HP laptop caps lock blinking

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking (EASY FIXES!)

When you try to boot up your PC, is your HP laptop Caps Lock blinking a specific number of times? If your HP laptop won’t turn on, don’t panic. As it turns out, this is an extremely common problem. Here’s how to fix it.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – Troubleshooting Steps:

  • 2 blinks – BIOS issue. Perform BIOS recovery.
  • 3 blinksRAM not functional. Reseat your RAM Sticks.
  • 4 blinksCPU or GPU overheating. Clean or replace cooling fan.
  • 5 blinksSystem board failure. Reset Embedded Controller and remove CMOS battery.

Let’s review each of these troubleshooting steps in greater detail.

I recommend you first determine the number of times your HP laptop Caps Lock is blinking. Then locate the corresponding troubleshooting section below.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – 2 Times

What Does It Mean?

The HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 2 times during power up indicates there is a BIOS chip OR BIOS firmware corruption issue.

You may also hear a beeping sound that will occur twice. Additionally, depending on your HP laptop model, your WiFi button may light up an amber color.

BIOS, or “Basic Input/Output System”, is a type of firmware that is located on your PC’s motherboard.

BIOS chip

At startup, the very first thing your computer does is boot the BIOS. The BIOS firmware then configures your hardware at which point your hard drive takes over.

At least that’s what’s supposed to happen.

Sometimes your BIOS firmware can become corrupted. There are various reasons for why this can happen:

  • Your PC’s flash memory is failing
  • Interruption of a BIOS update
  • A computer virus

In other cases, your BIOS chip itself can fail. Leading causes of BIOS chip failure include:

  • Over heating
  • Over voltage
  • Random cosmic rays interactions (sounds cool huh?)

In either case, a failure of the BIOS chip or firmware means that this “handover” to your hard drive cannot take place. Hence the reason you are staring at a black screen!

How Do I Fix It?

Your HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 2 times can initially be alarming. Fortunately, there are two reliable ways to fix HP BIOS issues.

Fix #1 – Built In BIOS Recovery Function

First, let’s determine whether or not your specific HP laptop model has a built in function for BIOS recovery.

To test this, start by turning OFF your computer by holding the power button for about 10 seconds. You will know your laptop is off when the lights stop blinking and your laptop fan comes to a stop.

We are going to try three different BIOS recovery key combinations.

It is important to HOLD DOWN each of these key combinations SIMULTANEOUSLY BEFORE and DURING your attempts to turn ON your HP laptop. Additionally, between each combination attempt be sure to power down your laptop PRIOR to trying a new combination.

The three BIOS recovery key combinations are:

  1. Windows key + “B”
  2. Windows key + “V”
  3. “B”

Is your HP laptop still not turning on? Don’t worry – this just means your laptop model does not have a built in function for BIOS recovery. There is another way!

Fix #2 – BIOS Recovery Reinstall With USB

This process may sound scary and difficult but I assure you it is not.

HP laptops without the built in BIOS recovery function preinstalled require using a recovery USB with a different computer.

To start, grab an old thumb drive laying around and insert it into a different computer you are borrowing.

BIOS Recovery Reinstall With USB

Next, with your USB flash drive is plugged in, you need to reformat it to “FAT32“.

IMPORTANT NOTICE. When you reformat your USB you will lose all of the information and files contained on it. Select your USB with this in mind.

To do this, open up your Folders file, navigate to and right click on USB Drive (D:) and select Format.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking - Reformat USB drive to recover BIOS

Under the File system section, select FAT32 from the drop down menu. Finally, select Start, OK and Yes to finalize the formatting process.

Nicely done. Your flash drive is now reformatted!

The next step requires you to head over to HP Customer Support – Software and Driver Downloads.

Locate your HP laptop’s serial number. You can find the serial number on a sticker located on the backside of the laptop.

For some models, the serial number may be located in the empty space behind the battery. Remove your battery to check if you are having trouble locating it.

