Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies

Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies

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3rd Edition

by Dan Gookin

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Book Details
 464 p
 File Size 
 8,673 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 978-1-119-37837-2 (ebk)
 978-1-119-37836-5 (ebk)
 2017 by John Wiley & Sons 

About the Author
Dan Gookin has been writing about technology for over 25 years. He combines his love of writing
with his gizmo fascination to create books that are informative, entertaining, and not boring. Having
written over 160 titles, and with 12 million copies in print translated into over 30 languages, Dan can
attest that his method of crafting computer tomes seems to work.

Perhaps his most famous title is the original DOS For Dummies, published in 1991. It became the
world’s fastest-selling computer book, at one time moving more copies per week than the New York
Times number-one bestseller (though, as a reference, it could not be listed on the Times’ Best Sellers
list). That book spawned the entire line of For Dummies books, which remains a publishing
phenomenon to this day.

Dan’s most popular titles include PCs For Dummies, Word For Dummies, Laptops For Dummies, and
Android Phones For Dummies. He also maintains the vast and helpful website www.wambooli.com.
Dan holds a degree in Communications/Visual Arts from the University of California, San Diego. He
lives in the Pacific Northwest, where he enjoys spending time with his sons, playing video games
indoors while they enjoy the gentle woods of Idaho.

If trouble were predictable, it wouldn’t be a problem. That’s because the problem with trouble is that
it’s unpredictable.
You hold in your hands a big ol’ book that’s all about solving computer problems. The topic is
troubleshooting. It needs to be covered in so many pages because there hasn’t yet been a computer
invented that didn’t have trouble following it like a shadow on a sunny day.

The computing experience should be a pleasant one. And it can be — if you’re informed and able to
deal with the troubles you encounter. This book helps you along that journey in an informative and
entertaining way. Welcome to Troubleshooting and Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies.

About This Book
A byte of prevention is worth a gigabyte of cure.
This book’s philosophy on troubleshooting is that it’s easier to do when you understand how the
computer works. This philosophy is opposite of what most computer users expect, which is to look up
a specific condition and find a specific cure for it. This approach has two glitches.

The first downfall with the look-it-up approach is that you don’t learn anything. Because there’s a
method behind PC madness, often, the same solution can be applied to multiple problems. After you
understand why things go wrong, it’s not only easier to fix them — it’s also possible to prevent them in
the first place.

The second difficulty with the specific-solution approach is that it would make this book obnoxiously
huge. With millions upon millions of potential hardware and software configurations available in all
the PCs in the world, it would take not one but several fat books to document every problem and its
solution. This book is big enough already!

My approach is simple: Look up the problem, learn a bit about what might have caused it, and then
arrive at a solution. The notion is that when trouble arises again later, you will have the experience to
deal with it in a practical manner. Because most PC troubles have a common origin, this solutionn works.

Before moving on, please be aware that there’s a difference between trouble and an event that’s merely
annoying. For example, if the text you print from an email message is tiny, it’s annoying, but it isn’t a
bug. Though specific annoying problems such as that one might not be covered in this book, you’ll still
find a solution here. That’s the beauty behind my philosophical approach to troubleshooting. After all,
using Windows shouldn’t be a frustrating experience.

Table of Contents
About This Book
How This Book Works
Icons Used in This Book
Beyond the Book
Where to Go from Here
Book 1: Solve My Problem Now!
Chapter 1: Trouble Comes Hither
The Root of All PC Trouble
What’s Changed?
Hardware versus Software Problems
When to Give Up
Chapter 2: Quick Fixes
Things to Try First
Book 2: O, We Got Trouble!
Chapter 1: Startup Problems
The Onset of PC Heartbreak
Phase I: Power On
Phase II: The POST
Phase III: Startup Options
Phase IV: The Search for an Operating System
Phase V: Operating System Initialization
Phase VI: Sign In to Windows
The Last Thing You Do
Chapter 2: Disk Disaster
PC Storage Overview
Mass Storage Tools and Utilities
Drive Management and Maintenance
Fun with Partitions
Chapter 3: Monitor Mayhem
The PC Graphics System
Captain Video Troubleshooter
Chapter 4: Internal Issues
Deep Inside the Case
Things to Upgrade, Fix, or Repair Inside the Case
Power Management Issues
Chapter 5: Printer Problems
Between the Computer and Printer
The Windows Side of Printing
Printer Driver Duties
Printer Problems and Solutions
Chapter 6: Peripheral Perils
Hardware Troubleshooting
Audio Anxieties
Keyboard and Mouse Woes
Chapter 7: Software Situations
Installation Issues
Banish the Unwanted
The Good and Evil of File Association
Common Software Problems and Solutions
Chapter 8: Network Nonsense
The Network Big Picture
Network Hardware Connection and Configuration
The Software Side of Networking
Network Troubleshooting
Network Problems and Solutions
Chapter 9: Shutdown Issues
Such a Turn-Off
Problems with Restarting
Shutdown Malaise
Book 3: Tools to Use
Chapter 1: Windows Recovery Environment
Startup Keys and Recovery Options
The Sacred Recovery Volume
The Windows Recovery Environment
Chapter 2: The Device Manager
Your Pal, the Device Manager
Device Manager Duties
Chapter 3: MSCONFIG and the Task Manager
The System Configuration Utility
MSCONFIG Startup Options
Chapter 4: Safe Mode
The Mode Is Safe
Safe Mode to the Rescue
Safe Mode Duties
Not Safe Mode Duties
Chapter 5: System Restore
The System Restore Philosophy
Restore the System, Restore Your Sanity
System Restore on Schedule
Chapter 6: The Task Manager
Task Control Central
Here a Task, There a Task
Chapter 7: The Windows Registry
Behold the Registry
Registry Cleaning
Chapter 8: Events and Diagnostics
What Has Gone On Here?
Diagnostics to the Rescue
Book 4: PC Security
Chapter 1: Windows Update
Windows Updates, Doesn’t It?
Update Hiccups
Chapter 2: Keep Mr. PC Safe
Malicious + Software = Malware
Windows Defender to the Rescue
Life Behind the Firewall
Chapter 3: Backup and Restore
An Emergency Copy
Prepare for Backup!
File Time-Travel
The System Image
Book 5: This Old PC
Chapter 1: Performance and Resources
The Relationship Between Performance and Resources
How Ya Doin’, PC?
Chapter 2: More Mass Storage
The Mass Storage Pie
Get Yourself More Mass Storage Capacity
Even More Storage
Chapter 3: Boost PC Performance
Man, Your PC Is Slow!
Speed Up Your PC
About the Author
Connect with Dummies
End User License Agreement

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Beyond the Book
The publisher maintains a support page with updates or changes that have occurred since this book
went to press. You’ll also find bonus content, in the form of an online Cheat Sheet, which isn’t really
cheating and isn’t a sheet.

To peruse the online content, visit dummies.com, though that’s not the right page. You need to search
for Troubleshooting & Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies — the whole thing! After you
find the proper search result, click it, and then open the Download tab on this book’s dedicated page.

I’d offer more specific information, but I don’t have it. The publisher told me that the actual address of
the online material is held in one of 20 briefcases and if I choose the right one, I get paid — something like that.