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Advanced troubleshooting for Windows boot problems

  • 3 contributors

This article is intended for use by support agents and IT professionals. If you're looking for more general information about recovery options, see Recovery options in Windows 10 .

Applies to:   Windows 10

There are several reasons why a Windows-based computer may have problems during startup. To troubleshoot boot problems, first determine in which of the following phases the computer gets stuck:

PreBoot: The PC's firmware initiates a power-on self test (POST) and loads firmware settings. This pre-boot process ends when a valid system disk is detected. Firmware reads the master boot record (MBR), and then starts Windows Boot Manager.

Windows Boot Manager: Windows Boot Manager finds and starts the Windows loader (Winload.exe) on the Windows boot partition.

Windows operating system loader: Essential drivers required to start the Windows kernel are loaded and the kernel starts to run.

Windows NT OS Kernel: The kernel loads into memory the system registry hive and other drivers that are marked as BOOT_START.

The kernel passes control to the session manager process (Smss.exe) which initializes the system session, and loads and starts the devices and drivers that aren't marked BOOT_START.

Here's a summary of the boot sequence, what will be seen on the display, and typical boot problems at that point in the sequence. Before you start troubleshooting, you have to understand the outline of the boot process and display status to ensure that the issue is properly identified at the beginning of the engagement. Select the thumbnail to view it larger.

Diagram of the boot sequence flowchart.

Each phase has a different approach to troubleshooting. This article provides troubleshooting techniques for problems that occur during the first three phases.

If the computer repeatedly boots to the recovery options, run the following command at a command prompt to break the cycle:

Bcdedit /set {default} recoveryenabled no

If the F8 options don't work, run the following command:

Bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy

To determine whether the system has passed the BIOS phase, follow these steps:

If there are any external peripherals connected to the computer, disconnect them.

Check whether the hard disk drive light on the physical computer is working. If it's not working, this dysfunction indicates that the startup process is stuck at the BIOS phase.

Press the NumLock key to see whether the indicator light toggles on and off. If it doesn't toggle, this dysfunction indicates that the startup process is stuck at BIOS.

If the system is stuck at the BIOS phase, there may be a hardware problem.

Boot loader phase

If the screen is black except for a blinking cursor, or if you receive one of the following error codes, this status indicates that the boot process is stuck in the Boot Loader phase:

  • Boot Configuration Data (BCD) missing or corrupted
  • Boot file or MBR corrupted
  • Operating system Missing
  • Boot sector missing or corrupted
  • Bootmgr missing or corrupted
  • Unable to boot due to system hive missing or corrupted

To troubleshoot this problem, use Windows installation media to start the computer, press Shift+F10 for a command prompt, and then use any of the following methods.

Method 1: Startup repair tool

The Startup Repair tool automatically fixes many common problems. The tool also lets you quickly diagnose and repair more complex startup problems. When the computer detects a startup problem, the computer starts the Startup Repair tool. When the tool starts, it performs diagnostics. These diagnostics include analyzing startup log files to determine the cause of the problem. When the Startup Repair tool determines the cause, the tool tries to fix the problem automatically.

To do this task of invoking the Startup Repair tool, follow these steps.

For additional methods to start WinRE, see Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) .

  • Start the system to the installation media for the installed version of Windows. For more information, see Create installation media for Windows .
  • On the Install Windows screen, select Next > Repair your computer .
  • On the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot .
  • On the Advanced options screen, select Startup Repair .
  • After Startup Repair, select Shutdown , then turn on your PC to see if Windows can boot properly.

The Startup Repair tool generates a log file to help you understand the startup problems and the repairs that were made. You can find the log file in the following location:


For more information, see Troubleshoot blue screen errors .

Method 2: Repair boot codes

To repair boot codes, run the following command:

To repair the boot sector, run the following command:

Running BOOTREC together with Fixmbr overwrites only the master boot code. If the corruption in the MBR affects the partition table, running Fixmbr may not fix the problem.

Method 3: Fix BCD errors

If you receive BCD-related errors, follow these steps:

Scan for all the systems that are installed. To do this step, run the following command:

Restart the computer to check whether the problem is fixed.

If the problem isn't fixed, run the following commands:

Restart the system.

Method 4: Replace Bootmgr

If methods 1, 2 and 3 don't fix the problem, replace the Bootmgr file from drive C to the System Reserved partition. To do this replacement, follow these steps:

At a command prompt, change the directory to the System Reserved partition.

Run the attrib command to unhide the file:

Navigate to the system drive and run the same command:

Rename the bootmgr file as bootmgr.old :

Navigate to the system drive.

Copy the bootmgr file, and then paste it to the System Reserved partition.

Restart the computer.

Method 5: Restore system hive

If Windows can't load the system registry hive into memory, you must restore the system hive. To do this step, use the Windows Recovery Environment or use the Emergency Repair Disk (ERD) to copy the files from the C:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack directory to C:\Windows\System32\config .

If the problem persists, you may want to restore the system state backup to an alternative location, and then retrieve the registry hives to be replaced.

