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
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?