Backing Up a Machine that Won’t Boot

Here’s the scenario: all is well, you’re getting lots of work done on your computer, when all of a sudden it crashes. No idea why — it just crashes.

What’s worse, it won’t reboot. Maybe it just hangs on boot, maybe it says the drive isn’t found, maybe there’s something else interfering.

To make matters worse yet, you stand to lose all that work you were doing, because it hasn’t yet been backed up. Your most recent work seems to be locked up inside a hard drive you can’t access.

There may be a way to back it up before dealing with the crash.

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Why do I get a black screen on my computer after a while?

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My computer switches to a black screen after about 5 to 15 minutes of use. Then I have to turn it off to get another 5 to 15 minutes of use. Can you tell me what part of my computer is causing this black out?

I get questions that boil down to this symptom quite often.

Unfortunately, it’s very hard for me to offer concrete help.

The problem is that there are so many possibilities that could lead to this symptom. There’s simply no single “part of my computer” to point at.

There are many things to look at, and look for, so I’ll review the most common causes and remedies.

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Internet Explorer crashes, how do I fix it?

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I keep getting the message “IExplorer.exe has generated an error” when I browse the web, and Internet Explorer crashes and shuts down. Why does this happen, and what do I do to fix it?

IExplore.exe which is Internet Explorer, or more commonly “IE”, is perhaps one of the most used pieces of software ever written next to the Windows operating system itself.

Unfortunately, being such a widely used program, when it crashes a lot of people notice. And since not all crashes that look like IE are actually caused by IE, things get very confusing, and perhaps very frustrating.

Let’s look at some of the clues to help identify the problem as well as some steps that may help resolve the issues we find.

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Why Does My Computer Crash at Random Times?

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My PC is not quite a year old yet but it recently started to crash, even while just running Word. Antivirus (both) check everything in order. What could possibly be the matter here?

A “crash”, for the purposes of this discussion, includes things like random blue screens, random reboots, freezing up and just randomly shutting down or going to a completely black screen without warning.

I actually have several articles on crashing randomly, but because this is such a common scenario I want to update my approach a little.

In particular, I find one cause to be the most common.

I’ll look at that, and then review what else might be going on.

Read moreWhy Does My Computer Crash at Random Times?