Enter your serial number and click Submit.

Once you have entered your laptop serial number, on the next screen select BIOS. Then, from the drop down, Download the MOST CURRENT BIOS update based on the listed release date.

Be sure to specifically select No thanks, I will download and install manually at the bottom of the download window.

Once the file is downloaded, go to the downloads folder and open it. The file will ask you to make changes to your device. Select Yes. Then follow the steps by continuing to select Next and accepting the licensee agreement terms when prompted.

At the HP BIOS Update and Recovery window select Create Recovery USB flash drive and select Next.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking - BIOS recovery

On the next screen your newly formatted USB drive should pop up. Select it from the options and click Next. The BIOS recovery files you need will now be copied onto your USB drive.

When it is down loading the files, select Finish and then Cancel.

You can check to make sure the process worked by going back to your Files folder and checking the USB Drive (D:). You should see the newly downloaded files on there.

Now go ahead and eject the USB drive.

Turn OFF the HP laptop you are attempting to fix and insert the flash drive.

While holding the Windows key and the “B” key simultaneously, turn the computer back on. Continue holding the Windows and B key during startup for at least 10 seconds.

The HP BIOS Update window will appear and the BIOS recovery will be initiated.

Once BIOS has been recovered, your laptop will restart. DO NOT INTERRUPT THE LAPTOP AT THIS TIME.

A screen will appear that states “A System BIOS Recovery has occurred. Press Enter to continue.” Go ahead and hit Enter.

That’s it! Your computer should be fixed!

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – 3 Times

What Does It Mean?

The HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 3 times during power up means the RAM is not functional.

Computer random access memory (RAM) plays a significant role in your PC’s overall performance and speed. Actively used information is stored on RAM on a short-term basis for quick access. In essence, RAM is what allows your PC to perform its every day tasks.

Faulty RAM can prevent the motherboard from properly communicating with the RAM. This in turn prevents your laptop from turning on. There are a number of common reasons RAM fails:

  • Thermal damage/overheating
  • Faulty connection
  • Voltage too high or too low
  • Damage due to improper handling

How Do I Fix It?

To recap, HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 3 times means there is an issue with the RAM. Fortunately, there are two reliable ways to fix and test your RAM sticks.

Fix #1- Remove, Reorder and Reinsert Your RAM Sticks

This error may be occurring because your RAM (Random Access Memory) sticks are not making a proper connection.

To fix this, first make sure your computer is powered OFF and the power cord is removed from the outlet.

For most HP laptop models you will also need to remove your battery to access the RAM compartment.

Next, learn how to properly ground yourself to avoid destroying your computer with electrostatic charge.

Remove the screws from the back of the laptop and remove the case to expose the RAM compartment. Then fully remove the RAM stick.

Finally, reinsert the RAM firmly into the RAM seat to ensure a proper connection.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking - BIOS recovery - Reseat RAM

Resemble your laptop and try starting it up. You should be back up and running!

If your HP laptop has multiple RAM sticks be sure to also reorder them. You should also try rebooting your PC after reinserting one RAM stick at a time.

Fix #2 – Run A Windows Memory Diagnostic Test

Despite the issue seeming to be resolved, it is always a good idea to check the RAM itself for any faults.

In order to check the health of your newly reseated RAM sticks we will run a Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.

To run the test, type Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool into your search bar and click on it. Next, select Restart now and check for problems.

Once your laptop has restarted, a RAM diagnostic report will appear.

If no issues are uncovered then you are all set and no further action is needed.

If however, there are faults discovered you may need to purchase a new RAM stick.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – 4 Times

What Does It Mean?

The HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 4 times while you attempt to power up means there is an issue with your CPU or GPU due to overheating.

If you hear your fan consistently running at maximum speed than you know your laptop is running too hot.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking - Clean cooling fan

In most cases it is your central processing unit (CPU) or the graphics processing unit (GPU) that will overheat the MOST. This will cause your laptop to not turn on properly.

