Dell Inspiron 17r turns on for a couple seconds then turns off - repeats


Aug 9, 2016
When I got my computer 2 years ago it was windows 8. Last year I used the free upgrade to windows 10, but about half way through the year I needed to reinstall windows. Since then it has not accepted any product keys. I recently bought a new copy of Windows 10 Home on usb to have an official back up and a licensed key. While trying to set up a clean boot it failed around 8% and since then has not been able to boot completely. The screen turns on, all the LED's flash and the fan whirls. I've run diagnostics and it says that everything is working well. I would be fine with factory resetting my device, but I could not find out how to from what i'm able to access.

After holding F8 it gives me a screen where I can choose between F2 Setup or F12 Boot Options. Those are all that I am able to do at the moment. Thanks for your help!


clean boot as in go into msconfig and turn off services? or clean install where its reinstalling win 10?

should change bios so USb is first in boot order, hdd second for now

if there anything on pc you want to save/keep try this: running Linux might also tell you if drive is working or not

if drive is still working and you can save files off it, I would use your win 10 USB to install win 10

About those keys, when you upgraded to win 10 on this Laptop you got whats called a Digital entitlement to always install win 10 on that Laptop. Reason keys won't work is they aren't needed anymore, it really should have been advertised somewhere.. dumb Microsoft.. anyway, when you install win 10 from now on, on this PC, you just click "Skip" when on licence key screen and win 10 will reactivate itself on install. The details of your PC are recorded on a Microsoft server so when PC checks if your PC should be activated, it will find the details and be satisfied.

recently, like last week, you can also tie your digital entitlement to the email address you gave Microsoft when you registered for an upgrade, and this just adds another way to activate and allows you to change hardware without having to buy win 10 again. See

Now you know all that, use that Win 10 USB you have and just skip the licence screen

oh yeah, this might help you too:


if it was just the clean boot, try changing boot order of PC to USB first, hdd second, and then boot from your win 10 USB
on second page of installer, after languages, choose repair this PC, not install
choose troubleshoot
choose advanced
choose start up repair - this might fix your problem - will ask for logon info