- Partition Disk
What to Do If Windows 7 Won’t Boot [12 Solutions]
What to do if Windows 7 won't boot ? If you are still using Windows 7 PCs, you should know how to fix this problem. Fortunately, in this post, MiniTool will offer 11 solutions to you and you can try them one by one.
Windows 7 Won’t Boot [Symptoms and Causes]
In general, when Windows won’t boot, its means that the computer will not respond or the PC gets black screen or blue screen error. The causes of these problems are classified into 2 categories: hardware issue and software issue.
The hardware issues include:
- The battery is drained.
- Some hardware components (like PSU, motherboard, etc.) are broken down.
- Some hardware components (for example, two different RAM cards) are incompatible with one another.
- Unstable hardware connection and dust.
The software issues include:
- Lost or corrupt system files.
- Outdated drivers.
- Virus attack.
Windows 7 Won’t Boot [Solutions]
When the “computer won’t boot Windows 7” issue happens to you, you can try the following methods to solve your problem.
- Charge Your Computer
- Wait Until the PC Is Cooled Down
- Remove External Devices and Newly Installed Components
- Disable Overclocking
- Run Startup Repair
- Diagnose Memory
- Repair System Files
- Update Drivers
- Rebuild MBR
- System Restore or System Image Recovery
- Reinstall System
- Check Bad Sectors
Fix 1. Charge Your Computer
If you press the power button but the Windows 7 PC doesn’t respond, please charge this PC first. It’s very likely that the battery is drained. If you are sure the power is enough, then the cause may be the hardware components like PSU and motherboard. Therefore, I recommend you to get your PC repaired in PC store.
Fix 2. Wait Until the PC Is Cooled Down
Sometimes, the “Windows 7 won’t boot” problem is caused by PC overheating. In this case, you can wait until the PC is cooled down and then try starting this PC again. If this problem is caused by overheating, I recommend you to consider replacing the cooling system.
Are you worried about computer heat? Do you want to get rid of CPU overheating or graphics card overheating? Here are some things you should know about.
Fix 3. Remove External Devices and Newly Installed Components
Have you connected some external devices to your PC? Have you added or replaced some hardware components in your PC? It’s also possible that the “Windows 7 won’t boot” problem is caused by these devices, if these devices are incompatible with your PC and interfere with the normal boot process of Windows.
Therefore, please remove these devices to see whether the problem is solved. These external devices include: printers, scanners, media card readers, small media cradles (iPod, PDA, MP3 player, etc.), digital cameras and video recorders, USB storage devices, CDs or DVDs from all optical drives, docking station, etc.
Fix 4. Disable Overclocking
Many people may like to overclock their CPUs and Memory components, especially gamers. However, do you know overclocking may reduce the stability of accessories and shorten their service life?
Sometimes, Windows 7 won’t boot, just because of improper overclocking. To solve this problem, you can disable the overclocking. If you use software for overclocking, uninstalling the program can solve the problem.
If you use BIOS settings for overclocking, please refer to the following brief tutorial to disable it:
- Restart your PC and press the BIOS key during the booting process. This will make you enter BIOS (firmware).
- Navigate to overclocking configuration page. It may be named Overdrive or AI Tweaker . Expand CPU Configuration and Memory Configuration to disable Speed Step and set performance memory profiles as XMP . Or, you can navigate to Exit page and select Load Setup Defaults , because overclocking is usually disabled in BIOS by default.
- Save changes and exit.
Is Overclocking Safe? Whether to Overclock or Not? Look Here
Fix 5. Run Startup Repair
To run Windows 7 Startup Repair, you should enter WinRE or WinPE. Here are 3 ways to access Startup Repair:
- Way 1: Restart your PC and then press F8 to enter Advanced Boot Options . Then, select Repair Your Computer to get System Recovery Options . In this page, click Startup Repair to check errors.
- Way 2: Continuously make your PC fail to boot for 3 times and it will also make you access the Startup Repair
- Way 3: Use Windows 7 installation disk. This way requires you to connect the disk to PC, boot into BIOS, and change the boot order to make the PC boot from this disk. Then, choose Repair PC , not PC installation .
After enabling Startup Repair, it will check and fix errors.
If the Startup Repair can’t solve the “computer won’t boot Windows 7” problem, you can try other Windows 7 repair tools.
