Free Windows Repair and Recovery Tools
By Bob Rankin
A hard drive glitch, a virus, or other data catastrophe can delete or damage critical system files in any operating system. Learn about free repair and recovery tools that can fix damaged Windows installations without having to reformat and reinstall everything from scratch…
How to Fix Windows Problems for Free
Windows includes a number of free tools that can help you recover from a major system error. These tools include System Restore, Startup Repair, System Image Recovery, Windows Memory Diagnostic, and the good old Command Prompt. There are also some free third-party tools that can be very helpful wqhen trying to repair a damaged Windows system.
System Restore is the best place to start, when things don’t seem to be working right, and you have an idea of when the problem first started. System Restore can “turn back the clock” and return your computer to a previous point in time when things were working. If you’ve accidentally made changes to system settings, or downloaded something that’s causing problems; if your Windows registry is damaged, or you think a virus has snuck past your defenses; System Restore can usually fix things up.
Unlike some of the other repair tools I’ll cover later in this article, System Restore is non-destructive. All of your documents, photos and other personal files will remain, while changes to system settings and software are rolled back. See my article System Restore for Windows 7 to more details on System Restore and how it works. If you’re running Windows XP, see Time Travel with System Restore.
If you still have a virus or other malware after running System Restore, see Free Anti-Virus Programs.
Excerpt shared with permission from Bob Rankin.
About Bob Rankin
Bob Rankin is a translator for the technology impaired -- a writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and explaining technology in plain English. His work has appeared in Computer World, NY Newsday, and other publications. Bob is also publisher of Internet TOURBUS, author of several computer books, and creator of the Lowfat Linux tutorial.