Easy Fixes for Computer Startup Issues

Like many electronics, issues with your computer usually stem from simple problems. Many of these problems can be fixed at home with a little know-how. Become computer start up savvy with the below tips.

Easy Fixes for Computer Startup Issues

I get a blue screen at startup

Use safe mode to fix the problem

PC users have an apt name for the alert displayed on screen when Windows fails to start up correctly — the "blue screen of death." Mac users see a spinning coloured ball (sometimes called "the pizza of death") next to the Apple logo. The message is the same — there's a problem with startup, which can happen for a variety of reasons. You're most likely to see it after you have installed a new piece of software or hardware that causes a conflict with the operating system.

  • Restart your computer in "safe mode": this is a shortened form of the operating system that allows you to perform maintenance and restore full function. To enter safe mode in Windows, restart the computer while holding down the F8 key. If using a Mac, restart while holding down the shift key. Starting in safe mode can take awhile, so be patient!
  • If Windows now starts, you can restore the system to a previous, working configuration. Go to Start -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Restore. Reboot your PC after the recovery process is complete.
  • When your Mac restarts in safe mode, start up the installer you used to install the new software. You'll usually get an option to "Uninstall"; check this and run the software to remove the recently installed application and hopefully fix your startup problems.

The computer stalls during startup

Switch off the startup items

Still getting the blue screen or spinning ball at startup? Or does your computer take a long time to get going? When you fire up your computer, Windows/Mac OS X isn't the only application to load. Other programs, called startup items, may launch too, and switching some of them off can give you a speedier startup.

  • Using Windows? Restart in safe mode (see above), go to the Start menu and type msconfig into its search box. Click on the search result and a new window will open. Click on the Startup tab to reveal a list of all the programs that launch when you start up your computer. Research each item on the web to find out what it does before you uncheck its box. Restart your computer.
  • If you are a Mac user, restart in safe mode (see above), then go to System preferences -> Accounts and click on the Login items tab list for a list of all the programs that launch when you start up your computer. Research each item on the web to find out what it does before you delete it from the list. Restart your computer.

Warning

Always back up your valuable data before carrying out any significant changes to your hardware or to installed software.

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