Fix 6. Diagnose Memory
If the RAM bar has something wrong, the Windows 7 also won’t boot. Please check memory for errors. Please go to Advanced Boot Options > System Recovery Options again, and then select Windows Memory Diagnostic . Please pay attention to its Status to see whether there are errors detected.
If it detects errors, you should search online for solutions, or you should replace the RAM with a new one.
4 ways to Open Windows Memory Diagnostic to Check Memory
Fix 7. Repair System Files
If some system files are corrupt, causing Windows 7 not to boot, you can use SFC command to repair these system files. Here is the guide:
- Go to System Recovery Options and choose Command Prompt .
- Type command “ sfc /scannow ” and press the Enter
Once the process ends, restart your PC to see whether the problem is solved.
Fix 8. Update Drivers
Sometimes, outdated drivers may not make CPU and devices like hard drive, RAM, and other parts communicate smoothly, cause “Windows 7 won’t boot” problem. In this case, you can update these drivers to solve this problem. Here is the guide:
- Go to Advanced Boot Options and choose Safe Mode with Networking (if you can’t boot into Safe Mode, you can’t update drivers).
- Click the Start button and search Device Manager to open it.
- Expand every directory to see whether there is a yellow warning mark. If there is, you should update the drive. If there is no yellow, you can also try updating drivers of hard drive, system devices, processor, etc.
Fix 9. Rebuild MBR
MBR (Master Boot Record) is the first sector on the hard drive accessed by a computer in booting process and it records the relevant information about the hard disk itself and the size and location information of each partition on the hard disk.
If MBR is corrupt, Windows 7 won’t boot, too. In this case, you can rebuild MBR through commands. But to rebuild MBR, you should enter WinPE (not WinRE) and then open the command prompt. Then, you should run the following commands one by one.
- bootrec /fixmbr
- bootrec /fixboot
- bootrec /rebuildbcd
Step-by-Step Guide to Repair and Fix MBR Windows 7/8/8.1/10
Fix 10. System Restore or System Image Recovery
If all above methods don’t work for you, you can use this method. The problem is that you may haven’t created a system restore point or a system image. To create system restore points or system images needs you to open system protection.
If the system protection is enabled, it is usually configured that the restore points are created automatically when you install a new app, driver, or update.
If there are system restore points or system images, you can revert your computer to a state before the “Windows 7 won’t boot” issue occurs. In general, the system restore feature won’t affect your personal files, but it will remove apps, drivers, and updates installed after the restore point was created.
But if you use system image recovery option, all files in your PC including personal files, apps, system information, etc. will be restored to the state when the system image is created. That means you may lose data.
Fix 11. Reinstall System
If the above method also fails to repair your PC, you can also try reinstalling your PC. Please note that this method may cause personal files on desktop and in C drive to be lost. If there are important files, please back up them in advance.
Detailed Steps and Instructions to Reinstall Windows 10
Fix 12. Check Bad Sectors
If there are many bad sectors on the system partition, this may also cause Windows 7 not boot. To check bad sector, you can use the following way:
- Boot into Safe Mode .
- Open Windows Explorer .
- Right-click C drive select Properties .
- Navigate to Tools tab and click Check Now button in Error-checking
- Check two disk options and click Start
The above method can only check logical bad sectors. If you want to check physical bad sectors, please use MiniTool Partition Wizard. Here is the guide:
Step 1: Make a USB bootable media with MiniTool Partition Wizard.
- Connect a USB drive to a Windows PC that runs normally still.
- Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard on this PC and click Bootable Media .
- Follow the on-screen instructions to make a USB bootable media.
Step 2: Connect the bootable media to your Windows 7 PC. Power on the PC and then press the BIOS key when booting, so that you can enter the BIOS. Then, in the firmware, set the USB drive/removable device as the first boot device. Then, save and exit. This time, the PC will boot from the bootable media.
Step 3: Wait until MiniTool Partition Wizard opens automatically. Then, right-click on the system disk and choose Surface Test .
Step 4: On the new window, click Start Now button. MiniTool Partition Wizard will start checking the drive for bad sectors. Once bad sectors are detected, they will be marked as red blocks. If there are many red blocks on the drive, you may need to replace the drive.
Please note that if you have tried all methods but the computer won’t boot Windows 7 still, I recommend you get the PC repaired in professional repair stores.
