Steps to Fix Problems Preventing Windows Vista or Windows 7 From Booting

You are probably reading this because you are experiencing one of three scenarios before Windows 7 / Vista loads:

  1. Windows will not boot and all you see is a black screen with a cursor.

  2. When booting into Windows, you get a blue screen of death (BSOD).

  3. Windows hangs on the Windows logo screen.

All of these are stressful when you need your system working properly. Fortunately, there are tutorials available to resolve them.


  1. The first step to resolving a problem with Windows booting is to backup important files in case troubleshooting steps make it impossible to do so later: Backup files outside Windows.

  2. The most common problem that prevents Windows from booting is a damaged boot configuration:

  3. The next most common cause is registry corruption. You can manually restore the registry backup to resolve registry corruption or fix damage to the registry.

  4. Another cause that prevents Windows from booting is a faulty software service. If you recently installed software or you are receiving a message that indicates the service stopping Windows from booting, proceed with the troubleshooting steps: Disable Services that Prevent Windows From Booting.

  5. If all the above fail, it may be due to a permissions issue. Your permissions have been changed either by you or by a virus/malicious item. Please see Fix Permissions Changes Preventing Windows From Booting.

  6. As a final resort, Backup and Clean Install Windows 7 or Windows Vista.