Your PC Ran into a Problem and Needs to Restart in Windows 10

The blue screen error prompt 'Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart' is a prevalent error message. We provide 11 fixes that cover all standard issues that result in this error. Try them one by one to get rid of the unexpected system crash. If any important files are lost in the process, try EaseUS data recovery software to get them back.

Table of Contents

According to different situations, the answers to how to fix your PC ran into a problem vary. Here's quick navigation for all solutions, you can directly jump to the part you're interested in:

Cases Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Case1. You can boot Windows Boot into safe mode and then boot normally > check disk > leave enough space for system drive> check system log in event viewer...Full steps
Case2. You can't boot Windows Perform system restore > perform system image recovery > restore registry configuration...Full steps
Case3. Stuck in Windows loop Perform startup repair > Perform system/image recovery > restore registry > enter safe mode...Full steps

Applies to: Fix "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" issue on the latest Windows 10 20H2 October Update, Windows 10 2004, Windows 10 1909/1903/1809/1803/1709, and more. 

Windows 10 20H2 October Update Rolls Out:
Starting October 20, Microsoft is making the newest Windows 10 October Update with its new features available for mainstream users to install.
If you haven't received it yet, you can manually download it from a variety of channels.
To install the latest Windows 10 20H2 update, click to Download Latest Windows 10 Update from Microsoft official site.

About "Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs to Restart"

Some Windows users have encountered a situation where their operating system crashes unexpectedly and displays the dreaded blue screen of death. There are various underlying causes that can result in a crash, and the system will report different error messages and information. Among the blue screens, 'Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart' happens most frequently.

Symptoms

The error "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then we'll restart for you" may occur during the Windows startup process or during normal use.

It always comes with a stop/error code like:
WHEA UNCORRECTABLE
KERNEL_SECURITY_CHECK_ERROR
FAULTY_HARDWARE-CORRUPTED_PAGE
DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION
Stop code: 0xC0000021A
INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE
CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED
BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO

Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart in Windows 10

Causes

Each stop/error code indicates the possible causes of the issue. However, there are various error messages (100+) related to "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart". Thus, there are so many reasons why you encounter the error. But I narrow them down to the following factors:

  • Changes in registry
  • Corrupted system files
  • Problematic driver
  • Virus/malware infection
  • Loose hard drive connection
  • Improper shutdown of the system

These causes may also lead to other blue screen errors like DPC Watchdog violation, Automatic Repair loop, and more.

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11 Fixes for Your PC Ran Into a Problem and Needs a Restart in Windows 10/8/8.1

If you are faced with the error, there is a slim chance that your computer will work properly after a restart. In more common situations, your PC will restart and prepare an automatic repair, which generally doesn't work and will show you "Your PC did not start correctly". Or you are just stuck at the "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" loop. Specify your situation and carry out the corresponding fixes to have a try.

Notice:
You'd better visit this page with another device instead of your computer since some of the solutions below require you to restart your computer. Besides, whether you can boot your computer or not, if the error code says "INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE", do check your hard drive connection and remove the peripherals that are attached to your computer.

Situation 1. You Can Boot Windows

Even if you can still boot your computer, you need to apply some troubleshooting steps to prevent such an error from happening again. But you are the lucky ones that can fix the error much more easily with a bootable computer.

Method 1. Boot into Safe Mode and then Boot Normally

Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode of Windows. It starts your PC with the minimal necessary programs and services. In Safe Mode, you can fix some system-related problems by uninstalling incompatible software/driver, deleting problematic files, removing viruses, and more. Even if you do nothing, booting into Safe Mode is useful to repair some system errors by helping the storage system to be reaccessed.

On a functional computer, you can enter Safe Mode via Settings:

Step 1. In Windows 10, click "Start" > "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Recovery".

Step 2. In the "Advanced startup" section, choose "Restart now".

Step 3. After the restart, choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "Startup Settings" > "Restart".

Step 4. Now you will see the "Startup Settings" screen. You can choose one of the three Safe Mode options: "Enable Safe Mode", "Enable Safe Mode with Networking", or "Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt".

Step 5. Restart your computer and see whether it boots properly.

