Get the fix to “Windows couldn’t load correctly” boot error for Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating systems.


About the “Windows couldn’t load correctly” error

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: Windows couldn’t load correctly error screen on startup

Possible error messages can be any of the following:

  • Windows couldn’t load correctly
  • Windows couldn’t start correctly
  • Windows couldn’t restart correctly

Windows 8 couldnt load correctly error

Automatic Repair 

Windows couldn't load correctly 
System Restore can try to restore your PC to an earlier point in time when it worked correctly. This repair will not change personal data, but it might remove some apps that were installed recently. You cannot undo this process. 
Restore | Cancel

Causes of this Error

The most common causes of this error are:

Cause 1: BCD is missing or corrupt

One of the most common causes of this error is the BCD that became missing or corrupt. That could happen because of disk write errors, power outages, boot sector viruses, or errors made while configuring the BCD manually.

Cause 2: File system integrity compromised

For the same reasons, the file system itself may become corrupt or damaged. That happens even more often if one turns off a PC while it is in the middle of writing crucial data to the boot sector.

Cause 3: System files are damaged

The system files may also become corrupt or damaged for the same reasons.

Fixing “Your PC needs to be repaired” 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 “Windows couldn’t load correctly” error should now be fixed as your PC begins to load:EasyRE: Automated Repair

You can download Easy Recovery Essentials from here.

Fix #2: Uninstall new software or drivers

If you installed new software or drivers, try to uninstall these or update the drivers to their latest available version.

Since you can’t boot into Windows 8, 8.1 or Windows 10 to uninstall software or drivers and fix the error, you need to boot into Safe Mode and uninstall the software or the drive from Safe Mode directly:

  1. Insert the Windows DVD/USB and boot from it
  2. Click Repair your computer
    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

    Windows 8 Repair Your Computer Menu

  3. Select Troubleshoot
  4. Select Advanced options
  5. Select Startup Settings
  6. Click Restart
  7. At Startup Settings, press the F4 key to boot Windows into Safe Mode
    Advanced Boot Options on Windows 8

    Advanced Boot Options on Windows 8

Fix #3: Check if HDD failed

If the hard disk has failed or is failing, this error can appear on Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 systems.

To test if the HDD is healthy, run Automated Repair from Easy Recovery Essentials:

  1. Download Easy Recovery Essentials
  2. Burn the ISO Image. Follow our instructions on how to burn a bootable ISO image. If you’d like to have a recovery USB instead, follow our instructions on how to make a recovery USB.
  3. Boot into Easy Recovery Essentials
  4. Select Automated Repair
  5. Click Continue and wait for the Automated Repair process to finish. Automated Repair process will report any issues found with your hard disk or RAM memory:

    EasyRE: HDD is failing

To download Easy Recovery Essentials, click here.

Fix #4: Run chkdsk

Using the same Windows media you used to install Windows, boot from the media and go to Command Prompt to run the chkdsk utility.

The chkdsk utility can scan your hard disk for issues and attempt to fix certain errors. This might fix the “Windows couldn’t load correctly” error.

The steps are:

  1. Click Troubleshoot
    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

    Troubleshoot in Windows 8 recovery options screen

  2. Click Advanced options
  3. Click Command Prompt
  4. Type:
    chkdsk /r
  5. Press Enter
  6. Restart your computer

Fix #5: Run bootrec

While a misconfigured BCD might not be the cause for this error, it’s worth rebuilding the Windows’s BCD and checking again:

  1. Insert the original Windows DVD/USB and boot from it
  2. Click Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Command Prompt
  3. Type:
    bootrec /fixmbr
  4. Press Enter
  5. Type:
    bootrec /fixboot
  6. Press Enter
  7. Type:
    bootrec /rebuildbcd
  8. Press Enter
  9. Restart your computer
bootrec results utility screen

bootrec results utility screen

More Information

Linked Entries

Support Links

Applicable Systems

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

  • Windows 8 (all editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions)
  • Windows 10 (all editions)

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