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How to use advanced startup options to fix Windows 11 PC

Everything was going fine until it wasn’t – maybe your computer suddenly started getting blue blue screens (BSODs), Windows was unstable or didn’t boot properly, or Windows was inexplicably bogged down. The Advanced Startup Menu may contain the tools needed to fix your Windows 11 PC. Here’s what you need to know.

Accessing the Advanced Startup Options menu

The first thing you need to do is boot into the Advanced Startup Options menu. There are a handful of ways to do so. If your Windows 11 installation is badly damaged and you cannot boot Windows, you will be automatically taken there.

Eliminate Windows 11 with Advanced Startup Options

Reset your PC

If your Windows installation is badly corrupted by malware, the update is terribly distracting, or if someone is deleting things with a little too much enthusiasm or sinking inexplicably, resetting your PC is the right thing to do.

Related: This is how the “Reset this PC” feature works in Windows 11

Warning: Using “Reset your PC” can result in complete loss of all your files. If you log in to Windows or plug the hard drive into another computer, you should back up everything important First Reset your PC.

If you are using your PC to reset, try the “Keep My Files” option first. You can always go back and erase everything completely if you need to, but going in the other direction is more difficult.

The Advanced Options menu

The Advanced Options menu has several options and they are all there to fix or fix your PC. Here’s what they are:

  • Early Repair: Startup Repair will attempt to automatically fix any issues that prevent Windows 11 from booting properly.
  • Initial settings: Initial settings allow you to change basic Windows options before it actually boots. You can enable Safe Mode, enable debugging mode, turn on boot logging and much more.
  • Order receiving window: The command prompt allows you to manually execute commands that may be helpful to diagnose or repair your Windows installation.
  • Uninstall updates: Uninstall Updates Returns the recently installed Windows Update. This can be helpful when an update goes wrong and causes system instability.
  • System Restore: System Restore uses the Restore Point to return Windows to the point where the Recovery is made. However, it does not return all your programs.
  • System Image Recovery: System Image Recovery uses the image of your operating system drive to roll back everything on your computer. System images are usually too large, so create them in moderation.

Advanced options are available on Windows 10.

How to choose an option

With so many options, how do you know which one is right for your problem? Unfortunately, you cannot cover every situation without writing a medium sized novel, but here is a general outline of the steps you should take.

Use automatic initial repair

If your PC does not boot into Windows, all the options are on the table. The first thing you should try is the initial repair. The automatic initial repair tool gets better with time and it has a better chance of solving the problem. It is also the easiest solution available.

Use the Uninstall Updates option

Windows updates can sometimes break your operating system, especially if there is a loss of power in the middle of the installation. The uninstall updates option is easy to use and doesn’t take much time, so it’s worth a try. If you haven’t updated Windows recently, it is unlikely to solve your problem.

Use Restore Point or System Image

However, Safe Mode does not guarantee to fix anything. If Windows doesn’t even start in Safe Mode, you have a more serious problem. If you have a restore point or system image, try using System Restore or System Image Recovery. Keep in mind that using the system image will completely return everything included in the image, including all your files and folders.

Use safe mode without networking

If the startup repair utility doesn’t work, the next thing you should try is to change your startup settings. Go to Startup Settings and then enable Safe Mode. If you don’t know what caused the problem, stick to safe mode without networking.

Related: How to Use Safe Mode to Repair Your Windows PC (and When You Should)

Safe Mode disables all external startup applications and services. Enable Safe Mode It’s good news if you start Windows – which means your operating system is probably better. The problem is often a bad driver or another auto-launch app. If you have a restore point or system image created before you encounter problems, use it. This will probably fix things.

NOTE: Using a system image will return everything, not just the drivers and the Windows operating system. All your files will also be returned.

If using a recall point does not fix things or you don’t have one, the solution is still simple but more time consuming. You must reinstall all your necessary drivers and disable all unnecessary applications and services that usually start with Windows. Try restoring your drivers before disabling any startup applications; Drivers are more likely to be problematic and there is no point in wasting time on deactivating non-problematic applications.

NOTE: You must enable Safe Mode with networking or transfer drivers from another computer to a USB drive.

If drivers are not a problem, you should disable all startup apps and re-enable them sometime until you find the culprit.

Use the command prompt

The command prompt available in the Advanced Options menu can do all the usual command prompts. The first command you need to try SFC is the System File Checker. It may take a while for it to run, so be patient and don’t restart it if your PC appears to freeze. The DISM command can also help, but you won’t be able to use it with normal /Online Arguments. If you try, you will get the following error message:

DISM does not support servicing Windows PE with the /Online option.

If you want to try the DISM command in this situation, you need to set it to use the offline image. It’s not exactly simple, so it’s probably best for you to try the next option.

Use this PC reset

The final option is to move back from the Advanced Options menu and use the “Reset this PC” option available on the troubleshooting page.

Related: This is how the “Reset this PC” feature works in Windows 11

Resetting your PC will solve any problem you may have. Make sure to select “Keep My Files” and “Cloud Download” when going through the options available to reset this PC. If resetting this PC fails to resolve the issue, you can try a full restore of Windows, but there is a good chance it won’t work. If you exhaust the options available in the Advanced Startup options and reinstall Windows using this PC reset, there is a real chance that your problem is due to a hardware error.

Related: How To Identify Which Hardware Component Has Failed On Your Computer

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