Software & Apps Windows How to Perform a Startup Repair in Windows 7 Fix problems in Windows 7 automatically with Startup Repair Share Pin Email Print Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated January 24, 2020 138 138 people found this article helpful The Startup Repair tool repairs Windows 7 by replacing important operating system files that might be damaged or missing. Startup Repair is an easy diagnostic and repair tool to use when Windows 7 fails to start properly and you can't use Safe Mode. Lifewire / Colleen Tighe As of January 2020, Microsoft is no longer supporting Windows 7. We recommend upgrading to Windows 10 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. The Windows 7 repair tool is available from the Windows 7 DVD, so you must have a physical copy of the operating system in order for this to work. If you don't, you can always create a Windows 7 System Repair Disc. Not using Windows 7? Every modern Windows operating system has a similar operating system file repair process. 01 of 10 Boot From the Windows 7 DVD Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 1. To begin the Windows 7 Startup Repair process, you'll need to boot from the Windows 7 DVD. Watch for a Press any key to boot from CD or DVD... message similar to the one shown in the screenshot above.Press any key to force the computer to boot from the Windows 7 DVD.If you don't press a key, your PC will try to boot to the operating system that's currently installed on your hard drive. If this happens, just restart your computer and try to boot to the Windows 7 DVD again. If you want the Startup Repair to work properly, you must remove any flash drives or other USB storage devices, like external hard drives, from your computer before continuing. Due to the way some computers report the storage space on USB connected drives, the Windows 7 Startup Repair may incorrectly report that it found no problems when in fact there may actually be an issue. 02 of 10 Wait for Windows 7 to Load Files Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 2. No user intervention is required here. Just wait for the Windows 7 setup process to load files in preparation for whatever task you might want to complete. In our case, it's a Startup Repair, but there are lots of tasks that could be completed with the Windows 7 DVD. No changes are being made to your computer during this step. Windows 7 is only temporarily "loading files." 03 of 10 Choose Windows 7 Setup Language and Other Settings Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 3. Choose the Language to install, Time and currency format, and Keyboard or input method that you'd like to use in Windows 7. Click Next. 04 of 10 Click Repair Your Computer Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 4. Click Repair your computer on the bottom-left of the Install Windows window. This will begin the Windows 7 System Recovery Options which contains several useful diagnostic and repair tools, one of which is Startup Repair. Do not click Install now. If you already have Windows 7 installed, this option is used to perform a Clean Install of Windows 7 or a Parallel Install of Windows 7. 05 of 10 Wait for System Recovery Options to Locate Windows 7 on Your Computer Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 5. System Recovery Options, the set of tools that contains Startup Repair, will now search your hard drive(s) for any Windows 7 installations. You don't need to do anything here but wait. This Windows installation search shouldn't take more than a few minutes at most. 06 of 10 Choose Your Windows 7 Installation Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 6. Choose the Windows 7 installation that you'd like to perform the Startup Repair on. Click Next. Don't worry if the drive letter in the Location column does not match the drive letter that you know Windows 7 is installed on in your PC. Drive letters are somewhat dynamic, especially when using diagnostic tools like System Recovery Options. For example, as you can see above, this Windows 7 installation is listed as being on drive D: when it's actually the C: drive when Windows 7 is running. 07 of 10 Choose the Startup Repair Recovery Tool Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 7. Click Startup Repair from the list of recovery tools in System Recovery Options. As you can see, several other diagnostic and recovery tools are available in the Windows 7 System Recovery Options including System Restore, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and Command Prompt. In this guide, however, we're only repairing operating system files using the Startup Repair tool. 08 of 10 Wait While Startup Repair Searches for Problems With Windows 7 Files Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 8. The Startup Repair tool will now search for problems with files that are important to the proper functioning of Windows 7. If the Windows 7 repair tool finds a problem with an important operating system file, the tool might suggest a solution of some kind that you have to confirm, or it might solve the problem automatically. Whatever happens, follow the prompts as necessary and accept any changes suggested by Startup Repair. 09 of 10 Wait While Startup Repair Attempts to Repair Windows 7 Files Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 9. Startup Repair will now attempt to repair whatever problems it found with Windows 7 files. No user intervention is required during this step. Your computer may or may not restart several times during this repair process. Do not boot from the Windows 7 DVD on any restart. If you do, you'll need to restart the computer immediately so the Startup Repair process can continue normally. You won't see this step if Startup Repair didn't find any problems with Windows 7. 10 of 10 Click Finish to Restart to Windows 7 Windows 7 Startup Repair - Step 10. Click Finish once you see the Restart your computer to complete the repairs window to restart your PC and start Windows 7 normally. It's possible that Startup Repair didn't fix whatever problem you were having. If the Startup Repair tool determines this itself, it might automatically run again after your computer restarts. If it doesn't automatically run but you're still seeing problems with Windows 7, repeat these steps to run Startup Repair again manually. Also, be sure to read the Important note on Step 1. If it becomes apparent that Startup Repair is not going to solve your Windows 7 problem, you do have some additional recovery options including a System Restore or a System Image Recovery, assuming you have previously backed up your entire computer. You could also try a Parallel Install of Windows 7 or a Clean Install of Windows 7. However, if you've tried a Startup Repair of Windows 7 as part of another troubleshooting guide, you're probably best served by continuing with whatever specific advice that guide is giving as your next step.