Starting in Windows 10, version 1803, Windows no longer automatically backs up the system registry to the RegBack folder.This change is by design, and is intended to help reduce the overall disk footprint size of Windows. To recover a system with a corrupt registry hive, Microsoft recommends that you use a system restore point. For more information, see The system registry is no longer backed up to the RegBack folder starting in Windows 10 version 1803 .

Kernel phase

If the system gets stuck during the kernel phase, you experience multiple symptoms or receive multiple error messages. These error messages include, but aren't limited to, the following examples:

  • A Stop error appears after the splash screen (Windows Logo screen).
  • Advanced troubleshooting for Stop error 7B or Inaccessible_Boot_Device
  • Advanced troubleshooting for Event ID 41 "The system has rebooted without cleanly shutting down first"
  • The screen is stuck at the "spinning wheel" (rolling dots) "system busy" icon.
  • A black screen appears after the splash screen.

To troubleshoot these problems, try the following recovery boot options one at a time.

Scenario 1: Try to start the computer in Safe mode or Last Known Good Configuration

On the Advanced Boot Options screen, try to start the computer in Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking . If either of these options works, use Event Viewer to help identify and diagnose the cause of the boot problem. To view events that are recorded in the event logs, follow these steps:

Use one of the following methods to open Event Viewer:

  • Go to the Start menu, select Administrative Tools , and then select Event Viewer .
  • Start the Event Viewer snap-in in Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

In the console tree, expand Event Viewer, and then select the log that you want to view. For example, choose System log or Application log .

In the details pane, open the event that you want to view.

On the Edit menu, select Copy . Open a new document in the program in which you want to paste the event. For example, Microsoft Word. Then select Paste .

Use the up arrow or down arrow key to view the description of the previous or next event.

To troubleshoot problems that affect services, do a clean boot by using System Configuration ( msconfig ). Select Selective startup to test the services one at a time to determine which one is causing the problem. If you can't find the cause, try including system services. However, in most cases, the problematic service is third-party.

Disable any service that you find to be faulty, and try to start the computer again by selecting Normal startup .

For detailed instructions, see How to perform a clean boot in Windows .

If the computer starts in Disable Driver Signature mode, start the computer in Disable Driver Signature Enforcement mode, and then follow the steps that are documented in the following article to determine which drivers or files require driver signature enforcement: Troubleshooting boot problem caused by missing driver signature (x64)

If the computer is a domain controller, try Directory Services Restore mode (DSRM).

This method is an important step if you encounter Stop error "0xC00002E1" or "0xC00002E2"

Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft can't guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.


To troubleshoot this Stop error, follow these steps to filter the drivers:

Go to Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) by putting an ISO disk of the system in the disk drive. The ISO should be of the same version of Windows or a later version.

Open the registry.

Load the system hive, and name it test .

Under the following registry subkey, check for lower filter and upper filter items for non-Microsoft drivers:


For each third-party driver that you locate, select the upper or lower filter, and then delete the value data.

Search through the whole registry for similar items. Process as appropriate, and then unload the registry hive.

Restart the server in Normal mode.

For more troubleshooting steps, see Advanced troubleshooting for Stop error 7B or Inaccessible_Boot_Device .

To fix problems that occur after you install Windows updates, check for pending updates by using these steps:

Open a Command Prompt window in WinRE.

Run the command:

If there are any pending updates, uninstall them by running the following commands:

Try to start the computer.

If the computer doesn't start, follow these steps:

Open a command prompt window in WinRE, and start a text editor, such as Notepad.

Navigate to the system drive, and search for windows\winsxs\pending.xml .

If the pending.xml file is found, rename the file as pending.xml.old .

Open the registry, and then load the component hive in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE as test.

Highlight the loaded test hive, and then search for the pendingxmlidentifier value.

If the pendingxmlidentifier value exists, delete it.

Unload the test hive.

Load the system hive, name it test .

Navigate to the following subkey:


Change the Start value from 1 to 4 .

Unload the hive.

If the Stop error occurs late in the startup process, or if the Stop error is still being generated, you can capture a memory dump. A good memory dump can help determine the root cause of the Stop error. For more information, see Generate a kernel or complete crash dump .

For more information about page file problems in Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016, see Introduction to page files .

For more information about Stop errors, see Advanced troubleshooting for Stop error or blue screen error issue .

Sometimes the dump file shows an error that's related to a driver. For example, windows\system32\drivers\stcvsm.sys is missing or corrupted. In this instance, follow these guidelines:

Check the functionality that's provided by the driver. If the driver is a third-party boot driver, make sure that you understand what it does.

If the driver isn't important and has no dependencies, load the system hive, and then disable the driver.

If the stop error indicates system file corruption, run the system file checker in offline mode.

To do this action, open WinRE, open a command prompt, and then run the following command:

For more information, see Using system file checker (SFC) to fix issues .

If there's disk corruption, run the check disk command:

If the Stop error indicates general registry corruption, or if you believe that new drivers or services were installed, follow these steps:

  • Start WinRE, and open a command prompt window.
  • Start a text editor, such as Notepad.
  • Navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Config\ .
  • Rename the all five hives by appending .old to the name.
  • Copy all the hives from the Regback folder, paste them in the Config folder, and then try to start the computer in Normal mode.