If you have repaired your PC but you find some important files are lost, you can use MiniTool Partition Wizard to recover these files. In addition, if you can’t fix your PC, and need to recover data when Windows 7 won’t boot, you can also use MiniTool Parttition Wizard to recover data (in bootable media mode). Here is the guide:
Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard and click Data Recovery on the toolbar. On the Data Recovery tab, choose the place (desktop, recycle bin, folder, or drive) where you want to recover data and click Scan .
Step 2: After the scanning process is completed, choose the files you want to recover and click Save (in this step, you can preview these files). Then save them on a safe place.
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Is this post useful to you? Do you have other methods to fix the “computer won’t boot Windows 7” problem? Please leave comments in the following zone for sharing. In addition, if you have difficulty in recovering data, please feel free to contact us via [email protected] . We will reply to you as soon as possible.
Windows 7 Won’t Boot FAQ
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How to Perform a Startup Repair in Windows 7
Fix problems in Windows 7 automatically with Startup Repair
- Emporia State University
In This Article
Jump to a Section
- How to Use the Startup Repair Tool
Startup Repair Didn't Fix the Problem?
- Frequently Asked Questions
What to Know
- Boot from the Windows 7 DVD. Fill in the Language to install , Time and currency format , and Keyboard or input method . Select Next .
- Select Repair your computer . In the screen, choose the Windows 7 installation you want to repair.
- Choose Startup Repair . Follow any prompts and accept any suggested changes. Wait. Choose Finish to restart Windows 7.
This article explains how to repair Windows 7 using the Startup Repair Tool after booting from the Windows 7 DVD. If you don't have a physical DVD, you can create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc .
As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support.
How to Repair Windows 7 Using the Startup Repair Tool
The Startup Repair tool repairs Windows 7 by replacing important operating system files that might be damaged or missing. Startup Repair is an easy diagnostic and repair tool to use when Windows 7 fails to start properly and you can't use Safe Mode.
Not using Windows 7? Every modern Windows operating system has a similar operating system file repair process .
Boot From the Windows 7 DVD
To begin the Windows 7 Startup Repair process, you'll need to boot from the Windows 7 DVD .
- Press any key to force the computer to boot from the Windows 7 DVD. If you don't press a key, your PC will try to boot to the operating system that's currently installed on your hard drive. If this happens, just restart your computer and try to boot to the Windows 7 DVD again.
If you want the Startup Repair to work properly, you must remove any flash drives or other USB storage devices, like external hard drives, from your computer before continuing. Due to the way some computers report the storage space on USB connected drives, the Windows 7 Startup Repair may incorrectly report that it found no problems when in fact there may actually be an issue.
Wait for Windows 7 to Load Files
No user intervention is required here. Just wait for the Windows 7 setup process to load files in preparation for whatever task you might want to complete.
In our case, it's a Startup Repair, but there are lots of tasks that could be completed with the Windows 7 DVD.
No changes are being made to your computer during this step. Windows 7 is only temporarily "loading files."
Choose Windows 7 Setup Language and Other Settings
Choose the Language to install , Time and currency format , and Keyboard or input method that you'd like to use in Windows 7.
Choose Next .
Click 'Repair Your Computer'
Click Repair your computer on the bottom-left of the Install Windows window.
This will begin the Windows 7 System Recovery Options which contains several useful diagnostic and repair tools, one of which is Startup Repair.
Do not select Install now . If you already have Windows 7 installed, this option is used to perform a Clean Install of Windows 7 or a Parallel Install of Windows 7.
Wait for System Recovery Options to Locate Windows 7 on Your Computer
System Recovery Options, the set of tools that contains Startup Repair, will now search your hard drive(s) for any Windows 7 installations.
You don't need to do anything here but wait. This Windows installation search shouldn't take more than a few minutes at most.
Choose Your Windows 7 Installation
Choose the Windows 7 installation that you'd like to perform the Startup Repair on.
Select Next .
Don't worry if the drive letter in the Location column doesn't match the drive letter that you know Windows 7 is installed on in your PC. Drive letters are somewhat dynamic, especially when using diagnostic tools like System Recovery Options.
For example, as you can see above, this Windows 7 installation is listed as being on drive D: when it's actually the C: drive when Windows 7 is running.
Choose the Startup Repair Recovery Tool
Click Startup Repair from the list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options.
As you can see, several other diagnostic and recovery tools are available in the Windows 7 System Recovery Options including System Restore , System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic , and Command Prompt .
In this guide, however, we're only repairing operating system files using the Startup Repair tool.
Wait While Startup Repair Searches for Problems With Windows 7 Files
The Startup Repair tool will now search for problems with files that are important to the proper functioning of Windows 7.
