| By Lincoln Spector |
When Windows won’t boot and you get on the phone for tech support, one of the most common solutions is to reinstall Windows.
But that should be your court of absolutely last resort. There are many less destructive and less time-consuming techniques for getting Windows up and running again.
Computer on strike? OS fails to show
Most of us have been here at one time or another. You turn on your computer and wait for Windows to load itself. But before your desktop appears, an error message shows up on your screen. In some cases, Windows appears to be loading but then hangs; other times, your system locks up during its initial boot process. In some cases, your computer doesn’t even try to boot.
You shut it down, check all the connections, wait a few minutes, and try again — only to get the same sad results.
This can’t be good.
The most natural and understandable reaction at this point is to panic and swear about it. But locating and fixing the problem does you and your computer a lot more good. For this stop-you-in-your-tracks event, here’s what to do and how to do it.
Using Windows’ built-in repair tools
If Windows can’t start in the usual way, you may be able to boot and repair it in a simpler mode.