Repair & Recovery
You don't always need to reinstall Windows or replace a piece of hardware to fix a major problem. For many problems, a good first troubleshooting step is to try one of the many repair and recovery tools available with Windows.
These tools aren't always easy to use, so below you'll find complete walkthroughs and other tutorials:
How To Restore a Missing DirectX DLL File
Detailed directions on extracting and individual DLL file from the Microsoft DirectX redistributable package.
How Do I Start Windows in Safe Mode?
Complete screenshot-based walkthroughs for entering Safe Mode in Windows 7, Vista, and XP.
How Do I Start Windows Using Last Known Good Configuration?
Detailed walkthroughs on using LKGC in Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
How Do I Use the Windows System Restore Utility?
Links to instructions, specific to your version of Windows, on using System Restore from within Windows.
How To Use SFC /Scannow to Repair Protected Windows Files
Instructions on using the sfc command with the scannow option to scan for and repair important Windows operating system files.
How To Force Windows To Restart in Safe Mode
Instructions on forcing Windows to restart in Safe Mode if the typical methods don't work.
How To Create a Windows 8 Recovery Drive
A tutorial on creating a Windows 8 Recovery Drive, a bootable flash drive you can use to access Advanced Startup Options.