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Windows 10 Won't Boot? 12 Fixes to Get Your PC Running Again

Is your Windows 10 PC not booting? Use these helpful tips and fixes to restore your PC and get it to start up again.

Windows 10 won't boot? Don't despair if your computer won't start. There's a huge number of fixes out there. The trick is knowing which tools to use first. Our advice is to start with the easiest fixes and, in order, move to the harder ones.

1. Try Windows Safe Mode

The easiest fix for Windows 10 boot problems is Safe Mode.

It is an alternative boot scheme that starts your computer with a minimum of software. The modified boot process can bypass driver and software problems. The weird thing is, sometimes starting the computer in Safe Mode can fix boot problems . It's not always clear what processes run in Safe Mode, but experience has taught me it's an effective and easy fix.

If your computer doesn't boot, you might have problems entering Safe Mode . There are two relatively easy ways to get into it.

Method 1: Enter Safe Mode From Windows Recovery

Some unbootable computers freeze on the Windows splash screen.

However, you can force the computer to enter Safe Mode by interrupting the boot process three times in a row, which automatically triggers Windows Recovery. Once the Windows Recovery menu appears, do the following:

From the Choose an option recovery window, choose Troubleshoot , then Advanced options , and then Startup Settings .

From Startup Settings, you can reboot the computer into Safe mode, either with the internet-enabled or disabled. Either option should work.

FREE CHEAT SHEET: The Ultimate List of Helpful Windows Alt Codes

Method 2: Safe Mode with a Windows 10 Recovery Drive

If you cannot enter Safe mode, you will need to create a Windows 10 USB recovery drive . The recovery drive contains the Windows 10 recovery environment—which used to be accessible by tapping F8 on boot. Unfortunately, Microsoft decided to eliminate this feature.

Creating a recovery drive requires another Windows 10 computer and a USB drive with at least 512MB of storage. If you want to create a system backup (you'll see an option to back up system files to the recovery drive), you'll need 16GB of storage.

Launch Control Panel > Create a recovery drive .

Then follow the guided instructions.

After creating the recovery drive, you can boot your computer from it only if you've turned on USB drives as bootable from the POST environment, also known as UEFI or BIOS . After enabling USB drives as bootable, insert the drive into your computer and restart (this may require hitting the reset button or holding the power button down for a few seconds).

2. Check Your Battery

If you're using a laptop, battery issues can cause boot problems. It's worth testing an alternate charger cable to see if that solves the problem. Confirm that the cable is working by trying it out on another laptop. Next, remove your system's battery and plug the device into a power source.

Removing the battery will help you discover if a hardware problem is to blame. The key here is to ensure that you're only testing one element at any given time. If power issues interfere with the startup, it's crucial that you know whether the battery, charging cable, or another component requires replacement.

3. Unplug All Your USB Devices

A serious issue with Windows 10 updates is that sometimes your computer won't boot because of a conflict with a USB device. You can solve this problem by unplugging all USB devices (and any other unneeded peripherals) and restarting the computer.

If your computer stays on the same loading screen, removing all USB devices can solve the problem. Other times, you may need to restart the computer.

4. Turn Off Fast Boot

There's a setting inside your BIOS or UEFI called Fast Boot that allows Windows 10 to start faster by preloading drivers. Unfortunately, Windows Update can break Fast Boot compatibility. Fortunately, you can turn Fast Boot on and off through your BIOS rather than inside Windows 10.

The method of entering the BIOS/UEFI screen differs between computers. For instructions on finding the correct method for your computer, please consult our guide to entering a computer's UEFI/BIOS . For most people, tapping the Delete key while booting should trigger the POST environment. The two other keys that might work are F2 and Escape .

After entering BIOS or UEFI, the Fast Boot option is normally part of the Advanced options, although it can be anywhere.

If you don't see any Fast Boot entry, your computer was made before 2013 as they did not include a Fast Boot option.

5. Check Your Other BIOS/UEFI Settings

A misconfigured BIOS/UEFI can prevent your desktop computer from starting.

BIOS/UEFI is a pre-boot environment containing the hardware settings for your computer. They're useful for recovery because they work even when Windows doesn't.

Accessing these settings requires launching your computer in BIOS mode. Once in BIOS mode, check the following settings:

Secure Boot

Secure Boot on the wrong setting can cause your computer not to start. You can disable Secure Boot in the BIOS , but doing so may require that you reset Windows 10 to factory settings and/or reset your BIOS. Furthermore, disabling Secure Boot may stop you from upgrading to Windows 11 .

The reason Secure Boot causes problems is that it's designed to protect computers against malware. Because it checks the drivers and hardware loaded by Windows at startup, any driver or hardware component not recognized by the system will generate an error at boot.

Secure Boot settings are located under Boot options. You can turn it on or off. It should be set to Windows UEFI mode instead of Other OS (usually Linux).

Compatibility Support Module (CSM)

A boot drive formatted using a BIOS system requires an MBR partition table. A UEFI-formatted disk requires a GPT partition table. CSM allows for the UEFI system to function as the older MBR system.

