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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

Fix Windows using the System Recovery Options

Windows 7 is a reliable operating system and it rarely goes wrong, but it is best to be prepared for the worst and to know exactly what you need to do to fix common problems. If disaster strikes and Windows won't start up, what can you do?

If you don't know what to do now, how will you cope when it really does go wrong? Everyone needs to learn a few basic skills for repairing Windows and fixing problems. We'll take a look at what you need to know in a series of articles and this is the first. In this one you'll find out where the tools are that you need.

If there is a problem with Windows then switch on the computer and after a second or two, but before Windows starts to load, press the F8 key a couple of times. If you time it just right, the Advanced Boot Options menu is displayed on the screen. Use the up and down cursor keys to highligh Repair Your Computer and press Enter to select it.

Windows Advanced Boot Options

Windows looks like it is loading, but it's just the recovery program. After a few seconds you will be prompted to select a keyboard input method. Choose the one you use from the drop-down list.

Repair Windows

You are then prompted to log on as a local user. Select your username from the drop-down list and then type in your password. (You shouldn't be doing this unless you're an administrator.)

Repair Windows

After a bit more loading and waiting, you'll see the System Recovery Options dialog. This lists all the repair tools you need to fix Windows.

Repair Windows

A very simple tool is the first one on the list, Startup Repair. There are no options and there is nothing to do but sit back and let it do it's job. Try it if Windows won't boot up. When it has finished, you'll see a link in the dialog to View diagnostic and repair details. Click the link and you can read the report. It lists the various tests that were performed and there's an error code for each one. If this is 0x0 then it means that there are zero errors for that test.

Repair Windows

After running this tool, use the button to shut down or restart Windows.

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