Windows freezes or reboots repeatedly upon startup

Updated: 05/19/2017 by Computer Hope

Frozen computer hard driveWhen the Windows operating system starts up, it loads a number of system files that allow it to function correctly. However, if one of those system files becomes corrupted or another program has problems, Windows can freeze or reboot at various points, including the splash screen. There are several things you can try to fix this issue. Below are steps that can help resolve or determine the cause of this problem.

Note: If you see any blue screen as windows loads, refer to our page on how to fix blue screen errors.

Boot into Safe Mode and run a System Restore

If your computer is frozen restart the computer and while the computer is booting boot the computer into Safe Mode.

Once in Safe Mode run Windows System Restore to restore Windows to an earlier copy. The System Restore can return Windows back to an earlier date when the computer was working and can fix a lot of problems.

After the System Restore has completed, let Windows reboot the computer and see if you can boot into Windows.

Safe Mode and check for device errors and disable startup programs

If Windows still cannot boot and you were able to get into Safe Mode reboot the computer and start back into Safe Mode. Once in Safe Mode make sure there are no errors in the Device Manager and disable all startup programs.

Use the Windows disc to repair Windows

If the previous solutions have not helped and you have a Windows operating system disc. Insert the disc into the computer and reboot the computer. As the computer boots, you should see a message to press Enter to boot from a disc. Once pressed, in the Windows menu choose the Repair option to repair Windows.

Test computer for malware

If you can access another computer and have a USB flash drive download and install Malwarebytes onto the flash drive. Once copied to the flash drive, reboot the computer into Safe Mode, connect the flash drive, and scan and clean the computer of any malware infections.

Test memory

If you continue to have problems, it may be bad computer memory. Make sure there are no problems with the computer memory by testing the memory.

System Restore

Finally, if none of the above steps have helped resolve your problem, your computer may either have a serious software problem or has a hardware problem. The next best step in determining the problem would be to erase the computer and restore it back to the original configuration.

Other hardware problem

If after following all of the above steps you still have the same problem it is most likely the computer has a hardware problem and needs to be repaired. The most likely causes for this type of failure could be a bad hard drive, motherboard, or memory.

Additional information

  • See our frozen definition for related links and information on this term.