A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e
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A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC, 7e. Chapter 16 Fixing Windows Problems. Objectives. Learn what to do when a hardware device, application, or Windows component gives a problem Learn what to do when Windows Vista won’t boot or boots with errors

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A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

A+ Guide to Managing and Maintaining Your PC, 7e

Chapter 16

Fixing Windows Problems


Objectives

Objectives

  • Learn what to do when a hardware device, application, or Windows component gives a problem

  • Learn what to do when Windows Vista won’t boot or boots with errors

  • Learn strategies that you can use to solve problems with Windows 2000/XP startup


Fixing problems caused by hardware

Fixing Problems Caused By Hardware

  • Steps to determine device causing a problem

    • Research an error messages (Internet, msinfo32.exe)

    • Use the Vista Problem Reports and Solutions window or the XP Error Reporting window

    • Check logs in Event Viewer (Shows only warnings and error events)

    • Check the Reliability and Performance Monitor (Ch. 14)

    • Consider recent changes, check your memory, reseat the module


Fixing problems caused by hardware cont d

Fixing Problems Caused By Hardware (cont’d.)

  • Steps to discover the problem source

    • Check simple things first, most computer problems are simple and easy to solve

    • Device Manager to verify that the device is enabled and Windows thinks the device should be working.

    • If you see errors or warnings in Device Manager they are displayed as a yellow triangle or question mark

    • Verify BIOS setup recognizes device with no errors


Fixing problems caused by hardware cont d1

Fixing Problems Caused By Hardware (cont’d.)

  • Solving a problem with a device driver or service

    • Update device drivers (see pg. 814)

    • Update Windows solves a problem with a hardware device

    • Try moving device to a different port or connector

    • Try reinstalling device, In Device manager, right click the device and select Uninstall

    • Try moving device to a different computer

    • Use System Restore. If you can identify the approximate date the error started and that date is in the recent past, use System Restore.


Fixing problems caused by hardware1

Fixing Problems Caused By Hardware

  • Solving a problem with a device driver or service (cont’d.)

    • Check manufacturer’s documentation

    • Search the Internet for help

    • Boot into Safe Mode if the system is caught in an endless loop of restarts (Startup and Recovery section of the System Properties box to uncheck Automatically Restart)

    • Use System File Checker for essential hw devices, to verify and replace system files (sfc /scanow or scanonce)

    • Consider application using the device, for example usb scanner

    • Replace device


Fixing problems caused by applications

Fixing Problems Caused By Applications

  • Steps to find the problem source and fix it

    • Interview user and back up data

    • Ask user to reproduce problem while you watch

    • Use Task Manager to end a process not responding

    • Try a reboot

    • Suspect a virus causing a problem (check Task Mgr)

    • Allow Windows to provide a solution. For Vista use the Problem Reports and Solutions tool to search for the problem and suggested solutions

    • For XP, if Error Reporting displays, Click Send Error Report (see pg. 817)


Fixing problems caused by applications cont d

Fixing Problems Caused By Applications (cont’d.)

  • Windows update might solve the problem

  • Download updates or patches for the application

  • Use the application setup to repair the installation

  • Consider data corruption (especially with Office 2007)

  • Try restoring default settings

  • Uninstall and reinstall application

  • Use System Restore. Reverting to a restore point can solve problems with registry entries the application uses that have become corrupted


Fixing problems caused by applications1

Fixing Problems Caused By Applications

  • Steps to take if application never worked

    • Run application as administrator, it is called Second Logon

    • Install application as administrator

    • Consider whether an older application having compatibility problems with Vista

      • Windows Vista Compatibility Center

      • Try running application in compatibility mode (see pg. 819)

    • Verify application digitally signed. Digital signature does verify that the application is not a rouge application and that it is certified as Windows-compatible by Microsoft. See pg. 821


Fixing problems caused by applications cont d1

Fixing Problems Caused By Applications (cont’d.)

  • Considerations to determine if problem is caused by other applications, services, Windows, or hardware

    • Another application might be interfering (close all other applications)

    • Use the Services console

    • Might be low on system resources (see pg.821)

    • Verify Windows system files (sfc.exe)

    • Problem might be bad memory use mdsched.exe to test memory

    • Use Event Viewer to look for clues


Fixing problems caused by applications cont d2

Fixing Problems Caused By Applications (cont’d.)

  • Considerations to determine if problem is caused by other applications, services, Windows, or hardware (cont’d.)

    • Use the Reliability Monitor to look for clues

    • Use the Chkdsk command to check hard drive

    • Run application in Safe Mode with Networking (press F8 at startup to display the Advanced Boot Options menu


Troubleshooting vista startup

Troubleshooting Vista Startup

  • Three startup stages of the boot

    • Stage 1: Before the progress bar

    • Stage 2: After the progress bar and before logon

    • Stage 3: After logon


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears

  • Check with user

    • Verify important data location

    • Verify data backed up

      • Attempt to copy data to safe location if possible

  • Progress bar not showing

    • Portions of Vista kernel, critical drivers, and services not yet started

      • Indicates problem with hardware or startup files

      • Failing hardware may include: power supply, motherboard, CPU, memory, hard drive, video, or keyboard


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Is the screen blank?

    • Absolutely nothing on the screen

      • Verify system power, monitor is plugged in and on

    • Suspect no power to system

      • Verify system not in standby mode or hibernation

    • Monitor totally without lights

      • Check monitor power

    • Monitor LED light lit

      • Reboot, check monitor power, and that it is on

    • Trade monitor for a good one


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d1

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Does the computer appear to have power?

    • Can’t hear spinning drive or see lights on case front

      • Suspect electrical system

      • Check power connections and switches

      • May have bad power supply

      • Loose connections inside case


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d2

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Does an error message appear before Vista starts?

    • BIOS displays error message on-screen

      • Uses beeps if video not working

    • On-screen messages for nonessential hardware

      • Try to bypass error by pressing a key and moving forward in the boot

    • On-screen messages for essential hardware

      • Focus attention on the error message, beep code, and voice message describing problem


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Figure 16-10 This error message at POST indicates a hardware problem

Courtesy: Course Technology/Cengage Learning


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d3

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can startup BIOS access the hard drive?

    • Possible messages

      • Hard drive not found

      • Fixed disk error

      • Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter

      • No boot device available

    • Check for physical problem

      • Drive, data cable, power, motherboard

    • Verify BIOS detected drive correctly

      • Turn on autodetection and reboot

    • Power down system, unplug it, and physically inspect


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d4

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can startup BIOS access the hard drive? (cont’d.)

    • BIOS found hard drive, but could not read drive or find what it needed

      • Invalid boot disk

      • Inaccessible boot device

      • Invalid drive specification

      • Invalid partition table

      • No operating system found, missing operating system, or error loading operating system

      • Could not find bootmgr or bootmgr missing

    • Boot from Windows Vista setup DVD


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d5

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Use BIOS setup to set the boot sequence

    • Access BIOS setup utility

    • Find screen to change boot sequence

    • Make sure DVD drive listed before hard drive

      • Force system to boot from Windows Vista setup DVD

    • Save settings and exit BIOS setup


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Figure 16-11 Verify that the boot sequence looks to the DVD drive before it checks the hard drive for an operating system

Courtesy: Course Technology/Cengage Learning


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d6

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can you boot from the Vista setup DVD?

    • If not then study error messages, and solve immediate hardware problem

      • Hard drive and optical drive might have failed

      • Try floppy drive with DOS or Windows 9x floppy disk

      • Successful boot from floppy indicates problem with both the hard drive and DVD drive

    • If able to boot from Vista DVD

      • Windows logon screen appears

      • Problem isolated to the hard drive


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Figure 16-12 Select your language preference

Courtesy: Course Technology/Cengage Learning


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d7

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can Windows RE find the Vista installation? See pg. 826

    • Launch Windows RE

      • Windows RE attempts to locate Vista installation on the hard drive

    • If Windows RE cannot locate the installation, but BIOS setup recognizes the drive

      • Drive partitions and file systems might be corrupted

    • If Windows RE does locate the installation

      • Problem likely limited to corrupted or missing system files or drivers

    • Attempt fixes: restart system after each step


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d8

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can Windows RE find the Vista installation? (cont’d.)

    • Run Startup Repair

      • Sometimes fixes drastic problems with system files, boot records

    • Run System Restore

      • Process won’t help if file system corrupted

    • Restart system and launch Advanced Boot Options menu

      • No boot menu: problem may be corrupted boot sector

      • Boot menu appears: probable BCD file or other startup file problem


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d9

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can Windows RE find the Vista installation? (cont’d.)

    • Restart system, launch Advanced Boot Options menu (cont’d.)

      • If boot menu appears: enable boot logging and reboot

      • Check boot log (\Windows\ntbtlog.txt) for the last entry

      • Might indicate which system file missing or corrupt

    • If boot menu does not appear:

      • Return to Windows RE, launch command prompt window, and attempt to repair boot sector

        • Bootrec /fixmbr and bootrec /fixboot, diskpart with list volume command

        • If system volume is not there then entire partition is lost


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d10

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can Windows RE find the Vista installation? (cont’d.)

    • If boot menu does appear:

      • Return to Windows RE, launch command prompt window, and attempt to repair the BCD file

        • Bootrec /rebuildbcd

    • Try to repair corrupted file system

      • Use command prompt window and chkdsk c: /r command

    • When startup files missing or corrupt

      • Vista may display an error message, see pg 828


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d11

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Can Windows RE find the Vista installation? (cont’d.)

