How to Fix the "Your PC Did Not Start Correctly" Error

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Patrick_Yu
edited May 3 in PC Tech

When you encounter the "Your PC Did Not Start Correctly" error, it indicates an interruption in the Windows boot process. This issue can arise from various factors such as power failures, incorrect system configurations, outdated drivers, or problematic updates. This guide will provide you with a clear path to diagnosing and resolving these issues through a series of structured steps.

What causes the 'Your PC Did Not Start Correctly' error? 

Understanding the root causes of this error is crucial to determining the right fix. The error can occur due to a variety of issues, often related to interruptions or anomalies during the boot process of Windows. Here are the most common causes: 

  • Power Interruptions: If your computer loses power suddenly during the boot process, it can cause Windows to fail to start correctly. This can happen due to power outages, unplugging the machine without shutting down properly, or hardware failures that affect power supply. 
  • Incorrect Configurations: Changes in system settings or incorrect configurations in the BIOS/UEFI can prevent Windows from booting. This could be due to recent changes made by the user or by a program that did not correctly modify system settings. 
  • Faulty Drivers: Drivers are essential for your hardware to communicate effectively with your operating system. If a driver is outdated, corrupted, or incompatible, it can lead to system instability and boot errors. 
  • Recent Windows Updates: Although updates are meant to improve system performance and security, occasionally a Windows update might introduce unexpected issues that could prevent the system from booting properly. This might happen due to conflicts between the update and existing software or hardware. 

Identifying which of these factors is at play can guide you on which troubleshooting steps to follow to resolve the issue effectively. 

Initial steps to address the error

When faced with the "Your PC Did Not Start Correctly" error, the first action you should take is straightforward but can often resolve temporary glitches that may be causing the problem. 

Restart Your Computer: This is the most direct and simplest step. Sometimes, Windows can encounter a temporary issue that prevents it from booting properly. A restart can clear the system's state and potentially fix the error without needing further action. To restart your computer from the error screen: 

  1. On the error screen, look for the Restart option. 
  2. Click or select Restart to reboot your system. 
  3. Observe if Windows is able to boot successfully upon restart. 

Attempting a restart is an essential first step because it determines whether the problem is persistent or just a one-time glitch. If your PC boots into Windows successfully after a restart, you may continue using your computer normally. However, if the error recurs or the PC fails to boot after several attempts, you will need to explore more advanced troubleshooting techniques described in the following sections. 

Advanced troubleshooting techniques

If a simple restart does not resolve the "Your PC Did Not Start Correctly" error, it's time to move on to more advanced troubleshooting techniques. These steps are designed to address deeper system issues that may be causing the boot failure. 

Use the Startup Repair Tool: This is a built-in Windows recovery tool that can fix certain system problems that might prevent Windows from starting. Here's how to use it: 

  1. On the error screen, select Advanced options
  2. Navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Repair
  3. You may need to enter your account password. Follow the prompts to allow the tool to scan your system and attempt automatic repairs. 
  4. After the repair process completes, attempt to restart your computer. 

Boot into Safe Mode: Booting into Safe Mode loads Windows with a minimal set of drivers and programs. This mode can help you troubleshoot if the error is caused by a software or driver issue. To boot into Safe Mode: 

  1. Access Advanced options as described above. 
  2. Go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings, then click Restart
  3. Once your computer restarts, press the appropriate key to select Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking
  4. If Windows boots successfully in Safe Mode, consider uninstalling recent software or drivers that might be causing conflicts. 

Uninstall Recent Updates: If a recent Windows update is suspected to be the cause, you can uninstall it from Safe Mode. Here’s how: 

  1. For Windows 11: Navigate to Settings > Windows Update > Update history > Uninstall updates. Find the most recent update and click Uninstall
  2. For Windows 10: Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history > Uninstall updates. Right-click the most recent update and choose Uninstall.

Back Up Your Data: If you're able to access Safe Mode or any part of Windows, it's a good practice to back up important data. Use an external drive or cloud storage to save copies of important files. This ensures that your data remains safe while you continue with more invasive troubleshooting steps. 

These techniques are targeted to diagnose and possibly fix more complex issues that might be preventing your computer from starting normally. If these steps do not resolve the problem, further measures may be needed to restore your system's functionality. 

Recovery options

When basic troubleshooting and advanced techniques do not resolve the boot error, it's time to consider recovery options that can help restore your system to a functioning state. These methods are more invasive and should be used when other remedies fail. 

Perform a System Restore: This tool can revert your system settings and configurations to a previous state when everything was functioning correctly. It uses restore points, which are snapshots of your system settings and files at a specific time. Here’s how to perform a System Restore: 

  1. Navigate to Advanced options from the error screen. 
  2. Select System Restore
  3. Choose a restore point from the list that was created before you began experiencing issues. 
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your system. This process can take some time, depending on the volume of data to be restored. 

Repair Boot Configuration Data (BCD): If the Boot Configuration Data is corrupt, your system may fail to start correctly. Here's how to repair BCD: 

  1. From the error screen, go to Advanced options > Command Prompt
  2. In the Command Prompt, type the following commands, pressing Enter after each: 
    1. bootrec /fixmbr 
    2. bootrec /fixboot 
    3. bootrec /rebuildbcd 
  3. After executing these commands, restart your computer to see if the issue is resolved. 

These recovery options target deeper system issues that might not be solved through initial troubleshooting. By rolling back to a previous system state or repairing critical boot data, you can often overcome problems that prevent Windows from starting. 

Last resort solutions

If all previous troubleshooting steps have failed, and your PC still does not start correctly, it may be necessary to consider last resort solutions. These measures are significant and may affect your data and system settings, so they should be used only when necessary. 

Reset Your PC: This option reinstalls Windows but gives you the option to keep your files or remove everything. It can help resolve underlying system issues by restoring Windows to its default state. To reset your PC: 

  1. Access Advanced options from the error screen. 
  2. Navigate to Reset this PC
  3. Choose whether to keep your files or remove everything and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. 

Seek Professional Help: If you are unable to resolve the issue yourself and suspect a deeper hardware issue, it may be time to seek professional support. For Acer users, direct assistance is available through Acer's official support page. Additionally, you can engage with the Acer community for insights and potential solutions by visiting the Acer Official Reddit page or at the Acer Community forums. Both platforms are valuable resources where Acer employees and other users discuss solutions and share advice on similar issues. This peer-to-peer support can be especially helpful in troubleshooting common problems and finding fixes that have worked for others. 

Check Warranty and Service Options: If your PC is still under warranty, check your warranty details for service options. This can include free repairs or replacements depending on the terms of your warranty. Additionally, consider Acer's Extended Service Plans, which offer additional protection and peace of mind beyond the standard warranty. These plans can be viewed and purchased at Acer's Extended Warranty Store

Using these last resort solutions can often resolve the most stubborn issues, but they may come with trade-offs such as data loss or the need for professional repairs. 

Conclusion 

Navigating the "Your PC Did Not Start Correctly" error requires patience and a methodical approach to identify and resolve the underlying issues. By following the steps outlined—from simple restarts to more complex recovery techniques—you can often rectify the problem and prevent future occurrences. If these steps prove insufficient, last resort solutions such as resetting your PC or seeking professional help, especially from reliable sources like Acer's support and their Extended Service Plans, provide additional safety nets. Remember, protecting your data with regular backups and staying informed about system updates are key practices that can help avoid such disruptions in the future. With the right approach, you can overcome this challenge and ensure your system remains robust and reliable.

Tech Made Simple: Gain access to straightforward, easy-to-follow tech advice with our Acer Corner Email Digest. From troubleshooting common problems to exploring new tech hacks, we cover it all. Don’t miss out—subscribe now and make the most of your tech.

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Patrick Yu is a Senior Project Manager at Level Interactive and has 8 years of experience writing business, legal, lifestyle, gaming, and technology articles. He is a significant contributor to Acer Corner and is currently based in Taipei, Taiwan.

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