November 10, 2009


Troubleshooting computer problems isn’t easy; it involves a host of skills that take a lot of time, education, and experience to build. But you can use some resources to troubleshoot some of the more common problems without being a total computer geek. First, it’s important to understand that troubleshooting comes into play only when you already know how to do something but it’s not working as it should. This is not the same as not knowing how to do something, or not being able to ?gure out how to do something by guessing. It’s an important distinction to make because if you can’t do something because you don’t know how, troubleshooting won’t help.

As to nongeek troubleshooting, there are many resources for that. The first is Windows 7’s automated troubleshooting. Windows 7 can often recognize when something’s gone wrong. When it does, Windows 7 may pop up a message asking whether it’s okay to send information about the problem to Microsoft. You should always choose Yes. No human will receive the message. Nobody will call or pop up on your screen to solve the problem. Instead, another computer will check to see whether it’s a known problem that’s already been solved.

If a solution is available, you’ll (eventually) see a message in your Notification area offering to solve the problem. Just click that message and follow any additional instructions that appear on the screen. Hopefully, the problem will go away without your having to call in the pricey computer nerds. You can also use the Troubleshooting link in the Help and Support Center shown back.  Click that link to ?nd solutions to common problems.

I’ve also included a troubleshooting chapter at the end of each part of this book. As with the Troubleshooting you get through the Help and Support Center, these chapters cover only some of the more common problems. There isn’t a book in the world that’s large enough to cover every possibility. Finally, the communities mentioned in the previous section can be a great resource. Just make sure that you explain exactly what the problem is so that people reading your post can determine what’s happening. Chances are, someone who reads your message has already encountered that problem and will offer a solution. Hey, it’s free. So it’s certainly worth a try.

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