Get the fix for when Startup Repair just hangs at startup on Windows 7.


About “Startup Repair just hangs at startup

The following information on this error has been compiled by NeoSmart Technologies, based on the information gathered and reported by our global network of engineers, developers, and technicians or partner organizations.

Description and Symptoms

The error messages, alerts, warnings, and symptoms below are tied to this error.

Symptom 1: Startup Repair just hangs at startup

This boot error is very common for users with HP Pavilion, but this affects all PCs including desktops or laptops that run on Windows 7.


Some people might be looking for Startup Repair freezes or Startup Repair taking forever or Startup Repair not starting (common for HP Pavilion customers).

Causes of this Error

This error has been known to occur as a result of one of the following causes:

Cause 1: BCD configuration is incorrect

Invalid data in BOOTMGR’s boot configuration data file (BCD) can cause this error to be present. Incorrect data in the BCD will cause BOOTMGR to load Windows with the wrong system root set, causing the system to freeze.

Cause 2: File system integrity compromised

The hard drive’s file system may become damaged because of disk write errors, power outages or virus attacks. If that’s the case, the operating system cannot find the required system files and the repair process freezes.

Fixing “Startup Repair just hangs at startup” on Windows

Windows Setup CD/DVD Required!
Some of the solutions below require the use of the Microsoft Windows setup CD or DVD. If your PC did not come with a Windows installation disc or if you no longer have your Windows setup media, you can use Easy Recovery Essentials for Windows instead. EasyRE will automatically find and fix many problems, and can also be used to solve this problem with the directions below.

Fix #1: Use Easy Recovery Essentials

Easy Recovery Essentials can fix many errors such as this automatically using its built-in Automated Repair option. EasyRE is currently available for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, Windows 10, and Windows 11 and can be downloaded and created on any PC.

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials. Make sure to note your Windows version (XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, or Windows 11) before you download EasyRE. This guide can help you identify what version of Windows you have installed.
  2. Burn the image. Follow these instructions on how to burn the bootable ISO image very carefully, as making a bootable CD can be tricky! Alternatively, these instructions explain how to create a bootable EasyRE recovery USB stick/drive.
  3. Boot up your PC from the Easy Recovery Essentials CD or USB you created.
  4. Once EasyRE is running, choose the “Automated Repair” option and click Continue.
    EasyRE Home

    Choose “Automated Repair” in Easy Recovery Essentials

  5. After EasyRE scans your computer’s drives, identify and select the drive letter for your Windows installation from the list, and then click on the Automated Repair button to begin.
    EasyRE displays a list of found Windows operating systems

    Choose the drive associated with the Windows installation you’re trying to repair.

  6. Easy Recovery Essentials will start analyzing the selected drive for problems. EasyRE will test for and attempt to automatically correct errors with the disk, partition, bootsector, filesystem, bootloader, and registry. No intervention is required, as EasyRE’s repair is fully automated:
    EasyRE: Automated Repair

    Easy Recovery Essentials searches for errors and makes corrections to the selected Windows installation.

  7. Once the process is complete, EasyRE will report its findings. Click on the Restart button to reboot your PC and test the changes.
  8. The “Startup Repair just hangs at startup” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:EasyRE: Automated Repair

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix #2: Run Startup Repair

Here are the 5 steps to access Startup Repair from your install CD:

  1. Insert your Windows install CD
  2. Press any key when you see “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”
  3. Choose Repair your computer after selecting your language, time and keyboard method
  4. Select the drive of your Windows installation and click Next. The standard drive is usually C:\
  5. Select Startup Repair and wait for the process to finish

Fix #3: Rebuild the BCD with bootrec.exe

bootrec.exe is a tool built in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) that you can use to troubleshoot and repair the error. Here are the steps to run bootrec.exe and rebuild the master boot sector (or BCD):

  1. Insert your install disc
  2. Press any key when the “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” message appears
  3. Choose Repair your computer after you select the language, time and keyboard method
  4. Select your Windows installation drive (usually C:\)
  5. Click Next
  6. Select Command Prompt in the System Recovery Options window
  7. Write the following commands and press Enter each:
    bootrec /FixMbr
    bootrec /FixBoot
    bootrec /ScanOs
    bootrec /rebuildBcd
bootrec utility results screen

bootrec utility results screen

Fix #4: Run the System Restore Wizard

This solution works only if you have System Restore enabled on your Windows 7:

  1. Insert the Windows 7 install disc
  2. Press a key when “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD” message appears on your screen
  3. Click on Repair your computer after selecting a language, time and keyboard method
  4. Select the drive where you installed Windows (usually, C:\)
  5. Click Next
  6. Select System Restore from the System Recovery Options window
  7. Follow the System Restore wizard instructions to select a restore point
  8. Restore your PC by clicking Finish

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

This Windows-related knowledgebase article applies to the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7 (all editions)

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