Why does Windows 7 hang on startup and how do I fix it?

KamilKozyra September 4, 2012

My PC keeps getting stuck on “Starting Windows”. System repair cannot fix it and there’s no issues once in Windows. I’m virus/malware free and I recently formatted C drive and it still happens.

Windows disk check is fine & my Seagate’s special CD checker passed all the tests. Any ideas?

  1. Dave Rimmer
    September 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    Forgot to mention if you can start the pc and get into Windows then try CHKDSK Click on Start/My Computer Right Click on the C: Drive/Properties/Tools/ then Check - Now Check Disk Options and make sure that both boxes are checked restart your Pc. After that has run Re-start Pc, click Start in the search box type CMD right click on it and choose Run As Administrator a new window will open type sfc /scannow or copy and paste it press enter and let it run. Hope this helps.

  2. Dave Rimmer
    September 9, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Memtest86 has my RAM flagged with errors. How many sticks of Ram d you have if more than 1 then try them 1 at a time until you find which 1 is the culprit.

  3. bobby jay
    September 7, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    Try booting into safe mode and get rid of unwanted programs.

  4. Saurabh Singh
    September 7, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Try using windows 7 dvd to repair the windows. There is a option in the setup of windows 7 to repair the pc and once you get access to the desktop then you can go for system restore.

  5. KamilKozyra
    September 7, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Hi everybody. Memtest86 has my RAM flagged with errors. Is there any way of knowing which stick is bad?

    • Paul Girardin
      September 15, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      By trial and error (good old-fashioned method) ;)

      As said before by Kannon Y, remove all but one stick of RAM (make sure that RAM is well sitted in the first memory slot by making sure both sides click in their holder), run Memtest86 and look at the report.

      If flagged with errors, that stick is faulty and should be replaced.

      If not, replace with the next stick and try again.

      Repeat with all your RAM sticks to make sure they are not all faulty.

      I hope you find your problem this way.

  6. fatihamzah
    September 7, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Check your hardware, is there any problem? or then upgrade your hardware

  7. i_am_toby
    September 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    If it's freezing in Safe mode you can probably rule out software. Sounds like a RAM issue to me. Go ahead and run Memtest86+ on your system, and see what happens. Leave it running overnight. If you get errors, you have your problem. if not, then chances are it IS software or something really isn't healthy. You can also try reseating everything and maybe even a new powersupply. Does a Linux distro (even running live) exhibit any odd behaviour?

    • KamilKozyra
      September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks everyone for input. I understand how RAM could be a culprit, but can I get an explanation of how/why a power supply can be the cause?

      I have a UPS hooked up to my PC - could voltage setting be a factor?

      • Bruce Epper
        September 9, 2012 at 8:14 am

        Having a UPS is does not change the potential power supply issue. The device in the system that converts your AC to DC voltages for use in the system is what everyone is referring to. If your PSU is having issues delivering the proper voltages to the hardware, you will see intermittent problems. You will also see problems if the current it is supplying is less than what is required to drive all of the components. These issues are more apparent when the system is first booting and all of the drives are spinning up since the power requriements are higher at that time than when the system is able to idle and spin down devices.

        • KamilKozyra
          September 9, 2012 at 4:08 pm

          Is there any way of testing the PSU without taking it to a repair shop? Exactly what tests on the PSU should I ask them to run?

  8. Kannon Y
    September 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    As others have said - this is almost certainly a sign of a failing hardware component. Unless I'm missing something critical.

    My favorite method of diagnosing this issue is to strip your computer down to a minimal hardware profile. Meaning, one stick of RAM, nothing in the PCI slots, one hard drive and only the USB mouse or keyboard - then try rebooting. If you continue to experience the same issue, try a different stick of RAM.

    If the problem persists you have eliminated the RAM and all other devices, aside from the (1) motherboard, (2) power supply (3) bootable hard drive.

    You can test the hard drive through a variety of methods. Try reading this article for more information.

    The remaining two devices require special troubleshooting equipment to properly diagnose, so you should then take it into a repair shop and ask specifically for the motherboard and PSU to be tested.

