Run Startup Repair on a Dell PC with a Windows Operating System

Summary: How to boot to a startup repair in the Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 Windows operating systems.

Article Content


Symptoms

Run Windows Startup Repair

Duration: 01:03
Closed captions: English only


Are you experiencing any of the issues that are listed in the first section of this article? You can find information about 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.


 

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 cannot 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 log in errors
  • Viruses and malicious software
SLN151680_en_US__1icon Note: Startup Repair cannot fix hardware failures, such as a failing hard disks or incompatible memory. Startup Repair is not a backup tool, it cannot 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 it is 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.

SLN151680_en_US__1icon 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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Resolution

 

How to run a repair

 

SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: The following links take you to an article on booting to the recovery option menu and a Microsoft article on what the recovery options are for Windows 10. On the Microsoft article you want to choose the Reset option to use the latest equivalent of the start repair:

Windows 8 and 8.1

SLN151680_en_US__3icon 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 does not 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.

      SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: If you have installed your Windows installation on the latest UEFI BIOS or are using an SSD (Solid-State Drive) as your boot device, then please use one of the other methods shown here.
    • If you still have access to the windows home screen, you can click on Restart while holding down the SHIFT key. Or you can press the Windows+I keys together and choose General and select restart to advanced startup.

       

SLN151680_en_US__71374751905705.dellbootoncemenu

(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

 

SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: On some Windows 8 builds this is an option that 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 Advanced options and then Automatic Repair.

SLN151680_en_US__91374752174073.advanced options

(Fig.13 Advanced Options Menu)

SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: Your PC may restart after this.
  1. If it asks while it is running select the correct Operating System that you want to do an Automatic Repair on.

SLN151680_en_US__111374752253243.Automatic_Repair_OS

(Fig.14 Automatic Repair)

SLN151680_en_US__3icon 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.

SLN151680_en_US__131374752454488.Automatic_Repair_Administrative_logon

(Fig.15 Repair - Select User)

SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: Normal user accounts and domain accounts on the computer will not be listed.
  1. The Automatic Repair will start Diagnosing your PC, and it attempts to automatically repair them.

SLN151680_en_US__151374752525408.Step3

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

SLN151680_en_US__3icon 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 Advanced options to go back to step 2.

     

SLN151680_en_US__171374752625046.Step5

(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.

SLN151680_en_US__181374751440967.dellbootoncemenu

(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.

    SLN151680_en_US__191374751686180.Image25

    (Fig.8 Language Setup Screen)

    1. You are 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.

    SLN151680_en_US__201374751728366.Image33

    (Fig.9 Install Now Screen)

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

    SLN151680_en_US__211374751767724.recovery options

    (Fig.10 Recovery Options)

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

    SLN151680_en_US__221374751801442.startup-repair

    (Fig.11 Startup Repair)

    SLN151680_en_US__3icon 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 will see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support.

    SLN151680_en_US__241374751843738.startup repair complete

    (Fig.12 Repair Finish Screen)

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

    SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: You can click 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.

    SLN151680_en_US__261374751942376.dellbootoncemenu

    (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.

    SLN151680_en_US__271374752737168.Image8

    (Fig.2 Language Setup Screen)

    1. You are 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.

    SLN151680_en_US__281374752771261.Image9

    (Fig.3 Install Now Screen)

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

    SLN151680_en_US__291374752808604.vista-recovery-disc

    (Fig.4 Recovery Options)

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

    SLN151680_en_US__301374752948303.windows-vista-startup-repair-8

    (Fig.5 Startup Repair)

    SLN151680_en_US__311374752914023.startup reapir details

    (Fig.6 Repair Diagnosis and Repair details)

    SLN151680_en_US__3icon 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 will see a summary of the problem and links to contact information for support.
    1. If problems cannot be found, then click Finish. Click the Restart button to return to the Windows Vista log in screen.

    SLN151680_en_US__331374752848869.Run_startup_repair_3

    (Fig.7 Could not detect a problem screen)

    SLN151680_en_US__3icon Note: You can click the View diagnostic and repair details link to see a detailed summary of what Startup Repair has done.


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    Article Properties


    Affected Product

    Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations

    Last Published Date

    21 Feb 2021

    Version

    4

    Article Type

    Solution

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