Enter Safe Mode

Method 2. Check the Disk

Check the disk is identical to running the CHKDSK command, which is used to fix disk errors like bad sectors and file system errors. If "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" appears with "INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE", it may be caused by the file system errors on your hard drive. That's why checking the disk is necessary.

Step 1. Go to "This PC". Right-click your drive and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Go to the "Tools" tab and click "Check" > "Scan drive".

Check disk for file system errors

Method 3. Leave Enough Space for System Drive

The Windows operating system and some applications installed need sufficient free space to function properly. If your system drive, generally C drive, is almost out of space, you should consider extending the system partition to create more space for your OS.

Method 4. Check System Log in Event Viewer

Checking the system log in Event viewer is helpful to find the culprit of the "Your PC ran into a system" error in Windows 10/8/8.1, especially for a problematic device or driver. 

Step 1. Click "Start" and enter the event viewer.

Step 2. Right-click "Event Viewer" and choose "Run as administrator".

Step 3. Expand "Windows Logs" and choose "System".

Step 4. Check the errors that occurred simultaneously with the blue screen and fix the error according to the information.

Check System Log in Event Viewer

Of course, there are other ways to try, including updating the device driver in Device Manager and running hardware diagnostics provided using the Windows built-in feature. If the solutions above fail, continue to carry out these methods to cope with the problem.

Situation 2. You Can't Boot Windows and See "Your PC did not start correctly"

In some cases, your PC will restart and prepare a startup repair automatically after the error message appears, resulting in the "Your PC did not start correctly" screen. Here you can see two options: Restart and Advanced options.

Your PC did not start correctly

If you click "Restart", it's almost inevitable the computer will come with the same error screen. Thus, you should choose "Advanced options" instead. Afterwards, continue to choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options".

Advanced options

Here you will see five or six options, depending on your Windows version, including System Restore, System Image Recovery, Command Prompt, Startup Settings, and Go back to the previous build. Here is a brief explanation:

  • If you have created a restore point, then using the System Restore feature will bring your computer back to a functional state. If not, this option is useless.
  • Similarly, if you have created a system image, you can perform a System Image Recovery to bring your system back to life. If not, it's just not the option for you.
  • In this case, the computer had tried a Startup Repair and failed. Therefore, it's unnecessary to try it again.
  • In Command Prompt, you can use command lines to execute operations.
  • In Startup Settings, you can enter Safe Mode, disable automatic restart after failure, and more.
  • The "Go back to the previous build" will bring your computer back to an earlier version.

Method 1. Perform System Restore

If you have a system restore point available, you can perform a system restore:

Step 1. In the Windows Boot Options menu, select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "System Restore".

Step 2. Choose a previous working state (data) to restore your computer.

Step 3. Wait until Windows restores your system. Then restart the computer.

Perform System Restore in Windows 10

Method 2. Perform System Image Recovery

Alternatively, you can perform a system image recovery if you have created a system image before the issue arise.

Step 1. Connect the external hard drive that contains the system image to your computer.

Step 2. In the Windows Boot Options menu, select "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced Options" > "System Image Recovery".

Step 3. Choose the system image you want to recover.

Step 4. In the Re-image your computer wizard, select the system image, and click "Next".

Step 5. Follow the wizard to format the disks and restore the system.

Step 6. Restart your computer.

Perform a System Image Recovery in Windows 10

Method 3. Restore Registry Configuration

Don't have any restore point or system image? No worry. Based on the details above, here I recommend you select "Command Prompt" to restore the registry.

The registry is a database that contains the configuration data for the Windows operating system and most of the applications. That is why changes in the registry may influence the functionality of your computer or programs. Registry files may get deleted accidentally by yourself or by some program. And that could result in serious problems just like "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart". Luckily, the changes can be reverted with the registry backup files, which you can complete via Command Prompt.

Step 1. Choose "Command Prompt" among the options.

Step 2. Select the account and enter the password.

Step 3. In Command Prompt, enter the following command in order:

  • C:
  • CD Windows\System32
  • CD config
  • DIR
  • CD regback
  • DIR CD..
  • REN default default1
  • ren sam sam1
  • ren security security1
  • ren software software1
  • ren system to system1
  • CD regback
  • copy * c:\windows\system32\config

Step 4. Type exit. In the "Choose an option" screen, choose "Turn off your PC" and then start your computer.

