Your Computer Was Unable to Start | How to Access Files without OS

Jean updated on Feb 22, 2020 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


When you are faced with Windows 10/8/7 startup error 'Your computer was unable to start. Startup repair is checking your system for problems...', read the solutions and find the best one. EaseUS bootable data recovery software is recommended in the first part for data recovery from an unbootable computer, desktop or laptop.

We have provided you with 4 solutions. First, recover data. Then, try the three solutions below.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Recover Data from PC Create a bootable disk > Boot from the bootable USB > Recover files...Full steps
Fix 2. Try Safe Mode Restart your computer if it is powered on. Press "F8" or "shift + F8"...Full steps
Fix 3. Fix the BCD Error Fix MBR and system file error and boot error using Windows installation disc...Full steps
Fix 4. Repair RAW Disk Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one...Full steps

'Your computer was unable to start
Startup repair is checking your system for problems...'

your computer was unable to start

Once such an error occurs, you're going to suffer from disasters as follows:

  • Your computer has been affected by a virus or malicious software.
  • Your Windows new updates have failed to install properly on your computer.
  • The endless Startup Repair loop, taking a long time for checking your system for problems.
  • Your PC has run into problems such as operating system files corruption or misconfiguration.

There are many reasons could cause a computer won't turn on. The common reasons are listed below:

  • BCD error
  • MBR corruption
  • Driver problem 
  • File signature 
  • Partition corruption / partition becomes RAW
  • System file corruption

Part 1: Recover Data When Your Computer Was Unable to Start

Do not panic! Pick the best troubleshooting guide from below. Before you are going to fix the error, access the data without OS. Your files are probably OK. If you access the files and export them to another place, you can then fix the won't boot device without worries.

You need two things for help, including our third-party EaseUS bootable data recovery software and another working computer. EaseUS bootable data recovery software recovers lost data even when the operating system fails to start or crashes. It is mainly designed for data recovery cases of any system crash or starting problems.

Follow the steps to rescue files when your computer cannot boot into Windows:

Step 1. Create a bootable disk

1. Preparations.

  • An empty USB. If you have important data on it, copy the data to another device. When you create a bootable disk, the data on the USB will be erased.
  • EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will help you create a bootable disk.

2. Details.

Connect the USB drive to PC, launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition.

create a bootable disk with easeus

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition will recognize your CD/DVD device or USB drive automatically. You can also export the ISO file.

Select the USB drive and click "Proceed" to create a bootable disk.

Step 2. Boot from the bootable USB

  • Connect the bootable disk to PC that won't boot and change your computer boot sequence in BIOS. For most users, it works well when they restart their computer and press F2 at the same time to enter BIOS.
  • Set to boot the PC from "Removable Devices" (bootable USB disk) or "CD-ROM Drive" (bootable CD/DVD) beyond Hard Drive. Press "F10" to save and exit.

Step 3. Recover files/data from a PC/laptop hard drive that won't boot

When you boot from the USB, you are able to run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard from the WinPE bootable disk.

1. Select the disk you want to scan to find all your lost files. 

selet the drive

2. Click Scan to start the scanning process.

let the software scan the drive

3. Recover data from the computer or laptop.

After the scan completed. You can preview all recoverable files, select the targeted files and click "Recover" button to restore your files. You'd better save all of the recovered data to another place to avoid data overwriting.

recover data from the computer
Do You Need Specialized Services for System Boot Issues?
EaseUS also provides 1-on-1 remote assistance to fix the boot issue. If the solution above does not work for you, please contact our professionals via Email or LiveChat on this page. To ensure our professional assistance work, you are suggested to connect the unbootable system drive to a healthy computer when getting connected with us.

Part 2: Troubleshoot "Your computer was unable to start" Error

After you have exported data to another location, you can now fix the unbootable PC or laptop. Usually, when this happens for the first time, just wait for the Startup Repair utility checking the problem for you. If the checking process goes smoothly, largely, it's because the computer shuts down improperly.

Solution 1: Try Safe Mode When "Your computer was unable to start" Hangs

If a reboot didn't work, and it takes forever for Startup Repair to check the problem, maybe you have a corrupt driver. In this case, please try to boot up into Safe Mode. Follow the steps to boot the computer in Safe Mode with networking:

Step 1: Restart your computer if it is powered on. Press "F8" or "shift + F8". Ask your manufacturer for the exact key if neither works. 

Step 2: Once you see the "Advanced Boot Options" menu you can stop tapping. Select "Enable Safe Mode with Networking" and press "Enter".

enter safe mode to solve your unable boot pc

You should see drivers loading, and then wait patiently. Then you will be at the Welcome Screen. Log on to your computer using an account with Administrator privileges.

Solution 2: Fix the BCD and File System Error

Computer boot issues may cause by all kinds of system issues, hardware issue or computers. If solution 1 fails to make sense, your computer might be faced with BCD error, MBR corruption or system file error. Then, things could be a little bit difficult. But don't worry, we have a video here to fix the BCD, MBR and file system error step by step. 

Follow this video to learn how to:

  • Fix MBR and system file error and boot error using Windows installation disc.
  • Fix BCD error, which always cases system boot issue.
  • Uninstall software or driver in safe mode to fix BSOD.

Solution 3: Repair RAW Disk/Partition

When the file system is RAW on a hard drive or external storage device, the symptoms are like:

The DBR (DOS Boot Record) of the hard drive is corrupted

The file system of the disk is corrupted

Since your computer cannot boot, you should take out the disk and connect it to another device to format the RAW hard drive to NTFS/FAT. If you need experts to help you repair RAW disk without losing data, you can get their help through the contact ways below:

Do You Need Specialized Data Recovery Services?
You may need further help for tough data loss situations like reformatting drive, RAW disk, partition loss, repartition failures, and system boot error. Consult with EaseUS Data Recovery Experts for cost-efficient one-on-one manual recovery service. They could offer the following services after FREE diagnosis:
1. Unformat the drive
2. Repair the RAID, RAW disk or operating system
3. Recover lost partition (the one that cannot be recovered by software)


Don't worry about the state of your PC. The solutions above could solve most of the errors. Various reasons could cause the "PC fail to boot" issue. If you solve your problem using different solutions, let us know. You can share your solution and help more people.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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