Sometimes Windows Update will go wrong in some way, rendering Windows unusable. It can also happen when a drive update goes wrong, or if you try and install more than one version of Windows on the same machine. This can often be fixed with a Startup Repair.
For that, you need your Windows CD or a Windows Recovery CD.
Your PC will restart again. Take the disc out and change the boot order in your BIOS back to starting from the hard drive first, if necessary. Windows should be working.
At this point, try Windows Update again and see if it wants to reinstall it. If the same problem happens again, try repeating the first eight steps above. After clicking Repair your Computer, choosing an operating system and clicking Next,
(in Windows XP)
(in Windows Vista or Windows 7)
Restart your PC and see if either of those fixes worked. If not, we’ve got a guide for repairing a broken Windows Update.
Note that if your operating system doesn’t show up, it’s likely that your hard drive has died. (That’s what happened in our case.) At that point, you’ll need to replace it. Good luck!
Steve Horton has been working with computers for over 20 years. He's dedicated to helping people get the most out of their PCs, and likes playing cards and writing comics.
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