Windows 7 / Getting Started

How to Start the System Recovery Tools

Windows 7 automatically installs the System Recovery tools, which are capable of fixing almost any startup problem related to boot sectors, MBRs, or the BCD registry file. The Startup Repair tool can fix most startup problems automatically, without requiring you to understand the details of how an operating system loads. The tool is so straightforward that you could easily talk end users through the troubleshooting process remotely.

To start the System Recovery tools, follow these steps:

  1. Restart the computer. If the System Recovery tools do not automatically start, restart the computer again, press F8 before the Starting Windows logo appears, and then choose Repair Your Computer from the Advanced Boot Options screen.
  2. Select your language and keyboard input method and then click Next.
  3. Select your user name and type your password. Then, click OK.

Note Most Windows 7 computers have the System Recovery tools preinstalled by the computer manufacturer. On these computers, you can start the System Recovery tools faster by pressing F8 before the Starting Windows logo appears and then choosing Repair Your Computer from the Advanced Boot Options screen. These computers can also automatically detect startup failure (by noticing that the last startup failed) and start Startup Repair.

If you cannot start the System Recovery tools from the hard drive, insert the Windows DVD and configure the computer to start from the DVD. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Insert the Windows DVD in your computer
  2. Restart your computer. When prompted to boot from the DVD, press any key. If you are not prompted to boot from the DVD, you may have to configure your computer's startup sequence. For more information, see the section titled "Initial Startup Phase" earlier in this tutorial.
  3. Wait while Windows 7 setup loads.
  4. When prompted, select your regional preferences and keyboard layout and then click Next.
  5. Click Repair Your Computer to start RecEnv.exe.
  6. When the System Recovery tools start, System Recovery scans your hard disks for Windows installations.
  7. If the standard Windows drivers do not detect a hard disk because it requires drivers that were not included with Windows 7, click Load Drivers to load the driver and then select an operating system to repair. Click Next.

From this point, the steps are the same whether you loaded the System Recovery tools from the hard disk or the Windows DVD. If Windows failed to start during its last attempt, the Startup Repair tool will be started automatically. Otherwise, the Choose A Recovery Tool page appears.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Startup and Troubleshooting Startup Issues
  2. What is New with Windows Startup
  3. Boot Configuration Data
  4. BCD Stores
  5. System Recovery
  6. Windows Boot Performance Diagnostics
  7. Understanding the Startup Process
  8. Power-on Self Test Phase
  9. Initial Startup Phase
  10. Initial Startup Phase for BIOS Computers
  11. Initial Startup Phase for EFI Computers
  12. Windows Boot Manager Phase
  13. Windows Boot Loader Phase
  14. Kernel Loading Phase
  15. Control Sets
  16. Values for the Start Registry Entry
  17. Value Descriptions for Type Entries
  18. Other Registry Entries in the Servicename Subkeys
  19. Session Manager
  20. Logon Phase
  21. Important Startup Files
  22. How to Configure Startup Settings
  23. How to Use the Startup And Recovery Dialog Box
  24. How to Use the System Configuration Tool
  25. How to Use BCDEdit
  26. How to Interpret BCDEdit Output
  27. How to Back Up and Restore Settings
  28. How to Change the Default Operating System Entry
  29. How to Change the Boot Menu Time-Out
  30. How to Change the Order of Boot Manager Menu Items
  31. How to Create an Entry for Another Operating System
  32. How to Remove a Boot Entry
  33. How to View and Update Global Debugger Settings
  34. How to Remove the Windows 7 Boot Loader
  35. How to Configure a User Account to Automatically Log On
  36. How to Disable the Windows Startup Sound
  37. How to Speed Up the Startup Process
  38. The Process of Troubleshooting Startup
  39. Startup Troubleshooting Before the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  40. How to Start the System Recovery Tools
  41. How to Run Startup Repair
  42. How to Use BootRec.exe
  43. How to Diagnose Hardware Problems
  44. How to Use System Restore
  45. How to Manually Repair the Boot Sector
  46. How to Manually Update the BCD Registry File
  47. How to Manually Replace Files
  48. How to Reinstall Windows
  49. Startup Troubleshooting After the Starting Windows Logo Appears
  50. How to Restore the Last Known Good Configuration
  51. How to Enable Boot Logging
  52. How to Start in Safe Mode
  53. How to Identify Failing Drivers and Services
  54. How to Analyze Startup Problems in Safe Mode
  55. Event Viewer (Eventvwr.msc)
  56. System Information
  57. Error Reporting Service
  58. How to Use Device Manager to View or Change Resources
  59. How to Analyze Boot Logs
  60. How to Roll Back Drivers
  61. How to Temporarily Disable a Service
  62. Troubleshooting Startup Problems After Logon
  63. How to Temporarily Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  64. How to Disable Startup Applications Using the Shift Key
  65. How to Disable Startup Programs Using the System Configuration Utility
  66. How to Disable Startup Applications Configured Using Group Policy or Logon Scripts
  67. How to Permanently Disable Startup Applications and Processes
  68. Manually Remove the Entry