Windows Could Not Prepare The Computer To Boot

The Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation. To install Windows, restart the installation error occurs when you try to upgrade your Windows build or reinstall the current Windows version. Either way, unless you completely fix the cause of this error, the installation process cannot be completed. 

Although the error message instructs you to restart the installation to move forward, doing so rarely works. This is because the likely culprit for a failed installation is probably your corrupted disk drive. So, if restarting the setup process doesn’t work, you have to resort to some other technical fixes. 

Luckily, that’s exactly what we are here for. In this guide, we shall learn about all the methods you can use to fix this issue and continue your installation to completion. 

Why Is Windows Unable to Boot Computer Into Next Phase of Installation?

As it is clearly mentioned above, the primary suspect regarding this failed installation case is your improperly configured disk drives. So, along with this, here are all the factors that might have influenced your system to reject the installation:

  • Installation media not set up properly
  • Outdated BIOS
  • Disk drive issues
  • Improper boot sequence
  • Improperly configured BIOS settings
  • Corrupted system files

How to Fix This Installation Error?

Now that we’ve briefly understood the causes that lead to this error, we can move on to its fixes. This guide covers all the working methods, that include steps ranging from a simple verification check to more technical fixes. By the end of this guide, we are pretty sure that your installation will be completed successfully. 

Ensure the BIOS Supports Your Windows Version

Firstly, make sure that your motherboard BIOS supports the Windows version you plan to install. If you’re deciding to upgrade to Windows 11, the Legacy BIOS mode is not supported. And somehow, if you have already installed Windows 11 with the Legacy BIOS, you cannot further update your OS anymore. 

So, it’s advisable to first ensure that the BIOS and your OS are compatible with each other. Surf the web and visit your manufacturer’s website to determine if they work together or not. 

Ensure That the Windows Installation Media Is Configured Properly

A pretty common reason that affects the installation process is improperly configured installation media. A bad Windows setup file directly lead to various installation problems, including the one you’re facing as well. 

So, if you’re unsure about the credibility of your media file, you can simply recreate it with the right steps. You can use either Rufus or the Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB. Luckily, we do have a dedicated guide that aims to guide you with a step-to-step process on how you can create a Windows installation media the right way. 

Note that if you plan to use a bootable USB drive, do so via the USB 2.0 port on your computer. However, if the issue still persists, follow all the steps listed below until one of them fixes your problem. 

Disconnect the Non-Essential Peripherals

It’s important to disconnect any non-essential peripherals that might be connected to your device during the installation process. Either because of a bug or glitch, some BIOS versions have been known to act in an unwanted manner when too many unnecessary devices are connected during the installation process. 

Disconnecting non-essential peripherals such as your headphones, speakers, USBs, and maybe even your extra hard disks can prevent any conflicts that might occur during setup. If you have not done so, remove unnecessary devices, restart your computer and try installing the OS once again. 

Update BIOS

An outdated BIOS is known to give rise to certain compatibility issues between the operating system and the hardware devices. Also, there might currently be various security requirements that can only be resolved by updating the BIOS. So, updating BIOS can also fix the bugs present in the previous build and incorporate new patches to make the system function better. 

Hence, before you begin the installation process, visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the BIOS file compatible with your system. We also have a guide dedicated to how you can update your BIOS safely.  

Keep in mind that the BIOS resets back to default after a fresh update. So, you will need to reconfigure all your custom settings once this is done. 

Run CHKDSK

The Check Disk (CHKDSK) tool in Windows OS helps you determine hard disk errors and also tries to troubleshoot them. The main goal of CHKDSK is to ensure that your computer’s disk drives are healthy and functional. It also checks for any file corruption due to bad sectors on the hard drive and aims to repair them as well. 

The CHKDSK can be run using a couple of different methods, but here, we will be doing so via the Windows Recovery Environment. For this, 

  1. First, boot into your computer using the installation media. 
  2. As soon as the computer beings to start up, repeatedly press the F8 key to access the safe mode options.
  3. Click F10 to see more options. 
  4. Then, click either 1 or F1 to launch the Windows Recovery Environment.
  5. Here, click on Troubleshoot
  6. Then, select Advanced Options.
  7. Go to the Command Prompt
  8. Now firstly, you’ll have to enter the name of the drive on which the OS is installed.
    For most users, it’s in the C drive. So in this case, type and enter c:.
  9. Then, type the following commands and hit enter after each one:
    chkdsk /fchkdsk-f-checkupThis command scans for and aims to repair any errors within the disk’s file system.
    After the process is complete, type,
    chkdsk /r
    This command scans for and repairs bad sectors within your disk drive. 
  10. Finally, type and enter exit to exit the command prompt.

Enable UEFI on BIOS

Although the UEFI firmware has been around for almost a decade, this step is a must if you’re planning to upgrade your OS to Windows 11. Also, if Windows 11 was previously installed on your computer in the Legacy BIOS mode, it’s necessary to change to UEFI. This will allow your system to update your operating system and also continue your failed installation. 

The UEFI has plenty of advantages over the older Legacy BIOS and can hence be enabled with these steps:

  1. Restart your computer.
  2. Enter the BIOS during system startup by tapping the key appropriate to your motherboard.
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  3. Once you access the BIOS, find and navigate to the Boot menu. 
  4. Click on the option resembling Boot Mode
  5. Select UEFIUEFI-boot
  6. Finally, press F10 to save your changes and exit the BIOS. 

Disable CSM and Secure Boot 

Although CSM and Secure Boot are useful additions to the UEFI firmware, we have dug up various forums to find out that they can be pretty troublesome during the installation process. 

The CSM feature allows the UEFI firmware to access certain features of the Legacy firmware. Whereas, the Secure Boot ensures that your computer only boots up using the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s software. So, for now, disable CSM and Secure Boot, and then try to continue the installation. 

Once the installation process is complete, you can then re-enable these features at a later date. The steps to disable CSM and Secure boot are as follows:

  1. Restart the computer. 
  2. Enter your system BIOS. 
  3. Find and navigate to the Boot tab.
  4. Click on CSM Support and select Disable.
    secure-boot
  5. Now, set Secure Boot as Disabled
  6. Finally, press F10 to save your changes and exit the BIOS. 

Re-Configure Partition

If unfortunately, your OS setup is getting stalled due to corrupted system files, you have to delete the particular volume on which Windows is installed. This will clear all the data within the volume, including the partition details.

It’s also advisable to set the appropriate drive partition style before you begin the installation procedure. That is, if you’re using a UEFI BIOS, you have to set a GPT drive partition style. And, for legacy BIOS, you should set the MBR drive partition style. 

So, for this,

  1. Boot into your computer using the installation media. 
  2. When you’re on the setup window, press Shift + F10 to enter the Command Prompt
  3. Type the following commands and hit enter after each one:
    • diskpart
    • list disk
    • select disk n. Here, replace n with the number associated with your disk.
    • list volume
    • select volume n. Replace n with the volume where your OS is installed.
    • delete volume
    • convert gpt (only if the partition style is MBR. Also, using this command will wipe your entire disk)
    • create partition primary size=100. This command creates a system volume.
    • create partition primary. This command creates a boot volume.
    • list partition
    • select partition n. Replace n with the number assigned to your system partition.
    • active
    • list volume
    • select volume n. Here, replace n with the volume where you want to install the OS.
    • assign letter=C
    • format quick
  4. Once this process is complete, type exit to exit the command prompt. 

Enter the setup window and continue the setup on c: drive. You’ll now notice that the installation shall proceed smoothly. 

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