Windows Startup Issues

11 Mar

Have you ever started your computer and for some reason it failed to boot properly? As fate would have it, stuff like this happens when we need to get something done that is important. It is trying on our patience, but the most probable reason for this boot error is the hard drive.

It isn’t always easy to tell if the startup problem was caused by the Windows Operating System or one of the programs that run automatically at startup. An easy procedure is to disable one of the programs located in the startup sequence.

Windows makes it easy to access this program, simply go to the run bar and type in “msconfig” to load the System Configuration window. Choose “Startup” and scan the list. Check off the programs you can do without. Do not go ‘check happy’ and uncheck programs that help protect or run your system. It is advisable that you write down which programs you disable so you can enable them later. Once you are done, you will need to restart your system.

If your system crashed and shut down, it may restart on its own. During reboot the system may automatically access the Advanced Boot Options menu. Select the line for the Last Known Good Configuration. This will load the system with the last configuration that worked.  If this solves the problem there is no need to access Safe Mode.

If the last known configuration did not work, another alternative is starting the system in Safe Mode. Essentially Safe Mode loads Windows with a minimum number of programs and drivers. Safe Mode takes a lot longer to load than the normal booting process, so be patient.

The Safe Mode screen will look radically different than your normal screen because Safe Mode doesn’t load background applications. You are only permitted to do certain things in Safe Mode, for instance, your CD or DVD drive may not be available, and your backup options will be disabled. After you have accessed your startup files, or scan disk, you need to reboot the system to enter Windows normal boot sequence. Safe Mode isn’t a place for beginners to fool around in, so do what you need to do, then get out.

Another startup error could occur from the Windows Registry. The Registry is critical to the operation of Windows and should never be tampered with if you are not qualified. There is a command to use to access this part of the system, but I will not mention it in this article because entering into the registry editor is extremely dangerous.

There are websites that tell you how to access and allegedly how to fix a registry code. It may seem simple and may tempt you to follow their advice. Be weary of this temptation because if the advice is not sound, you can easily damage your system.

Think of Registry Code as DNA Code. If you found a website that informed you how to change a code in your DNA strand, would you do it? Of course you wouldn’t. Treat your computer registry the same way. Every program stored in your system uses the registry code in order for it to run properly. If you do have a Registry issue, there is something you can do without accessing the Registry Editor. If this other option fails, then seek a professional repair technician.

Every Windows system contains a program called System Restore. This handy program takes a snapshot of your Registry so if a part of the code becomes corrupted, you can simply restore the unit to an earlier time when the computer did work.

It sounds great, right?

It is, but like anything else there is a catch. System Restore is not a backup utility, it only reverts the registry to an earlier time when there was no problem. In doing so it can remove any software that you installed between points A and B. On the up side, it will not erase your files. Windows also creates a restore point when you install new software so in the event the software has a problem you can simply use the restore point and start again.

System Restore does not allow you to go back to an infinite time, it will only save restore points until the allocated space fills up, then it will overwrite the oldest files first. The system should automatically create a restore point once a week, or you can do them manually.

For most issues a simple System Restore will probably get you back on track. If it doesn’t, you may need to use your System Recovery disk to repair the system, or seek professional assistance.

To avoid a lot of heartache you should always make a current backup of your files at least once a week.

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Posted by on March 11, 2011 in Computer, Desktop, Laptop


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