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Windows 10 Won’t Boot – Why Won’t My Computer Turn On? (FIXED)

Computer problems are incredibly frustrating, but there’s nothing worse than when you can’t even reach the desktop because Windows 10 won’t boot anymore. Troubleshooting this issue might seem unrealistic for casual PC users who must resort to the tools provided before boot.

Nevertheless, you should be able to fix system startup problems, whether you get the inaccessible boot device error, the Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart message, or another Blue Screen of Death error.

Windows 10 Won't Boot

Windows 10 Won’t Boot?

Check out the following solutions to fix your operating system if it no longer boots.

1. Unplug external storage devices

It’s possible that your BIOS is configured to read external storage devices, according to the BIOS boot order. However, you can quickly fix this problem by unplugging all removable storage drives, like external hard disks, memory cards, and USB sticks. Then, try to boot Windows.

2. Check your HDD or SSD

If your HDD or SSD is not properly plugged in, your computer won’t be able to read the storage device and start your operating system. It’s easy to check this if you have an external storage device with Windows installed, which is attached to the PC through a USB cable.

Just unplug and replug the device. You should also try using a different USB port in case it’s malfunctioning. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to try using another cable in case the current one is damaged in any way.

3. Check your battery

Laptop battery problems can prevent Windows 10 from booting on your computer. If you’re low on battery, make sure to plug it into a power source. And, if that doesn’t do the trick, remove the battery and leave the laptop connected to a power source.

It’s important to keep track of these steps and try one scenario at a time, in order to determine the culprit and find a long-term solution. For example, if your battery is to blame, you will have to replace it with a new one. But it’s also possible that your charger is not compatible with the laptop, its cable doesn’t properly connect in the laptop or the power source, the laptop’s power source needs repairs, or something else.

4. Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Try to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode in order to enter a troubleshooting mode that allows you further investigate your computer’s boot problems. It means disabling non-essential components, such as drivers and services that might be causing system boot errors.

How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode:

  1. Interrupt the startup sequence three times in a row to enter Windows 10 troubleshooting mode
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup SettingsWindows 10 shows the advanced startup options
  3. Click Restart
  4. Press F5 to enable Windows Safe Mode with NetworkingWindows 10 shows more startup settings
  5. If Windows still won’t boot, retrace the steps above and press F4 to enable Safe Mode (without networking features)

5. Skip the Windows 10 bootloader

If you’re having trouble trying to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode, you can skip the bootloader tool using Command Prompt.

  1. Start Windows in troubleshooting mode
  2. Visit Troubleshoot > Advanced options
  3. Launch Command PromptWindows 10 shows how to access Command Prompt from the advanced startup mode
  4. Pick your PC account and enter your password
  5. Enter the following command:
    bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy
  6. Exit Command Prompt and try to boot Windows 10

6. Check disk drivers

If you successfully get past the Windows boot sequence and start the operating system in Safe Mode, you should check your disk drivers with the help of Device Manager. For instance, you can quickly reinstall the disk devices, update obsolete drivers, or roll back incompatible drivers. Here’s what you have to do.

How to reinstall disk devices:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Device Manager
  2. Expand the Disk drives category
  3. Right-click your storage device from the list and select Uninstall deviceDevice Manager shows how to uninstall disk drive
  4. Click Uninstall to confirm
  5. Open the Action menu and select Scan for hardware changes. Windows should auto-reinstall the missing deviceDevice Manager shows how to scan for hardware changes

How to update disk drivers:

  1. In Device Manager, right-click the disk drive and select Update driverDevice Manager shows how to update disk driver
  2. Click Search automatically for drivers
  3. If you get the The best drivers for your device are already installed message, click Search for updated drivers on Windows Update

A better solution is to use a driver update tool that keeps all your drivers updated to the latest version. Plus, you won’t risk getting an incompatible driver. On the other hand, if you already installed an unsupported driver, you should roll it back.

How to roll back disk drivers:

  1. In Device Manager, right-click the disk drive and go to Properties
  2. Switch to the Driver tab
  3. Click Roll Back Driver and follow the instructions. If the button’s greyed out, you can’t complete the rollback since there’s no previous driver on your PC

7. Temporarily disable Driver Signature Enforcement

If you’re attempting to install drivers that haven’t been signed by Microsoft, Windows 10 won’t allow you as long as the Driver Signature Enforcement feature is enabled. You have two options in this case: either opt for Microsoft-signed drivers or disable Driver Signature Enforcement.

