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Chapter 16. Troubleshooting and Recoveri... > Troubleshooting Strategies: Determin...

Troubleshooting Strategies: Determining the Source of a Problem

One of the ongoing mysteries that all Windows Vista users experience at one time or another is what might be called the “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” problem. This is a glitch that plagues you for a while and then mysteriously vanishes without any intervention on your part. (This also tends to occur when you ask a nearby user or someone from the IT department to look at the problem. Like the automotive problem that goes away when you take the car to a mechanic, computer problems will often resolve themselves as soon as a knowledgeable user sits down at the keyboard.) When this happens, most people just shake their heads and resume working, grateful to no longer have to deal with the problem.

Unfortunately, most computer ills aren’t resolved so easily. For these more intractable problems, your first order of business is to track down the source of the glitch. This is, at best, a black art, but it can be done if you take a systematic approach. Over the years, I’ve found that the best approach is to ask a series of questions designed to gather the required information and/or to narrow down what might be the culprit. The next few sections take you through these questions.


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