How to Restore Your System When Windows Won't Start

By Felix Ofiwe

Updated September 15, 2017

Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in use today, but it can be frustrating when your system won’t boot fully--you turn on your computer, but it boots halfway and freezes. You try to reboot and gets the same result. If this happens to you, don’t panic. There is a way to restore your system when Windows won’t start.

Start your computer. If your computer is on, restart your system. Press the F8 key repeatedly until you see the "Windows Advanced Options" menu screen.

Using the up and down arrow, select "Safe Mode With Command Prompt." Press "Enter" on your keyboard.

When you see the Windows Welcome screen, select an account with administrative privileges. Enter your password. Press "Enter" on your keyboard or click "Ok."

Select restore date from the Calendar.

Type "%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe" on the next screen that appears (without the quote marks). Click "Restore my Computer to Earlier Time" button. Select the last day your computer worked well in the calendar that appears. Click "Next."

Click "Next" again to confirm your choice. At the end of the restore process, your system will automatically restart. Follow on-screen instructions to complete the process.


The screen that appears in Step 3 depends on how your computer is set up. If you have just the administrative account without password requirement, your Windows will continue the boot process after the Windows Welcome screen. How long it takes your system to restore in Step 6 depends on the amount of information and number of software you have in your system. Be patient if you have a lot of stuff in your computer.