How to Use a System Repair Disc to Restore Windows 7

If Windows 7 won't start or starts with significant problems, you may need to use the System Repair Disc to fix problems with Windows 7. The System Repair Disc is designed to let you boot up Windows — even if nothing else works — and provides you with several options for repairing your failing system.

You need to create the system repair disc. If you don’t create one, you limit your recovery options. The system repair disc is not the same thing as the recovery disc that came with your computer. It won’t reinstall Windows 7 and it won’t reformat your computer. It's simply a gateway to Windows' built-in recovery tools.

  1. Insert the System Repair disc in the DVD drive and restart the computer.

    If necessary, turn off the power, count to ten, and turn the power back on.

  2. For just a few seconds, the screen displays Press any key to boot from CD or DVD. Press any key. Click Next.

    If you aren't quick enough, you'll have to restart the computer again. When Windows is finished loading files, the first System Recover Options dialog box appears. Note: Change the keyboard input method if US isn't correct.

  3. When System Recover is finished searching for Windows installations, click Next.

  4. Choose Use Recovery Tools That Can Help Fix Problems Starting Windows. Click Next.

    Windows will provide several tools that you can use to repair your system, including using the system image, if you have one available.

  5. Choose a Recovery Tool:

    Choose the tool that best suits your situation. Best recommendation: Use the first three options in the order listed, restarting after each one.

    • Startup Repair: A good first attempt. Automatically fix problems that are preventing Windows from starting.

    • System Restore: Restore Windows to an earlier point in time. Choose this option if Windows 7 starts, but something has changed since a recent installation or update. You'll pick a restore point based on date and time (start with the most recent). You may lose recent program changes, but not your data.

    • System Image Recovery: Recover your computer using a system image you created during a backup. Choose this option if the first two don't fix a problem and you have a relatively recent system image.

      With System Image Recovery, you will lose data created or changed since the image was created, unless you have that data on a separate device, such as a flash drive.

    • Windows Memory Diagnostic: Check your computer for memory hardware errors. This diagnostic tool won’t do any damage and might uncover the reason your PC hangs, freezes, or crashes.

    • Command Prompt: Open a command prompt window. Use this if you’re familiar with typing commands at a prompt.

  6. After using any of these tools, click Restart. Click Shut Down if you've had enough for the time being.

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