How to temporarily disable Driver Signature Enforcement:

  1. Interrupt the Windows startup sequence three times in a row to enter Advanced Startup mode
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup SettingsWindows 10 shows the advanced startup options
  3. Click Restart
  4. Press F7 to disable Driver Signature EnforcementWindows 10 shows more startup settings
  5. Start Windows as usual and install the non-Microsoft-signed drivers
  6. Retrace the steps and press F7 to re-enable Driver Signature Enforcement

If Windows won’t boot, disable Driver Signature Enforcement from Command Prompt:

  1. In Advanced Startup mode, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command PromptWindows 10 shows how to access Command Prompt from the advanced startup mode
  2. Type bcdedit /set testsigning on and press Enter
  3. If you get the The operation completed successfully message, try to boot to Windows. Else, if it says Protected by Secure Boot policy, you have to disable Secure Boot from the UEFI firmware
  4. Install your drivers
  5. Press Win key + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as admin
  6. Run bcdedit /set testsigning off to re-enable Driver Signature Enforcement

How to disable Secure Boot from the UEFI firmware:

  1. In Advanced Startup mode, select Troubleshoot > UEFI Firmware Settings
  2. Click Restart
  3. Once you access the BIOS setup mode, go to the Authentication area
  4. Set Secure Boot to Disabled
  5. Save the current BIOS configuration and exit
  6. Disable Driver Signature Enforcement from Command Prompt
  7. Install the drivers
  8. Re-enable Driver Signature Enforcement
  9. Go back to BIOS to re-enable Secure Boot

8. Uninstall recent software and system updates

You might be experiencing boot problems with Windows 10 due to software programs you have recently installed on your computer. For example, if you have two anti-malware applications installed, their real-time engines could clash and cause system stability issues as a result.

However, you should be able to fix this by uninstalling the conflicting apps. Similarly, if you have started having boot problems after a recent system update, you should remove it from your PC.

  1. Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode
  2. Press Win key + R, type appwiz.cpl, and press EnterWindows 10 shows how to run appwiz.cpl
  3. Double-click an application and proceed with the removal operation
  4. Click View installed updates on the left sideWindows 10 shows how to view installed Windows updates
  5. Click the Installed On column to sort the updates (newest first)Windows 10 shows how to sort installed Windows Updates by date
  6. In the Microsoft Windows group, double-click the first update and uninstall itWindows 10 shows how to confirm Windows updates removal
  7. Try to restart Windows normally now

9. Fix startup problems

You can use the Startup Repair troubleshooting tool to fix OS boot issues. However, you must first create a Windows 10 installation media on a disc or removable storage device using another computer.

How to create Windows 10 installation media:

  1. Plug an empty USB pen drive into your computer
  2. Download Media Creation Tool from the official website
  3. Fire up the tool
  4. Use the instructions to create a Windows installation media disk

How to repair startup issues:

  1. Make sure the Windows installation media disk is connected to your PC
  2. Interrupt the boot sequence three times to enter troubleshooting mode
  3. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup RepairWindows 10 shows the advanced startup options
  4. Log in with your Microsoft account if requested
  5. Follow the instructions to fix startup problems

10. Use the BCD command

You can try to fix Windows 10 boot problems by entering a couple of lines of code in Command Prompt using BCD (Boot Configuration Data).

  1. Access Advanced Startup mode
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options
  3. Select Command Prompt to restart Windows with the console environment
  4. Pick your user account and set the correct password
  5. Write these commands and press Enter after each one:
    • bcdedit/deletevalue {default} numproc
    • bcdedit/deletevalue {default} truncatememory
  6. Restart your PC and check results

11. Fix the BCD

If your BCD has missing, damaged, or modified data, it’s no wonder that your operating system won’t boot you to the desktop. However, you can repair BCD errors using Command Prompt and a Windows media installation disc.

  1. Connect a disc or pen drive with the Windows media installation files to your PC
  2. Start Windows in Advanced Startup
  3. Access Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt
  4. Enter the following commands (press Enter after each one):
    • bootrec /repairbcd
    • bootrec /osscan
    • bootrec /repairmbr
  5. Reboot your computer

12. Repair hard disk errors

Hard disk failure is a common reason for Windows boot issues. But you can fix this problem without having to install third-party software applications, thanks to CHKDSK (Check Disk).

How to use CHKDSK:

  1. Start Windows in troubleshooting mode
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt
  3. Run chkdsk c: /f /r if Windows is installed on the C: drive. Otherwise, make sure to replace c: with the correct partition letter
  4. After CHKDSK does its job, exit Command Prompt and try to boot Windows 10

13. Fix corrupt system files

When it comes to repairing corrupt system files, you can rely on SFC (System File Checker). Just like CHKDSK, you can operate SFC from Command Prompt. However, you need a Windows 10 installation media to fix damaged, missing or modified system files.