How Do I Fix It?

Since the HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 4 times during power up means there is an overheating issue, we need to fix your laptop’s internal cooling.

Fix #1 – Remove The Dust From The Cooling Fan

The very first step is too clean the internal fan. Overtime a significant amount of dust can accumulate onto your laptop fan, causing it to under-perform.

dust

To fix this we will need to remove the case from the bottom of the laptop. First, turn off the laptop, unplug it and remove the battery. Make sure to ground yourself and then unscrew the bottom case and remove it to expose the fan.

With a cotton swab and some isopropyl alcohol, carefully clean the cooling fan. Be sure to also clean the exhaust port on the case that allows air to flow in and out of the laptop.

Wait approximately 30 minutes to allow the isoporpyl alcohol to fully dry.

Once dry, resemble the laptop and attempt to turn your laptop on.

If the issue persists, you may need to replace the cooling fan or purchase an external cooling unit for your laptop.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – 5 Times

What Does It Mean?

The HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 5 times indicates system board failure on your PC.

The issue here is specifically with your Embedded Controller which may be timing out waiting for the BIOS to return from system board initialization (“end of POST”).

How Do I Fix It?

So, your HP laptop Caps Lock blinking 5 times means there is a system board failure related to the Embedded Controller. What can you do about it? There are two top fixes to try.

Fix #1 – Reset The Embedded Controller

The first and easiest solution to try is removing the power supply and booting up the PC with only the battery. By doing so you are effectively resetting the Embedded Controller.

  1. Unplug your PC
  2. Press and hold the power button for 15 seconds
  3. Release the power button and your PC should boot normally

That’s it! Re-connect the power cord to the computer and you should be back in business.

Fix #2 – Remove The CMOS Battery From The Motherboard

If resetting the embedded controller by turning on your laptop with only the battery does not work, try removing the CMOS battery from the motherboard.

CMOS stands for Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor. The CMOS battery in your laptop or computer powers the BIOS firmware. As previously discussed, BIOS stands for “Basic Input/Output System” and it manages the essential functions of your computer.

Resetting your BIOS sets it back to its previous configurations and can often fix a lot of different issues. 

Once again make sure your laptop is powered OFF, the power cord is removed, and you are properly grounded.

Next, disassemble the back casing of your laptop and remove the CMOS battery from the motherboard. Hold down the power button to drain all excess remaining power.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking - Remove CMOS battery

After about a minute, reinsert the CMOS battery back into your PC. Finally, Reboot your computer and check to see if your problem has been resolved.

Depending on your HP laptop model, accessing your CMOS battery can prove very challenging. You can use the HP laptop manual lookup to find exactly where your CMOS battery is located.

In some cases, it may be best to head over to your local PC repair shop for support.

HP Laptop Warranty

For some folks, unfortunately these fixes simply won’t work. If this is the case, you can look up your HP laptop warranty policy.

Additionally, if you’ve tried each of these fixes, and you’re still having issues you can also contact HP customer support.

Conclusion

If you try to boot up your PC and observe your HP laptop Caps Lock blinking continuously a specific number of times, don’t panic. This is an extremely common problem. Here’s how to fix it.

HP Laptop Caps Lock Blinking – Troubleshooting Steps:

  • 2 blinks – BIOS issue. Perform BIOS recovery.
  • 3 blinksRAM not functional. Reseat Your RAM Sticks.
  • 4 blinksCPU or GPU overheating. Clean or replace cooling fan.
  • 5 blinksSystem board failure. Reset Embedded Controller and remove CMOS battery.

Hopefully this was helpful! If this post helped you solve your HP laptop issue, or if you solved your issue some other way, be sure to leave me a comment below so that we can include it!

Additional HP laptop troubleshooting support brought to you by The Flexible Worker Team:

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