Related: How to Convert MBR to GPT Without Losing Data in Windows

Reset Your BIOS Configuration

If your BIOS settings are incorrect, but you don't know how to fix them, sometimes resetting the BIOS/UEFI to factory defaults fixes the issue.

6. Try a Malware Scan

Malware is a major cause of an unbootable computer. The best method for dealing with malware is a bootable antimalware rescue disk. I prefer Kaspersky's free disk as it only requires downloading the image and using Etcher to image a flash drive or other writable disk. Etcher works in Windows, macOS, and Linux.

You can then boot into the afflicted computer using the rescue disk and remove malware preventing the computer from booting.

Please note that Kasperkey's disk image requires a UEFI system. See Step 5: Check Your Other BIOS/UEFI Settings for details.

Download: Kaspersky Rescue Disk (Free)

7. Boot to Command Prompt Interface

It might still be possible to boot into the Command Prompt. Using this interface, you can perform more troubleshooting procedures. You'll need to have Windows 10 on a bootable disk or USB drive to perform the procedure, so use another computer to set that up before you get started.

To boot to the Command prompt, start your computer. While it's initializing, watch out for details of a combination of keys that will allow you to enter the BIOS. This information is typically delivered alongside the vendor logo.

Navigate to the Boot tab and make either the USB or DVD drive the first bootable device. Your choice here will depend on where your copy of Windows 10 is located. Again, the specifics of this process may vary from one system to another, so consult the on-screen instructions.

Next, insert the disk or drive containing Windows 10 into your system, save your configuration, and restart your PC.

When prompted, use your keyboard to specify that you want to boot using the disk or drive.

Enter the requested language, currency, and input preferences, then select Repair your computer on the next screen. Next, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt , you should then see a window to enter commands.

Related: What Is the Difference Between CHKDSK, SFC, and DISM in Windows 10?

8. Use System Restore or Startup Repair

If you're already booting Windows 10 from a disk or drive, it's well worth utilizing a couple of utilities that are available as part of the process. Once you've booted from the drive as detailed above, you'll get access to options that can get your PC back on track. Look out for links to System Restore and Startup Repair on the Advanced Options screen.

System Restore is a utility that allows you to return to a previous Restore Point when your computer was working normally. It can remedy boot problems caused by a change you made rather than a hardware failure.

Startup Repair is a general-purpose troubleshooter for issues that prevent Windows from starting up. If you're struggling to find the source of your boot issues, it's a good idea to run the utility in case it can find a solution.

9. Reassign Your Drive Letter

A system with more than one drive installed can cause boot issues for Windows 10 users if their operating system (OS) volume has its drive letter unintentionally unassigned. However, you can fix this problem with a minimum of fuss by booting to the command prompt interface.

Boot to a command prompt window as explained above, then enter the following to run the disk partition utility:

Once this is done, input list volume to print the details of all the volumes currently hooked up to your system. If your boot volume doesn't have a letter drive assigned, you will need to assign one.

To assign a letter to a drive, you can use the select and assign letter commands.

For instance, if I wanted to assign the letter E to the Audio CD volume in the above image, I would first input select volume 0 and then input assign letter=E to complete the process.

As always, be very careful when making changes in the command prompt. Making mistakes here can quickly cause further problems with your PC.

10. Dodge the Windows 10 Bootloader

If you run into problems while trying to reinstall Windows 10, you may encounter the new version of the bootloader utility. This can sometimes interfere with booting an existing copy of Windows.

Fortunately, there's a relatively straightforward way to remedy this situation. Boot to the command prompt interface and enter the following:

Restart your computer, and you should find that the legacy bootloader interface has replaced the Windows 10 iteration. You should have no further problems entering Windows 10 Safe Mode or accessing your existing OS installation.

11. Try a Third-Party Utility

Figuring out the cause of the problem is the most challenging part of remedying boot issues. When your system can't even boot, it's difficult to diagnose the problem. However, a third-party utility called Boot Repair Disk might have more success.

Boot Repair Disk is an open-source rescue disk that you can use to automatically find and fix issues preventing your PC from booting. It's very easy to use: you only have to select whether you're using a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows . Tests and any fixes are carried out automatically, although there are options that allow for closer control.

It makes no guarantees of fixing your PC, but it may identify hidden problems.

12. Factory Reset

We're getting into more difficult and destructive repair options. Aside from a factory reset, the more difficult options include restoring and refreshing your computer. Each has its own advantages and weaknesses.

A factory reset destroys some apps and other data , but you can opt to keep some of your files. A Windows 10 factory reset (Microsoft refers to this process as just "reset") restores the computer to its default operating state.

13. Repair Update ("In-Place Upgrade")

The repair installation is similar to a factory reset, except in one big way: it completely reinstalls your operating system. Unfortunately, it requires downloading the entire Windows operating system, and you'll need a functional Windows computer with an internet connection.

This method requires a functional computer, a DVD or USB drive, and an internet connection. More or less, you must download and run the Windows USB/DVD Download Tool and use it to create a bootable installer.

This method is fairly complex, but the following video can guide you through the process.

