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FIXED: Windows Could Not Prepare, Boot Installation Error

In this guide you will be able to learn about how to fix this error by disabling the Windows defender, updating the BIOS, and more.

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The error “Windows could not prepare the computer to boot” occurs when a user tries to update their Windows to the latest version or wants to install a new one on their computer.

Your computer may fail to proceed with the installation for many reasons, one being an outdated BIOS, which can prevent the motherboard’s smooth working and disrupt communication with newer software or hardware. Hard drive issues, disk errors on the PC, incomplete or corrupted installation files, and third-party software conflicts may prevent the update.

Key Takeaways
  • When a person attempts to install a new version of Windows on their computer or update their current one, they might get the “Windows could not prepare the computer to boot” error.
  • The error may occur due to a corrupt drive, insufficient storage on the system disk, or incompatibility between the motherboard and Windows version.
  • You can fix the error by updating BIOS, deleting partitions, removing external devices from your computer, and more.

The error message looks like this: 

Error Message: Windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation. To install Windows, restart the installation.
Windows Could Not Prepare Computer To Boot Installation Error
Boot Installation Error – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]

Method Difficulty Rating

Run CHKDSK Command
Rated: 5/10

Turn Off BitLocker Drive
Rated: 7/10

Enable UEFI On BIOS
Rated: 6/10

Drive Partition Recognition
Rated: 6/10

Format USB as MBR
Rated: 6/10

Run CHKDSK

Your computer’s operating system checks its hard drives for malfunctions, corrupted data, and other anomalies that might compromise its functionality when you run a Disk Check. This error of blue screen like we are dealing with above can be caused by any of these reasons hence Running disk check is my go-to solution for this. 

The scan will identify any disk issues with the system and correct them or ask you to do so. Thus, the procedure promotes your computer’s hassle-free operation while helping you keep the disk data safe.

Turn Off BitLocker Drive Encryption

My second go-to solution is related to BitLocker which is a built-in encryption feature in Microsoft Windows that helps protect your data by encrypting the entire drive where the operating system is installed. Turning off this feature will allow you to change the drive, like installing new software or system settings.

  1. Turn Off BitLocker: Click Windows Search bar > Type BitLocker > Open Program > Choose Turn Off BitLocker > Yes.

     
    Open BitLocker program and choose Turn Off BitLocker.
    Turn Off BitLocker – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]

Enable UEFI On BIOS

UEFI, an advanced iteration of BIOS, offers faster boot times, improved security features, and enhanced compatibility with contemporary hardware. This solution is considered fundamental in mitigating the mentioned error.

Forum MacRumors users, having encountered the error themselves, have suggested that enabling UEFI could effectively resolve the issue.

  1. Enter Boot Mode: Click Power menu > Restart > Enter Boot Mode by pressing the relevant key according to your computer’s manufacturer.
    MANUFACTURERBOOT MENU KEY
    LenovoF1, F2 or F12
    HPF10, Esc, Or F9
    DellF2 Or F12
    AsusF2 or Esc
    AcerF2 Or F12
    SamsungF2 Or Esc
    SonyF1, F2, F3, Or F11
  2. Choose UEFI: Head to the Boot menu > Boot Mode > Choose UEFI.
    Head to the Boot menu, click Boot Mode and choose UEFI.
    UEFI Settings – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]
  3. Save: Save the settings with F10 and exit the menu.

Drive Partition Recognition

A drive partition recognition problem causes the error to trigger. After partitioning the internal M2 drive, the installer attempts to install the files on the USB

While researching the error, I found that this method was also being used to fix the error by users on the Microsoft forum. Here’s how to solve the partitioning issue:

  1. Command Prompt: Boot using USB drive > Command Prompt > diskpart > Enter.
  2. Convert GPT to UEFI: Delete partitions > Convert to GPT to boot in UEFI.
    image showing how to Convert to GPT
    Convert to GPT – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  3. Create Partition: Now, create a partition in an M2 drive of 10GB and format it as NTFS.
    Image showing Create Partitions of Disk
    Create Partitions of Disk – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  4. Partition: Keep a letter for this partition and the other partition as Unallocated.
  5. Relocate Files: Cut/Paste the files from the USB to the drive partition.
  6. Restart: Eject USB > Restart system.
  7. Boot: The system will boot from the installer and install Windows.
  8. Restart: Again, boot your system, and it will automatically boot to the partition we created before, as it was assigned as the first partition.
  9. Remove: To remove that partition from the boot list, go to Command Prompt > diskpart > Enter > Restart the system.

After working around this error, the primary root cause I came to know is that my system has several SSDs and HDDs, which created conflict as the Windows installer could not determine which drive to choose to install files.

I removed all the extra memory drives, even the external ones, and left one in the system where I wanted the installer to save the files. And voila! It worked. The system successfully booted after this fix!


Tip: Label partitions, use distinct sizes, and check disk management tools for accurate drive partition recognition.

Format USB as MBR/GPT

Windows can be installed in both MBR (Master Boot Record) and GPT (GUID Partition Table) modes, depending on the configuration of the disk. For several reasons, formatting your USB drive for MBR can potentially fix some Windows errors.

MBR is a format that works better with older computers and can function as a bootable drive, which comes in handy when installing an operating system on a computer. 

Partitioning MBR drives is more accessible than the other formatted drives. Formatting drive to MBR also successfully tackled the error for Ventoy forum users, underscoring its effectiveness. Here’s how to format a USB drive for MBR:

  1. Choose MBR: Connect a USB to the system > Open a disk management program > Right-click USB > Choose Create Partition > Choose MBR.
    image showing choose mbr disktype
    Choose MBR – (Image by Tech4Gamers)
  2. Select and Label Partition: Select NTFS or FAT32 file system > Label partition > Click OK.

Conclusion

A critical error often emerges during Windows installation: “Windows Could Not Prepare to Boot.” This unexpected roadblock impedes system upgrades and fresh installations and has prompted user frustration across forums and support channels. The underlying cause can be multifaceted, ranging from hardware incompatibilities and software conflicts to corrupted installation media.

Microsoft has acknowledged the issue and is actively seeking solutions. However, the inconvenience and lost productivity endured by affected users remain significant. In response, I present a comprehensive guide outlining effective troubleshooting techniques to combat this boot-halting error. By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the installation process more confidently and efficiently.

Remember, even seasoned tech experts encounter occasional glitches. So, let’s tackle this issue head-on and restore your system to its full potential.


Editor`s Note
Image

Windows could not prepare the computer to boot” error during installation can come up for several reasons, and users find it troublesome to figure out the exact cause. After trying out all the fixes above, I recommend that users still experiencing this error contact Microsoft support directly to receive personalized help to fix the issue.

โ€“ Uzair Shabir


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Windows boot error?

A user may get the Windows boot issue when attempting to install a new version of Windows on their computer or update their current version.

Why do I face the Windows boot error?

You might get the error due to a corrupted drive, a storage issue on the disk, or a mismatch in the Windows version and motherboard.

How do I make my computer boot again?

The potential fixes for this error are running CHKDSK, disabling Windows Firewall, turning off BitLocker, or enabling UEFI on BIOS.


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