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Like every day, you sit in your chair and press the power button to start your PC. However, to your disappointment, you soon realize that your Windows 10 won’t start up like it did the last time you sat down. This article describes what to do when Windows 10 won’t start and you can boot into the recovery environment. A recovery environment is like a small operating system that allows you to troubleshoot when Windows 10 won’t start. There are several troubleshooting steps that users can try, which are outlined below.
Although Microsoft has been constantly improving its Windows operating system, problems like this still occur from time to time. But don’t give up just yet, we have a solution for you. Below, we will go over all the possible methods to restart your computer when Windows won’t start. Let’s start with that right now.
How to fix ‘Windows 10 won’t start’ issue
Try Windows Safe Mode
Switch to safe mode via Windows Restore.
Some non-bootable computers stop at the Windows startup screen. However, you can force the computer to enter Safe Mode by interrupting the startup process three times in a row, which will automatically trigger Windows Restore. Once the Windows recovery menu appears, do the following:
In the Select a recovery option window, select Troubleshooting, then Advanced Options, then Startup Settings. In Startup Settings, you can restart your computer in Safe Mode, either with the Internet enabled or disabled. Either option should work.
Safe mode with a Windows 10 recovery drive.
If you can’t switch to safe mode, you’ll need to create a Windows 10 USB recovery drive. The recovery drive contains the Windows 10 Recovery Environment, which you used to access by tapping F8 at boot time. Unfortunately, Microsoft has decided to remove this feature. Creating a recovery drive requires another Windows 10 computer and a USB drive with at least 512 MB of space. If you want to create a system backup (you’ll see an option to back up your system files to the recovery drive), you’ll need 16 GB of space.
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 have enabled 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 reboot (this may require pressing the reset button or holding down the power button for a few seconds).
check your battery
If you are using a laptop, battery issues can cause startup issues. It’s worth trying a different charging cable to see if that solves the problem. Check that the cable works by trying it on another laptop. Next, remove your system battery and connect the device to a power source.
By removing the battery, you can find out if a hardware issue is causing the problem. The important thing here is that you only test one item at a time. If power issues are affecting the device’s ability to boot, be sure to determine if the battery, charging cable, or other component needs to be replaced.
Disconnect all USB devices
A serious problem with Windows 10 updates is that sometimes your computer won’t boot due to a conflict with a USB device. You can resolve this issue by unplugging all USB devices (and other unnecessary peripherals) and restarting your computer.
If your computer stays on the same loading screen, unplugging all USB devices may resolve the issue. In other cases, you may need to restart your computer.
Disable fast boot
In your BIOS or UEFI, there is a setting called Fast Boot that allows Windows 10 to boot faster by preloading drivers. Unfortunately, Windows Update can break Fast Boot support. Fortunately, you can turn Fast Boot on and off through your BIOS instead of Windows 10, and the method of accessing the BIOS/UEFI screen varies from computer to computer.
In most cases, hitting the Del key during boot should bring up the POST environment. The other two keys that might work are F2 and Escape. After entering the BIOS or UEFI, the Fast Boot option is usually in the advanced options, but it can also be found anywhere. If you don’t see a Fast Boot entry, your computer was manufactured before 2013 because it didn’t include a Fast Boot option.
Check your other BIOS/UEFI settings.
An incorrectly configured BIOS/UEFI may prevent your desktop from booting. BIOS/UEFI is a Preboot Environment that contains your computer’s hardware configuration. They are useful for recovery because they work even when Windows is down. To access these settings, the computer must be booted into BIOS mode. When in BIOS mode, check the following settings:
An incorrectly configured Secure Boot can cause your computer to not boot. You can disable Secure Boot in BIOS, but to do so, you may need to reset Windows 10 to factory defaults and/or reset your BIOS. Also, disabling Secure Boot can prevent you from upgrading to Windows 11. The reason Secure Boot causes problems is that it is designed to protect computers from malware.
Since the drivers and hardware components that Windows loads at startup are checked, any drivers or hardware components that are not recognized by the system will cause a startup error. Secure Boot settings are located in Boot Options. You can turn them on or off. It must be configured in Windows UEFI mode and not in another operating system (usually Linux).
Compatibility Support Module (CSM).
A boot drive formatted with a system BIOS requires an MBR partition table. A UEFI-formatted drive requires a GPT partition table. CSM allows the UEFI system to work like the old MBR system.
Booting into the command prompt
It may still be possible to boot to the command prompt. You can use this interface to perform other troubleshooting procedures. You’ll need Windows 10 on a boot disk or USB drive to perform this procedure, so use another computer to set it up before you begin. Start your computer to open the command prompt.
During the boot process, look for a key combination that you can use to enter the BIOS. This information is usually displayed next to the manufacturer’s logo. Switch to the Boot tab and make the USB or DVD drive the first boot device. Your choice will depend on where your copy of Windows 10 is located. Again, the details of this process may vary from system to system, so be sure to follow the on-screen instructions.
Then insert the disk or drive containing Windows 10 into your system, save your settings and restart your PC. When prompted, use the keyboard to indicate that you want to boot from the disk or drive. Enter your desired language, currency, and input settings and select Repair Computer on the next screen. Then select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt and a window for entering commands should appear.
Use System Restore or Startup Repair
If you’re already booting Windows 10 from a disc or drive, it’s worth using a few utilities that are available as part of the process. Once you’ve booted from the drive as described above, you’ll have access to options that can help you get your PC back up and running. Look for the System Restore and Startup Repair links on the Advanced Options screen.
System Restore is a utility that allows you to go back to a previous restore point when your computer was working normally. You can fix startup problems that are caused by a change you made instead of a hardware failure. Startup Repair is a general troubleshooting program that prevents Windows from starting. If you are having trouble finding the cause of your startup problems, you should run the utility so that it can find a solution.
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