What To Do When Windows 10 is Corrupted

Dear Computer Lady,

After the lasted big Win 10 update, our Dell Desktop crashed. We took it to the repair shop and they said Win10 was totally corrupted. They could copy what it was on it for an extra fee which we told them to do.

What do we do now? Get a new hard drive, a new Win10 program or trash it completely?

Thanks so much for your help.


Dear Mary,

What you do now depends on several things, the condition of your hardware, the age of your computer, and the speed of your computer.

I see computers with corrupted installations of Windows 10 quite frequently (it’s not just a windows 10 problem, the same thing happens with older versions) and this is what I do.

First, I check for hardware issues. Is the hard drive in the process of failing? Is the RAM having issues?

If the hardware on your computer passes all the tests, then I look at the age of the computer. Since the average computer lasts about 5 years, is it worth putting several hundred dollars into fixing a 6-year-old computer, or would you prefer to put that money toward a new one.

I also ask about the speed of the computer. If you are doing video editing and the computer can barely keep up, it makes more sense to invest in a more powerful computer than to fix the inadequate one.

No matter what the problem is, I backup my customer’s data to a spare hard drive, then I can restore it after either fixing or replacing the corrupted computer. As long as your computer passes the hardware tests, you don’t need to get a new hard drive, you just need to get a clean install of Windows 10.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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