If the Windows 7 repair tool finds a problem with an important operating system file, the tool might suggest a solution of some kind that you have to confirm, or it might solve the problem automatically.
Whatever happens, follow the prompts as necessary and accept any changes suggested by Startup Repair.
Wait While Startup Repair Attempts to Repair Windows 7 Files
Startup Repair will now attempt to repair whatever problems it found with Windows 7 files. No user intervention is required during this step.
Your computer may or may not restart several times during this repair process. Do not boot from the Windows 7 DVD on any restart. If you do, you'll need to restart the computer immediately so the Startup Repair process can continue normally.
You won't see this step if Startup Repair didn't find any problems with Windows 7.
Choose 'Finish' to Restart to Windows 7
Select Finish once you see the Restart your computer to complete the repairs window to restart your PC and start Windows 7 normally.
It's possible that Startup Repair didn't fix whatever problem you were having. If the Startup Repair tool determines this itself, it might automatically run again after your computer restarts. If it doesn't automatically run but you're still seeing problems with Windows 7, repeat these steps to run Startup Repair again manually.
Also, be sure to read the Important note on Step 1.
If it becomes apparent that Startup Repair isn't going to solve your Windows 7 problem, you do have some additional recovery options including a System Restore or a System Image Recovery, assuming you have previously backed up your entire computer.
You could also try a Parallel Install of Windows 7 or a Clean Install of Windows 7.
However, if you've tried a Startup Repair of Windows 7 as part of another troubleshooting guide, you're probably best served by continuing with whatever specific advice that guide is giving as your next step.
Several programs and files could be responsible for filling your hard drive, so open System > Settings > Storage > Show more categories to see a breakdown of what's eating up all of your storage. Temporary files may be a significant contributor, in which case run Disk Cleanup and select Clean up system files .
To take a screenshot in Windows without the snipping tool, press the Windows logo key + PrtScn to copy the screen to the clipboard, then press Ctrl + V to paste it into your program of choice. If your keyboard doesn't have a PrtScn button, press Fn + Windows logo key + Space Bar instead.
To perform a factory reset in Windows 7 , there are a few different methods available. The simplest method is to use the Windows 7 setup disk (or from an external drive with the necessary files) to perform a clean install .
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5 Quick Fixes to Startup Repair in Windows 7 Not Working
Have you ever suffered from Startup Repair Windows 7 not working or are you suffering from it now? Go ahead and see this article, it will offer you good solutions.
By Ivy / Updated on October 20, 2022
Case 1: Startup Repair stuck
Case 2: startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically, method 1: run chkdsk on the boot volume, method 2: disable automatic restart, method 1. run the sfc /scannow command (system file checker) to repair file system, method 2: manually attempt to rebuild the bcd, method 3: fix windows files manually.
- Startup Repair in Windows 7 not working | Try its alternative
Overview of Startup Repair in Windows 7 not working
Startup Repair is one of the recovery tools in the System Recovery Options menu. It can be used to scan your computer and fix missing or damaged system files that prevent Windows from starting correctly. When Windows 7 fails to boot properly, this tool can be used to scans your PC for issues like corrupt system files or an invalid boot file, then tries to fix the problem.
However, sometimes, when you use this tool, you may meet Startup Repair loop or Startup Repair not working issue in Windows 7. Here not working basically has two situations: Startup Repair stuck and Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically.
Windows 7 Startup Repair stuck also can be called Startup Repair Windows 7 loop. This error prevents you from accessing anything on your computer and presents an endless loop of loading Startup Repair.
My 2-year-old shut down my computer manually and Since then, I have been unable to turn the computer on. It is stuck in startup repair. My husband tried to do a system restore, but it went straight back to startup repair. Please advise!
When your operating system does not start properly, and you try to repair it with Startup Repair. However, the error message "Startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically" pops up and prevents the Startup Repair to fixing some problems of your PC.
Tried to boot up my computer this morning and was given the message: “Startup Repair cannot repair this computer automatically”. I'm running Windows 7 Professional, installed onto a Crucial M4 SSD. Would anyone be able to help me resolve this? Thanks a lot.
2 Solutions to startup repair stuck
If you stuck on computer startup repair screen, the problem is probably caused by damaged or corrupted BCD settings or corrupted boot partition. Follow the following steps to solve this problem.
The command line chkdsk tool can be used to check (and sometimes repair) your drives for file system corruption.
