What to do if your computer boots but Windows does not load

Start here if your computer does boot and you see a stream of white letters scroll across the screen for a few seconds. the keyboard lights up if you press num lock, and the light on your monitor turns green, but for whatever reason it fails to go into Windows. You may get hung up on a blank screen, have the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death), or have the desktop show but with no icons.

Simplest solution: Restore from your last good backup point. You do have your system backed up, don’t you?

If you do not have your system backed up recently or at all you can try these suggestions.

As with most things with a computer, this problem can be caused by either a hardware or software. However, my experience is these are mostly software errors. When they are not software related, mostly the culprit is bad memory. Keep in mind you may have memory as RAM, on your video card, and on your motherboard or processor. Any of this memory can go bad, but it seldom does, and if it does it is usually the RAM stick.

GENERAL RULE 1: If you get as far as the desktop loading before Windows hangs, even if your icons do not load, you can probably clean out your system and not have to wipe and reload. Your machine will probably go into safe mode. If it does go here:
Computer Slow?

GENERAL RULE 2: If it is not hardware related, you may be better off saving what you can, and wipe and reload Windows. There are literally thousands of possible causes for blue screens and blank screens. Chasing bluescreens can drive you crazy quick, and if you are like me, from normal to crazy is a short enough trip as it is!

Common causes of blank screens, the Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD), Windows hanging up.


There is a bad piece of hardware:
It will most likely not show up in event viewer.
If you just installed a new piece of hardware, remove it.
If you just plugged something into a USB port, unplug it.
If you have more than one piece of memory, pull all but one out and test them one at a time.
Unplug the hard drive cables from the hard drive. NOTE HOW THEY CAME OFF.


Windows is so damaged that it cannot boot.
Boot into safe mode with command prompt, if your computer will go that far, and run “chkdsk /r”. It may tell you that it needs to reboot, if so let it. After this program runs reboot your computer and hope it works. If it does consider yourself to be on borrowed time, back up everything and wipe and reload your system.

Perform a repair install and hope it works. Borrowed time here again.

Spyware and viruses (Virii?) have infected your system is preventing the system from loading.
Since you cannot get into safe mode, you can remove the hard drive from the computer it is in and place it into another computer, and run that computers virus software on the infected drive. After this, you may get it to boot to the point that you can clean it out.

You can boot up on a PE disk, and run your antivirus in that environment, then try to boot.

Really though, consider blowing the whole thing out and wiping and reloading Windows, unless you have lots of time.