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How Do I Fix Windows Failed to Start

When boot computer, I receive the following error message:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates.


Have you ever encountered the same issue? This error can be caused by many reasons including:
  • BCD is missing or corrupt
  • File system integrity compromised
  • System files are damaged
  • Loose or faulty SATA/IDE Cable
  • Conflicting 3rd party software
  • Virus or malware


Now, in today’s post, I am going to show you how to effectively solve the Windows failed to start error. 

7 SOLUTIONS – Windows Failed to Start 

Solution 1: Remove Recently Installed Hardware

If you have installed any hardware such as printers or cameras, you can remove them, and lave only the mouse and keyboard attached. After that, restart your computer and check whether the “A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates” error has been solved. 

Solution 2: Change the Boot Order 

If your Windows boots from an unavailable disk, you might receive the “Windows failed to start” issue. Now, you should set the bootable disk as the first boot disk to fix the Windows cannot boot issue. 

Solution 3: Use the Last Known Good Configuration to Start Windows

You can boot into Last Known Good Configuration before taking any other solutions to solve the “A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates” issue. 
  • Inset Windows bootable disk into your PC and boot from it. 
  • Press any key to continue when prompted to Press any key to boot from bootable disk.
  • Select your language preferences, and click Next button. 
  • Click Repair your computer to continue.
  • Click Troubleshoot.


Click Command Prompt.
Type C: and hit Enter.
Type BCDEDIT /SET {DEFAULT} BOOTMENUPOLICY LEGACY and press Enter. 


Type exit and press Enter. Go back to the Choose an option screen, and click Continue to restart Windows 10. Eject your Windows 10 installation disk to get Boot options. On the Advanced Boot Options screen, use the arrow keys to highlight “Last Known Good Configuration (Advanced)” and then press Enter. Windows will start normally. If you still cannot boot into Windows, you can try the following methods.

Solution 4. Rebuild BCD | Boot Configuration Data If the Boot Configuration Data is missing, you cannot boot your Windows normally. Now, you can try the following steps to solve the Windows cannot boot issue.
  • Type bootrec /rebuildbcd and press Enter.
  • Insert the Windows bootable drive and boot from it.
  • Select your language preferences, and click Next button.
  • Press Shift + F10 keys at the same time to open command prompt.
  • Type bootrec /fixmbr and press Enter.
  • Type bootrec /fixboot and press Enter.
Note: If the above command fails, you can type the following commands in cmd and hit enter after each one.
bcdedit /export C:\BCD_Backupc:cd bootattrib bcd -s -h -rren c:\boot\bcd bcd.oldbootrec /RebuildBcd
  • Type exit and press Enter. After that, restart your Windows. 
Solution 5. Run Startup/Automatic Repair
  • Insert Windows bootable installation disk to your PC and boot from it.
  • Select your language preferences, and click Next.
  • Click Repair your computer.
  • Click Troubleshoot >Advanced options > Automatic Repair.

Wait until the Windows Automatic Repair complete. Finally, restart your Windows to check whether you still receive the “Windows failed to start” error.

Solution 6. Run chkdsk Sometimes, you can run the chkdsk process if your Windows cannot boot. Open Command Prompt. (Please refer to solution 3 to know how to open command prompt.) Type chkdsk C: /f /x /r and press Enter. After chkdsk process is finished, restart your Windows. Solution 7. Restore Operating System If the above solutions cannot work, you can try the last method-restore your operating system. However, system restore will delete some original data on your operating system drive. Therefore, you are recommended to recover data when Windows cannot boot before restoring system. Insert the Windows bootable drive to your computer and boot from it. Select your language preferences, and click on Next button to continue. Click Repair your computer. Choose Troubleshoot. Click on Advanced options. Click on System Restore. Choose a target operating system. After that, follow the System Restore wizard to complete this process.


Hope these solutions can help you effectively solve this error: Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might have caused the issue after you install Windows Updates.

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