Open Command prompt from System Recovery Options and type chkdsk C: /f to check your installation for corrupted, invalid or deleted system files.
1. Restart your computer
2. Wait for your BIOS to complete POST (the screen with your manufacturer logo and/or system information)
3. Quickly begin tapping F8 repeatedly, until you see the list of boot options
4. Choose “Disable automatic restart on system failure”
5. Press Enter and wait for your PC to boot.
Note: this will not fix the boot error you are experiencing in and of itself
3 Solutions to startup repair cannot repair this computer automatically
Sometimes, your windows got corrupted in a really bad condition that Startup repair cannot fix it, or some files need to be replaced because of some minor fault in your previously installed Windows.
Solving this problem, you need to troubleshoot it step by step and fix the real problem.
1. Restart your computer.
2. Start pressing F8 repeatedly until the Startup Options screen is displayed.
3. Select Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
4. When Command Prompt appears, type the following command: sfc /scannow /offbootdir=d:\ /offwindir=d:\windows.
5. Press Enter and restart your computer after the process is done.
Open Command prompt from System Recovery Options and type
Open CMD from System Recovery Options and then type the following command:
Command 1: - C: (change the CMD path)
Command 2: - dir
Command 3: - cd\windows\system32\config
Command 4: - dir
Command 5: - MD mybackup
Command 6: - copy *.* mybackup
Command 7: - CD RegBack
Command 8: - DIR
Command 9: – copy *.* ..
Command 10: – exit
Startup Repair in Windows 7 not working | Try its alternative
If the problem is too severe that all the above-mentioned method cannot solve the problem, you can try to perform a system restore. System restore can always be a simple solution to fix for this issue.
Choose System Restore from System Recovery Option, follow the instruction and choose the appropriate point. The precondition is you have enabled the System Restore on your computer or you have created a system backup. The only limitation is you cannot restore system to a dissimilar computer.
Here is a third party software – AOMEI Backupper Standard , allowing you to restore system to the previous state even you cannot boot your computer. Make a bootable CD or USB by AOMEI. Suppose you have already created a system backup . If not, please download this software and create one ahead of time.
Boot the computer from the bootable media and it will take you to the main interface of AOMEI Backupper. Click Restore and follow the instructions. It only takes you a few clicks. If you want to restore to a dissimilar hardware , tick Universal Restore. Here is the Restore interface.
With AOMEI Backupper, you do not need to bother about Startup Repair in Windows 7 not working issue. This software also can be applied to Windows 8/8.1/10/Visa/XP.
If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician . With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.
System restore did not completely successful.
Are you confronted with the issue “System Restore did not complete successfully” with different error codes? Read this article thoroughly to get corresponding reasons and solutions.
Computer Stuck in Windows 7 System Restore
It is annoying that computer stuck on windows 7 system restore. Don't worry, you can learn 5 ways to fix this problem easily. Please read on.
Windows 10 Startup Repair Not Working: Solved
When you encounter Windows 10/11 Startup Repair not working problems, you can refer to this article and find effective solutions here.
Windows 7 Startup Issues Troubleshooting （7 Effective Ways）
How to do Windows 7 startup issues troubleshooting? Here are some ways prepared for you. You can try them one by one until your computer boot successfully.
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7 Solutions to Fix Windows Failed to Start Windows 7 Error
Many Windows 7 users may be familiar with this error “ Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause .” The error message will also give users a couple of options to resolve the issue like running Startup Repair or starting Windows normally, as the following screenshot shows.
See: What Should Be Done if a System Cannot Boot from the Hard Drive
There are various Windows boot errors and this one is a typical error for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems. What leads to this error? The following contents will show you the most common causes.
Reasons for Windows Failed to Start Error
the following reasons are possible causes of a Windows failed to start error.
1. Missing or Corrupted BCD File
The most likely cause of the Windows failed to start error is the missing or corrupted BCD file. The reasons for BCD file missing or corruption are various. There could be disk write errors or power outages and so on. If the BCD file is missing, your computer will show the error “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.”
2. Bad or Outdated Driver Issues
Sometimes bad drivers can cause the Windows failed to start Windows 7 error as Windows begins to load.
3. The Corruption of System Files
The file system itself may become corrupt or damaged due to some reasons. If you turn off a PC while it is in the middle of writing crucial data to the boot sector, you may encounter this Windows 7 failed to start error. System file corruption may also cause boot issues like error “ Recovery your PC needs to be repaired ” if you use Windows 10.
