Overview of Windows Troubleshooting Tools In solving Windows problems, it helps to have a handy reference of available Windows tools to remind you of what you might check or do toward finding a solution. Strategies to Troubleshoot Any Computer Problem The six steps in the troubleshooting process are: 1) Interview the user and back up?data, 2) Examine the system and form a theory of probable cause (your best guess),?3) Test your theory, 4) Plan a solution and implement it, 5) Verify that everything works and take appropriate preventive measures, and 6) Document what you did and the final outcome. Troubleshooting Blue Screen Errors To solve blue screen stop errors after Windows startup, use the web to research the error message or symptom, and use Windows error-reporting tools, Event Viewer, Windows updates, System Restore, Memory Diagnostics, and Chkdsk to examine the system and solve the problem. Operating systems process either 32 bits or 64 bits. Microsoft calls 32-bit operating sys- tems x86-based OSs. The term x64 applies to 64-bit OSs. 64-bit operating systems require 64-bit drivers and can support 32-bit and 64-bit applications. Use the Memory Diagnostics tool to test memory during the boot.?Use the System File Checker (SFC) tool to verify and restore system files. Use the Startup and Recovery section in the System Properties box to keep Windows from automatically restarting after a stop error. Automatic restarts can put the boot into an endless loop. Troubleshooting Applications Windows error messages and logs can help you examine a system looking for the source of an application problem. Applying Windows patches and repairing system files can sometimes solve an application problem. Use System File Checker and System Restore to repair system files. Other tools that can help you fix a problem with an application include the Default Programs window, Data Sources (ODBC) and Component Services administrative tools, the Services console, a secondary logon, Compatibility Mode, Windows 7 XP Mode, Task Manager, antivirus software, Windows updates, Windows 7 archived messages, Vista Problem Reports and Solutions, XP Error Reporting, Chkdsk, Memory Diagnostics, Safe Mode, and the web site of the application developer. Review Questions What are the six steps that you can use to solve any computer problem? Blue screen errors happen when which type of processes encounter an error? In what folder are driver files stored? What is the command to use the Memory Diagnostics tool? What method can you use to test memory on a Windows XP system by using the Memory Diagnostics tool without having to install Windows 7 or Vista on the system? What is the command to use the System File Checker to immediately verify system files? To verify system files on the next restart? How many bits does an x86-based operating system process at one time? What GUI tool can you use to stop a program that is hung? What command-line tool can you use to stop a program that is hung? How can you eliminate the possibility that an application error is caused by another application or service running in the background? How does Windows know which application to use to open a file when you double-click the file in Windows Explorer? Which Windows tool can you use to install the drivers needed so that a user can open a data file using an application that is normally not used with the file? Which two tools might a software developer or system administrator use to register a com- ponent of an application in the Windows registry? If an application works when the system is loaded in Safe Mode, but does not work when Windows is loaded normally, what can you assume? When an application written for Windows XP does not work in Windows 7, which tool should you attempt to use first to solve the problem, Compatibility Mode or XP Mode? Why? Categorize each of the following tasks or decisions into one of the six steps to troubleshoot ?any computer problem.? a. Set up a backup schedule.? b. Reimage Windows 7.? c. Decide the problem must be a corrupted video driver. d. Copy Word documents to a USB flash drive.? e. Apply a restore point. As a helpdesk technician, list four good detective questions to ask if a user calls to say, ?My PC won?t boot.? Reword the following questions that might be asked when interviewing a user over the telephone. You new questions should reflect a more positive attitude toward the user. Did you drop your laptop? Did you forget to recharge the laptop battery? You say the problem is that Microsoft Word is giving an error, but do you really know how to use that application? 19. A user tells you that Microsoft Word gives errors when saving a file. What should you do next? Install Windows updates that also include patches for Microsoft Word. Ask the user when the problem first started. Ask the user to save the error message as a screen shot the next time the error occurs and email it to you. d. Use Task Manager to end the Microsoft Word program.
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