Windows OS

How to Troubleshoot Windows Boot Issues

There can arise situations when your Windows is not booting up which is quite frustrating. There could be multiple reasons behind this, and in some unfortunate situations, you cannot even access your data. To fix the boot-related issues, Microsoft added an automated Windows tool, called the “Startup Repair” tool, but there are a few other fixes as well. Let’s explore them all as we fix the Windows boot issues.

Today’s guide covers the following content:

Causes of Windows Boot Issues.

How to Fix Windows Boot Issues?

Causes of Windows Boot Issues

There can be multiple reasons for Windows boot issues, and they are discussed as follows:

Software Conflicts

An incompatible driver, malfunctioning software, or conflicting apps are the most common causes of Windows systems not booting up. For example, if you have installed a new driver which is incompatible with your operating system, it will cause boot issues.

Hardware Issues

Sometimes, a hardware issue such as old or faulty RAM or hard drive can prevent the system from booting. The best example would be a failing hard drive preventing the system from loading the necessary OS files.

Corrupted System Files

Critical system files may become damaged or corrupted, thereby disrupting the boot process. It can be due to sudden power outages, improper shutdowns, or malware infections. For instance, if a virus infects your system, it may modify or delete essential system files, resulting in boot issues.

Viruses, Trojans, or other malware can interfere with the boot process or modify system files, causing boot issues. For instance, ransomware may encrypt critical system files, rendering them inaccessible and preventing Windows from booting.

How to Fix Windows Boot Issues?

Following are the fixes you should try if you are facing boot issues on Microsoft Windows:

Solution 1: Unplug all the Connected Devices

A faulty USB or any other connected device can often prevent the system from booting. So, the first thing you should try is to unplug all the devices which are connected to the system, whether it is a printer or a USB. Also, check for loose wires, especially the ones connected to the hard drive and PSU.

Solution 2: Using the “Startup Repair” Tool

The “Startup Repair” tool is your best bet in fixing boot-related issues in any Windows OS. It analyzes the cause of the problem from the log files and automatically corrects them. It is usually launched when the OS detects a boot issue, but if it doesn’t, press the “SHIFT” key on the Windows boot screen (where you enter the user account credentials) and then “Restart”:

Note: The “BIOS” menu will open on boot when the system is rebooted while holding the “Shift” key.

From the following screen, select “Troubleshoot”:

Now select “Advanced options”:

Select “Startup Repair” from the next screen that appears:

Here, choose the “Account” to continue:

Now, enter the password for the selected user account:

The “Repair” process will start now, and once it is completed, you shall be taken to the main screen, from where you must select either “Continue” to exit this or “Turn off your PC”:

This will probably fix all the Windows boot-related issues; if it doesn’t, follow the next solution.

Solution 3: Repair “Boot Codes”

The “Boot Codes” are the instructions for the system that aid in the loading and running of the system. The errors in these instructions could mess up the whole boot process. It is fixed from the “Command Prompt” opened from the “Startup Repair” tool. To open it, navigate to “Troubleshoot => Advanced options”:

Now select “Command Prompt”:

Once launched, enter the following command that can get rid of the issues:


Solution 4: Using the “DISM” Utility

The “DISM” or “Deployment Image Servicing and Management” can be utilized in situations when a critical Windows file is corrupt. This file can be the one involved in Windows boot that can be fixed. To determine and fix the possible corruption issues with the Windows image, follow these steps:

Step 1: Launch the Command Prompt

The “Command Prompt” is a “Command Line Interface or CLI” that enables the users to manage their systems using the commands. To launch it and run “DISM”, press the “Windows” key and enter “CMD” or “Command Prompt”. Also, make sure to run it as “Administrator”:

Step 2: Perform a System Repair Using the “DISM” Tool

Now, enter the following command to trigger the system repair using the “DISM” tool and give it some time to complete the process:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

It may take a while to complete, and guess what? It also fixes the issues that are preventing Windows from automatically updating.

Solution 5: Turn Off the “Fast Boot”

In “BIOS” or “UEFI”, there exists a setting called the “Fast Boot”. It works by enabling Windows to preload the system drivers, which leads to faster boot times. However, it can be problematic as it may cause conflicts with the Windows update, so it must be disabled by entering the “BIOS/UEFI” settings, and using the following keys based on your system’s manufacturer:

Manufacturer Key to Enter the BIOS/UEFI Settings
HP F10
Realme, Lenovo, Samsung, ASUS, and Toshiba F2
Dell F12 or F2
Xiaomi F9

Also, you can enter these settings by restarting the Windows into the “Startup Repair” tool by following these steps:

Step 1: Open the “Recovery” Settings

The “Recovery” settings allow the users to recover their system from an error that is possibly caused by a software conflict. To enter “BIOS/UEFI” settings from these settings, press the “Windows” key and enter “Recovery”:

From the following window, click on the highlighted option:

Step 2: Navigate to Advanced Options

Now, click on the “Restart now” button in the “Advanced startup” section:

It will now take you to the “Advanced options” from where you must select “UEFI Firmware Settings”:

Upon restart, you will be prompted to press a key mentioned earlier to enter the “BIOS/UEFI” settings. From these settings, head to the “BOOT”, look for “Fast Boot” and disable it.

Solution 6: Perform a Malware Scan

As a part of the Windows protective mechanism, sometimes the system may fail to boot because of a malware infection/attack. To get rid of it, ensure the system is malware-free. It can be done using the built-in “Windows Defender Software” which is launched by entering “Windows Security” after pressing the “Windows” key:

From the following window, select “Virus & threat protection”:

Now start the “Scan” by triggering the “Quick scan” button which will get rid of the malware in your system:


The “Windows Boot Issues” can be fixed using the “Startup Repair” tool that scans and fixes almost all the boot-related issues. Sometimes, an attached device can cause delays in the boot, so disconnecting them might help. Other methods that can help you get rid of boot-related issues include “Repairing Boot Codes”,” Using the “DISM Utility”, “Turning Off the Fast Boot” or “Performing a Malware Scan”. This guide explored the solutions to troubleshoot Windows boot/startup issues.

About the author

Talha Saif Malik

Talha is a contributor at Linux Hint with a vision to bring value and do useful things for the world. He loves to read, write and speak about Linux, Data, Computers and Technology.