When people come across the Windows failed to start error, what they worry about the most is the data saved on the computer. Well, how to get files off the unbootable computer?
How to Get Files off from an Unbootable Computer
You can try MiniTool Partition Wizard’s Data Recovery feature to recover important files from the computer with Windows failed to start error immediately. Just follow the steps as below.
Step 1. Get MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate from the following button and install it on a normal computer.
Step 2. Create a bootable USB drive or CD/DVD disc using the Bootable Media embedded in this software to boot the computer with the Windows failed to start error.
Step 3. Connect the boot disk you’ve made to the computer with Windows failed to start error.
Step 4. Enter the BIOS settings menu of your computer to give the bootable USB drive or disc boot priority. Then boot from the disk.
Step 5. When you get to the interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard, launch the Data Recovery wizard.
Step 6. After launching the Data Recovery function, you can see that all the detected disk partitions are arranged by drive letters.
Here Data Recovery will list 5 parts, and every part is different from each other.
- Recovery Result: this section will show the last scanning result record and you can manually load scanning result to check recovered files directly.
- Logical Drive: this section will show all existing partitions on your computer including removable devices.
- Lost Partition: this section will show all lost partitions detected by Data Recovery and then you can recover data from lost partitions.
- Unallocated Space: this section will show all unallocated spaces on your computer.
- Hard Disk : this section will list all hard disks on the computer. Users can also select a hard disk to scan.
Step 7. You can select a partition and click Scan . Here I take partition G as an example.
Note: In the bootable edition, every partition has its drive letter including the system reserved partition. So, the drive letter of the system partition can be changed. You can pay attention to the partition size to make sure you choose the right partition to recover.
Step 8. Waiting for the scanning completion. During the process of scanning, you can pause or stop the scanning by clicking the Pause or Stop button if you find what you need.
Step 9. After completing the scan, you can check items that you need and click Save button.
Step 10. At last, choose a directory to save selected files. It is recommended to save the recovered files on another drive. Otherwise, the lost/deleted data could be overwritten. You can save the files to a USB drive or other external devices.
This is how to get files off with MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate when computers won’t boot. If you want to rescue important files immediately, try this.
Well, after recovering the essentials, how can we fix the Windows failed to start Windows 7 error? To fix this issue, use the following top 7 solutions to fix “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.”
Solution 1. Remove Newly Installed Hardware or External Devices and Reboot.
If you installed any hardware (such as printers or scanners) before you met the “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.” error, just remove the hardware you installed (especially all other unnecessary hardware with only the mouse and keyboard kept) and restart the computer.
Solution 2. Use the Last Known Good Configuration to Boot up Windows
When you are faced with “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.” error, you can try booting into the Last Known Good Configuration option, which might save your computer.
Step 1. Restart your computer and press F8 continuously until you see the list of boot options.
Step 2. Choose Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced) from the list and press Enter .
Step 3. Wait and see if Windows can boot up successfully.
If not, you may try using Startup Repair with detailed steps in Solution 3.
Solution 3. Run Startup Repair
Step 1. Insert a Windows installation disc into the computer with Windows failed to start error.
Step 2. Restart the computer with its power button. You should be able to see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”. Follow the instructions and boot.
Step 3. Choose your language and other preferences and then click on Next .
Step 4. On this screen, click on Repair your computer in the bottom left corner.
Step 5. Select the operating system you want to repair and then select Next .
Step 6. On the System Recovery Options menu, select Startup Repair , and then follow the on-screen instructions. When it completes, restart your computer to see if it fixed the problem.
When the startup repair process is done, you may restart your computer and check if Windows failed to start Windows 7 error disappears.
When you receive the following message in the picture, it means that the startup is unable to solve Windows failed to start error and you might resort to another method instead.
Solution 4. Rebuild BCD Configuration
The missing or corruption of BCD file is also a critical reason for the Windows failed to start error. You can follow the steps as below to rebuild BCD in command prompt.
Step 1. Insert the Windows 7 installation disc and restart your computer.
Step 2. Boot from the disc by pressing any key when the “Press any key to boot from CD” message appears.
Step 3. On the Install Windows page, choose your language and other preferences, and then select Next .
Step 4. Select the Windows operating system you want to repair, and then select Next .
Step 5. On the System Recovery Options page, choose Command Prompt .
