[HELP] Windows Troubleshooters
Windows includes a host of built-in troubleshooters that can assist you in trying to assess and repair issues that your computer may be experiencing with the operating system. Let's take a look at how they work, and what they can do for you…
Windows Problem? Try a Troubleshooter
Got a problem with Windows? Printer won't work, no sound, or some other issue? Before you download anything, try a Windows Troubleshooter. To access the Windows troubleshooters, type “trouble” into the search box and select “Troubleshooting” from the search results.
The main screen of the Troubleshooting panel organizes the troubleshooters under four categories: Programs, Hardware and Sound, Network and Internet, and System and Security. Click “View all” in the upper-left corner to see an alphabetical listing of all the troubleshooters that are available on your computer. I prefer “view all” so I don’t have to jump from one section to another as I try to guess where the troubleshooter I need is.
(Depending on your system settings, you might see the question, "do you want the most up to date content available for troubleshooting?” Selecting “yes” connects your computer to the Windows Online Troubleshooting service, which gives you access to “fixer” utilities and additional troubleshooting tips.)
After a troubleshooter runs, you may see the message, “Troubleshooting couldn’t identify the problem.” That doesn’t mean there is (or is not) a problem! Windows will display that message if it cannot find ANY problem, or if it finds a problem but can’t identify it. The moral is: don’t go looking for trouble with troubleshooters. Only if you actually are having a problem with software or hardware should you look for a troubleshooter that might be able to fix it.
Take note -- while attempting to fix a problem, troubleshooters may reset some of your system settings to Windows defaults, wiping out any customized settings you may have configured. The Power troubleshooter does this, and also sets your screensaver to “none.” Again, if it isn’t broken don’t try to fix it.
Try the System Maintenance Troubleshooter
The System Maintenance Troubleshooter checks for (and optionally repairs) the following types of problems with just one click of the “Next” button:
- Broken shortcuts that don’t launch any apps
- Troubleshooting history logs that are taking up excessive disk space
- System time incorrectly set
- Desktop icons that haven’t been used in 3 months or more - may want to delete some
- Disk volume errors - bad sectors, lost clusters, cross-linked files, and directory errors.
- Error reports and logs that are taking up excessive disk space
Windows can constantly monitor your system for buildups of these problems and alert you when it’s time to run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter. To enable this monitoring,
- Enter “action center” in the Search box and click on Action Center in the results list.
- Click on the “Maintenance” link to open that section
- “Troubleshooting: System Maintenance” should be “on” for monitoring
- Click on the “Change troubleshooting settings” link to toggle monitoring on or off
A number of third-party utilities do the things that System Maintenance and its Troubleshooter do. If you run Advanced Systemcare Pro, CCleanup, or another “system optimizer” app, you can skip Windows System Maintenance and its monitor.
Although it's not specifically a Troubleshooter, the Task Manager tool built into Windows can help you identify programs that are hogging your CPU or memory. Press Ctrl-Shift-Esc to open the Task Manager, and you'll see a tabbed window that displays the programs and Windows background tasks currently running. My article Windows Task Manager goes over the details of what you'll find there, and tweaks you can perform.
A related Windows utility is Autoruns, which can reduce Windows launch time, free up memory, or help you track down especially stealthy malware. It shows you all programs that automatically run when your PC starts, and lets you decide which ones to keep. See Are Autoruns Slowing Your PC?
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 20 Jan 2017
|For Fun: Buy Bob a Snickers.|
Should You Backup Everything?
The Top Twenty
What's YOUR Backup Strategy? (I'll show you mine...)
Post your Comments, Questions or Suggestions
Free Tech Support -- Ask Bob Rankin
Subscribe to AskBobRankin Updates: Free Newsletter
Copyright © 2005
- Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved
Article information: AskBobRankin -- [HELP] Windows Troubleshooters (Posted: 20 Jan 2017)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved