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Windows Startup Errors

What are Windows Startup Errors?

Perhaps it is would be no surprise to be told that Windows Startup Errors are errors that occur when you are trying to boot (or start) your machine? In other words, your PC will not boot-up properly and you need to know why and what to do about it.

And whilst there can be little difficulty in recognizing that you have a problem in this situation – it will not start properly, after all – it is important to appreciate that there are two distinct ways that such problems can manifest themselves.

The first scenario is that little or nothing at all happens when you try to start your machine. Assuming that there is not an electrical malfunction that prevents the machine actually ‘switching on’ (in which event, check power sources, cables and the like) then the first scenario is that your operating system will not start properly.

In this case, you can try pressing and holding down the F8 key as soon as you switch the machine on and then have a go at starting your PC in ‘Safe Mode’ or in the ‘Last Known Good Configuration’.

If neither of those operations make any difference, then try rebooting again and hit the F12 key to bring up the boot menu. Change the boot order so that you can start from any recovery floppy disk or CD that you have previously made for this purpose. Alternatively, you can try booting from the original operating system CD’s.

Hopefully, one of these steps will at least get your operating system running so that the necessary repairs can be carried out.

The second startup error scenario that you might encounter is where Windows does at least partially start, but then it throws an ‘error code’ at you, telling you that there is some problem occurring as the startup process is taking place.

What you need to do now depends on what happens next.

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Trying To Work Through Windows Startup Errors

If you can get past the error message and access your operating system, then you can either use your machine as normal and restart it later, or restart it immediately. In either event, what you are looking for is whether the same error occurs again the next time the machine is restarted.

If not, then in all probability it was a temporary problems that has effectively fixed itself, or simply ‘gone away’ (although neither of these means that it is permanently ‘cured’, so it may happen again).

If it does, however, re-occur immediately, then you have a problem that needs to be isolated if possible before being dealt with.

There are three areas of your PC where the most likely cause of such a re-occurring error code will most likely be located:

  • You have operating system files, applications or .dll’s that are not loading properly. This is likely to be a result of the file in question becoming damaged or perhaps it has even been inadvertently removed from your system completely. This can happen, for example, if you uninstalled a program the last time you were using your PC, so it is not necessarily something that you will be aware of.

  • There may be a problem with a virus or some form of malware having got into your PC during your last session on the net. Spyware, for example, would be a principle suspect in this situation.

  • You have a driver that has malfunctioned and will not therefore load properly. It may be outdated or have been damaged in some way, and is now causing mayhem when you try to open Windows.

Perhaps from this it is obvious that the solution to the problem can only be found once the underlying cause has been isolated.

It follows that if you do have a startup error that does not appear to be a mere temporary operating system glitch, then you first need to find the problem before you can begin to cure it.

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Search and Destroy!

When you restart your machine, note down the error code that it gives you when it tries to halt the startup process. If you can, go online to the Windows Support Center and see whether you can find the cause of and solution to your problems there.

Try running a spyware and malware scan using any program that you might already have installed on your machine, or (if you do not already have such a resource) then you can run a free Xoftspy scan to see what that might turn up.

If the scan result is negative, that’s great, you know that your machine is ‘clean’ and that you need you look elsewhere for answers.

If not, then you need to remove whatever malware problems the scan shows up as quickly as possible – the program will do the job for you, but you will need to download it in order for it to do so.

Failing any success so far, you probably need to run a registry scan to see what missing or damaged files, applications or ‘dll’s might be at the root of the problem.

Again, if you already have suitable software to do the job for you, then use it.

If not, then you can run a free SpeedyPC registry scan, as this should be able to highlight and then isolate any problems for you.

In fact, running regular registry scans is one of the best ways of keeping your PC error free and in optimum operating condition at any time, so regular free scans of your registry is something that I would recommend in any event.


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Updated: December 6, 2016

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