Step 6. Then input the following commands in the Command Prompt window and press Enter after each command.
- bootrec.exe /fixmbr
- bootrec.exe /fixboot
- bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
Solution 5. Run CHKDSK Utility
Step 2. Boot from the disc by pressing any key when the “ Press any key to boot from CD ” message appears.
Step 4. Select the operating system you want to repair, and then select Next .
Step 5. On the System Recovery Options page, select Command to open a command prompt window.
Step 6. Input the following command and press Enter .
chkdsk c: /f /x /r
Solution 6. Perform a System Restore
Step 1. Insert the Windows install disc.
Step 2. Press a key when the “ Press any key to boot from CD or DVD ” message appears on your screen.
Step 3. Click on Repair your computer after selecting a language, time and keyboard method.
Step 4. Select the drive where you installed Windows (usually C:) and click Next.
Step 5. Select System Restore from the System Recovery Options window.
Step 6. Follow the System Restore wizard instructions to select a restore point.
Step 7. Restore your PC by clicking Finish .
Solution 7. Reinstall Windows Operating System
If none of the solutions listed works, you may need to reinstall Windows altogether. Since reinstalling Windows will clear all of the data and third-party programs on your computer, you’d better backup everything on the disk.
Step 1. Also, get MiniTool Partition Wizard Pro Ultimate to create a bootable USB drive on a normally running computer.
Step 2. Boot your computer with the USB drive/disc and get the main interface of MiniTool Partition Wizard. Select the disk that you want to copy and click on Copy Disk .
Step 3. Follow the instructions on the Partition Wizard and at last click Apply on the upper left corner.
Then you can reinstall Windows 7.
Step 2. Restart the computer with its power button. Press any key to boot when you see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”.
Step 4. On this screen, click on Install now to start Windows 7 reinstallation.
After reinstallation, you can manage Windows 7 disks and partitions with a professional Windows 7 partition manager and backup Windows 7 regularly in case of any accidental boot failure.
“By following the steps in this post, I successfully fixed “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.” error after trying a few solutions in this post. If you have the same issue, why not have a try? Click to tweet
After reading this post, have you resolved the issue after trying the above solutions for the Windows 7 failed to start error? Hope you were able to fix the problem via these methods.
If you have any other good solutions for the “Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause.” Windows 7 error, you can leave a message on the following comment zone and we will respond as soon as possible. If you need any help when using MiniTool software, you can contact us via [email protected] .
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Use Bootrec.exe in the Windows RE to troubleshoot startup issues
When you use the Recovery Environment (Windows RE) to troubleshoot startup issues, first try the Startup Repair option in the System Recovery Options dialog box. If this does not resolve the issue, or if you have to manually troubleshoot additional issues, use the Bootrec.exe tool. This article talks about how to use the Bootrec.exe tool in the Windows RE to troubleshoot and repair the following items in Windows Vista or Windows 7:
A master boot record (MBR)
A boot sector
A Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store
You can also use the Bootrec.exe tool to troubleshoot a Windows Boot Configuration Data file is missing required information error.
How to run the Bootrec.exe tool
To run the Bootrec.exe tool, first start the Windows RE:
Put the Windows Vista or Windows 7 media in the DVD drive, and then start the computer.
Press a key when you are prompted.
Select a language, a time, a currency, a keyboard, or an input method, and then click Next .
Click Repair your computer .
Select the operating system that you want to repair, and then click Next .
In the System Recovery Options dialog box, click Command Prompt .
Type Bootrec.exe, and then press Enter.
The Bootrec.exe tool supports the following options. Use the option that's appropriate for your situation.
This option writes a Windows 7 or Windows Vista-compatible MBR to the system partition. It does not overwrite the existing partition table. Use this option when you must resolve MBR corruption issues, or when you have to remove nonstandard code from the MBR.
This option writes a new boot sector to the system partition by using a boot sector that's compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Use this option if one of the following conditions is true:
The boot sector was replaced with a nonstandard Windows Vista or Windows 7 boot sector.
The boot sector is damaged.
An earlier Windows operating system was installed after Windows Vista or Windows 7 was installed. In this situation, the computer starts by using Windows NT Loader (NTLDR) instead of Windows Boot Manager (Bootmgr.exe).
This option scans all disks for installations that are compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. It also displays the entries that are currently not in the BCD store. Use this option when there are Windows Vista or Windows 7 installations that the Boot Manager menu does not list.
