How to Fix Windows Errors

By Techwalla Computers Editor

When Windows software needs restoring, cleaning or repairing, you can fix damaged files without changing current settings and applications. There are several ways to fix Windows XP from the Control Panel or the operating system disc. Follow these steps below to either repair your Windows XP or Vista operating systems.

Fix Windows XP From the Control Panel Screen

Step 1

Roll back the driver device by selecting "Performance and Maintenance" from the Control Panel. Hit "Properties," click the "Driver's" tab and then "Roll Back Driver."

Step 2

Disable a device by clicking "Performance and Maintenance" from the Control Panel. Choose the "Hardware Tab," scroll down to "Device Manager," and disable the device that is causing problems by right-clicking with your mouse.

Step 3

Locate the "System Restore" on the left side of the screen after selecting "Performance and Maintenance" from the Control Panel.

Step 4

Add or remove programs that appear when you click on "Add or Remove Programs" from the Control Panel.

Repair Windows XP Using the Operating System Disc

Step 1

Place the Operating System disc into the E Drive tray. Restart your computer.

Step 2

Choose the "To setup Windows XP now press ENTER" option.

Step 3

Press the "F8" key to agree when the license page comes up. Key in "R" to repair Windows XP. The Setup Wizard prompts you along the way.

Reinstall a Fresh Copy of Windows XP Using Recovery Console

Step 1

Place the Operating System disc into the E Drive tray. Restart your computer. When "Press any key to boot from CD" displays on the screen, select the first option "To setup Windows XP now press ENTER."

Step 2

Press the "F8" key to agree on the license page. Select "To continue install a fresh copy of windows XP without repairing, press Esc."

Step 3

Pick "To continue install a fresh copy of windows XP without repairing." Press the "Esc" key and the partitioning screen displays.

Step 4

Press "Enter" if you have a partition, then select "Format the partition using the NTFS file system." If don't, select default settings to create a partition.

Step 5

Ignore the "Press any key to boot from CD." The Setup Wizard continues to download important files onto your computer. After the prompt says "finish," setup is complete.

Repairing Windows Vista Using Startup Repair

Step 1

Access "Startup Repair" through the "Windows Recovery Environment." You must have the Windows Vista DVD in the DVD drive.

Step 2

Wait for the "Press any key to boot from CD" message to appear. Then it tells you "Windows is Loading." The next screen is your time and language settings.

Step 3

Configure language settings and time, and then press "Next." The following screen is the "Install and Repair" screen.

Step 4

Choose to "Repair Your Computer," and the computer then scouts for all Vista installations. Next the "System Recovery Options" appears.

Step 5

Highlight the installation you want to fix, load any drivers that you need and press "Next." If problems are found, then the "Startup Repair" dialog box appears, and searches for problems.

Step 6

Upload the "Status Repair" box. Additionally, another box appears asking if you want to restore. It's recommended you don't, so simply hit "Cancel" to continue the repair.

Step 7

Use "Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool" to check for memory errors. Select the "Command Prompt" to remove viruses and malware. Learn more about this through the "How to use the Command Prompt in the Vista Windows Recovery Environment" manual.

Tips & Warnings

  • Access "Windows Advanced Options" by restarting your computer, then press the "F8" key repeatedly until the "Windows Advanced Options" appear. Choose "Safe Mode" to load basic drivers and files or "Safe Mode with Networking."
  • Make sure to back up any important files you have before repairing Windows.