    • Use command prompt window to access drive C

      • Get to C prompt: use DIR command to list folders and files

      • Good list: check log file for clues (C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\SRT\SRTTrail.txt)

      • Not a good list: most likely Vista installation destroyed beyond repair

      • Make every effort to copy data to another media


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d12

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Options to recover from a corrupted Vista installation

    • Option 1: Complete PC backup available

      • Restore system to last backup

    • Option 2: Complete PC backup not available and data backups available on hard drive

      • Install Windows Vista, format hard drive during installation, install all applications again, restore data

    • Option 3: Complete PC backup and data backup not available

      • Try to copy data to removable device and reinstall Windows Vista


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d13

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Steps to reinstall Windows Vista when OS refuses to boot and important data on the drive

    • Boot from Vista DVD, select language, select Install now from opening menu

      • Follow directions on-screen to install the OS

    • Enter product key and accept license agreement

      • Select Custom (advanced) installation

    • When asked where to install the OS select partition on which Vista installed


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d14

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Steps to reinstall Windows Vista (cont’d.)

    • Vista setup moves old installation folders into \Windows.Old folder see pg. 829

    • Clean Vista installation goes in the \Windows folder

    • Suspect hard drive failing

      • Copy all data and reinstall Vista again

    • Healthy hard drive

      • Run Chkdsk to fix errors

      • Install all applications and device drivers

      • Create all user accounts and customize Vista settings

      • Delete the \Windows.Old folder (pg. 829-30)


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Figure 16-16 Free up disk space by deleting the Windows.Old folder

Courtesy: Course Technology/Cengage Learning


Problems at stage 1 before the progress bar appears cont d15

Problems at Stage 1: Before the Progress Bar Appears (cont’d.)

  • Reinstall Vista on a laptop or brand-name computer

    • Use hidden partition on hard drive to recover the Windows installation

      • During startup, press appropriate key for access

      • F2 to recover system, Press F11 to start recovery

    • Menu should appear with two options:

      • One option repairs the Windows installation, saving user data

      • Other options reformats drive C and restores system to purchased setup

    • If neither method works use recovery CD or DVD (see pg. 830 Caution))


Problems at stage 2 after the progress bar appears and before logon

Problems at Stage 2: After the Progress Bar Appears and Before Logon

  • Microsoft progress bar appears during the boot

    • Windows kernel loaded successfully

    • Critical drivers and services configured to be started by the kernel running

    • Session Manager (Smss.exe) running in user mode started the Win32 subsystem

    • If logon screen not displayed:

      • Probable corrupted driver or service started after kernel finished its part of the boot

      • Fix by isolating and disabling Windows component, service, or application causing trouble


Problems at stage 2 after the progress bar appears and before logon1

Problems at Stage 2: After the Progress Bar Appears and Before Logon

  • Back up data before focusing on the problem

  • Follow these steps:

    • Launch Windows RE from Vista setup DVD

      • Run Startup Repair from Recovery Environment menu

    • Reboot, launch the Advanced Boot Options menu

      • Select the Last Known Good Configuration

    • In Windows RE, run System Restore


Problems at stage 2

Problems at Stage 2:

  • Steps (cont’d.)

    • Try booting into Safe Mode

      • Immediately run antivirus software

      • Run Chkdsk c: /r

      • Examine all logs in Event Viewer

      • The Last Known good Configuration is updated after you log on normally to Vista (but not update LKGC if boot with SafeMode)

      • Use Software Explorer, MSconfig to stop applications just installed, then uninstall and reinstall

      • Use Device Manager to check for hardware errors

      • Use the System File Checker (SFC) tool. Sfc/scannow searches for and replaces corrupted system files

      • Rename the \Windows\Ntbtlog.txt file to keep it from being overwritten so you can review later


Problems at stage 2 after the progress bar appears and before logon2

Problems at Stage 2: After the Progress Bar Appears and Before Logon

  • Steps (cont’d. pg. 832)

    • Boot to the Advanced Boot Options menu and select Enable Boot Logging

    • Compare the Ntbtlog.txt file to the one created in Safe Mode

    • Easiest way to view the logs is to boot into Safe Mode and view the files with Notepad

    • Problem service or device identified

      • Boot into Safe Mode and use Device Manager to disable

      • Use Services console to disable


Problems at stage 2 after the progress bar appears and before logon3

Problems at Stage 2: After the Progress Bar Appears and Before Logon

  • Cannot boot into Safe Mode

    • Open Recovery Environment command prompt window

      • RecEnv.exe (RE) (Vista DVD, see Ch. 15 pg. 777-8)

    • Back up registry, find key that loads services and drivers

  • The key that loads services and drivers can be found in this location:

