Be Prepared: Preventing Problems Rebuild Your Desktop File Check and/or Replace the System File Stay Up-to-Date 28 Tooling Up This chapter is about troubleshooting tools and preventative maintenance. For hardware repairs, you can't do much without the proper tools. You need screwdrivers, pliers, and wrenches whether the hardware is a computer, a television, a refrigerator, or a car. The same idea is true for computer software repairs--except that your main tools are electronic, not metal. In either case, first you need to gather the relevant tools required for the repair, and then you must become familiar with how to use them. Solving problems also means trying to avoid the problem in the first place. Do you regularly change the oil filter in your car to prevent problems caused by dirty oil? Well, the same logic applies to computer maintenance. Damage Control I describe many types of problems in this book, but certain themes keep recurring. These include damaged disks, corrupted files, software bugs, and software conflicts. If these terms are not familiar to you, they can seem a bit confusing. What, exactly, gets damaged if the disk looks okay physically? How does this damage occur? Where do bugs come from? Why do conflicts occur? Here are the answers.