It’s Tuesday morning, you power on your laptop and get prepared for another busy day. But suddenly, you have a cold sweat and want to scream. Your Windows 7 laptop, which is filled with hundreds of critical files for your project, is no longer bootable. A missing file and a nasty malware code may make you lose months of hard work and a good deal of money. Unfortunately, this is not a nightmare and you can’t wake up. These are common disasters faced by many Windows 7 users:
1. Unbootable PC
After one year of continuous use, a Windows-based PC starts to accumulate issues and may one day refuse to boot. If it happens to you, you can try to boot your computer using the Windows 7 System Repair disc, which has the tools to resuscitate your dying PC. This is an easy thing if you buy Windows 7 separately, but many laptops and netbooks don’t come with a disc. If it happens, your only chance is to borrow a friend’s disc. Alternatively, if there is a healthy Windows 7 PC nearby, you can make a System Repair Disc (after reading this article, perhaps it is a good idea to make one before your PC becomes unbootable). You can create the disk by going to Start>System repair>Create a System Repair disc. To complicate things, by default, your PC doesn’t boot from its DVD drive, so you need to go to the BIOS setup screen (on many computers, press the “Delete” key repeatedly, moments after you turn on the PC). Change the boot order, save the changes and restart your PC. Your computer could be different, so check your motherboard manual. If despite all efforts, you can’t go to the BIOS setup screen, then you have a hardware problem. Once you boot the System Repair disc, the utility may inform you about the problem and ask for your permission to correct it.
2. Inaccessible Hard Drive
Your Windows 7 may not be able to boot, because the PC can’t access the hard drive. It means; a System Repair disc can no longer help you. Worse, if you don’t keep a recent backup anywhere, your important files are completely locked away inside the faulty hard drive. If you have a secondary hard drive, although it still healthy, you won’t be able to access it, until your primary hard drive works again or if you put it on another healthy PC. A catastrophic hard drive failure may happen if you notice a strange noise and your only chance of recovering the files is by sending the hard drive to a data-retrieval service. It can be expensive if you have hundreds of gigabytes of valuable data. However, there is a chance that your drive is physically okay, but it has partition problem, which makes the files unreadable. You can put the hard drive to other healthy PC and use Recover My Files. The license fee is $70 and it is quite reliable for recovering files from faulty, but physically undamaged hard drive. As an alternative you can also use Easeus Data Recovery Wizard Free Edition, which also works admirably well.
3. Frequent Blue Screen of Death
One minute you’re typing away with your laptop and the next, the whole screen turns blue and filled with cryptic white texts. If it happens once a month, you may just curse and reboot. But if the screen turns blue five times a day, you have an issue that needs fixing. Luckily, Windows keeps a log of these errors and you can view it to understand about them more. You can run “BlueScreenView”, a free utility to view the log, it is a portable software, which means you don’t need to install it. It provides a list of enabled drivers when the PC was crashed and highlights the possible culprits. If you notice a pattern, you should check the driver and find the latest update on the Internet. To make things easier, another free utility, the SlimDrivers can handle most of the chore for you, by notifying you when a driver is outdated. After registering the utility (also free), it can automate the updating process. You can even create a restore point before making an update. But don’t get too relaxed, you should check whether your PC works properly after a driver update and it is inadvisable to update your drivers all at once. Other common cause of BSoD is a bad RAM module. You can use Memtest86+, a free memory diagnostic utility; it is also downloadable as an .iso file to make a bootable CD.
4. Missing administrator password
Someone may leave the office in a hurry and as the result many Windows 7 PCs are left stranded. If no one has the administrator password, it is not possible to access encrypted data, change important settings or even install software. With the Offline NT Password & Registry Editor, you can remove administrator password and log on to the account. It is also available in .iso version, to make a bootable CD.
5. The computer is infected
You computer may start to refuse to run certain programs, slow down or behave oddly. It could be a sign of malware infestation. What to do? If you’ve an anti-virus program installed, you shouldn’t use it to detect the malware as the program can’t stop the infection in the first place. You can use Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, a free software to perform a full scan on your system. It is also a good idea to scan your system using other software just to be safe. The SuperAntiSpyware Portable can run without installation on a flash drive. It is advisable to scan the computer using the flash drive, when it is in Safe Mode, so the malware is not loaded to make the removal easier. Good anti-malware software is updated almost daily, so you should check for the latest version before performing a scan. Another alternative is to use the .iso version of F-Secure Rescue CD.