System crashes are not a foreign term to regular PC users. Though there has been a reduction in the number of reported system crashes with more recent Windows updates, your computer is still at risk. In this article, we look at what you should do, such as recover data, when your system crashes.
Imagine working on your desktop and suddenly it switches itself off out of the blue. This is just one of the ways a system crash can manifest itself, the screen can also freeze and display repeated error messages or simply displays a blue screen. When this happens, do not panic. Using the following steps, you might be able to establish the problem and fix it.
1. Record errors
If your computer is still on and is displaying error messages, take note of the errors. They will most likely have an error number and a description, write them down regardless of whether you understand the errors or not. This will help in case you require the support of a technician or expert. Once you record the errors you can switch off the computer.
2. Restarting the system
Depending on the root cause of the system crash, your computer might actually restart successfully. There is also the chance that the computer will start but the Operating System will not. In extreme cases, such as where the firmware has been affected, the computer will not start at all.
Where the computer does not start at all, you will need to find assistance from an expert. If the computer starts but the OS is not starting, you can use the Last Known Good Configuration feature on Windows which uses the last known settings that launched Windows successfully.
To troubleshoot or try to find the problem that caused the system crash, it is recommended that you launch Windows in its safe mode.
If you’re using Windows 8.1 or a more recent version:
- Open the start menu and click the icon indicating power.
- Click Restart as you press down the shift button.
- In the menu that follows, select Troubleshoot then Advanced options.
- Select startup settings and then click Restart.
- The computer will restart. On the menu that follows before it restarts, press 4 for Safe mode. Alternatively, press 5 for Safe mode with Networking (do this when you intend to access the internet to troubleshoot)
For Windows 7 or older versions:
- Restart or switch on the computer. During the booting process, long-press the F8 key prior to the appearance of the Windows logo.
- With the help of the arrow keys, navigate to safe mode. The same keys can also take you to Safe mode with Networking. Choose oneand press enter.
- Windows will start in safe mode.
Once your computer starts in safe mode, you can try one of the following things to troubleshoot:
- Run your antivirus software to scan for malware.
- If the system crash started after a recently installed software, uninstall it.
- Update your drivers.
Sometimes when you restart your computer after a system crash, you find that some files are missing. This is more likely if you were working on unsaved work when the crash happened. In such cases, all you need to do is install a tool like DataNumen Data Recovery that will recover all your missing or corrupted files.