How to troubleshoot Windows 10 failure to boot using recovery environment


Apr 19, 2016

The Windows 10 recovery environment is designed to help recover a PC if it fails to boot normally. If your computer is having issues with booting into the desktop, chances are you will see this screen after a reboot. So what do you do next? Here’s now to troubleshoot Windows 10 failure to boot using recovery environment.

Troubleshoot Windows 10 failure to boot using recovery environment

Once you see this window, the first thing to do is not panic. There are lots of ways we can troubleshoot the issue and get you into your desktop.

1. Click Restart my PC and see if a second reboot will work around whatever issue sent you to the recovery screen. If your PC boots normally, we’re done here.
2. Click See advanced repair options if you land on the recovery screen again.
3. Select Troubleshoot and look at your options.
• Refresh your PC is essentially a system restore that keeps your data and your files.
• Reset your PC is a system restore that does not keep your data and your files.
• Advanced options takes you to another screen that has some more tools.
4. Select an option as you see fit. To begin with, I would suggest selecting Advanced options and then Start-up repair and then Start-up settings if repair doesn’t work.

Advanced options
Advanced options within the Windows 10 recovery environment offers a series of more in-depth tools to help troubleshoot boot failure.

System restore does exactly that. It will only work if you have had System Restore enabled and have created a working restore point. It’s a good place to start if you have.
System Image Recovery also depends on having an existing system image from which to rebuild the system.
Start-up Repair will try to do exactly that. Repair boot files and the boot record in order to get your system working again.
Command Prompt will open a CMD window through which you can use some troubleshooting commands to perform a system file check or to rebuild the boot record.
Start-up Settings allows you to set start parameters for Windows 10. You can enable debugging, boot logging, Safe Mode and more from here.

Troubleshooting using Windows 10 recovery environment
When troubleshooting boot, it is good practice to start with the easy stuff and only move on to more serious procedures if they don’t work. I would always begin with a restart, then start-up repair, boot into safe mode using start-up settings and remove any new apps or programs.

After that, I tend to use the command prompt to perform system file checks and DISM. Check out my tutorial ‘How to run the SFC command at boot in Windows 10’ for more details. Finally, if none of those tasks can get your computer booted, try a system restore if you have a restore point or image recovery if you have an image. Finally, try a system refresh or a PC reset as a very last resort.

More Windows 10 troubleshooting tutorials:
How to get out of Windows 10 repair loop
How to fix Failed Windows 10 install - C1900101-4000D error message
How to fix unexpected store exception error message