Simply speaking, the commands above serve the purpose of replacing the existing system32 config files, which might have been changed incorrectly, with the ones in the backup folder. This method will certainly work if the "Your PC ran into a problem" error is caused by registry changes.

If restoring the registry comes in vain, you can choose "Startup Settings" and enter Safe Mode to try more solutions.

Situation 3. You Are Stuck in the "Your PC ran into a problem" Loop

Unlike either of the two cases above, you have no options available to choose from. All you have is the repeated restart and error circle. In a situation like this, you can either recover data from the corrupted OS or fix the problem with the Windows installation CD/DVD. If you don't have an installation disc, you can create a Windows installation media as a substitute. With the Windows installation media, you can repair your computer via the Advanced options which you have no access to currently.

Preparation: Steps to access the Advanced options via the Windows installation media:

Step 1. Create a Windows installation media according to the official guide supplied by Microsoft.

Step 2. Connect the bootable media to your computer and boot your computer from the device.

Step 3. Wait for the installation files to load.

Step 4. In the Windows Setup window, choose "Next".

Step 5. Click "Repair your computer" in the Setup window and choose "Troubleshoot" > "Advanced options".

Advanced options

In situation 2, I have explained what these Advanced options can do. To fix the "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" in Windows 10, you can apply the following solutions in order.

Method 1. Perform Startup Repair

Startup Repair enables you to fix certain system problems that might prevent Windows from booting up. It is always a good option when there is a boot failure on the computer.

Method 2. Perform System Recovery/System Image Recovery

The precondition to use such options is that you have a restore point or system image available. If not, switch to other workable ways.

Method 3. Restore the Registry in Command Prompt

Did you change the registry on your computer recently? If you did, enter Command Prompt and follow the steps detailed in situation 2 to bring the registry to an earlier working state.

Method 4. Enter Safe Mode

As mentioned above, Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode that allows you to perform some troubleshooting steps. In Safe Mode (with Command Prompt), you can do a lot of things to cope with the issue, like:

  • Uninstall incompatible software
  • Update driver
  • Remove virus/malware
  • Run System File Checker tool

To uninstall problematic software: 

Step 1. Go to "Start" > "Settings" > "Apps" > "Apps & features".

Step 2. Click the target software and click "Uninstall".

Uninstall Software

To update the hard drive/motherboard driver: Since your computer cannot boot properly, you need to update the hard drive driver or motherboard with a CD or USB that contains the driver. You can download the driver from the manufacturer's website.

To remove the virus: Use the anti-virus software or Windows defender to finish the task. I will show you how to run Windows Defender.

Step 1. Go to "Settings" > "Update & Security" > "Windows Security".

Step 2. Click "Virus & threat protection".

Step 3. In the "Threat history" section, click "Scan now" to scan for viruses on your computer.

Remove virus

To run the System File Checker tool:

It's no doubt that missing or damaged system files will cause problems on the computer, either minor or serious. The BSOD "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" may also result from system file errors. Fortunately, the Windows System File Checker tool is able to check and repair missing or damaged system files. In Command Prompt, enter sfc /scannow to start repairing the system files.

Extra Tip: Recover Data after Fixing "Your PC ran into a problem"

If you have, unfortunately, lost some files after taking the methods to troubleshoot the 'Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart' error in Windows 10, try the hard drive recovery software - EaseUS data recovery software to retrieve them. This software can recover files due to deletion, format, system crash, and more. Once data loss is found, launch the software and rescue your files as soon as possible.

Step 1. Select a location to scan.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, hover on the partition, external hard drive, USB, or memory card from which you want to perform data recovery, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Select the files you want to recover.

Wait until the scanning completes. Afterward, select the lost files you want to recover. If you need, double-click the file to preview its content.

Choose files to recover

Step 3. Recover lost data.

After choosing the files, click "Recover" and choose a location on another drive to save the recovered files.

Recover lost data

Let's Move and Get Rid of the Problem

The "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" problem is annoying. But with the workable solutions provided here, you should feel relieved because there are still ways to rescue your computer. If you are clear about what leads to your current situation, you can solve the problem in a more direct way. If not, specify your situation and carry out the potential fixes to remove the error.

Hope you can solve the "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart" successfully.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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Written by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created multiple posts on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, Mac, etc. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interest.

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