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

Jean Updated on Dec 27, 2018 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 this post and find the best solution. EaseUS bootable data recovery software is recommended in the final part for data recovery from an unbootable computer, desktop or laptop.

'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.

Try Safe Mode When "Your computer was unable to start" hangs

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 smooth, largely, it's because the computer shut down improperly.

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:

Restart your computer if it is powered on.
Tap the F8 key after your computer initially powers on.

  1. 1. Once you see the Advanced Boot Options menu you can stop tapping.
  2. 2. Use the up/down arrow keys to highlight your selection.
  3. 3. Select Safe Mode with Networking and press Enter.
  4. 4. You should see drivers loading, and then please wait.
  5. 5. You should then be at the Welcome Screen.
  6. 6. Log on to your computer using an account with Administrator privileges

Try bootable data recovery software when your computer was unable to start

We feel sorry if the above Safe Mode solution fails to revive your operating system as wish. Be aware that your MBR could be blown and you need a new hard drive to replace the existing one. How can you recover hard disk data without OS?

You need two things for help, including our third-party EaseUS bootable data recovery software and another working computer.

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

Be sure that you have a CD/DVD-Recorder and a CD/DVD or USB drive which can be written.

1. Download and install EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard WinPE Edition on a normal computer.

2. Restore files with EaseUS bootable data recovery software from 'your computer was unable to start' error:

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

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Frequently Asked Qusetions

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.