Fix problems that keep Windows from loading, with Startup Repair
Is your Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 computer or device unable to load the operating system successfully? Is Windows reporting missing or damaged system files? If that's the case, you should try to boot from a recovery drive and use the Startup Repair tool. It’s the only tool that can repair your system and it can save you from having to reinstall the operating system. Here's how it works:
What does Startup Repair do?
This tool is useful only when Windows fails to boot properly. Startup Repair is designed to fix problems like missing or damaged system files used to load the Windows operating system. It can’t detect or fix hardware failures nor does it help against virus attacks and the damage they do. It scans your computer or device for system issues (corrupt system files, invalid boot files) and then tries to fix the problem.
How to launch Startup Repair in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1
In order to use this tool, you need to boot your Windows computer from a recovery drive. Which you can create on a working Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 computer. If you don’t know how to do that, here are two tutorials on how to create such a drive in Windows 10, and in Windows 8.1:
- How to create a recovery drive in Windows 10
- How to create a recovery drive on a USB memory stick in Windows 8 & 8.1
Before we go any further, you should know that the steps you’ll have to follow and the options you’ll get are the same in both operating systems - Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 - so, in order to keep things simple, we’ll only use screenshots taken in Windows 10.
Once you have recovery drive created, boot from it. In order to do that, plug it in and start your computer or device. Immediately after your PC starts, press the boot device selection key from your keyboard. It’s usually the F12, F11 or the Escape key, but it could be another as well, depending on the manufacturer of your computer’s mainboard.
Doing that will make your computer display a boot priority selection menu. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select the USB recovery drive. Then, press Enter.
Once your PC boots from the USB drive, you will be asked to choose the keyboard layout that you want to use. When this happens, click or tap on the layout that matches your keyboard. To navigate between all the available keyboard layouts, press “See more keyboard layouts”.
The list of available keyboard languages is quite long and you may have to scroll a lot until you find the layout that you want to use.
How to use Startup Repair in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1
On the next screen, you should click or tap on Troubleshoot (Reset your PC or see advanced options).
On the Advanced options screen, click or tap on Startup Repair (Fix problems that keep Windows from loading).
The Startup Repair tool will now automatically begin “diagnosing your PC”.
After a while, if problems have been found, Startup Repair will attempt to repair them.
If Startup Repair managed to repair your problems, you are informed and you can restart your Windows computer or device and use it normally again.
If, however, the problems couldn’t be repaired, you will be told about it and you’ll have the option to access the Advanced options screen again, where you can find other troubleshooting tools. Or... you can simply Shut down your computer.
As you can see from this guide, Startup Repair is very easy to use. The only slightly more difficult part is booting from the recovery media and starting the tool. And that's why we have created this guide. Hopefully, many of you, our readers, will be able to solve your issues with Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 not loading correctly. Good luck!