Knowledge Base

How to run a Startup Repair on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 Operating Systems on a Dell PC



If you are experiencing any of the issues listed in the first section of this article, you can find information on how and why you would run a Startup Repair in Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 on your Dell PC in the following sections of the article.


Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Startup Repair and when would you use it?
  2. How to run a repair

1. What is a Startup Repair and when would you use it?

Startup Repair - or Automatic Repair in Windows 8, 8.1, and Reset in Windows 10 will try to automatically repair computers that are unbootable because of any of a number of reasons.

Startup Issues this guide can help with :

  • Has your Registry become corrupted?
  • Are there missing or damaged system and driver files?
  • Are you experiencing Disk metadata corruption? MBR, partition table, and boot sector
  • Or File system metadata corruption?
  • Having issues installing problem or incompatible drivers?
  • Installation of Windows service packs and patches coming back with incompatible errors?
  • Corrupt boot configuration data?
  • Bad memory and hard disk hardware errors? Detection only

Startup Issues this guide can NOT help with:

However Startup Repair will not be able to repair unbootable systems caused by any of the following issues:

  • Any malfunctioning firmware and other hardware components
  • Any problems with clean Windows installations or Windows upgrades. i.e, from Windows XP to Windows Vista or Windows 7 to Windows 8, 8.1 or any to Windows 10
  • Windows logon errors
  • Viruses and malicious software
Note: Startup Repair cannot fix hardware failures, such as a failing hard disks or incompatible memory. Startup Repair is not a backup tool, it can't help you recover any personal files. (Such as photos or documents) To help protect your computer, back up your system and files regularly.

You will want to run a Startup Repair when you are experiencing these issues, but while its early enough that no other issues have been caused as a knock on effect.

If there are secondary effects from the main issue, you may be better following a reinstall guide for the systems instead. Please contact your Technical Support if you have problems with this.

Note: Sometimes it may take running a startup repair up to three separate times, restarting the computer after each time before it fully fixes the startup issue.


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2. How to run a repair

Note: The following link takes you to the Microsoft article on the recovery options for Windows 10. On this article you want to choose the Reset option to use the latest equivalent of the start repair:

Windows 8 and 8.1

Note: The Automatic Repair tool should start if the computer fails over into Windows recovery because of a detected boot failure. If the automatic failover doesn't work you can also start Automatic Repair as a manual recovery tool from a Windows install CD or DVD or from the Advanced Start Options.
  1. Boot to the System Recovery Options screen.

    • tapping rapidly on the F12 key at the Dell Splash screen when the system starts up and choose the CD/DVD drive from the Boot Once Menu that appears. You can do the same thing if you have a USB recovery drive, just choose to boot from the USB instead.

    • Tap rapidly on the SHIFT+F8 key together as the system goes past the Dell Splash screen and it may bring up the Advanced Options screen.

    • If you still have access to the windows home screen you can click on Restart whilst holding down the SHIFT key. Or you can press the Windows+I keys together and choose General and select restart to advanced startup.

Boot Once

(Fig.1 Dell Boot Once Menu)

  • Advanced Boot Options

  • Choose Advanced Options for: Windows 8
    (Use the arrow keys to highlight your choice.)

  • Repair Your Computer

  • Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

  • Enable Boot Logging
    Enable low-resolution video
    Debugging Mode
    Disable automatic restart on system failure
    Disable Driver Signature Enforcement
    Disable Early Launch Anti-Malware Driver

  • Start Windows Normally

  • Description: View a list of system recovery tools you can use to repair
    startup problems, run diagnostics, or restore your system.

  • ENTER=Choose ESC=Cancel
Note: On some Windows 8 builds this is an option you will need to set prior to having issues with the system. There are guides available for setting this up on Windows 8.
  1. At the System Recovery Options screen, click on Advanced options and then Automatic Repair.

Advanced Start Options

(Fig.13 Advanced Options Menu)

Note: Your PC may restart after this.
  1. If it asks while it's running select the correct Operating System that you want to do an Automatic Repair on.

Automatic Repair

(Fig.14 Automatic Repair)

Note: You will usually only see this if you booted from a Windows 8 install DVD or USB thumb drive.
  1. If asked select an Administrator Account.

Administrators Account

(Fig.15 Repair - Select User)

Note: Normal user accounts and domain accounts on the computer won't be listed.
  1. The Automatic Repair will start Diagnosing your PC and it will attempt to automatically repair them.

