The reason for a computer not to boot can be due to a large number of different problems. These could be hardware related, or due to corruption of the data used to boot the host operating system. Such problems range from simple issues, right through to complex problems which could risk the integrity of your data.
If data recovery is required, it is important that if problem is the result of a hard disk drive problem, that repeated attempts to boot the system are not made. Some issues such as a clicking drive can cause additional damage on each attempt to boot the machine, making successful hard drive data recovery more problematic.
The Point Of Failure Is Important
It is necessary to determine the point of failure as quickly as possible, to avoid causing further damage, if the problem is caused by a serious hardware fault. The hard drive not recognised by the computer has already been covered.
If the drive is recognised, but does not proceed further, or the message “operating system not found” is displayed, this indicates a hard disk drive issue. If the hard drive makes clicking noises, power the drive down and seek professional data recovery assistance immediately. If this is not the case, it indicates that important data structures at the front of the disk have become corrupt; this also requires data recovery.
Computer Hangs While Booting OS
If the operating system begins to boot, but hangs during the process, this indicates a problem has occurred while the file system is being accessed. This can be due to hardware failure, where the requested sector is unreadable, or logical corruption of the file system.
In either case, repeated attempts to boot the operating system are unlikely to succeed, and in the case of hard drive issues, will potentially make the problem worse. The correct decision at this point is critical, and should be done without panicking, as the future access to your data relies on it.
Repair or Data Recovery?
In almost all situations, hard drive data recovery is the correct course of action. Should you think that it is a computer hardware issue, reading our document about computer repair may help you decide how best to proceed.
If the computer system is relatively old, it is also worth considering whether repairing the hardware makes economic sense, compared to buying a new machine, and having a hard drive data recovery performed to recover your important data files. Also repairing the hardware, does not guarantee that data recovery will not be required anyway.