How to use SFC:

  1. Connect a Windows installation media disk to your PC
  2. In Advanced Startup mode, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  3. Select Command Prompt, pick your Windows account, and enter your password to continue
  4. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter
  5. Once SFC does its job, quit CMD and try to start Windows 10

If SFC doesn’t show any problems, you should use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to check the component store of the OS image.

How to use DISM:

  1. Make sure that a Windows installation media disk is attached to your computer
  2. Boot Windows in troubleshooting mode
  3. Access Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  4. Pick Command Prompt, select your account, and enter your password
  5. Run DISM /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
  6. If DISM identifies any problems, repair them using DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  7. Reboot the computer and access Command Prompt again
  8. Run SFC (sfc /scannow)
  9. Try to boot Windows 10 now

14. Run ePSA Diagnostic on DELL

If you have a DELL desktop or laptop, you can turn to ePSA Diagnostic. It’s a special tool found in BIOS, which you can use to run hardware diagnostics without an OS and fix hard drive problems that might be causing Windows 10 boot issues. Here’s how to use it.

  1. In Advanced Startup, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options
  2. Select UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart
  3. In BIOS, find and access the Diagnostics area
  4. Deploy ePSA Diagnostic and follow the step-by-step instructions

15. Enable Legacy BIOS boot

Many users report that switching from UEFI to Legacy BIOS mode helped fix their boot problems on Windows 10. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. In Advanced Startup, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  2. Select UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart
  3. After booting to BIOS, locate the Boot area
  4. Select UEFI/BIOS Boot Mode and press Enter
  5. Enable Legacy BIOS Boot Mode
  6. Save the current BIOS settings and exit

16. Disable Fast Boot

Fast Boot is a Windows 10 feature designed to start your operating faster by pre-loading drivers. However, if you have recently installed a Windows update that conflicts with Fast Boot, this could lead to boot problems on Windows 10.

To fix this issue, you should disable Fast Boot:

  1. In Advanced Startup, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  2. Go to UEFI Firmware Settings and click Restart
  3. In BIOS, find and access advanced settings
  4. Disable Fast Boot
  5. Save the current BIOS configuration and exit

17. Reset BIOS

If you have changed BIOS settings without exactly knowing what you’re doing, you might have inadvertently triggered boot problems, preventing your computer from starting your operating system.

But you can resolve this matter by restoring BIOS to factory values:

  1. Boot your PC in Advanced Startup mode
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings
  3. Click Restart
  4. Once you access BIOS setup, enable the option that resets the BIOS configuration to defaulthow to reset BIOS configuration data
  5. Save changes and exit

18. Update BIOS

BIOS needs to be updated, just like your operating system and applications. It you have rarely or never done this, you shouldn’t postpone the task any longer. However, for this solution, you need to use another computer to download and copy the BIOS installation files.

  1. Boot Windows in troubleshooting mode
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > UEFI Firmware Settings
  3. Click Restart
  4. In the main section of BIOS, check out the BIOS manufacturer, current version, and install date
  5. Connect an USB flash drive to another computer
  6. Visit the website of the BIOS manufacturer
  7. Find and download the latest BIOS version
  8. Unzip the downloaded archive to the pen drive
  9. Unplug the pen device and connect it to your PC
  10. In BIOS setup mode, create a backup of the current BIOS configuration
  11. Then, start the BIOS update
  12. Once the update is complete, try to boot Windows 10

19. Repair the system registry

The Windows registry might have missing, corrupt, or changed entries that are essential for the system’s runtime. It could be the reason why Windows 10 won’t boot anymore. In this case, you can use a registry cleaner or, if you don’t have to install any third-party tools, check out the steps below.

How to fix registry settings using Command Prompt:

  1. In Advanced Startup mode, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  2. Launch Command Prompt
  3. Select your account and enter your password to continue
  4. Enter the following commands (press Enter after each one):
    • cd c:\Windows\System32\config
    • ren c:\Windows\System32\config\DEFAULT DEFAULT.old
    • ren c:\Windows\System32\config\SAM SAM.old
    • ren c:\Windows\System32\config\SECURITY SECURITY.old
    • ren c:\Windows\System32\config\SOFTWARE SOFTWARE.old
    • ren c:\Windows\System32\config\SYSTEM SYSTEM.old
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\DEFAULT c:\Windows\System32\config\
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\DEFAULT c:\Windows\System32\config\
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SAM c:\Windows\System32\config\
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SECURITY c:\Windows\System32\config\
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SYSTEM c:\Windows\System32\config\
    • copy c:\Windows\System32\config\RegBack\SOFTWARE c:\Windows\System32\config\
  5. Exit Command Prompt
  6. Check if you can boot Windows now

20. Change drive letters

If you have two or more drives installed on your PC, you might experience Windows 10 boot errors if one of the partitions doesn’t have a drive letter assigned.

