The blog of Windows Wally, a Windows Support Technician helping common people solve frustrating computer problems.

What To Do When Windows 8.1 Does Not Start

Reader Question:
“Hi Wally, Today I installed Windows 8.1 on my laptop. It originally came with Windows 7. Now Windows 8 does not start when I turn the computer on. I’m using my desktop for the time being. Please help me fix this problem!”  - Catherine S., Canada

Before addressing any computer issue, I always recommend scanning and repairing any underlying problems affecting your PC health and performance:

  • Step 1 : Download PC Repair & Optimizer Tool (WinThruster for Win 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000 – Microsoft Gold Certified).
  • Step 2 : Click “Start Scan” to find Windows registry issues that could be causing PC problems.
  • Step 3 : Click “Repair All” to fix all issues.

Setting up weekly (or daily) automatic scans will help prevent system problems and keep your PC running fast and trouble-free.

Wally’s Answer: Windows 8.1 is a solid operating system. It can automatically fix most problems that it might encounter. However, Windows 8.1 boot issues have been noted in the case of some older computers. It is quite rare though. But don’t worry, the fix is really simple.


Windows 8.1 does not start.


  • The Boot Loader is corrupt.
  • Windows 8 System Files are damaged.
  • The Device Driver files are corrupt.


Here are some fixes to problems that generally cause this issue:

Make A Windows 8.1 USB Recovery Drive

When Windows 8.1 does not start at all, make a Windows 8 USB recovery drive. This recovery drive can be made with any other computer that is already running Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 by using these instructions. We will be using the Windows 8 (or 8.1) USB recovery drive through this article.

Boot Your Computer With The Windows 8.1 USB Recovery Drive

  1. Insert the USB and restart the computer.
  2. When the computer boots with the USB, you should see a Windows Setup screen. Click the link that says Repair your computer.
    Does Not Start - Repair your computer - Windows Wally
  3. Click Troubleshoot
  4. Click Advanced Options
    Does Not Start - Advanced Options - Reset your PC -- WIndows Wally
  5. You should see this screen with all the Troubleshooting tools you need
    Does Not Start - Repair - Troubleshoot - Startup Settings -- Windows Wally

How To Repair Windows 8.1 Using Troubleshooting Tools

After Booting your computer with the windows 8.1 USB recovery drive, you should see the screen with troubleshooting tools (as shown above). Here is what those options mean and how to use them.

Automatic Repair

Does Not Start - Repair - Troubleshoot - Startup Settings - Automatic Repair -- Windows Wally

The Automatic Repair option is the easiest thing that you can try here. Use this before anything else. Because Windows 8.1 is very stable, you should be able to fix most problems by using this option alone.

System Restore

Does Not Start - Repair - Troubleshoot - Startup Settings - System Restore -- Windows Wally

System Restore is an excellent way to fix the computer if you or Windows 8 itself made a system restore point when Windows was still working. Click here to learn how to use system restore.

Command Prompt

Does Not Start - Repair - Troubleshoot - Startup Settings - Command Prompt - Windows Wally

The Command Prompt option is not just for advanced users. Here are some commands that might just fix Windows and save you hours. Don’t worry, all these commands are very safe to use.

  • In the Command Prompt window, type Bootrec /fixmbr and press Enter to write the master boot record on the system boot partition without rewriting the partition table.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type Bootrec /fixboot and press Enter to write a new boot sector on the system partition in an attempt to fix the corrupt boot sector.
  • In the Command Prompt window, type Bootrec /RebuildBcd and press Enter to replace boot files and fix errors caused by corrupt boot files.

Refresh or Reset your PC

  1. Insert the USB and restart the computer.
  2. When the computer boots with the USB, you should see a Windows Setup screen. Click the link that says Repair your computer.
    Does Not Start - Repair your computer - Windows Wally
  3. Click Troubleshoot
  4. Now choose between Refresh your PC and Reset your PC
    Does Not Start - Advanced Options - Reset or Refresh your PC -- WIndows Wally

Clicking Refresh your PC will re-install Windows 8.1 without deleting your’s personal files in the documents and desktop. It won’t delete installed software either.

Clicking Reset your PC will reset Windows. This essentially means that Windows 8.1 will be completely re-installed. This process will remove your user files on the system partition, and remove all the software that was installed on the computer.

If none of these fixes work for you and Windows 8 still does not start then you should get your computer checked at a computer shop. You can also try running diagnostic checks and figure out where the problem is. Then you will need to replace the problematic hardware component to fix this problem.

I Hope You Liked This Blog Article! If You Need Additional Support on This Issue Then Please Don’t Hesitate To Contact Me On Facebook.

Is Your PC Healthy?

I always recommend to my readers to regularly use a trusted registry cleaner and optimizer such as WinThruster or CCleaner. Many problems that you encounter can be attributed to a corrupt and bloated registry.

Happy Computing! :)

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About the Author

Windows Wally is a helpful guy. It’s just in his nature. It’s why he started a blog in the first place. He heard over and over how hard it was to find simple, plain-English solutions to Windows troubleshooting problems on the Internet. Enter: Windows Wally. Ask away, and he will answer.