The partially premixed combustion (PPC) concept has shown high efficiency with low soot emissions. However, the in-cylinder phenomena are still to be explained and evaluated for further progress in the research. This work studies the start of combustion process during a transition from homogenous charge compression ignition (HCCI) to PPC. The process is visualized using a heavy-duty, non-swirling engine modified for optical access. High speed video was used to capture the natural luminosity of the combustion. The fuel used was PRF87. Single and double injection strategies were used at a load kept to the moderate level of 7.5 bar IMEPg. Single injections were swept from early HCCI to retarded PPC conditions whilst running a cycle to cycle temperature sweep, to capture the effect of injection timing and temperature differences simultaneously. Results show that retarded injections show less cycle-to-cycle variation due to temperature variations. Advanced in-bowl injections show a stochastic behavior in the location of the first combustion, due to large variations in local fuel rich zones. For the double injection case the main injection cools the bulk temperature and hence delays the start of combustion before igniting in the fuel rich zones.