In this video, explore solutions. All hope isn't lost when Windows itself breaks, because Windows can be fixed. It's possible to recover a damaged file or fix an issue without having to resort to reinstalling Windows.
- [Instructor] Back in the bad old days of tech support, the goal was to get you off the line and answer the next call. Around the seven minute mark, the tech support specialist would resort to the worst advice they could give which was to reinstall Windows. While that solution solved the tech support person's problem it was a complete overreaction to solving your problem. That's because most Windows issues can be resolved without the drastic step of reinstalling the entire operating system.
You just need to know what to try first, and that tool is called the System File Checker. The System File Checker is a utility you can use when booting the PC in safe mode, or you can access a command prompt from the Windows Recovery menu and run the System File Checker there. The utility can also be run when you use Windows normally but you must start an Administrator Command Prompt. Right click on the Start button and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
Click Yes in the UAC warning, and you see the Command Prompt window. The System File Checker program name is SFC. That's followed by an option that directs the program to perform specific tasks. For now, I'll type sfc, a space, and a /verifyonly. Nothing is wrong with this computer, well, nothing that I know of, but this command will note any potential problems without fixing them.
Press Enter to run the command. The scan takes some time, so you can go do something else or just watch in anxious anticipation. Had any deleterious issues been detected, information would appear on the screen. Here the system checked out okay, which is what I expected. If not, I would see the error and Windows would also reference one of its log files which is where I could examine further details. Now if there are issues such as a corrupt or missing file, you should restart Windows in safe mode and then run the System File Checker with this command, sfc /scannow.
The System File Checker would then review all of Windows files but, unlike verifyonly used earlier, any corrupt files found would be repaired. This is the way you fix Windows without having to reinstall the entire operating system. You can also access the command prompt from the Windows Recovery menu. To restart and view the Recovery menu, choose Power from the Start menu, press and hold the Shift key and choose Restart.
At the Recovery menu screen, choose Troubleshoot, Advanced options, and Command Prompt. Now I won't choose this option now, but if you do, eventually you'll see a Command Prompt screen. At that screen, type in sfc /scannow at the command prompt and that will attempt to repair Window. Finally, when nothing else works, you can choose to reinstall Windows. This is a last resort option. If you're using the Windows Recovery menu, I'm gonna go back to the Main screen, at the Main screen, you choose Troubleshoot, and then Reset this PC.
Now I would recommend that you choose the option to keep your files first. In that case, only Windows itself is reinstalled. Again this is a drastic step. It's a last resort if any of the other techniques I've mentioned don't solve the problem. The command to Reset the PC is also duplicated in the Settings app. To open the Settings app, press the windows + i key on the keyboard. Choose Update & security, Recovery. Click the Get started button below Reset this PC.
And again, I recommend keeping your files should you need to resort to the dire circumstances that require you to reinstall Windows.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity