From Smooth Sailing to Icy Waters: Tackling Sudden Boot Freezes in Windows 10


I’m encountering a perplexing problem where my Windows 10 computer consistently freezes during boot-up. This issue emerged unexpectedly about a week ago, despite the system running smoothly for over a year without any hardware modifications. The boot sequence reaches the splash screen but fails to progress, resulting in an indefinite loading state or a complete freeze of the loading animation. Recently, multiple restarts would eventually lead to a successful boot, but the number of attempts required has been increasing, reaching up to 30. Even the ‘preparing automatic repair’ message appears but then freezes.

I’ve attempted several troubleshooting steps, including directly selecting my boot drive through BIOS, disabling alternative boot devices, and even trying to boot from a Linux partitioned drive, which also froze. Power cycling the PC and enabling ultra-fast boot in the motherboard settings yielded a one-time successful boot, but this method failed subsequently. Now, I can’t access BIOS, likely due to the fast boot setting.

Could this be a hardware-related issue, or are there other solutions I could explore? My budget is tight, so extensive hardware replacements aren’t feasible, although I could consider swapping the RAM or purchasing a small SSD for Windows booting if necessary. My system specifications include a Ryzen 9 5900X CPU, ASRock X570 Steel Legend motherboard, 32GB Corsair Vengeance RAM, RTX 2070 GPU, a 500GB Samsung Evo SSD as the boot drive, an additional 1TB Samsung Evo SSD, and an 8TB Seagate hybrid hard drive.

Adding to the confusion is the inconsistency of the freezing timing during the boot process, making it challenging to determine the effectiveness of any changes made. What steps would you recommend to resolve this issue without resorting to a complete drive wipe?”


Boot-related issues in Windows 10 can be particularly frustrating, especially when they arise without any clear changes to the system. The problem described—consistent freezing during the boot process—is not only disruptive but also challenging to diagnose due to its seemingly random nature.

Understanding the Issue

The symptoms indicate that the system successfully powers on but encounters a halt at the splash screen, with the loading animation freezing intermittently. This suggests that the issue could be software-related, possibly due to corrupted system files or a failing update process. However, the fact that a Linux partition also freezes points towards a potential hardware problem.

Troubleshooting Steps

Given the steps already taken and the system specifications provided, here are some recommendations to further diagnose and potentially resolve the issue:


Accessing BIOS/UEFI Settings

  • Since fast boot has been enabled, accessing BIOS settings can be difficult. One method to try is to completely shut down the computer, then power it on and immediately press the BIOS access key repeatedly.
  • If this fails, resetting the CMOS battery on the motherboard may disable fast boot, allowing BIOS access.
  • 2.

Hardware Diagnostics

  • Run a comprehensive hardware check. This can often be initiated from the BIOS menu and will check components like RAM, CPU, and storage drives for errors.
  • Reseat all hardware components, including RAM sticks and GPU, to ensure they are properly connected.
  • 3.

System Repair

  • Create a Windows 10 bootable USB drive on another computer and use it to boot your system. This will allow you to access repair options without needing to enter BIOS.
  • Use the ‘Repair your computer’ option to perform tasks such as ‘Startup Repair’ or ‘System Restore’.
  • 4.

Safe Mode and Clean Boot

  • If you can access the system through the bootable USB, try booting into Safe Mode. This loads Windows with a minimal set of drivers and can help determine if the issue is software-related.
  • Perform a clean boot by disabling all non-Microsoft services and startup programs to rule out software conflicts.
  • 5.

Checking Disk Health

  • Use command-line tools like ‘chkdsk’ to check the integrity of your storage drives, especially the boot SSD.
  • 6.

System File Checker

  • Utilize the ‘sfc /scannow’ command to scan for and repair corrupted system files.


If these steps do not resolve the issue, it may indeed be hardware-related. Considering budget constraints, testing with alternative RAM or a different SSD could be the next course of action. It’s crucial to isolate the problem component by swapping out hardware one at a time. If the issue persists, consulting a professional technician might be necessary before considering replacements.

Remember, while it’s tempting to avoid a complete drive wipe, sometimes starting fresh with a clean Windows installation can resolve persistent issues and should be considered as a last resort.


: The steps provided are based on the information given and should be followed with caution. Always back up important data before attempting repairs, and consult with a professional if you’re unsure about any procedure.

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