What Are Windows Startup Errors?
The Windows operating system that drives your desktop or laptop PC is a remarkably efficient thing, considering the many thousands of operations that it has to carry out every moment that your PC is operating.
Now, as the name would imply, Windows start-up errors occur when you boot your PC.
Or, at least when you try to boot your PC.
The most serious potential problem of all is that your Windows operating system will not start at all. In effect, your PC is dead.
In this case, you need to use any external boot devices that you have available, such as any suitable floppy disk or CD-Rom that you have previously created for this very purpose.
If they don’t work, and they will not always do so, then you need to go one step further back and look to your original operating system installation disk, in order to save the day.
However, when referring to a Startup error, we would more commonly be talking about a situation where, on trying to start, you would see a message that simply tells you that there is an error happening during the startup process.
If this happens only once, you can generally ignore it, as by definition, if it does not happen again, the chances are good that the problem was only short-lived and temporary.
If however, it happens more than once, then the culprit is likely to be found in one of several different locations within the registry of your Windows operating system.
The usual ‘suspects’ would be as follows:
There’s a file that cannot be found: A driver or a program is set up or configured to load when Windows starts. However, for whatever reason, the underlying file is either damaged or absent. Usually, you have to reinstall the driver or application to fix the problem, or remove the references that are causing the problem (that is, the code that is telling the computer to run that program).
There’s a driver that will not load: This could either mean that the driver itself is damaged, or that the device which the driver controls is not able to function correctly.
There’s a virus or other malware: Viruses or malware can be at the root of this kind of error, even if they are themselves malfunctioning! Scan your system with updated anti-virus software or anti-spyware software.
How Do Startup Errors Begin?
To a large extent, the answer to that question will depend on the cause of the problem.
For example, if the error is caused by a virus or some other malware, then that has probably been implanted into your registry by a program that you downloaded, or an infected email that you opened.
However, viruses or malware driven difficulties are the easy ones to explain!
Files that are damaged or corrupted, along with drivers, can be far more difficult to spot.
Basically, every time you instigate any form of action on your PC, you are probably generating errors of one form or another.
You probably have dozens, if not hundreds of file errors on your PC right now, and are not aware of it because the vast majority will not actually cause you any problems.
However, every time that such an action causes a file or folder to become even slightly damaged or corrupted, you just moved a little closer to the point where the errors do begin to have an adverse effect on the operating system.
In effect, it is the normal day to day operation of your PC that will eventually cause errors that become problematical for you, and Startup errors are no exception to this rule.
They really represent the tip of the iceberg, appearing above the visible error ‘waterline’, indicating a problem whilst keeping 90% of what is really going on well hidden!
How To Repair Windows Startup Errors
In an effort to find the cause of Startup errors, you can sometimes begin to resolve the problem by removing the reference to the file, or, at the very least, locating the damaged file or driver will help you to determine exactly where the problem lies.
You could try looking in the Startup folder that is generally found in the start menu itself, for outdated or unwanted shortcuts.
If your PC gives you the name of the file or folder that is causing the Startup error, you can try to find it by looking in “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows\ CurrentVersion\ Run” directory, to see if there are any clues there.
Some program types are fairly notorious for creating startup havoc, by placing unwanted files in places that they should not be.
Backup programs can fall into this category, so if you have an automatic backup system in place, check it for this kind of error.
The bottom line, however, is that it is likely to be very difficult indeed to properly isolate the problems that are the root cause of your Startup errors, without the correct tools to do so.
Rather than trying to do the job manually, it would make much more sense to run a free deep-system registry scan with a program like SpeedyPC, which would highlight all of the errors in the registry, not only those that are causing Startup difficulties.
Then, use the same software to repair the problems that it found, and you will know that the problems have been dealt with quickly and efficiently.