    This link is my favorite diagnostic website, if you feel like learning trouble shooting methods for your particular issue:


    Good luck!

  9. Adjei Kofi
    September 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    You can try system repair with the windows cd. Choose the option to boot with safe mode with command prompt. In the command prompt window, type "bootrec.exe /fix" (without quotes). It should do the job.

  10. HLJonnalagadda
    September 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    And also try to do a memory and hard drive check test to ensure that there is nothing wrong with these.

    • KamilKozyra
      September 5, 2012 at 3:23 pm

      HDD passed tests successfully.

  11. Joel Alar
    September 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Did you try to reset the bios setting? Did you try to remove the memory, and other addon cards and install it one by one.

    September 4, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Hello, this happens usually because of problems with hardware or sometimes drivers. Once you have windows running try using the system file checker command. Here is how:


  13. bad bonz
    September 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    U may want to also try to insert windows boot disk,if u have one.
    The prompt will ask if u want to boot off disk,do so.
    It will load drivers and the screen should pop up to go on to install windows,but in lower left hand corner u will see the option repair computer,click that option and it should fix the problem for good.

  14. MerVzter Balacuit
    September 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    try safe mode , see if it still freeze same as normal boot..

    • KamilKozyra
      September 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      It stops on the line ending in classpnp.sys

      • MerVzter Balacuit
        September 4, 2012 at 11:46 pm

        i think u should do a system repair using windows cd, or else if you have a back up you can restore in the time that it works.. try to see another suggestion coming in here it might help

  15. James Bruce
    September 4, 2012 at 9:44 am

    If its happening intermittently (ie, not every time) it's probably a hardware failure. Check the RAM, power supply, as these are the most likely culprits.

  16. Muhammad Ahmad
    September 4, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I think there is a problem with your system RAM. You should check the system RAM, clean it. Additionally restart the pc in safe mode. To restart the system in safe mode. Restart the pc and keep pressing F8 on startup. Than select Safe mode and press enter. In safe mode. press windows logo key plus R or simply open RUN in start menu than type MSCONFIG and press ok. Here select clean boot option by unchecking all the options in Under Selective startup. Press apply and restart in normal mode. This might help you.

  17. ha14
    September 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

    check your hardware, cables, cmos battery...remove ram clean them and reinsert.

    • KamilKozyra
      September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm


  18. Rajaa Chowdhury
    September 4, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Use the "Startup Repair" of Windows 7 to fix it. :)

    • KamilKozyra
      September 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

      It doesn't fix it :(

  19. Bruce Epper
    September 4, 2012 at 4:11 am

    "...there's no issues once in Windows." It's not really getting stuck then, is it? So, what is the problem? Is this really some kind of delay at that point? When you see the "Starting Windows" screen, the computer is still loading base components and drivers. So is a specific driver taking a long time to load and initialize?Boot the system and once you get to the desktop, click on the Start orb and type 'msconfig' and press Enter. Go to the Boot tab, select the entry you want to change (probably the one that says Default OS), and check the 'No GUI boot' option. Close the tool and reboot the machine. The 'Starting Windows' graphic should not appear, instead you should see a list of all drivers as they are being loaded. Most will load quickly but some may take quite a bit longer than others. Those are probably the culprits you are after so if they are for devices (especially virtual devices) that you do not use or use infrequently, you may wish to disable them to allow your system to boot faster.

    • KamilKozyra
      September 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      Thank you.

    • KamilKozyra
      September 7, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      I did it and after it posted, the monitor stays on but absolutely nothing on the screen - no mouse cursor & no blinking cursor. How do I get back to uncheck "no GUI boot"?

      • KamilKozyra
        September 8, 2012 at 5:15 pm

        I didn't wait long enough. I tried it 3 times and no issues. What could it mean? Bad graphics card?

        • KamilKozyra
          September 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

          It froze on me with the "no gui" option on :)
          Any more ideas?

    • KamilKozyra
      September 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Is there any way of testing the PSU without taking it to a repair shop? Exactly what tests on the PSU should I ask them to run?

    • KamilKozyra
      September 9, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Sorry, wrong spot.

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