I had the BIOS message:

BIOS has detected unsuccessful POST attempt(s). Possible causes include resent changes to BIOS Performance Options or recent hardware change. Press 'Y' to enter Setup or 'N' to cancel and attempt to boot with previous settings.

I know for sure there were not any hardware changes and understand that RAM or hard disk can causing the problems.

But there can be a case when nothing is wrong with hardware.

Can a sudden power off (from power board, for example) of a computer be another cause when I'm already using OS?

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PS. From my experience, to get rid of this message, it's better to press Y and then F10 (to save and exit) instead of pressing N. If you press N, you may get same message again.

  • Are you asking if during the POST if power was lost could it cause this error, yes it could.
    – Ramhound
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:24
  • No, I mean, if the above BIOS message can appear after power on after sudden power lost. I will update my post to make it more clear.
    – Askar
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:26
  • Yes. As mentioned above if there is a power failure during POST. Even if there was a power failure after POST, it could lead to this. Any hardware being initialized or in use could stop working and prevent subsequent POST attempts.
    – thilina R
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:31
  • Yet another good reason to invest in a UPS. They're cheap.
    – BillDOe
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:33
  • Can someone please edit the post? :) I don't mean power lost during startup. I mean power lost when I'm already using the OS.
    – Askar
    Apr 21, 2015 at 0:37

2 Answers 2


After POST (i.e. could be in the OS), if there is a power failure, it can result in this message. eg: a device that was in use at the time of the power failure and thus affected by it might fail to initialize and prevent successful POST attempts.

  • 1
    No; pulling power while in the OS would not do this. The power going out, coming back, then going back out again before POST completes, then coming back would.
    – psusi
    Apr 21, 2015 at 2:15
  • @psusi That's interesting. Could you explain why that would cause this error to happen while just the power going out will not cause this to happen?
    – thilina R
    Apr 21, 2015 at 2:31
  • 1
    Isn't it obvious? The power going out and coming back the first time causes a boot, and the power going out the second time before the POST can finish causes the error stating that POST failed ( since the power failed again before it could complete ).
    – psusi
    Apr 21, 2015 at 2:41

I was getting that error even when I'd shut down correctly. It seems like resetting the BIOS to its default settings undid whatever I messed up.

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