Windows 10 Boot Problems: Fixed!

Keep in mind that boot differs from Power On Self Test (POST). A computer that doesn't display a splash screen and can't even enter its BIOS or UEFI mode needs its hardware diagnosed for problems .

Solving Windows 10 boot problems is worse than in previous Windows versions, thanks to the removal of an easy-to-access Safe Mode. Yes, you read me right. Microsoft removed the F8 option for booting in Safe Mode to give us a 2-second faster boot. That's why it's extra important that you use a 16GB flash drive to create a system recovery drive.

How to repair and restore Windows 10

Here's how to repair and restore Windows 10 in a few easy steps.

Repair Windows 10

If you're still using Windows 10 (my preference too), but now find it's struggling to load, or maybe it starts up but crashes a lot. Either way, you need to fix the problem before you can use your laptop . If your screen is rotated, we have an easy  fix for that. If the operating system is booting slower than molasses, you can also use power settings to speed up its launch . Otherwise, here are a few ways to repair Windows 10 . By now the way, if you're wondering how to stop a Windows update from automatically restarting your PC , we've got you covered. 

  • Become a Windows 10 wiz with our tips and tricks
  • How to Erase a Recovery Partition in Windows
  • How to install Windows 10 apps to an SD Card or USB Drive

Method 1: Use Windows Startup Repair

If Windows 10 is unable to boot up and takes you to the login screen or the desktop, your first step should be to use Startup Repair. Here's how:

1.  Navigate to the Windows 10 Advanced Startup Options menu. On many laptops, hitting F11 as soon as you power on will get you to the Windows 10 Advanced Startup Options . Booting off an install disk and hitting Next then Repair offers a secondary option.

Once your computer has booted, select Troubleshoot .

And then you'll need to click Advanced options .

2. Click Startup Repair.

Windows will take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes to attempt to fix the problem. (It may not be able to.) If you don't actually have a startup problem, it will also say it can't fix the problem.

Method 2: Use Windows Restore

1. Complete step 1 from the previous method to get to Windows 10's Advanced Startup Options menu .

2. Click System Restore.

The computer will reboot.

3. Select your username.

4. Enter your password .

5. Select a restore point from the menu and follow the prompts. (If you have no restore points, you can't use this method.) 

Method 3: Perform a Disk Scan

Your Windows 10 problems may stem from a corrupt file. If you can boot into the operating system — even if you have to boot into safe mode — you should perform a file scan to check for problems. 

1. Type "cmd" into the main search box.

2. Right click on Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.

3. Type sfc /scannow at command prompt and hit Enter.

The scan will take a while; it should fix any corrupted files it finds.

Method 4: Reset Windows 10

If you want to get a clean start, free from rogue software and drivers, you usually don't need to do a full install. Instead, Windows 10 provides a built-in reset feature that takes your computer back to the way it was before you had any software, special devices, or data preloaded. (On a side note, if you're giving your computer to someone else, resetting is a good way to wipe it.) 

See our tutorial on how to reset Windows 10 to refresh your PC.

Method 5: Reinstall Windows 10 from scratch

If all else fails and you can't even reset your Windows computer, you can reinstall the OS entirely. You won't even need an activation number or any proof of purchase, either. Just make sure you have more than 4GB of space available, as that's how much space the file you'll download takes up. Here's how to reinstall Windows 10:

1. Visit this page and click Download tool now.

2. Click on the download link at the bottom of your screen .

3. Click Accept.

4.  Select Create installation media for another PC and click Next.

7.  Select ISO file and click Next.

7. Click Finish.

7. Open the Windows ISO file you downloaded .

8. Open Setup.

9. Click Next.

10. Click Accept.  Be prepared to wait; this next part may take a while.

11. Click Install. Again, this will take a moment while your system restarts.

12. Wait for your system to restart and install Windows 10.

You've reinstalled Windows 10! We hope this guide fixed your problems. Check out the table of contents below for more fixes.

  • How to get help in Windows 10
  • How to defragment your hard drive in Windows 10

Windows 10 annoyances and problems

  • Previous Tip
  • Repair Windows 10
  • Remove the Lock Screen
  • Disable or Enable Grayscale Mode
  • Set Compatibility Mode for Apps
  • Access the BIOS on a Windows 10 PC
  • Stop Windows Update from Automatically Restarting Your PC
  • Turn Off App Notifications
  • Fix a Slow-Opening Windows Downloads Folder
  • Disable Personalized Ads on Microsoft Sites and Apps
  • Stop Skype’s Annoying Auto Updates
  • Fix a 'Boot Configuration Data File is Missing' Error
  • Clear the Run Command's History
  • Disable Cortana
  • Uninstall and Restore Built-in Apps
  • Restore a Missing Battery Icon
  • Fix a Boot Configuration File Error
  • Get to the Advanced Startup Options Menu
  • Delete a Locked File
  • Restart without Rebooting
  • Roll Back Windows 10 to an Earlier Version
  • Disable Automatic Driver Downloads
  • Disable Internet Explorer
  • Pause Windows Updates for Up to 35 Days
  • Use Battery Saver
  • Downgrade to Windows 10 S
  • Save Netflix Videos for Offline Viewing
  • All Windows 10 Tips
  • Worst Windows 10 Annoyances
  • Disable Password Prompt on Wake

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How to Fix Windows 11/10 Startup Problems

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

David Darlington

Aug 04, 2023 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

Your Windows 11/10 system's startup operation might malfunction due to different reasons. From a malware attack to a problem related to its Master Boot Record – there could be numerous reasons behind it. Thankfully, most of these issues can be fixed. To help you do the same, we have come up with this guide on how to fix Windows 11/10 startup problems. We have listed four different solutions to fix it with an easy solution to recover your lost content. Go ahead and read this guide to learn how to fix Windows 11/10 startup problems.

