We get many queries from our readers regarding their old computers and laptops crashing one fine day. Usually these crashes happen because of ageing computers, faulty softwares, sometimes abrupt power cuts and few other reasons. Usually when Windows is performing a critical hard disk operation or a third party software is doing some hard disk optimization, defragmentation etc. and you interrupt the process knowingly or unknowingly, the Windows may go corrupt. After this it may ask you to boot in safe mode or recovery mode which may or may not work depending on the severity of damage.
In this article, I share some general guidelines which help you to recover your data from your crashes Windows computer and some tips using which you can repair your Windows PC. These methods do generally work in most cases, but the success rate may not be 100%. Before trying anything to repair your computer, you must backup important data form computer so that in case of a failure during the process, the data is safe. We however recommend you to take preventive measures and keep your important data always backed up with cloud services like dropbox etc.
How To Backup Data From Crashed Computer
To backup your important data from your computer’s hard disk, you can simply download Ubuntu Live CD and follow the instructions at the official page of Ubuntu to boot the computer in Live or Trial mode. NOTE – Do not run the installation, as it may overwrite the data and it may not be recovered again.
After you boot in live mode, browse the disks and mount any disks or disk partition of your Windows computer in Unubtu. Here are the official instruction for data recovery using Ubuntu.
After you mount the disk in Ubuntu, attach a USB pen drive or USB disk drive and copy your important data from these disk partition. In worst case scenario, where the disk is damaged or not mounting at all, you may have to take the disk to a data recovery center for data backup and above method will not help you.
If you are lucky, you might have backed up your data from your Windows hard disk. In some cases, the data maybe encrypted, in that case, there is a hope if you have created a recovery certificate earlier which helps you to recover the data. In case you have not created, create one for your healthy windows PC for later use and save it on some cloud service for just in case.
How To Repair Crashed or Corrupted Windows
After you have backed up your data from the hard disk, you should attempt to repair Windows. Almost all version of Windows come with repair functionality in the installer disk. Some versions also have their repaid disk separately available. Some OEM windows laptops and desktops have special windows recovery softwares or partitions which help to recover the Windows.
First try any in-built recovery options which are there in case of branded OEM windows computers. If you have an assembled Windows PC without any OEM software, you need to have a genuine copy of Windows and Windows installer disk. Place the installer or repair disk in the disk drive, choose the option to start Windows repair from the boot menu, proceed and keep your fingers crossed. For mild damage or corruption in windows, it will almost completely recover it to previous state. For medium damage, there maybe some loss of files or data or settings. In case of severe damage to Windows, you may have to do a complete re-installation of Windows and other softwares. You will need your Windows Key and other software license keys to re-activate them. If you don’t have a backup of your software license and Windows Keys, create a backup of the Windows keys for future use.