Fix the Windows 11 second boot error [Quick guide]

by Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Vladimir Popescu
Managing Editor
Being an artist his entire life while also playing handball at a professional level, Vladimir has also developed a passion for all things computer-related. With an innate fascination... read more
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  • PCs need to meet a minimum installation requirement before they can be successfully upgraded to Windows 11.
  • Using the PC Health Check app is the best way to verify if your computer can be upgraded to the new Windows 11.
  • The Windows 11 second boot error is associated with failure during the process of upgrading the OS to Windows 11 from Windows 10. 

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Since the release of Windows 11, many users have upgraded from older Windows editions. Sadly, not every upgrade to Windows 11 will be successful. The Windows 11 second boot error is one of the few errors you may encounter.

This error is similar to the Windows 10-second boot error that users experienced during upgrades to Windows 10.

In this article, you should learn what steps to take to fix a second boot error and precautions to ensure a smooth upgrade from Windows 10 to 11.

How can I avoid a windows error in second boot?

It is recommended that only PCs that meet the minimum Windows 11 installation requirements are upgraded. If your computer does not fall under this category, it becomes more likely to encounter errors during the process.

Additionally, if an ineligible PC is successfully upgraded to windows 11, there are chances that it will begin to malfunction somewhere during use.

To avoid any of these scenarios, you should download and run the PC health check app before a Windows 11 upgrade. This tool checks your PC for core components compatible with Windows 11.

Recommended solutions for Windows 11 error in second boot

1. Check and clean the drive

1.1 Check the drive space

  1. Open Windows File Explorer by selecting the folder on the taskbar.
    windows 11 error second boot
  2. On the left pane of the file explorer, select My PC, then check the installation drive (the one with a Windows logo) on the right pane of the file explorer. If it needs cleaning proceed to step 1.2.
    windows 11 error second boot

1.2 Clean the drive

  1. Click on the start menu, type Disk Cleanup, and select the app that displays in the right pane.
  2. Select the drive to be cleaned from the disk clean up pop up.
    windows 11 error second boot
  3. Under the description section, select the Clean up system files option.
    windows 11 error second boot
  4. Repeat step 2.
  5. In the disk cleanup for windows pop up, check any files you want to delete and hit the OK button.

2. Restart the PC and check for updates

  1. Restart your computer because some updates may need a restart to take effect. If no updates are installed during the restart, proceed to check for updates with the next steps.
  2. Open the settings app by clicking on the start menu and selecting the Settings icon.
    windows 11 error second boot
  3. Select the update and security option at the bottom.
    windows 11 error second boot
  4. On the left pane of the settings window, select Windows Update, then Check for updates on the right pane and finally click on Download and install.
    windows 11 error second boot
  5. Restart your PC.

3. Update drivers with third-party software

Out of date drivers can trigger several errors while updating to Windows 11. Drivers can be updated using Windows Device Manager, however, you may have to update them one at a time. This is a long tedious process.

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Third-party apps like DriveFix can be used to automatically update your drivers at once before proceeding to upgrade to Windows 11.

After installing the DriveFix application, it will automatically scan for out-of-date drivers. These drivers will be updated and it will display an updated status on the right pane in front of every driver.

You should then restart the computer and start the Windows 11 upgrade process afresh.

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4. Remove non-essential external hardware

All connected, non-essential external devices should be unplugged. These could include external hard drives, USB drives, headphones, printers, mics, etc.

If your computer is connected to a docking station, undock it. Once every non-essential hardware is unplugged, restart the system and try again.

5. Run scan commands on your command prompt

  1. Open the command prompt with admin rights by searching for command prompt in the start menu and selecting the option to run as administrator.
    windows 11 error second boot
  2. Run a hard drive scan by pasting this code in the command prompt and hitting enter: chkdsk/f C
  3. When the scan completes run a SFC scan by pasting this code in the command prompt and hitting enter: sfc /scannow
  4. After the scan has execute, run a DISM scan by pasting this code in the command prompt and hitting enter: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /RestoreHealth

6. Deactivate any third-party antivirus

  1. If you use a third-party antivirus, click on the start menu and type the name, then select the unistall option.
    windows 11 error second boot
  2. In the control panel, click the name of the antivirus and select the uninstall option.
  3. after the process completes, restart your PC.

These steps should help you fix the second boot error. Let me know in the comments which of the processes resolved your error problem.

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