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backup
attrib bcd -s -h -r
ren c:\boot\bcd bcd.old
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Article Number: 000123362
How to Run Windows Startup Repair on a Dell computer
Summary: this article provides instructions on how to run windows startup repair in windows 11, windows 10, windows 8 or 8, and windows 7. startup repair is a microsoft windows feature that can fix problems with files that are required to boot the operating system. ... view more view less, article content, article properties.
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Run Windows Startup Repair
Duration: 01:03 Closed captions: English only
Startup repair also called Automatic Repair in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 is an integrated troubleshooting utility in Microsoft Windows that is designed to quickly fix the most common issues that may be preventing your computer from booting into the operating system.
Startup repair can help with:
- The computer cannot boot into Windows that is caused by corrupt registry entries.
- The computer cannot boot into Windows due to missing or corrupt system files or drivers.
- The computer cannot boot into Windows due to disk metadata corruption on the MBR, partition table, boot sector, or file system.
- The boot configuration data is corrupt.
- Identify bad memory and hard disk hardware errors.
Startup repair cannot repair unbootable Windows computers if:
- The hardware device is faulty.
- There are issues with a clean installation of Windows or Windows upgrades such as upgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11.
- The computer boots into Windows but cannot log in to a user account.
- The computer is affected by viruses, trojans, or other malware.
No cause information is available.
There are multiple ways to initiate startup repair. This feature can be run from the desktop, but it can also be run from outside Windows using the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE). Also, if the computer cannot boot into the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE), Startup Repair can be run using a Windows installation disk.
The computer initiates Startup Repair when the computer fails to boot into the operating system two times consecutively. If Startup Repair fails to initiate, use a Windows installation disk.
How to initiate startup repair using the Settings app in Windows
- Open the Settings app. Press the Windows + I keyboard shortcut.
- Go to Update & Security .
- Select the Recovery tab.
- Under Advanced Startup , click Restart Now .
- After the computer reboots, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair .
- After the startup repair process is complete, reboot the computer.
- If the computer fails to boot into the operating system, initiate startup repair using the Windows installation disk .
How to initiate startup repair from the desktop or lock screen
- Click Start .
- Click the power button icon .
- Press and hold down the Shift key and then click Restart . Continue to hold the Shift key until the computer reboots.
- Select Troubleshoot .
- Go to Advanced Options > Startup Repair .
How to initiate startup repair using a Windows installation disk
- Create a Windows installation disk using the Dell OS Recovery tool.
- Connect the USB installation disk to the computer.
- Turn on the computer and tap the F12 key until you enter the One Time Boot menu .
- Select the USB drive from the list and press Enter .
- The computer boots using the USB installation disk.
- Select your language.
- Choose the language to install , time and currency format , keyboard or input method, and then click Next .
- On the Windows Setup screen, click Repair your computer .
Startup Repair can fix most problems with Windows. However, if the startup repair does not resolve the issue, back up your personal data and reinstall the operating system .
How to initiate startup repair in windows 7.
- Create a Windows 7 installation disk using the Dell OS Recovery tool.
- Turn on the computer and tap the F12 key until you enter the One Time Boot Menu .
- The computer boots to the USB installation disk.
- When you see the message Press any key to boot from CD or DVD , press Enter . NOTE: If you do not press a key, the computer tries to boot to the operating system that is installed on the hard drive. If this happens, restart the computer and try to boot to the Windows 7 installation disk.
- In the System Recovery Options window, select the Windows 7 installation and click Next .
- After the startup repair process is complete, click Finish to reboot the computer.
Startup Repair can fix most problems with Windows. However, if the startup repair does not resolve the issue, back up your personal data and reinstall the operating system.
What to do if startup repair did not fix the issue?
It is possible that startup repair did not fix the Windows startup problem. The startup repair might automatically run again after the computer restarts.
If startup repair fails to fix the Windows startup problem, try the following troubleshooting steps next.
- Restore the computer to an earlier date using Windows System Restore .
- Repair the operating system files using the system file checker utility in Windows .
- Back up your personal data and reinstall the operating system .
Here are some recommended articles related to this topic that might be of interest to you.
- How to access the Windows Recovery Environment in Windows
- Booting to the Advanced Startup Options Menu in Windows 11 and Windows 10
- Dell Computer Does Not Boot to Windows 11 or Windows 10
- How to Resolve the Windows 10 Infinite Boot Loop Problem
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Last Published Date
18 Oct 2023