chance.

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How do you know it's the RAM and not the GPU that needs the reflow? I've read that most cases it's the GPU (especially in HP notebooks) that needs it, but I'm unfamiliar with these ASUS models.

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Hi,

I have a very similar problem with an Asus Sonicmaster laptop (can't remember which model it is). It will regularly "start up" with a completely black screen. This behaviour is erratic, and happens during use too. I managed to get Linux installed while the screen was working (getting the BIOS to boot from USB was a pig to do. I think it's F1 or F2 to get to BIOS, but it doesn't always work. I had to pull the hard drive, plug in my bootable USB (otherwise it won't show in the boot list), then turn it on. With no HDD, it will go straight to BIOS). I hoped the screen problem was some kinda Windows driver issue, but I now have the same problem with Linux. Strangely, the HDMI output works perfectly. Also, changing the resolution (in Linux) gets the laptop screen going again for a short time.

Don't have a fix for this, reluctant to try anything drastic like re-flowing.

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I had an Asus s400ca with this exact problem. It was a bad BIOS flash. Probably two bad BIOS flashes actually. I updated the BIOS from 207 to 210 and then my laptop would shut down every 30 minutes. I think that BIOS flash didn't work completely because the shut down issue seems to be a 'feature' when the CPU clock doesn't match the motherboard. Anyhow I tried downgrading the BIOS and it didn't work which resulted in it acting just like you said. All LEDs working, no fan spin.

I ordered a new BIOS chip from electrikcity on ebay for $20, took the old one out, soldiered in the new one and, BAM, computer runs like new again.

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Chris Olson will be eternally grateful.
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