Section 17.7. Microsoft s Knowledge Base

17.7. Microsoft's Knowledge Base

Whenever Microsoft discovers a problem with one of its products, it adds that problemand its solution, if one existsinto its Knowledge Base, shown in Figure 17-8. Stuffed with more than 150,000 articles, Microsoft's Knowledge Base ( contains solutions to problems asked by customers on its tech support lines, documentation of bugs (and possible workarounds), and tutorials for getting through tricky situations.

Figure 17-8. With more than 150,000 entries, Microsoft Knowledge Base's Advanced Search ( offers several ways to narrow your search. Search for articles about a specific product, including Windows XP, in the top box. In the For box, enter an error message, file name , or other pertinent information, and then click the arrow button to see what Microsoft knows about that particular error.

Tip: KBalertz ( offers a free service that alerts you to new Knowledge Base articles dealing with specific subjects. If you're an avid Word 2000 user , for instance, sign up to have KBalertz let you know whenever Microsoft adds information about a Word 2000 idiosyncrasy, conflict, workaround, or plain old bug.

Microsoft numbers each article in its Knowledge Base, making everything easier to retrieve. For instance, searching Google for the error message "Error 1606. Could Not Access Network Location," may turn up an answer with somebody saying, "You'll find that answer in article in KB307683." That six-digit number (with the acronym for "Knowledge Base" in front of it) identifies a specific Knowledge Base article.

Armed with the Knowledge Base article number, you can retrieve that helpful solution in three ways:

  • Visit the Knowledge Base article directly . You can head straight for any particular article by typing this into your browser address:

    Substitute your own Knowledge Base number for the one above to head straight for that particular article.

  • Search the Knowledge Base directly for the article . You can also retrieve a particular article directly in the Knowledge Base's search window, shown in Figure 17-8. On the Search Type drop-down list, choose Article ID. Then type the article ID in the For: box.

  • Run your own Knowledge Base search . Feel free to run your own searches in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, as shown in Figure 17-8.

Knowledge Base Key Words

Microsoft places keywords at the bottom of each article, summing up its category. By searching for specific keywords, you can see everything relating to that particular category. For instance, keywords for people with special physical needs are "kbEnableSight," "kbEnableHear," "kbEnableMove," and "kbEnableLearn." That lets blind people search for "kbEnableSight," for instance, to locate specific articles about how Microsoft's software handles people with special visual needs.

When you find any article particularly helpful, take note of its keywords, and search for them to find articles with similar information.

Microsoft lists all its keywords in article 242450 (

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

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