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Chapter 5. Fixing Computer Problems > Troubleshooting 101: Figuring Out What’s ...

Troubleshooting 101: Figuring Out What’s Wrong

What do you do when Windows freezes, crashes, locks up, or displays a baffling error message? You could pound on your desk, yell at the computer, and even fling your keyboard against the wall. However, after you work through the initial frustration, you’ve still got to deal with the problem. When confronted with a Windows mystery, most people just start poking around in dialog boxes, more or less at random, hoping that they'll get lucky and stumble on the fix. There's a much more effective strategy, however—a methodical approach to problem-solving that usually helps you find and fix the overwhelming majority of Windows woes, including system crashes. In this section, I've listed eight steps you can take to troubleshoot any Windows problem. If you go through this checklist one item at a time, you have an excellent chance of finding and fixing whatever’s ailing Windows.

Tip

Here’s some good news: Any problem you encounter with Windows is likely to be one that other people have encountered as well. That means there’s a good chance the solution is out there on the Internet, if you can find it. That’s why, throughout this chapter, I emphasize the benefits of using a search engine for troubleshooting.



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