You have some urgent work to do, but your laptop is acting up. It won’t boot, and when it does manage to start up, the Windows OS crashes after every few minutes.
Sure, you could take it down to the technician first thing in the morning, but what can you do now to get things moving?
Windows 10 is a powerful OS that is easy to troubleshoot and usually recovers from problems itself. But sometimes human intervention becomes necessary; this may be one of those times.
Let’s explore what can be done to get your computer in a proper working state without losing any data.
6 Ways Of Troubleshooting Windows 10
PC problems creep in when least expected, and it always happens when you have a lot to do. We have detailed some commonly used DIY fixes for a Windows 10 computer that’s been acting up.
Try them all and see what works for you:
1. Repairs With System File Checker (SFC)
The SFC can scan and verify the working versions of all system files, making it possible for you to quickly find if anything is wrong in there.
Go to start menu, search for ‘command prompt’ and enter ‘SFC/scannow’ at the command line. Make sure you do it as an administrator.
It’ll be a good 10 minutes before the scan completes, but might take longer depending on the hardware on your PC.
Next, this command will also attempt to repair the files that may be damaged or incomplete, by replacing it with a recent copy. And if the cache file is also corrupted, the SFC command will try to fix that too.
Typically Windows 10 PCs start working a lot faster once the SFC cycle is complete.
2. Repairs With DISM
Here’s the deal, SFC is faster because it’s a more cursory check.
If you believe there’s a need for a more in-depth and authoritative check, use the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command. It can fix issues that SFC won’t detect.
But you’ll need to know basic file repair syntax to use DISM properly. Don’t worry, though, it’s easy to figure out, and you can find relevant tutorials online.
Open command prompt as an administrator and then enter individual commands or enter a complete set to check and repair. For example, try the ‘/checkhealth’ command to discover any loss or corruption in the running image of your OS.
So the syntax should read something like this:
On the other hand, the ‘/check’ command lets you know if the damage is fixable.
The ‘/restorehealth’ command attempts to repair the image as long as you can provide a viable source for a healthy image. Otherwise, it will try to find the necessary files online.
3. Use Windows System Restore
If the system restore function is enabled, Windows automatically creates and saves various restore points on your behalf – you could also specify the time and date for creating this perfect copy of your system.
And when your computer starts acting up, simply go back and reset the system to this perfect copy. Hopefully, things will get back to normal again.
To access it, type “restore point” in the search bar, then click on the system properties tab, and access the system restore wizard. If the system restore tab is not clickable, it means that you do not have a restore point.
However, if the wizard opens up, you can see all the restore points made to date – choose an instance – and click on Scan for affected programs.
It would now show you what changes would be made to your current system. Next, run the restoration process. It should take about an hour to reinstate your system to its former glory, depending on the system and the amount of data that needs to be restored.
4. In-Place Updates
This is one of the best methods of updating your Windows without losing any important files and folders.
You’ll need another version of Windows 10 on a bootable USB, disc, etc.; make sure it is the same version as the one on your system.
Now, login into windows from an administrator account and remove all antivirus software other than Defender. Then run the upgrade from the setup.exe file, and accept the terms and conditions and license agreements.
It should take anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour, and your system would be upgraded, and all issues will be resolved.
5. Factory Reset
If all else has failed, try this move to revert your Windows 10 to its original state, i.e., what it was like right after installation. But know that you might lose your apps, programs, and settings, etc. as a result of a reset, so do it only when necessary. Also, don’t forget to save any critical files and folders on an external drive.
Follow these steps for a factory reset:
- Log in as an administrator
- Go to settings, then update and security, and then recovery
- Right on the top, you will notice it says “Reset This PC,” and a clickable button which says “Get Started”
- Click on it, and you will be moved to a new menu where you choose between keep my files or remove everything
- Then let it run, and your PC will be reset with or without your files and minus all the apps and settings
6. A Clean Install
If your system is inundated with malware, and viruses, or ransomware — it would be best to go for a clean install. Also, a fresh installation makes sense if you want to create new drives and delete old windows files that are of no use!
You can use a Windows 10 CD or bootable USB for a fresh install. Once complete, you’ll have a clean virus-free PC.
Please know that your data will not survive a clean install, so it would be best to backup personal files on an external drive before you begin the installation.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you resolve your issues, and your PC will work at its full potential so you can get back to work.
However, if all this seems too overwhelming, it’d be best to talk to an expert. Visit your local Windows tech to get your OS fixed ASAP.