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Part 3: Disaster Relief: The Fix-Its

Part 3: Disaster Relief: The Fix-Its

Meet the Fix-Its. The Fix-Its are a collection of sixteen topics that cover the entire range of problem-solving techniques. Think of them as a set of descriptive troubleshooting tools, the metaphorical equivalent of hardware tools such as a screwdriver or a hammer. Where previous chapters are organized according to symptoms, the Fix-Its are organized according to the tools themselves. There are two ways to use this Fix-It section.

First, and most common, you are sent here via a cross-reference from an earlier chapter of this book. In this case, these Fix-Its are an extension of the step-by-step procedures listed in the previous chapters. Assuming you are still hunting for a solution to your problem, here is where you continue the hunt. These Fix-Its detail frequently cited techniques, avoiding the need to repeat this information every time it is relevant.

Second, I have tried to make each Fix-It stand as a self-contained tutorial on its subject. Thus, if you want to learn about viruses (what they are, how they originate, and how to protect yourself against them), turn to Fix-It #6. This can be useful regardless of whether you are referred there from a previous chapter. To make these Fix-Its independent, some material presented earlier in the book is repeated here, but I have tried to keep this to a minimum.

Each Fix-It is divided into five parts:

  1. Quick Summary. This briefly describes the key procedure(s) of the Fix-It.

  2. When to Do It. This section summarizes the common situations and symptoms that suggest the use of the Fix-It. When to Do It is especially useful if you are browsing through the Fix-Its, without having been directed here from a previous chapter.

    Be aware that many of the symptoms described in this section appear in more than one Fix-It. For example, a system crash may point to many different causes, including an extension conflict, a damaged preferences file, a virus, or more. Therefore when you see your symptom listed for a particular Fix-It, do not immediately assume you have found the cause of your problem. To diagnose a particular problem, you are better off starting your search in Part II, which also gives suggested sequences for trying the Fix-Its, the precise order varying according to the particular problem at hand.

  3. Why to Do It. This section briefly summarizes the rationale behind each procedure and what you can expect it to accomplish. Here, more than in the other sections, you can gain insight as to why a given solution works.

  4. What to Do. This is the main section of each Fix-It. Here is where you'll find the actual procedures and step-by-step instructions. Some of these sections are relatively brief; others are lengthy. In general, they follow the What to Do format of the previous chapters.

  5. For Related Information. This last section is a list of cross-references that tell you where to go to further investigate selected topics mentioned in the Fix-It.

Fix-It #1: Resolve Hardware and Software Incompatibilities

Fix-It #2: Delete or Replace Preferences, Plug-ins, and Related Files

Fix-It #4: Check for Problems with System Software

Fix-It #5: Check for Problems with Memory Management

Fix-It #6: Check for Viruses

Fix-It #7: Defragment/Optimize the Disk

Fix-It #8: Rebuild the Desktop

Fix-It #9: Zap the Parameter RAM

Fix-It #10: Repair Corrupted Disk Directory

Fix-It #11: Check for Damaged Disks and Files: Replace, Recover, Restore, or Repair

Fix-It #12: Update the Disk Device Driver

Fix-It #13: Format, Initialize, and Verify Disks

Fix-It #14: Check for Device and Connection Problems: SCSI, ATA (IDE), FireWire, USB, ADB, and Serial

Fix-It #15: Check the Hardware: Logic Board, Memory, Processor, and PCI slots

Fix-It #16: Seek Technical Support or Other Outside Help



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