Troubleshooting Windows 7 With Microsoft's Built-In Tools


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Firefox on Windows 7 had been behaving...oddly. The app would simply stop working and exit to the desktop. Yet, parts of the Firefox kernel would remain in memory, making it impossible to restart the application without firing up Task Manager and manually killing the process. It happened a half dozen times a day. I was beginning to contemplate a browser change.
Then I saw a message in the Windows Action Center. But more about that shortly.
By most measures (sales figures, user satisfaction, OEM pickup) Windows 7 has been a major success for Microsoft. But no operating system is perfect, and you will encounter problems on occasion. The vast array of hardware, drivers, and applications available for Windows necessarily means that issues will inevitably crop up.
The good news: Windows 7 gives you a robust set of tools to track down problems you encounter. We’ll take a look at a number of those tools, and how they can help you in your problem solving.
Given the complexity of the modern PC, it’s easy to think that any issue you encounter is an OS issue. I once had a user contact me about a technical issue back in the Windows XP era. He raged at some length about how poorly Microsoft had designed Windows, and how Windows needed to do a better job of helping him troubleshoot his PC. His actual problem turned out to be a bad southbridge. His USB controller had apparently died, so the system never made it past the POST, locking on the USB enumeration phase. I’m not sure how Windows could have helped him with that particular problem. Anyway...
My point is that you need to have some basic understanding of the problem you’re encountering. On top of that, you need to keep a clear head and dispassionate attitude during the problem solving process. After you’re up and running again, feel free to swear blue clouds at the real culprit; it makes me feel better when I do.

The rest of this article can be found here:
Troubleshooting Windows 7 With Microsoft's Built-In Tools : It All Began With Firefox 3.5

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