A major part of preventing computer failure is maintaining a secure computer system. This includes running antivirus software, such as Norton 360, and regular maintenance through registry cleaning, data backups, hard drive defragmentation and keeping temporary files and caches clear with your favorite PC tune up software. However, even with proper security and careful usage, computer crashes and errors can happen. When they do, you may be tempted to take your computer to a professional to have it serviced, being uncomfortable with checking things out for yourself. While there is nothing wrong with this, computer repair is expensive and, often, you can fix your PC yourself.
A common issue many users encounter is the accidental deletion of data. While the recycle bin is usually there to save you when this happens, in the event it cannot, there is often no need to get technician to recover the data. As long as the file deletion occurred recently, free software, such as Pirisoft's Recuva, can scan your hard drive and restore the files. These tools can also be used to recover files from rewritable media, flash drives, and MP3 players. The process typically involves picking the drive you wish to scan for lost files, scanning the drive, and choosing the files from a list you wish to recover.
If a major computer crash occurs, there are a few options at your disposal. If your Windows PC will not boot, you can attempt to use safe mode to recover the system. You can access to safe mode by pressing the 'F8' key repeatedly while the computer is booting. You should be presented with a menu giving you boot options. Choose "Safe Mode with Networking" and the computer will continue to boot. You may notice the screen looks different. This is because Safe Mode uses default windows drivers and settings. Once into safe mode, you can use Windows' System Restore feature to roll back the computer to a date before the issue occurred. If you suspect a virus, this will allow access to your antivirus software. Utilities, such as registry repair software, typically work in Safe Mode, as well, allowing for issue diagnosis and repair of a system that will not normally boot.
If the earlier options do not work, you may need to reinstall Windows. While this process varies slightly from version to version, it is easy to do. By placing your Windows Install Disc into your CD / DVD drive and rebooting, the computer should automatically start the Windows installation process. If you are using Windows XP or newer, this will give you the option to repair or reinstall Windows. Take note, if you reinstall, all data on the drive may be lost and you may have to reinstall any programs you use and perform any updates since the release of the install disc.
With these tools and tips at your disposal, there are few computer errors that the average person cannot handle themselves. However, if you are not comfortable with performing these procedures or they do not resolve your issue, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance.