How to fix a Windows startup error

What to do when Windows just won't start

QUESTION When I power on my Windows XP Pro Lenovo laptop I get the error message: 'Windows did not start successfully. This could be due to software or hardware change'. It then gives options to start in Safe mode or Recovery, or to Start normally after 10 seconds. Whichever option I choose, the screen goes black and the power switches off by itself.I've tried restoring the machine to its factory settings, but the same problem occurs repeatedly. Onn Sein

HELPROOM ANSWER It looks as though a hardware or software change (or a faulty component) could be causing this. Before you take the drastic action of reinstalling Windows, boot into Safe mode and head to Control Panel, Programs and Features. Uninstall any updated Windows drivers, such as graphics or windows software updates.

If this doesn't help, give System Restore a try. Note that System Restore won't delete any of your documents or email messages, and affects only the system and program files. For more advice, see 'How to create and manage System Restore points'.

Another option is to use the Lenovo ThinkVantage System Update tool that was preinstalled on your laptop. If you don't have this, get it here. This software will automatically detect your laptop model and find and install any driver, software or Bios updates.

The problems you're experiencing may also be due to a faulty component or loose connection. If you're not comfortable with looking inside the chassis, visit a local PC repair shop.

See also:

How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

Windows 7 zone NEW!

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags softwareLenovo

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Byers

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?