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Everything you can try to repair Windows before formatting your PC

With Windows there has always been a belief that when the system goes bad, goes very slow, gives blue screens, or seems to be flooded with viruses, the best solution is simply to format the computer and reinstall the operating system. Maybe in the days of Windows XP, Vista, and even Windows 7, that was the simplest alternative and causing less headaches, as long as you could backup your files before.

Now, from Windows 8 / 8.1, and especially now with Windows 10, to solve the problems that appear in the Microsoft system, it is easier, faster and usually more effective than in the past. Hey, so much so that in some cases you will not even have to go to a third-party tool, because the same system offers you several solutions. If your Windows has been spoiled in some way, here are some of the things you can try before you throw in the towel and decide to format.

Before you begin, some recommendations to keep in mind before any glitches occur. These tips will save you even more headaches in case your Windows gets moody. Because if we can prevent, we will have less to regret:

  • It tries to backup your files constantly: The backup partitions in the hard disk are an excellent option. You can always have an external hard drive where you have another copy of your data, try not to use a USB stick, they are usually easy to lose or become damaged or infected with malware. My favorite option is to synchronize with some storage service in the cloud the most important things, that way I do not have to do manual backups and I will always have everything handy. It is a great way to blink if in the end if you have to format your PC.
  • Create restore points: Every time you install a major update, or some program that you do not completely trust, try to create a system restore point, so if something goes wrong, you just have to return your PC to the previous state And save you from a bad time.

Using Windows Troubleshooter

As long as the problem does not prevent Windows from starting and you can access all the operating system options, the Control Panel offers several tools for troubleshooting network, audio, updates, program compatibility, etc.

If your problem is any of this, just press the start button and type “problems” in the search, choose the option “Troubleshooting” and you will see a window with all the options available. These tools are responsible for analyzing and detecting faults , if they find something they can repair, they will do it automatically.

If your problems have to do with Windows Update, recently Microsoft released a special tool designed to solve all the flaws that prevent you from upgrading Windows to the latest version.

Use a restore point

Just as we said at the beginning of this article, if your computer is failing and you think that something has to do with the last update, program or driver that you installed, try restoring the computer to a previous state.

By default, Windows automatically creates restore points depending on critical system events, but this does not mean that it is not a good idea to do it yourself. Just press the start button and type “restore”, select the “Create a restore point” option. Do not confuse with “Reset the equipment”, this is discussed later.

Restoration is like a journey back in time, that is, it returns your equipment to the same state as it was when the point was created, and any changes that were made after they could have caused a failure, will be undone. The best thing is that you can restore Windows when you start the system in safe mode, and sometimes this is the only way we can start Windows when something goes very wrong.

Update Drivers

Sometimes it surprises how much the problems that have in Windows almost always have to do with a driver failing. One would expect that with what is used that Windows is and that the hardware manufacturers have years creating their equipment to be sold with this system, everything should go of luxury. But no, and the truth is that most have suffered with a WiFi that does not work, a device that is not heard, or a video controller that is a step away from causing convulsions if you continue to blink the screen.

The best part comes when you update a driver, install a program, or add a new peripheral to your PC, and the apocalypse of the blue screens begins. That the world is not over and you just have to reboot, until it happens again. Here it is useful to restore your system if you created a restore point before, or look for that error that shows the screen on Google to see what it is about.

Updating your drivers sometimes solves a lot. Windows Update usually downloads them and expects you to install them, but if the same system does not have news for you, go to the manufacturer’s page and look for an update. This is especially useful when it comes to graphics cards. Your using an NVIDIA GPU may have suffered a lot from Windows 10 and you have had to update drivers more than once because of problems with your video driver.

The Installed Drivers Lists tool is a good way to detect if one of your drivers is causing problems. The app is free and shows you a list of all the drivers installed in Windows and tells you which ones are failing.

Using a Windows Recovery Disk

If you have problems with your computer, a recovery USB drive can help you solve them, and it is especially useful because this method works even if the system does not boot. From Windows 10 you can easily create it. Just press the start button and type in the search “Create a recovery unit”.

This creation tool allows you to even back up your system files so that you can use it to reinstall Windows if it becomes necessary. You need at least 512 MB of space if you will only create the recovery drive, and if you want to add the system files, you will need about 4 GB.

With your USB recovery disk, you can start your computer as long as you allow it in the BIOS options. The tool includes a troubleshooter to Restore the system, recover Windows with an image, repair the startup, revert to a previous build, or use the prompt for advanced troubleshooting.

Antimwalware Review

Another reason why a Windows computer commonly fails, is malware. Especially if you do not update your antivirus, if you do not navigate taking precautions or if the equipment is used by too many people with different habits and multiplied risk. Windows 10 includes by default its own anti-malware system, Windows Defender, if you have not installed any other antivirus, be sure to keep it up-to-date and perform a complete scan of the system for threats that may be disturbing you.

If you use some other antivirus, it is a good idea to do the same, the deep analyzes are not carried out automatically, so sometimes things happen. If you are looking for a free solution, I personally like anti-malware tools like Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes. Analyze your computer with some of them and eliminate all the bugs that they find, can save you from a formatting.

System Rescue Toolkit Lite

If all of the above fails, it’s time to get a “little secret weapon” called All in One System Rescue Toolkit Lite. It is a free and extremely easy-to-use application that allows anyone with little technical knowledge, repairing a computer and solving some of the most common Windows problems.

You can take the AiO SRT Lite to a USB memory stick and when you start it you can detect and repair malfunctions related to things ranging from the network, file system or malware to problems with memory, CPU or hard disk. Everything is automatic, you just sit and wait for the program to do its job.

If you are looking for an even more powerful and advanced tool, you can try out this other version of the project.

Restore Windows or revert to a previous version

If everything else still fails, you may have to go back to the past beyond using a restore point. This can be done by accessing the options of Windows Recovery 10. Press the Windows + I key, select “Update and Security” and then click “Recovery”.

Here you will find several interesting options that offer more or less drastic solutions according to the state of your equipment and what you have tried before. Returning to a previous build is an option that will be available only for the first 10 days after installing a major update, i.e. one such as the Anniversary Update, for example. If your computer starts to crash after a version change, this may be a temporary solution for you.

Resetting this PC is the closest thing to formatting and resinstalling Windows that exists. Microsoft knows that people tend to use that option indiscriminately, so they decided to offer their own friendly version and easier to complete. If Windows does not start, Resetting this PC is an option that is also on the recovery discs discussed above.

Choosing this option will have two paths: one preserving your files and another erasing everything and leaving Windows 10 completely virgin. This process usually takes a long time, and sometimes it is not completed for diabolic reasons that we do not understand. If this happens to you, we have reached the end of the list of solutions, happy formatting.

I do not doubt that anyone reading this will pass through the mind commenting that “the solution is to install Linux and now”. Sure, but not everyone wants to.


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