Most people do not realize that they have a problem with the operating system for a personal computer until they get an error message when the computer is turned on one day. Before the computer system reaches this stage, the computer user might notice that the system has slowed considerably over a period of weeks and that the keyboard or other input devices work incorrectly and gibberish is written across the computer screen.
The error message could come in a numeric form that lists an error code or it could come with a blue screen showing on the computer monitor that alerts the user to a fatal operating error that will prevent the computer operating system from loading. A computer user might try to reboot the operating system several times with the same result. Then they might consider using a recovery disk that contains diagnostic software on it that could identify the source of the problem.
Some computer operating systems require users to access diagnostics software by repetitively hitting the F8 key on the computer keyboard. This procedure will take the operating system into a safe mode that will allow the operator to perform several diagnostics on the computer system itself. Some programs might now operate normally while in safe mode, but if the errors are found and repaired, the computer system should load normally on the next restart.
Using this type of diagnostic computer software will require an understanding of error codes and settings by which the computer operates. The user manual will have a complete listing of error codes and the list will also explain what they mean. While the computer is operating in safe mode, the operating system will offer the computer operator several choices on the computer screen that will help repair the errors that are on the hard drive of the computer.
Changes should be made sparingly to the computer while it is operating in safe mode. Any numerical changes that occur to the hard drive will directly effect the way the computer system will respond when it is restarted. Some changes will make the computer inoperable and all information on the system could be corrupted and will be unusable. Every computer user should activate the system restore option under the system icon of the control panel when they purchase the computer.
The system restore selection will allow the diagnostic software to restore the system to an earlier time, and is especially helpful when the system stops working after new software or hardware has been installed. The computer systems restore diagnostics software program is an important system tool that many users forget to start. The restore settings will make recovery of materials easier if the system stops responding due to infection by computer viruses or corrupted software.
If the diagnostics software fails to repair the system, then the user is faced with reinstalling the operating system from operating disks that are provided with each new computer system. A good rule of thumb to follow is to back up information on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to ensure that no data is lost. There are many software programs for data recovery on the market to help recover data when the operating system diagnostics programs fail to solve the problem.