If your professional life depends on having your computer behave properly (and that would kind of described the work one out of two people do), you really need to keep a bagful of tricks handy for every time your computer acts up system files that get corrupted, important data that somehow gets deleted, user accounts that don't somehow log you on. You're telling yourself that this is why those computer magazines keep exhorting you to keep backing up all the time. And certainly, that wouldn't be a bad idea scurrying for a backup drive backup disk whenever something goes wrong. The thing is, reloading everything from a backup really is overkill. And pressing System Restore doesn't turn back the clock on user files. What you need is to learn how to fix computer problems like these without turning your computer inside-out.
Let's start with a simple problem that just seems to occur to computers for no reason system files that just get corrupted. When this happens, your computer won't even start up. All you get is a blank screen with an unfriendly-looking line about how some .dll is corrupted and do you have a Windows disc. How do you just do a bit of precision repair work, and fix just the problem you have and get on with your life? What you need for this is to keep a Windows installation disc handy.
When Windows claims that a system file has become corrupted, the first thing you need to do is to try to see if your PC will boot into Safe Mode. You get into safe mode by pressing the power button on your computer and then pressing F8 when it's booting up. If this does work, you just find your way to System Properties and access System Restore. If your PC is far too corrupted for even Safe Mode to work, it's back to the old Windows install disc for you. Pop the disc in, restart your computer, boot to the CD and then use the System Restore utility that you're offered. It'll tell you how to fix computer problems to do with corrupted system files.
How about when the problem is not with a Windows system file but with one of your own personal files? What if one of those gets deleted by accident? You could certainly run to your backup hard drive for this; but what if the backup isn't up to speed with a file that you really need? In cases like these, you could seek the help of a rescue program like Recuva or Recover my Files. These programs look through your hard drive for anything that's been recently deleted and restore them in pristine condition. These are neat programs that show you how to fix computer problems to do with file disappearances.
And finally, what do you do if you've been locked out of your own Windows user account through your own doing or someone who's been careless? Well, there's pretty much nothing you can do unless you have acted preemptively and created a password reset disc. If you haven't done this already, you really should you just go to User Accounts and Family Safety in the Control Panel and get it done.