There are numerous ways to learn how to fix Windows 11/10 startup problems. To make things easier for you, we have listed the top 4 solutions here.

The solution I: Using Startup Repair

  • The automatic startup repair tool is probably one of the best features in Windows 11/10. This can be accessed by launching the Advanced Settings on your system while it is getting started. From there, you can choose to "Troubleshoot" the issue.







Your Safe & Reliable Windows 11/10 Data Recovery Software

  • Recover lost or deleted files, photos, audio, music, emails from any storage device effectively, safely and completely.
  • Supports data recovery from recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorders.
  • Supports to recover data for sudden deletion, formatting, hard drive corruption, virus attack, system crash under different situations.

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  • Windows 10 Backup

Windows 10/11 Startup Repair Not Working? Solved Now!

When you encounter Windows 10/11 Startup Repair not working problems, you can refer to this article and find effective solutions here.

how to fix startup problems windows 10

Overview of Startup Repair not working in Windows 10/11

Windows 10/11 has its own repair tools, and Startup Repair is a frequently used one among them. You can use it to scan and repair some PC issues like corrupted system files or invalid boot files. That is, if your Windows 10/11 won’t boot, you can use installation disc or  system repair disc  to boot into Advanced options, and then perform a Startup Repair.

However, some users find Windows 10/11 Startup Repair not working sometimes. Here are 2 most common cases:

Case 1: Windows 10/11 Startup Repair loop

Windows 10/11 Startup Repair loop is also known as Windows 10/11 Startup Repair stuck. When you encounter this error, Windows 10/11 will boot again and again into Startup Repair and present an endless loop, so that you cannot access anything else on the computer.

Case 2: Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair  failed

Startup Repair is supposed to help you to fix some issues, but it will not always work. Sometimes, you may receive a message on the screen that says Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC.

Windows 10 Automatic Repair Failed

Learn how to resolve Startup Repair not working in Windows 10/11 under the two cases separately. You can also get a bonus tip for system protection. 

● Case 1: Windows 10/11 Startup Repair loop ● Case 2: Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair failed ● Extra tip for fixing Windows 10/11 startup repair issue  🔥

If you cannot use Startup Repair, then your option is to disable automatic restart, run chkdsk and rebuild bcd settings.

● Solution 1: Disable automatic restart ● Solution 2: Run chkdsk ● Solution 3: Rebuild bcd settings

☛ Solution 1: Disable automatic restart

To disable automatic restart, please follow the steps below:

1.  Restart your computer and then on the screen titled "Choose an option", click  Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings  > Restart subsequently.

2. On the Startup Settings screen, press 9 or F9 to choose  Disable automatic restart after failure . After that, just wait for your PC to boot and see if Windows 10/11 Startup Repair loop is solved.

Disable Automatic Restart

☛ Solution 2: Run chkdsk

Corrupted boot partition may cause Windows 10/11 Startup Repair loop issue. You can try to check the boot volume using chkdsk:

1. Restart your computer and then on the screen titled "Choose an option", click  Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command Prompt . 

Advanced Options

2. In the Command Prompt window, type  chkdsk C: / f /r  and press  Enter  to check your system partition for corrupted, invalid or deleted system files.

☛ Solution 3: Rebuild bcd settings

To rebuild bcd settings, you may follow the instructions below:

1. Open Command Prompt as mentioned in Solution 2.

2. Type following command lines and press Enter after each to fix Startup Repair stuck issue:

bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /rebuildbcd

Rebuild BCD

Case 2: Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair failed

If you are told Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair couldn’t repair your PC, then try the following solutions:

☛ Solution 1. Run sfc /scannow command

You can run the sfc /scannow command (System File Checker) to repair system files.

1. Restart your computer. Open Command Prompt in Advanced option as mentioned above.

2. When Command Prompt appears, type bcdedit  and press Enter  to locate the drive where Windows is installed.

3. Type sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows and press Enter  to repair the corrupted files. Remember to replace "d:" with your Windows drive letter.

Repair Complete

4. Restart your computer after the process is done.

☛ Solution 2. Disable early launch anti-malware protection

If you have been facing the problem after installing an anti-malware program, you can disable anti-malware protection to fix Windows 10/11 Automatic Repair failed.

1. Restart your computer. On the screen titled "Choose an option", click  Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings  >  Restart .