You can easily set drive letters using Command Prompt:

  1. Boot Windows in troubleshooting mode
  2. Visit Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  3. Open Command Prompt
  4. Pick your PC account and set your password to confirm
  5. Run diskpart
  6. Enter list volume to view all drives and their letters
  7. The Windows partition has Boot written at Info
  8. Check if the Windows partition has a letter assigned
  9. Otherwise, do the following
    • Take note of the Volume # noted at the Windows drive
    • Enter select volume # and replace # with the correct volume letter (e.g. select volume 0)
    • Write assign letter= and add the drive letter you wish to assign (e.g. assign letter=c)
  10. Exit Command Prompt and try to boot Windows now

21. Run a malware scan

If your computer was recently attacked, a malware agent could have hijacked critical system files that Windows 10 needs for the boot sequence. So it’s a good idea to scan your PC for malware.

Normally, you use Windows Defender or a third-party antivirus tool for this job. However, since you can’t work your way around the boot issue, you need to look into alternative solutions.

Here’s how to use Kaspersky Free Rescue Disk:

  1. Download Kaspersky Free Rescue Disk from the official website
  2. Burn the downloaded ISO image to a USB flash drive, CD or DVD
  3. Connect the pen drive or disc to your computer
  4. Boot your PC from the pen drive or disc
  5. Update the antivirus database
  6. Scan your system using Kaspersky Free Rescue Disk
  7. Follow the step-by-step instructions

22. Use System Image Recovery

If you have previously copied your files and applications for safekeeping using Windows Backup, then you can use System Image Recovery to restore the backup and fix Windows boot problems. However, if you haven’t already done this, keep in mind that you can’t create a backup on another PC in order to restore it on the computer with boot problems – it just doesn’t work.

  1. Interrupt the PC boot three times in a row
  2. In Advanced Startup mode, visit Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  3. Open System Image Recovery and follow the instructions

23. Remove and reseat your hardware parts

Perhaps your RAM card, hard drive, or PCI-E cards are not properly connected to your device. To repair this, you can remove and reseat your hardware parts. It means taking your computer unit apart, removing the components from their slots, and then firmly putting them back in but without applying force.

24. Use a third-party boot repair tool

You can create a multiboot system rescue disk using third-party products, such as Boot Repair Disk. However, you need a second PC to download the application and put it on an external disk.

How to use Boot Repair Disk:

  1. Visit the Boot Repair Disk download page
  2. Depending on your OS architecture type, download the 32-bit or 64-bit ISO image
  3. Burn the ISO to a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive
  4. Plug the disc or drive into the PC with boot problems
  5. Make sure to boot your PC from the external disk
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions

25. Use System Restore

If System Restore mode is enabled on your PC and if you have created a restore point before you started having Windows boot problems, it’s a good idea to roll back your operating system to that checkpoint and undo all software modifications.

However, this means that all programs installed beyond the restore point will no longer exist, so you will have to set them up again.

How to use System Restore from boot:

  1. In Advanced Startup, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options
  2. Open System Restore
  3. Choose a restore point from the list. Click Show more restore points if necessary. You can also click Scan for affected programs to see which applications you will have to reinstall
  4. Click Next and follow the instructions

26. Reset Windows 10

Unfortunately, Microsoft often fails to restore Windows to a previous checkpoint. When you have exhausted all options on this list and still can’t get Windows 10 to boot, there’s nothing left except resetting Windows 10 to factory values. Don’t worry since your personal files won’t be deleted. Here’s how to make it happen:

  1. Start Windows in Advanced Startup mode
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options
  3. Click Reset this PC
  4. Select Keep my files and follow the on-screen instructions

You can fix Windows boot errors

To review, if your Windows 10 PC won’t boot, try to fix this problem by unplugging external storage devices, checking your HDD, SSD and laptop battery, starting Windows 10 in Safe Mode, skipping the Windows 10 bootloader, checking your drivers, and temporarily disabling Driver Signature Enforcement.

Furthermore, you can uninstall recent software programs and malfunctioning system updates, repair startup errors, use the BCD command or fix BCD, solve hard disk failure and corrupt system files, run ePSA Diagnostic on DELL systems, enable Legacy BIOS boot, and disable Fast Boot.

It’s also a good idea to reset and update BIOS to the latest version, repair the system registry, change drive letters, scan your computer for malware, use System Image Recovery, remove and reseat your hardware components, use System Restore, or reset Windows 10 if everything else fails.

How did you manage to fix Windows 10 boot errors? Did we miss anything important? Let us know in the comments below.

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