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Solution to the prompting error message "Software or hardware error" during bootup


This article is about how to handle the prompting error message “Software or hardware error” during bootup.



The above symptom may occur on the following operating systems:

Microsoft Windows Vista

Microsoft Windows 7






1. In case of this error, you can press “Enter” on the keyboard first and see if PC can enter the system correctly. If yes, restart your PC and test again.


2. If PC is not responding or unable to enter the system desktop after pressing “Enter”, restart it. During bootup, press and hold “F8” key to enter “Advanced Boot Options” and select “Last Known Good Configuration”. Then, press “Enter” and test if system can boot normally.


3. If the above operation is futile, restart PC. During bootup, press and hold “F8” key to enter “Advanced Boot Options” and select "Safe Mode”. Then, press “Enter” and test if system can boot into safe mode.


4. If PC can enter safe mode:

(1) Scan and kill system virus in the application of Antivirus software.

(2) Enter “msconfig” in “Run” and open “System Configuration”. See Fig.1.





(3) Click “Startup” tab, select “Disable all” and click “OK”. Restart PC according to the hints and see if the problem is resolved. See Fig.2.




(4). If the problem still persists, try system restore before backup your data.


    a. Click “Start” --> "All Programs” --> "Accessories” --> "System Tools” --> "System Restore”. See Fig.3.





    b. In “System Restore” window, you can see “Restore system files and settings”. Click “Next”. See Fig.4.






    What shows in Fig.4 may differ from one computer to another, for example, the “System Restore” window may show the options   like "Recommended restore” or “Select another restore point”. Please select accordingly.


    c. Choose a preferred restore point (in principle, choose a point free of troubles and problems.), and click “Next” and “Finish”. The system will conduct the restore operation. Restart PC according to the hints and complete the operation. See Fig.5 and Fig.6.








5. If all the operation in safe mode is futile or PC cannot enter safe mode, please try to backup your important data first and then restore system. If PC has OneKey Recovery system backup, please use OneKey Recovery function first; If PC does not have OneKey Recovery system backup or it is faulty, you should reinstall system by using system installation CD/DVD. For using OneKey Recovery features, please refer to the specification of the machine.



The figures offered are for reference only. The actual situation may differ.



Lenovo, Lenovo 3000, IdeaCentre and IdeaPad are trademarks of the Lenovo Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.


Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both.


Other company, product, or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.


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Document ID : HT062052
Legacy Document ID : IG20111008-001
Last Updated :
Copyright © Lenovo 2013, all rights reserved
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