THE GREAT WINDOWS RESTART
Your essential guide to dealing with PC disasters – from recovering lost passwords to solving start-up problems
There are many ways in which your PC can leave you with a tight knot in your stomach and a feeling of utter dread. There’s the ‘Windows won’t boot’ scenario when your PC suddenly refuses to power up or get beyond the Windows loading screen. Then there’s the horror of suddenly forgetting the password you need to log on to Windows. What about that moment when you realise you’ve become the victim of a browser hijack? And last, but by no means least given the priceless nature of your data, there’s that moment when you realise you’ve lost a precious photo or accidentally deleted that 5,000-word report that you spent hours writing.
All four scenarios will be dealt with in this feature. We’ll open with a look at recovering lost and deleted data – both files and entire drives – using free software. Then we’ll tackle the problem of a forgotten Windows password – and reveal ways to protect them going forward. Next, we’ll tackle the specifics of a web browser hijack, the result of some adware or potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) sneaking on to your PC. And then we’ll cover how to deal with a non-booting PC, looking at fixing both hardware and your Windows installation to bring things back to life. Hopefully by the time you’ve finished reading, that knot of fear will have been replaced by much more positive feelings. Come on, it’s time for some disaster relief.