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Windows 7 tips and tweaks

How to troubleshoot problems

Windows isn't half as bad as some people claim it is and it is really a very solid and reliable operating system. However, with literally hundreds of millions of poeple using Windows and with the ability to put it on any hardware you like, it is perhaps inevitable that there are a few people having problems. So what can you do if your PC is not running as smoothly as it should be? Try using Windows 7's troubleshooter. This is a tool that can help you to solve common problems and some tools are already on your PC, but others are online. You can easily view the total list of online and offline tools and accessing them is straightforward if you know how. Let's take a look.

Go to the Control Panel and if category view is selected, click Find and Fix Problems in the System and Security section. If either large or small icons view is selected then click Troubleshooting. The initial view lists some of the troubleshooting tools that are available, but not all of them and you have to click the View all link on the left to see everything.

What you see is a sort of details view and there are columns for the name, description, location, category and publisher. You can click the heading of any of these categories to sort the list by that item. The location column is interesting and it shows whether the troubleshooter is local, meaning it is installed on the computer, or whether it is online. Of course, if it is online you will need a working internet connection in order to access it.

Double click a troubleshooter to start it. A safe one to try if you want to see how the system works is Display Quality. Notice the Advanced link near the bottom of the dialog that is displayed. Click it and you have the option to apply repairs automatically. It's up to you, but if you're just exploring the features you might want to clear the tick for now. Then click Next. You'll see a list of repairs that are available and there's a link at the bottom to View detailed information. Click it. After reading the detailed information, clicking Next returns you to the repairs list. Of course, there may be nothing to repair, but if there is, you can tick or untick the boxes to select the repairs you want and then click Next to continue.

Windows Troubleshooter

Windows Troubleshooter isn't perfect by any means, but it is a good place to start when you have a problem.

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