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Key Points

  • The best way to prepare for problems is to make sure you always have backup copies of important data files.

  • System Restore, a new feature in Windows XP, allows you to save system files and settings so that you can undo changes that cause problems and go back to a point when your system worked perfectly.

  • Whenever you encounter a problem with Windows, your first goal should be to isolate the problem. If you can reproduce the problem with specific steps, you can test possible solutions more effectively.

  • The Windows Help And Support Center is filled with excellent troubleshooting tools.

  • Video drivers are among the most common causes of computer crashes. Sometimes, simply updating a video driver can make your problems vanish immediately.

  • Do you have an expert friend who uses Windows XP? With the help of a feature called Remote Assistance, you can enlist your friend’s aid in identifying and solving even the peskiest problem.

  • Don’t be intimidated by technical error messages. Write down or do a screen capture of the details and plug key phrases into the search box in the Microsoft Knowledge Base or a good search engine such as Google. You might find the answers, written in plain English.

  • When Windows won’t start in normal mode, try to start in Safe Mode instead. This special diagnostic mode lets you make repairs and investigate problems.

  • Using the Windows XP CD, you can repair your existing Windows installation.



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