Stop cy­cle of PC crashes

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My PC crashed while I was up­dat­ing Win­dows and a few other pro­grams. When I re­booted, some pro­grams failed to start and a win­dow opened telling me that Sys­tem32.dll had failed.

A friend sug­gested I re­place the DLL file and use my Win­dows 7 disc to re­pair the hard drive, but the DVD drive won’t read, and an ex­ter­nal DVD drive didn’t work ei­ther. My friend said the only other op­tion might be to con­nect my hard drive to his PC and re­cover or re­in­stall from there. What did my PC catch?

Roger Ir­win, via email


It didn’t nec­es­sar­ily catch any­thing – some­times up­dates just go wrong for no ap­par­ent rea­son. It’s too late for this now, but for the ben­e­fit of oth­ers, back­ing up with a tool such as Easeus Todo Backup Free ( al­lows you to re­store Win­dows eas­ily.

There are sev­eral pos­si­ble fixes. First, go to Start, All Pro­grams, Ac­ces­sories, Sys­tem Tools, Sys­tem Re­store. Here, you’ll find a list of re­store points. Se­lect one that was saved on a date be­fore your prob­lems started, click Next and follow the in­struc­tions.

Another pos­si­ble fix is to go to Start, All Pro­grams, Ac­ces­sories, Com­mand Prompt. Right-click it and se­lect ‘ Run as ad­min­is­tra­tor’. In the win­dow, type sfc /scan­now and press Enter.

A fi­nal thing to try is to press F8 just af­ter switch­ing on you PC to sum­mon the Ad­vanced Boot Op­tions screen. Here, you can se­lect ei­ther Last Known Good Con­fig­u­ra­tion or Re­pair Your Com­puter. The re­pair op­tion boots into a Win­dows-like screen with Sys­tem Re­cov­ery Op­tions. Try us­ing Startup Re­pair and Sys­tem Re­store.

If all else fails, your friend’s sug­ges­tion of hook­ing up your drive to his PC as a sec­ond drive may help.

Ac­cess th­ese tools from the boot menu to Re­pair Win­dows 7

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