- 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
If Windows doesn't start or is unstable, this article can help you to fix the problem. If you aren't having problems right now, review this article for ideas you might try in the future when problems inevitably crop up. We'll go through the main troubleshooting techniques, using free tools from Microsoft and other manufacturers.
Accessing the Advanced Boot Options Menu
Many of the troubleshooting techniques covered in this article are accessed on or via the Advanced Boot Options menu of Windows Vista and Windows 7 (see Figure 1). To use this menu, press the F8 key repeatedly right after you turn on your computer, before the Windows logo displays.
Figure 1 Advanced options for Windows startup.
Figure 2 System recovery options.
If you don't see the Repair Your Computer option on the Advanced Boot Options menu, you can still access the repair tools; just insert and boot to a Windows System Repair disc. To create this disc in Windows 7, open the Control Panel and click the Backup and Restore option. You can also download the System Repair disc via the Internet for Windows Vista and Windows 7.