How To Fix Any Computer
Will your computer not boot? Is it running slow? Are viruses corrupting your PC and causing it not to work?
A lot of people ask us, "How do I fix my computer?" One sure way to fix all software-related problems is to do a full factory restore. A factory restore will wipe the hard drive clean and restore the computer to it's factory state. The computer will look and behave like it is brand new, and will have no "memory" of it's previous state. More specifically the computer will format the hard drive and reinstall windows, and then will install the proper software drivers for your computer.
By starting the computer over just like it was out of the box, all problems will be fixed unless they are hardware-related. Even if you believe the computer is having hardware-related problems, it is always a good idea to do a factory restore before you start to replace any parts. Besides a factory restore, there is also a Windows System Restore where the computer is restored to a previous date. The Windows system restore will not delete your documents and is reversible. We recommend trying the windows system restore before trying the full factory recovery. Below are the proper steps for fixing a computer.
If the Windows System Restore doesn't do the job, its time to back up all your files you would like to keep, and start the full factory restore.
Step 1 - BACKUP FILES!
It's important to keep in mind that doing the factory restore will erase everything from your computer. In a sense it's like sending your PC back to the manufacturer and getting a new computer that is the same model. You will loose ALL data including, documents, files, programs, and settings.
Back up your files somewhere safe on some type of external media such as an external hard drive, a USB flash stick, DVD/CD, or cloud storage online. Backup all your documents and files, and ask yourself the question, "If I lost my computer, what are the things I would miss most." One common item users forget is their web browsers "bookmarks" or "favorites". For Internet Explorer, the favorites are saved in the user account library. All web browsers have an export bookmarks feature, and easy guides can be found on Google.
WHAT IF MY COMPUTER IS SO MESSED UP THAT I CAN'T ACCESS MY FILES?
Try booting to "Safe Mode" by tapping the F8 key when the computer is first turning on. This will then bring you to a menu where you may select "Safe Mode", or "Safe Mode With Networking".
If Safe Mode also doesn't work, and you have important files that aren't backed up elsewhere, then you must create a boot cd, dvd, or usb flash drive. Our favorite boot disk option is to create a Linux boot disk by downloading "Ubuntu".
Linux is 100% free and will allow you to boot to a disc or usb flash drive, even if your hard drive is completely broken or missing! From there you will be able to back up your files unless your hard drive is physically broken beyond repair. Booting to a Linux disc is also a great way to find out if your hard drive is physically destroyed.
Ubuntu has a built-in program called "Gparted" which will allow you to tell if the hard drive is not being detected. If Gparted does not detect the hard drive at all, then you know that the hard drive is physically broken, or the cable has come loose. If Gparted detects the hard drive but there are no files present, you can do a data recovery on all your missing files using the free program "PhotoRec", which is part of the "TestDisk" package. To get Ubuntu linux and find information on how to properly create a boot disc or USB, please visit www.ubuntu.com
Teaching you all the methods of backing up your files using Linux is beyond the scope of this guide. For professional help, try our Eugene Computer Geeks "100% FREE Support Chat"
STEP 2 - UNPLUG ALL DEVICES!
It's important to unplug all devices or else you could run into many problems. Many people will do a factory restore with their external hard drives or USB flash sticks plugged in and risk having them erased. Unplug everything but the power, keyboard, mouse, internet, and speakers.
STEP 3 - START THE FACTORY RESTORE
Not every PC has the same method for starting the factory restore. If your PC is a Vista or Windows 7 generation computer, then the factory restore should be located on a hidden partition of the hard drive, and takes a special key command at start up to begin.
If the PC is XP generation or older, of if it came with a recovery disc, then most likely you will need the original disc that came with the computer. Also, if you were smart, you might have created factory recovery disc when your computer was working from inside windows.
For Factory Recovery with a disc, (Usually Older PC's):
1. Insert the disc in into the disc drive.
2. Turn off the computer and turn it back on, and access the boot menu by tapping the proper key at startup. Common key commands for accessing the boot menu at startup are ESC,F10,F11,or F12. Also, a lot of PC's will state the proper key command at startup usually located towards the bottom of the screen. If you have trouble accessing the boot menu, try accessing the BIOS and changing the Boot Order Priority to having the CD or DVD drive as first on the list.
For Regular Factory Restore by Hard Drive:
1. Boot to the System Recovery by using the proper key command for your computer at startup. Many models will display the key command at startup usually located towards the bottom of the screen. For example, if you turn on the computer and at the bottom of the screen if briefly states "F11 System recovery", very quickly tap the F11 key until you reach the recovery partition. Don't get it confused with the Windows System Restore.
Below is a list of the Common Key Commands to access the factory restore at startup:
ACER- Turn on the computer and hold down ALT. While holding it down tap the F10 key. This will bring up the Acer Erecovery screen. Next choose Restore System to Factory Default.
ASUS- Tap the F9 key at startup. If F9 doesn't work, turn off the PC, turn it back on, and immediately tap the F8 key and navigate to "Repair Your Computer" to get to the options for the factory restore.
COMPAQ- Compaqs usually use F11 at startup to access the factory restore. If that doesn't work you can also try F10 or F8 and then select "Repair your Computer".
DELL- You can access the system restore on most Dell computers by tapping the F8 key when the PC first turns on. This will take you to the "Advanced Boot Options" menu. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to select "Repair Your Computer". Next click "Dell Factory Image Restore"
GATEWAY- Tap F8 and select "Repair Your Computer" to access the options for the factory restore.
HP- Most HP's use the F11 key at startup to access the factory restore. HP's calls it the "Recovery Manager".
IBM- IBM's almost always use the F11 key at startup to access the recovery partition.
LENOVO- Lenovo PC's use F11 at start up to access the factory restore.
SAMSUNG- Samsung PC's usually use F4 at startup. Also try F6 and F8.
TOSHIBA- Toshiba PC's usually use F8 and then select "Repair Your Computer". If that doesnt work, turn off the PC, Hold down the "0" key, and while holding it down, turn on the PC
What if I can't access the factory restore?
Make sure your hard drive is still working by using Linux. (instructions above). If your hard drive isn't damaged or if you aren't sure, you will probably have to order the discs from the PC manufacture. They do cost money and are usually around $40. They will mail you the disc. Call or e-mail the manufacturer for more information. If you have access to a windows disc, you can also install by that method. Keep in mind that after the install you will have to get the drivers off the manufactures website.
What if the Computer Wont turn on at all?
Check the RAM and make sure it hasn't come loose. IF you have two or more sticks, try using only one, and switch each one until it turns on. If that doesn't work then its probably the power source that is causing problems. Unplug all devices attached to the computer and see if it will then turn on. If not, then you probably need the power source replaced.
What if my PC turns on but I can't see anything?
You probably have something wrong with the graphics card. Try opening the computer, remove the graphics card and put it back in the slot. Now try turning on your computer. If it still isn't working, try getting a new graphics card to replace your old one.
How do I Fix My Computer? | CONCLUSION
You should now have a better idea on how to fix your computer. Now when your friends ask you, "How do I fix my computer?", you'll be able to tell them, "Backup your files, and do a factory restore!"
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