Repairing Your System Using a System Repair Disk

by Barry Dysert
(last updated December 28, 2015)

2

Assuming you've created a system repair disk (which is covered in another tip), you can use it to get your system up and running if it crashes and cannot be booted via normal means. The first thing to do is to insert your repair disk. Now, power up your system and have it boot from the device containing the repair disk. You may have modified your BIOS to automatically boot from your CD/DVD drive, in which case you'll be booting from your repair disk. If your BIOS is not set to boot from CD/DVD, then shortly after you power up your system you'll see a message to the effect of, "Press Any Key to Boot from CD or DVD". Immediately press a key. When prompted, click the Next button.

Next, the system looks for a valid Windows installation. Since your disk is a repair disk and not an installation disk, you should click Next to get to the next screen. At this point, select "Use Recovery Tools That Can Help Fix Problems Starting Windows" and click Next. You are now presented with the System Recovery Options dialog box which lists available tools you can use to assist in repairing your system. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The System Recovery Options dialog box.

The dialog box lists several different tools you can use:

  • Startup Repair. This is a good initial attempt at repair. By selecting this option you're directing Windows to automatically try to fix what's preventing a normal reboot.
  • System Restore. This will present you with a list of "restore points" that have been made during the normal operation of the system. By choosing a recent restore point, you're essentially rolling back system changes that may have caused the problem. With this option, you will probably lose program changes (e.g., driver installations), but your data will be safe.
  • System Image Recovery. This will recover your system to the point where you initially made the repair disk. If your image disk is fairly old, though, you'll end up potentially losing a lot of data.
  • Windows Memory Diagnostic. This checks your system for memory errors. No data will be lost, and if it discovers memory errors the solution is as simple as replacing the bad module(s).
  • Command Prompt. This is for experienced Windows users who may have a toolbox of command-line tools that help them diagnose and repair problems.

 This tip (12671) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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What is two minus 2?

2015-12-30 06:47:49

Barry

I'm not Allen, but yes, you can use a USB drive as your repair medium. There is a tip on this. See
http://windows.tips.net/T012645_Creating_a_System_Repair_Disk_on_a_USB_Flash_Drive.html


2015-12-30 06:44:30

Dave

Allen,
Can a system repair disk be created with a USB Drive?


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