Computer crashed & wondering how to fix it?

Back to Home page


At this stage we are assuming you cannot start Windows and everything is on your C: Drive.

First thing to do is to retrieve all your files, pictures, emails Etc.  Do not Restore to factory settings at this stage as you will wipe all your precious files.

Try starting Windows in safe mode.
        Immediately after the computer is powered on or restarted (usually after you hear your computer beep), tap the F8 key in 1 second intervals.
        If the computer loads Windows, now is the chance to backup all your precious files before you do anything more.

If the computer won't start Windows at all, you will need to boot it either from a CD or a memory stick.

I suggest getting a Linux/Ubuntu boot disc.  If you don't have one, use another computer to download & burn one either to CD/DVD or a stick.

You will often need to alter the computer setup (BIOS) to boot from the CD/Stick,  There are a number of ways to do this depending on your computer and the version of Windows you have installed. 
Some suggestions are here for Popular Computer systems:

Once the BIOS utility is open you should see a screen with a number of options including boot order.  You want to boot from the CD or the stick, make the selection & then hit the F10 key to save & exit.

Insert the CD or Stick.

Turn off the computer.

Turn on the computer and allow the system to boot from the CD /Stick.  This will be slower than normal Windows boot, so give it time.  Select boot rather than Install  when asked.  Eventually you will arrive at the Linux home screen.

You will now be able to access all the files you want to save, best way is to save on to an external USB drive as simply as using copy & paste.  In explorer negotiate to the C: drive, open users, you should see your profile listed, normally containing all your files.  Copy that to the external drive or to your network.


Once you have saved all your valuable files, you can either do a 'restore to factory settings' or reformat the Disc & install Windows from scratch.


If you have a desktop computer I would advise fitting a second hard disc to store all your data on leaving the C: drive solely for the system.  Once that is set up & updated, you can take an image of it & restore that image at any time with your data safe (but still backed up elsewhere) on the other disc.