Section 16.8. Windows Troubleshooters

16.8. Windows' Troubleshooters

Proving that artificial intelligence is limited to robots that vacuum the room in easygoing circles, the troubleshooter programs you'll find in Windows XP's Help and Support area make a very limited attempt to diagnose problems with your PC. Sometimes they guess correctly and provide a solution. Most of the time, however, the troubleshooters admit defeat, and pass you off to yet another program.

The troubleshooters work best when you simply want a checklist of possible problems to make sure you're not overlooking something obvious when diagnosing what's gone wrong.

You can visit Windows' troubleshooters in either of two ways:

  • Add Hardware wizard . When the Add Hardware wizard (see Section 16.5.1) reaches the end of its rope, it passes you off to the troubleshooters, launching the correct one for the item you're trying to add to your PC. For example, the Video Display troubleshooter handles video and monitor problems, while the Input Devices troubleshooter handles keyboards, mice, trackballs, cameras , scanners , and infrared devices.

  • Windows Help and Support . To summon the troubleshooters yourself, choose Start Help and Support and type list of troubleshooters in the Search box at the top of the screen. Windows lists its 17 troubleshooters, which walk you through a wide variety of problems.

The troubleshooters work much like a grade school quiz, asking you questions and letting you choose between possible answers. For the frustrated, almost every screen offers an option called, "I want to skip this step and try something else."

As you choose an option, the troubleshooter displays a page from Windows XP's Help and Support system explaining that particular problem. It's not as intuitive as a service call from a private PC technician, but it's worth a try before giving up.

PCs: The Missing Manual
ISBN: 0596100930
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 206
Authors: Andy Rathbone

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