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Recovering a Corrupt Windows 7 Operating System

I have an Acer Aspire 5732Z running Windows 7 Home Basic. When I was connecting to a wireless network connection, my laptop hung and the screen became somewhat translucent, that's why I restarted it. But after I logged in again, all I can see is a green screen and the pointer, nothing else, no icons, not even the task bar. I can only use my laptop in Safe Mode. I consulted a computer repair shop and they said that the operating system is not working properly and I need to reformat it. Are there any other options I can do aside from that?Celeste Stewart

Reformatting - The Last Resort

While it's easy for technicians to recommend reformatting, this solution is tough for consumers to accept. After all, our computers are loaded with data, photos, music, videos, email messages, and other files that we don't want to lose. Since reformatting the drive erases all of these files, it should be considered a last resort.

Fortunately, your computer loads into Safe Mode, so you do have options.

Data Backup

The first thing to do is to backup your data, just in case. Copy all of your data files to a high capacity flash drive or CD or sign up for a free online backup service such as IDrive. That way, you'll have your precious files in case you have to reformat the computer.

System Restore

Next, try a System Restore. System Restore is on by default in Windows 7, so your computer should have been creating regular restore points along the way. Go to Start and type System Restore into the Search bar. Click System Restore in the list that appears. It will now look for restore points. Click Next after reading the first screen. You should see a list of restore points. However, this list may not be complete. Click the link that is labeled "Show more restore points." Now, look through the list in search of a restore point from before your computer became corrupt. Follow the prompts to restore your computer to its pre-corruption state.

System Restore does not affect your data files. Instead, it rolls back the operating system to an earlier state based on the settings recorded as a restore point. Once successfully restored, your computer will be in the same shape as it was on the day the restore point was created. Any new programs added or updates made will not be present, so you may need to reinstall recently added programs and re-update your operating system and security software.

Operating System Repair

Another option for some Windows 7 users is System Repair. If your computer has this option enabled, you can use a System Repair tool. To do this reboot your computer and press the F8 key before the Windows Logo appears. The Advanced Boot Options screen will appear. Select Repair Your Computer and press Enter. From there, select Startup Repair and follow the prompts. This option repairs missing or corrupt system files that may be interfering with normal startup.

Hopefully either System Restore or System Repair does the trick.

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