- Accessing the Advanced Boot Options Menu
- Research Blue Screens or Auto Restarting
- Fix 'No Video' Problems
- Revert to the 'Last Known Good' Configuration / Go Back in Time with System Restore
- Detect and Fix Drive Errors with Check Disk / Run Startup Repair to Enable Booting
- Perform a System File Check (SFC) / Scan for Viruses and Infections
- Upgrade the BIOS / Run Memory and Hard Drive Diagnostics
Upgrade the BIOS
The BIOS is the brains behind how your computer components interact. Your BIOS may not be compatible with some devices. You should check for any BIOS updates for your computer and update it. You can get the BIOS version info for your computer by accessing the BIOS setup. This is usually accessible by pressing the F2 or Delete key right after booting your computer, before Windows loads.
Run Memory and Hard Drive Diagnostics
Some issues can be caused by permanently damaged memory (RAM) modules or a hard drive. You can perform scans to test this hardware, but keep in mind that those kind of scans can take several hours or longer.
To scan for memory issues, open the Advanced Boot Options menu, select Repair Your Computer, and then access the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.
To scan for hard drive issues, look for a keyboard shortcut displayed onscreen just after you turn on your computer. Some computers are preloaded with a drive diagnostic tool. If you can't find it, consider downloading tools from the drive manufacturer, if you know who that is. Otherwise, look for hard drive tools on a bootable rescue disc, such as Hiren's BootCD.
We've gone through the main troubleshooting tasks for fixing booting and crashing issues, but of course there are always more things you can check, run, or scan. Reached the end of your rope? You might want to recover your files by using a bootable rescue disc, such as the Hiren's BootCD discussed in the preceding section. You can use the rescue disc to transfer your files over to another drive, such as a flash or USB drive. Then you can restore your computer to the factory default settings, or reinstall Windows with the rescue disc, and restore your saved files.