How To: Fix Windows Boot Failure

Applies to: all versions of Windows

Symptoms

When you start your computer, one of the following things happens:

Cause

This error may occur because the computer is trying to boot from a disk that is not bootable, or because the boot files on the disk are corrupted.

Solution

Check the boot drives

If this does not resolve the issue then you will need to try repairing the hard disk boot sector. If you are using Windows 95/98/Me and have made a recovery disk then you can use this. If you have original Windows 2000 or Windows XP installation media then you can boot from this and use the Recovery Console to perform a repair from the command line.

If you don't have a bootable repair disk then the easiest way to fix this problem is to use Spotmau BootSuite or Spotmau PowerSuite Golden.

Use Spotmau BootSuite

buy spotmau Get Spotmau BootSuite now
and fix this problem in seconds!
Spotmau BootSuite
Spotmau BootSuite
Spotmau BootSuite
 Spotmau BootSuite
Spotmau BootSuite
buy spotmau Get Spotmau BootSuite now
and fix this problem in seconds!

Using the Windows Recovery Console

If you have a Windows 2000 or Windows XP installation CD from Microsoft you may use the Recovery Console to run tools to repair the boot records.

If this does not resolve the problem:

A repair installation of Windows will be performed.

Prevention

It's difficult to prevent problems like this from ever occurring but making regular and frequent full backups of the system are a good precaution that can make recovery quicker and easier.

An excellent tool that will aid recovery from this kind of trouble is MagiCure Professional. It works by taking snapshots of the system at regular intervals and allowing you to restore them when a problem occurs. It runs before Windows loads allowing you to restore a good working system even if Windows will not start.