    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\

      Services

  • Disable service or driver by changing Start value to 0x4

    • Reboot, replace program file, and restart service or driver


Problems at stage 3 after windows logon

Problems at Stage 3: After Windows Logon

  • Problems caused by applications or services configured to launch at startup

    • Shortcuts in startup folders, Scheduled Tasks, or software installation processes affecting registry entries

    • Error message at startup

      • Disable program using MSconfig


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Table 16-1 Error messages during the Vista startup and what to do about them


How to recover lost data

How to Recover Lost Data

  • Use Windows tools, third party software, or commercial data recovery services

  • Recovering a deleted or corrupted data file

    • Look in the Recycle Bin

    • Use the Recover command

    • Use application manufacturer’s web site

    • Find third party software

    • A good product for recovering Lost Data is www.runtime.org, GetDataBack by Runtime Software. Recovers data even Windows cannot recognize the drive. It can read FAT and NTFS. Also can solve problems with partition table, boot record, or root dir.


How to recover lost data cont d

How to Recover Lost Data (cont’d.)

  • Recover data from a computer that will not boot

    • Remove hard drive and install as a second nonbooting hard drive in another system

    • Use IDE to USB or a SATA to USB converter kit

      • Temporarily connect hard drive to a USB port on a working computer

      • Browse drive and copy data using Windows Explorer

  • Use a data recovery service

    • Google “data recovery”

    • Read up on reviews, understand warranty and guarantees, and get a recommendation


Troubleshooting windows 2000 xp startup pgs 836 840

Troubleshooting Windows 2000/XP Startup (pgs. 836-840)

  • Steps:

    • Talk to the user

      • Recent changes, conditions right before error, new hardware or software, data backup location

    • Important data not backed up

      • Make every effort to copy data to another media before working on the Windows problem

    • Determine point in the boot where system fails

    • For problems related to hardware check simple things first


Troubleshooting windows 2000 xp startup cont d

Troubleshooting Windows 2000/XP Startup (cont’d.)

  • Steps (cont’d.)

    • Error message displayed on-screen

      • Start by addressing it

    • Problem software related and cannot boot to desktop

      • Boot to the Advanced Options menu

      • Select the Last Known Good Configuration

    • Can boot load Windows desktop

      • If system giving many errors or is extremely slow, suspect a virus and run antivirus software


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Table 16-2 Error messages during Windows 2000/XP startup and what to do about them


Troubleshooting windows 2000 xp startup cont d1

Troubleshooting Windows 2000/XP Startup (cont’d.)

  • System recently changed

    • Assume installation is guilty until proven innocent

  • New application or utility program installed

    • Go to Control Panel Add or Remove Programs applet

    • Uninstall software and reboot

  • System will not start normally

    • Boot into Safe Mode and XP recognizes System Restore used see next slide

    • Launch System Restore Wizard

    • Choose a restore point


A guide to managing and maintaining your pc 7e

Figure 16-21 Windows XP gives you the opportunity to launch System Restore before it loads Safe Mode

Courtesy: Course Technology/Cengage Learning


Troubleshooting windows 2000 xp startup cont d2

Troubleshooting Windows 2000/XP Startup (cont’d.)

  • Steps (cont’d.)

    • After boot into Safe Mode

      • Use SFC, Chkdsk, and Defrag commands to verify system files and clean the hard drive

    • Cannot boot from hard drive

      • Create and use a Windows 2000/XP boot disk. If you can boot to the Windows desktop when using this boot disk, you can assume that the boot files in the root directory of drive C are missing or corrupted

      • For XP, use ASR to restore the system to the last ASR backup.


Troubleshooting windows 2000 xp startup cont d3

Troubleshooting Windows 2000/XP Startup (cont’d.)

  • Steps (cont’d.)

    • Cannot boot from Windows 2000/XP boot disk

      • Use the Emergency Repair Process to restore Win2K to its state immediately after it was installed

      • Use the Win 2K/XP setup CD to perform an in-place upgrade of Win 2K/XP

    • Problem still not solved

      • Assume Windows installation corrupted

      • Need to restore Windows installation

      • Try various tools to restore


Troubleshooting in general

Troubleshooting in General

  • For a laptop or other brand name computer don’t forget to reinstall Windows using recovery CDs provided by the computer manufacturer

  • As you decide which tool to use to correct a problem, always use the least drastic solution to make the fewest possible changes to the system


Summary

Summary

  • Solve Windows problems by using strategies and techniques

    • Diagnosing a Windows problem

      • Problems involve hardware, applications, and Windows

      • Problems occur after the boot with hardware or software

      • Problems occur during the boot

    • Determining the best tool for each situation

    • Solving Windows Vista boot problems

      • Different from solving Windows XP/2000 boot issues


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