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Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition



Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Dan Gookin

ISBN: 978-1-119-37837-2 May 2017 464 Pages


Stop being a prisoner to your PC!

Need a PC problem fixed in a pinch? Presto! Troubleshooting & Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies offers 5 books in 1 and takes the pain out of wading through those incomprehensible manuals, or waiting for a high-priced geek to show up days or weeks after you need them. Arming you with everything you need to get that pesky PC working for you ASAP, this handy guide walks you through all the steps to restoring whatever's making your PC go rogue —so you can get back to making it work for you.

There's nothing worse than firing up your PC only to discover it's inexplicably unresponsive. With this guide, you'll gain all the skills and insight you need to need to bring it back to life —and to prevent it from ever leaving you in the lurch again.

  • Find out what's behind common PC problems
  • Solve email and web woes, both big and small
  • Perform regular maintenance and get serious about backups
  • Troubleshoot to find solutions to your issues and learn proper maintenance to head off future headaches!

Your PC problems aren't as big as you think! Take matters into your own hands with the helpful instruction provided inside this book!

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

How This Book Works 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Book 1: Solve My Problem Now! 5

Chapter 1: Trouble Comes Hither 7

The Root of All PC Trouble 7

What’s Changed? 8

Hardware versus Software Problems 11

When to Give Up 12

Chapter 2: Quick Fixes 15

Things to Try First 15

Help! 22

Book 2: O, We Got Trouble! 29

Chapter 1: Startup Problems 31

The Onset of PC Heartbreak 31

Phase I: Power On 32

Phase II: The POST 35

Phase III: Startup Options 36

Phase IV: The Search for an Operating System 42

Phase V: Operating System Initialization 44

Phase VI: Sign In to Windows 45

The Last Thing You Do 46

Chapter 2: Disk Disaster 47

PC Storage Overview 47

Mass Storage Tools and Utilities 59

Drive Management and Maintenance 61

Fun with Partitions 73

Chapter 3: Monitor Mayhem 83

The PC Graphics System 83

Captain Video Troubleshooter 96

Chapter 4: Internal Issues 107

Deep Inside the Case 107

Things to Upgrade, Fix, or Repair Inside the Case 115

Power Management Issues 127

Chapter 5: Printer Problems 135

Between the Computer and Printer 135

The Windows Side of Printing 143

Printer Driver Duties 151

Printer Problems and Solutions 154

Chapter 6: Peripheral Perils 159

Hardware Troubleshooting 160

Audio Anxieties 165

Keyboard and Mouse Woes 172

Chapter 7: Software Situations 181

Installation Issues 181

Banish the Unwanted 185

The Good and Evil of File Association 188

Common Software Problems and Solutions 194

Chapter 8: Network Nonsense 201

The Network Big Picture 201

Network Hardware Connection and Configuration 205

The Software Side of Networking 214

Network Troubleshooting 222

Network Problems and Solutions 226

Chapter 9: Shutdown Issues 229

Such a Turn-Off 229

Problems with Restarting 234

Shutdown Malaise 237

Book 3: Tools to Use 241

Chapter 1: Windows Recovery Environment 243

Startup Keys and Recovery Options 243

The Sacred Recovery Volume 249

The Windows Recovery Environment 252

Chapter 2: The Device Manager 261

Your Pal, the Device Manager 261

Device Manager Duties 265

Chapter 3: MSCONFIG and the Task Manager 271

The System Configuration Utility 271

MSCONFIG Startup Options 284

Chapter 4: Safe Mode 287

The Mode Is Safe 287

Safe Mode to the Rescue 288

Not Safe Mode Duties 299

Chapter 5: System Restore 301

The System Restore Philosophy 301

Restore the System, Restore Your Sanity 304

System Restore on Schedule 309

Chapter 6: The Task Manager 313

Task Control Central 313

Here a Task, There a Task 321

Chapter 7: The Windows Registry 325

Behold the Registry 325

Registry Cleaning 334

Chapter 8: Events and Diagnostics 335

What Has Gone On Here? 335

Diagnostics to the Rescue 339

Book 4: PC Security 347

Chapter 1: Windows Update 349

Windows Updates, Doesn’t It? 349

Update Hiccups 353

Chapter 2: Keep Mr PC Safe 357

Malicious + Software = Malware 357

Windows Defender to the Rescue 361

Life Behind the Firewall 365

Chapter 3: Backup and Restore 371

An Emergency Copy 371

Prepare for Backup! 373

File Time-Travel 378

The System Image 381

Book 5: This Old PC 385

Chapter 1: Performance and Resources 387

The Relationship Between Performance and Resources 387

How Ya Doin’, PC? 388

Chapter 2: More Mass Storage 395

The Mass Storage Pie 395

Get Yourself More Mass Storage Capacity 399

Even More Storage 407

Chapter 3: Boost PC Performance 411

Man, Your PC Is Slow! 411

Speed Up Your PC 413

Index 421