This post addresses the following symptoms on Windows 8+ (I’m running Windows 8.1U2):
- Windows Explorer crashing during startup.
- Startup programs not loading during startup.
The problem appears to be the OS’ fast startup feature, though it’s unclear whether this is a bug or intended functionality to force the OS to be ready for work as quickly as possible. You can fix the issue by disabling fast startup as follows:
- Open Control Panel.
- In the View by: drop-down menu, click either Small icons or Large icons.
- Click Power Options.
- In the left sidebar, click Change what the power button does.
- In the window that follows, click Change settings that are currently unavailable.
- Under Shutdown Settings, uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).
- Ensure your Power button and lid settings haven’t been changed.
- Click Save changes.
This should solve your problem. The only drawback is Windows might take longer to boot, but at least it should load completely this time.