Your es­sen­tial guide to deal­ing with PC dis­as­ters – from re­cov­er­ing lost pass­words to solv­ing start-up prob­lems

Windows 7 Help & Advice - - NEWS -

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.

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