2. Press 8 or F8 to select  Disable early launch anti-malware protection  at the list.

Extra tip for fixing Windows 10/11 startup repair issue

As you see, the Windows 10/11 Startup Repair not working problem can be caused by corrupted, invalid or deleted system files. Therefore, it’s important for you to create a system image backup so that you can restore system to a normal state when problems occur.

Here I’d like to recommend the best free backup and restore software  - AOMEI Backupper Standard. It can be used in Windows Visa/XP/7/8/8.1/10/11. It allows you to create not only system backup but also disk backup, partition backup and file backup. Click the button below to download this freeware:

With the intuitive interface, you can create a system image backup via AOMEI Backupper in only three steps: click  Backup  and  System Backup > select a destination path to save the backup image > click  Start Backup .

AOMEI Backupper Backup

If you want to continuously protect your computer, you can create a scheduled backup at daily, weekly, monthly, etc. 

Incremental or differential backup  is recommended, because it only backs up the changed data, thus saving much time and disk space.

To restore your computer when it fails to boot, you can create a bootable disk beforehand.

There are five solutions offered in this article to help you solve the Windows 10/11 Startup Repair not working problem. You can pick one solution according to your situation. To restore from possible system errors, you may backup your computer with AOMEI Backupper. 

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician  or Technician Plus. It allows you to create a portable version of this software and directly run off a USB flash drive without installing on a different computer.

Then, you can use this software to deploy/restore system image file to multiple client-side computers over network, migrate operating system to SSD, clone large SSD to smaller SSD etc.

how to fix startup problems windows 10

How to fix windows 10 startup problems on your PC or Laptop

Getting Different Windows 10 Startup problems such as windows 10 startup repair couldn’t repair your PC, boot configuration data is missing, and windows 10 booting problems after the update. Windows 10 Failed to start, the system crashes and Frequently Restart with Different Blue Screen Errors, Stuck At Black Screen etc. Especially After the Recent windows 10 updates users Windows unable to start, Frequently Restart, and Startup Repair Stuck At repairing windows for hours.

Mostly All these Windows 10 Startup problems occur Due to an Incompatible Device Driver, Disk drive Failure or bad sector Errors, Any Third-party Application or Virus malware infection Causing the Issue. And especially while windows upgrade process system files get Corrupted or missing.

  • 1.1 Access windows Advanced options
  • 1.2 Use the Startup Repair option
  • 1.3 Boot into Safe Mode
  • 1.4 Fix Bootrec Errors
  • 1.5 Run System File Checker Utility
  • 1.6 Run DISM Tool
  • 1.7 Update Device Driver
  • 1.8 Remove Recent install application
  • 1.9 Disable Fast Startup
  • 1.10 Repair Disk Drive Errors

Fix Windows 10 Startup problems

Please enable JavaScript

As Various Reason Behind these windows 10 Startup problems, we have to Apply Different Solutions to Fix And Repair most of Windows 10 Startup problems.  If you are also struggling with windows startup problems laptop computer won’t Start, frequent blue Screen occurs, Stuck At Startup repair etc. Here most applicable Solutions to Get rid of this.

With Windows 10 and 8.1, Microsoft Added windows Advanced options where you can Get Various Troubleshooting Tools such as Startup Repair, Advanced command prompt, system restore, System image recovery, go to the previous build and Start settings where you can Access Safe mode (start windows with minimum system requirement) and allow to perform troubleshooting steps. As due to the Startup Problem windows won’t start, we need to Access windows advanced options to Deal with issues like this.

Access windows Advanced options

To Access windows Advanced options you need windows installation media If you don’t have then create installation media by the following link . When you are ready with the installation media Insert it into the DVD/ CD drive, and Access the BIOS setup by press the Del key. Then move to the boot tab and change the first boot your installation media ( CD/DVD or Removable Device ). Press F10 to save the changes, this will Restart windows and press any key to boot from installation media.

Repair your computer

First Set the language preference, click next and click on the Repair Computer option. On the next screen, Select Troubleshoot then click on Advanced options. This will represent you with various Startup troubleshooting tools to fix different startup problems.

Advanced options

Use the Startup Repair option

When you access Advanced options First use the startup Repair option and let windows fix the problem itself. When you click on startup repair this will restart the windows and start the diagnostic process. And analyze the various settings, configuration options, and system files Especially look for :

  • Missing/corrupt/incompatible drivers
  • Missing/corrupt system files
  • Missing/corrupt boot configuration settings
  • Corrupt registry settings
  • Corrupt disk metadata (master boot record, partition table, or boot sector)
  • Problematic update installation

The Startup Repair Process will take Some Time, be patient and wait until complete the repair process. After that windows will Restart and start normally. If the repair process results startup repair that couldn’t repair your PC or automatic repair that couldn’t repair your PC then follow the next step.

Automatic Repair couldn't repair your pc

Boot into Safe Mode

If startup repair Fails then we need to boot windows into safe mode , which starts windows with minimum system requirements and allows you to perform various troubleshooting steps. To Access safe mode click on Advanced options -> Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings -> Click on Restart -> Then press F4 To access safe mode and F5 To access safe mode with networking as shown below image.

