Use Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) to troubleshoot common startup issues

This article describes how to start WinRE from Windows installation media to troubleshoot common startup issues.

Original product version:   Windows 10 - all editions, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2
Original KB number:   4026030

Summary

When a Windows operating system fails to start or restarts unexpectedly, the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE) can be used to run commands that may resolve the issues. The system may be unable to start because of disk corruption, corrupted or missing system files, or pending actions from the installation of an update.

Start WinRE from Windows installation media

Note

For additional methods to start WinRE, see Entry points into WinRE.

  1. Start the system to the installation media for the installed version of Windows. For more information, see Create installation media for Windows.

  2. On the Install Windows screen, select Next > Repair your computer.

  3. On the System Recovery Options screen, select Next > Command Prompt.

  4. At the command prompt, run the following command by using BCDEdit command-line options to identify the drive letter of the system volume:

    BCDEdit
    

    In the Windows Boot Loader section, the drive letter of the system volume is displayed next to osdevice. (For example, D:)

  5. At the command prompt, run the following command to complete a check disk for the system volume that's identified in step 4:

    CHKDSK /f D:
    

    Note

    If any failures or unrepairable issues are listed in the results, you may have to investigate these further.

  6. At the command prompt, run the following command to complete a System File Check (SFC) for the system volume that's identified in step 4:

    SFC /scannow /offbootdir=D:\ /offwindir=D:\windows
    

    Note

    If any failures or unrepairable issues are listed in the results, you may have to investigate these further.

  7. At the command prompt, run the following command to complete an image cleanup and health restoration by using the DISM tool:

    DISM /image:D:\ /cleanup-image /restorehealth
    

    Note

    • If any issue is found and fixed, repeat step 6.
    • The DISM command only applies to Windows Server 2012 and later versions.
  8. At the command prompt, run the following command to revert any pending actions by using the DISM tool.

    Note

    If the pending actions can't be reverted, you may have to investigate these further.

  9. Close the Command Prompt window, and then select Reboot.

References