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Chapter 6. Troubleshooting > General Troubleshooting Techniques

6.1. General Troubleshooting Techniques

Let's get one thing straight before we begin: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Many problems are actually caused by people looking for problems to solve. For example, installing a new device driver just for the sake of having the newest drivers on your system may introduce new bugs or uncover some bizarre incompatibility. This doesn't mean that updating your drivers isn't a good idea, but typically only do this if something isn't working or performing at its best.

Once you start peeking under the hood of Windows Me, you'll notice some of the tools that have been included to help the system run smoothly. Some of these tools actually work, but it's important to know which ones to use and which ones are simply gimmicks.[2] A good example is System File Protection (SFP), a new feature introduced in Windows Me to make it appear more stable than its predecessor, Windows 98. Although SFP is designed to solve certain file conflicts automatically, its brute-force method often ends up causing more problems than it solves. See Section 6.1.1 later in this chapter for more information.

[2] Yes, many software companies include functionality in their software that serves no other purpose than to list as "valuable features" on the retail packaging. System File Protection and System Restore both owe their existence to the bean counters at Microsoft.


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