Windows 10 Safe mode

Now When windows boot into safe mode, let’s perform Troubleshooting steps such as run the system files checker tool , Run the DISM tool to repair the system image, check and fix disk error using CHKDKS, Updating or Reinstall drivers, Disabling Fast Startup, Remove recently installed applications, Perform Full system scan to fix virus malware infection etc.

Fix Bootrec Errors

If due To this Startup Problem, Didn’t allow the Boot into safe mode then first we need to repair the Boot record error by performing the following command which allows to boot into safe mode.

To perform the below commands again from Advanced options, click on the command prompt and type the command below one by one and hit enter to execute the same.

  • Bootrec.exe \fixmbr
  • Bootrec.exe \fixboot
  • Bootrec \ScanOS
  • Bootrec /rebuildBcd

Fix Bootrec Errors

After That Restart windows And check Start normally if not then try to boot into safe mode from Advanced options. Hope This time windows allow you to log in to safe mode. Next, perform Bellow troubleshooting steps to fix startup problems and start windows normally.

Run System File Checker Utility

As discussed corrupted, missing system files mostly cause different Startup problems such as blue screen error, stuck at black screen, windows failed to start, startup repair fails etc. Running System file checker Utility scan and repair the missing system files from a special folder located on %WinDir%\System32\dllcache. 

To run the system file checker open the command prompt as administrator, then type the command sfc /scannow and hit the enter key. This will start scanning for missing damaged system files, if found any the utility will restore them itself. Wait until 100% complete the Scanning process After that Restart windows.

system file checker

Run DISM Tool

If the SFC utility Results system file checker found corrupt files but was unable to fix them or windows resource protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. Then we need to run The DISM Tool Which Scan And repairs the System image and allow the SFC utility to do its job.

To Run DISM Tool Again on the same command prompt type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and hit the enter key. The process is slow and sometimes, you may think that it is stuck, usually at 30-40%. However, do not cancel it. It should move after a few minutes. After 100% complete the scanning process again Run the sfc / scannow command.

Update Device Driver

Also, incompatible Device drivers mostly cause Different Startup up problems. Such As Corrupted / outdated Display Drivers mostly cause Different Blue screen errors and Windows stuck at Black screen issues. Update the currently installed drivers especially Display Driver, Audio sound and Network Adapter driver to the latest version help to fix a number of startup problems.

To Update the Device Driver you need to boot into safe mode with networking. (so that you can access the internet connection and download the latest driver from the internet.)

  • Now open Device Manager by press win + R, type devmgmt.msc and hit the enter key.
  • This will display all installed drivers list check any installed driver with a yellow exclamation mark right-click on it and select uninstall.
  • Also Right-click and select update driver for Display Graphic Driver, Audio and network adapter driver.
  • After that Restart windows and start normally check startup problems are fixed.

Remove Recent install application

Also if you notice After installing any third-party application, windows failed to start Then may that Application cause this issue at startup?

  • Press Win + R, type appwiz.cpl and hit enter.
  • Next, select the recently installed application and click uninstall.

Also, perform a full system scan with the latest updated antivirus / anti-malware to check and fix if any virus or malware infection causing the issue. Download and Run Third-party system optimizers like Ccleaner to clean junk, temp file, memory dump, Windows error log etc. And fix Missing, Broken registry errors.

Disable Fast Startup

Most windows users report Disable the Fast startup Feature fixes Different Startup problems such as Blue Screen errors, Black screen at startup etc for them.

To Disable Fast Startup Feature 

  • Press Windows key + R, type powercfg.cpl and click ok
  • Choose What the power buttons do then click on Change Settings that Are currently Unavailable.
  • Then Here under Shutdown Settings Uncheck the option Turn on Fast Startup (Recommended) Click save Changes.

Fast Startup

Repair Disk Drive Errors

Also, check and fix Different Disk Errors using CHKDSK command utility. As discussed these startup problems also cause due to disk errors, Such as faulty Disk drives, Bad Sectors etc. But by adding some extra parameters we can force CHKDSK to check and repair disk errors.

To Run CHKDSK again open the command prompt as administrator. Then type the command chkdsk C: /f /r  or you can add extra /X to dismount the volume if required.

Run Check disk on Windows 10

Then command explained :

Here the command chkdsk prefers to check the Disk Drive for errors. C: represent the drive that checks for errors, normally its system drive C. Then /f  Fixes errors on the disk and /r Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.

As shown above image this will display the message disk is using press Y to chkdsk to process on next restart simply Press Y , close the command prompt and restart windows. On the next boot CHKDSK will start scanning and repairing the process for the drive. Wait until 100% complete the process, After that windows will Restart and Start normally.

These are some most applicable solutions to fix Windows 10 Startup problems such As startup repair couldn’t repair your PC, boot configuration data missing, windows 10 booting problems after the update, system Crashes and Frequent Restart with Different Blue Screen Errors, Stuck At Black Screen etc. I hope After applying the above solutions your startup problem will get resolved and start windows normally. Face any difficulty while apply these solutions, or have any queries or suggestions about this post feel free to discuss on the comments below.

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