Automatic repair

(Fig.16 Repair - Diagnostics with auto-repair)

Note: You might be prompted to make choices as it tries to fix the problem. It might restart your computer as it makes repairs.
  1. If startup repair could not find problems or repair your computer, then either select Shut down to turn off your PC, or click on Advanced options to go back to step 2.

Repair complete

(Fig.17 Automatic Repair could not repair your PC screen)

Windows 7

  1. Boot to the System Recovery Options screen using your retail Windows 7 installation disk or system repair disc or appropriately installed bootable thumb drive.

    1. You can do this by tapping rapidly on the F12 key at the Dell Splash screen when the system starts up and choose the CD/DVD drive from the Boot Once Menu that appears.

    2. You can tap rapidly on the F8 key when the System starts up and select the repair your computer. Go to step 5 if this works.

Boot Once

(Fig.1 Dell Boot Once Menu)


  • Advanced Boot Options

  • Choose Advanced Options for: Windows 7
    (Use the arrow keys to highlight your choice.)

  • Repair your Computer

  • Safe Mode

    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

  • Enable Boot Logging
    Enable low-resolution video (640x480)
    Last Known Good Configuration (advanced)
    Directory Services Restore Mode
    Debugging Mode
    Disable automatic restart on system failure
    Disable Driver Signature Enforcement

  • Start Windows Normally

  • Description: View a list of system recovery tools you can use to repair
    startup problems, run diagnostics, or restore your system.

  • ENTER=Choose ESC=Cancel
  1. A message to Press any key to boot from CD.. appears on screen quickly when it picks up the installation disc. Press any key when you see this message appear.
  • Press any Key to boot from CD/DVD...
  1. You will get an onscreen message advising setup is copying files. Let it boot to a screen that asks for your language and keyboard settings and choose the appropriate ones for you.

Language

(Fig.8 Language Setup Screen)

  1. You will be asked if you want to install, instead look in the corner of the screen and click on the Repair your Computer to bring up the repair options.

repair your computer

(Fig.9 Install Now Screen)

  1. Select the Startup Repair option from the recovery options screen.

Repair Options

(Fig.10 Recovery Options)

  1. Startup Repair will now scan your computer to attempt to find and fix any startup problems.

startup repair

(Fig.11 Startup Repair)

Note: Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem, and if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs. If repairs are not successful, you'll see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support.

Finish

(Fig.12 Repair Finish Screen)

  1. If problems cannot be found, then click on Next. Click on the Restart button to return to the Windows 7 log on screen.

Note: You can click on the View diagnostic and repair details link to see a detailed summary of what Startup Repair has done.

Windows Vista

  1. Boot to the System Recovery Options screen using your Windows Vista installation disk or system repair disc.

    • You can do this by tapping rapidly on the F12 key at the Dell Splash screen when the system starts up and choose the CD/DVD drive from the Boot Once Menu that appears.

Boot once

(Fig.1 Dell Boot Once Menu)

  1. A message to Press any key to from CD.. appears on screen quickly when it picks up the installation disc. Press any key when you see this message appear.

    • Press any Key to boot from CD/DVD...
  2. You will get an onscreen message advising setup is copying files. Let it boot to a screen that asks for your language and keyboard settings and choose the appropriate ones for you.

Language

(Fig.2 Language Setup Screen)

  1. You will be asked if you want to install, instead look in the corner of the screen and click on the Repair your Computer to bring up the repair options.

Repair your computer

(Fig.3 Install Now Screen)

  1. Select the Startup Repair option from the recovery options screen.

Recovery Options

(Fig.4 Recovery Options)

  1. Startup Repair will now scan your computer to attempt to find and fix any startup problems.

Startup Repair

(Fig.5 Startup Repair)

Repair Details

(Fig.6 Repair Diagnosis and Repair details)

Note: Startup Repair might prompt you to make choices as it tries to fix the problem, and if necessary, it might restart your computer as it makes repairs. If repairs are not successful, you'll see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support.
  1. If problems cannot be found, then click on Finish. Click on the Restart button to return to the Windows Vista log on screen.

Startup Repair

(Fig.7 Could not detect a problem screen)

Note: You can click on the View diagnostic and repair details link to see a detailed summary of what Startup Repair has done.


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Article ID: SLN151680

Last Date Modified: 06/20/2017 06:31 AM


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