Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving that uses logical, systematic steps to solve the problem.

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61
votes
16answers
166k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows freeze or slowness?

A machine is described as being "really slow" or "freezing". How can I troubleshoot/resolve this issue? What should be the first steps to take?
44
votes
5answers
17k views

What is the proper way of debugging a slow Windows installation?

You know the drill - you've been asked to check why your cousin's computer is running slow. I was right there yesterday. Being a Mac user since 2007 I haven't really dug deep in Windows internals in ...
17
votes
3answers
30k views

How to diagnose Blue Screens in Windows 7 (64bit)

Using programs like WhoCrashed and BlueScreenView you can see the BSOD and the errors but how do you tell exactly what's causing the BSOD? I'm not sure if it's because of bad hardware, bad driver ...
12
votes
8answers
17k views

Why is usable RAM less than total RAM?

My girlfriend bought a laptop last week. It's a core 2 duo with 4 GB We installed vista 64bit, and one of the first things we did was right click on "My computer" to see gthe properties. Immediately ...
30
votes
3answers
106k views

Windows 10 high memory usage (unknown reason)

Well few days ago I updated my pc to windows 10. However, after some use my PC started to slow down until its was impossible to use, it was due to high memory usage. After restart, everything came ...
19
votes
3answers
26k views

How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash?

What are some common guidelines and issues related to hardware being the issue of a computer crash? What should I look for and how do I troubleshoot these problems? What are some tools that are ...
24
votes
5answers
14k views

How to test a power supply?

My computer powered off the other day on its own, and now when I push the power button, nothing happens. My assumption would naturally be that the power supply is done (possibly well done) but is ...
38
votes
6answers
15k views

How do I get to the root cause of high Deferred Procedure Calls?

I've got a Dual core processor, and one of the two is constantly at 100%. Looking in ProcessExplorer shows me that it's Deferred Procedure Calls. Reading around the net seems to give me tons of ...
20
votes
2answers
13k views

Laptop randomly waking up = Hibernate / Low Battery?

A (Windows 7) laptop has been annoying me since the day we got it. When it is put to sleep (the lid closed), it seems to intermittently wake up randomly during the night (i.e., 10pm, 1:30am, 7am, etc.)...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

How do I troubleshoot a slow hard drive?

My computer is suffering of slow-downs and I'm not surprised (it's around 6 years old). Here's what I've verified: They are not very frequent (only a couple of times a day). When they happen a ...
47
votes
4answers
169k views

How do I find what's eating up all of my system's memory? (not SuperFetch)

How does one diagnose/discover memory-related problems, if Task Manager appears to not be reporting correctly? I must have a memory leak or something -- I'm at 75% usage of my 12 GB of memory, but ...
39
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I troubleshoot when I have no clue where to start?

I am looking for hints, tips and answers on how to get started on troubleshooting when: The problem is intermittent The problem could lie literally anywhere - operating system; free source software; ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Troubleshooting a Windows 7 PC that wouldn't sleep

I have a new Windows 7 PC that wouldn't sleep (not just automatically, but also when specifically told to). The screen goes black momentarily, but within two seconds the machine comes back as if ...
6
votes
4answers
367 views

Any advice on what to do when getting a cryptic blue screen in windows?

What are some steps that you usually take? Are there any good ways of finding out what they mean etc.? For example I have gotten these ones where it pretty much only says "IRQ less or equal to" (or ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I troubleshoot computer dumps?

Once I have a dump of a computer crash/freeze, what are some tools and steps to take in order to troubleshoot crash based off of the dump itself? I am looking for tools to isolate what processes or ...
2
votes
3answers
704 views

Vista pc hidden from XP?

I have a Vista-based media center, and two XP-based desktop computers, all on a simple home WLAN network (DSL/WLAN router). The Vista computer can see all other computers and transfer/modify files ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How to revive an inkjet printer — partially clogged/dried up?

How can I fix an inkjet printer where one of the colors isn't printing well anymore? My Canon PIXMA iP3000 has served me well for a few years, and I print color and B&W material on a regular ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I troubleshoot problems that occur during boot?

In the case that my computer would have issues with booting, what steps can I take to troubleshoot it?
2
votes
1answer
851 views

Bizarre and very specific Internet connection loss

Yesterday (Friday, September 21, 2012), my Internet connection started acting up. After some testing, I confirmed a very specific and baffling set of symptoms: Internet connection goes away every 25-...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

Common Mac OS folders/settings to check (when trying to get rid of a pesky self-launching app)

If there's an app that starts up by itself, what would the most efficient places to look for it be? Does anyone have a nice comprehensive list of where to check for Startup Items, Login Items, Login ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

high pitched whine from newly built PC

I've just built a new PC: Asus P6T Deluxe v2 motherboard i7 920 Sapphire HD 4670 Passive heatsink Corsair 620hx portal supply Antec P183 case Sometimes when I turn it on, there is a high pitched "...
16
votes
7answers
14k views

Why does restarting a computer fix things?

The title say sit all, but why does restarting a computer tend to fix things? It seems like IT folks always ask, "Have you restarted your PC?" But Why?
8
votes
1answer
15k views

How can I view the active threads of a running program?

I know I can see all running processes in Task Manager. But how can I see the single threads that run inside these processes?
4
votes
6answers
4k views

Tips for approaching a hanging computer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do I troubleshoot hardware issues related to a computer freeze/crash? I built a gaming computer last summer and it has been working just great until now. It has started ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

Computer won't POST after power outage

I had just turned my computer on and windows was loading when the power in my neighborhood went out. Normally, when I turn my computer on, the video card fan spins up, then slows down, POST and ...
3
votes
7answers
4k views

Why can't I traceroute or access certain websites in my browser even though I can ping them from terminal?

On just one computer in my household, I cannot complete a successful traceroute nor browse in any browser to a seemingly random-selected, small set of websites. This includes sites like twitter.com ...
2
votes
1answer
227 views

can a video card 'silently' fail?

I've been running a asus gforce 8800 gts 320mb on my desktop, and apparently there was a sudden failure. I'm getting no output from it, but the system seems to have booted up - since i can hear sound ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

LG R500 Notebook crashing

I've got an LG R500 Notebook that has started crashing. It usually crashes in Windows (Vista, all updates installed) when playing a game. The symptom is that the screen goes dark and then the ...
44
votes
10answers
6k views

Which malfunctions cause old computers to slow down and crash?

I've had a few computers of my own break after a few years of use, and I've seen computers owned by friends and family do the same thing. They either slow down (even running the original software ...
9
votes
5answers
43k views

What registry key or windows file determines where monitors are placed in a multi monitor environment?

I have a laptop with a USB to VGA adapter which allows me to add a third monitor to my laptop (the second monitor uses the onboard slot). It worked fine on Windows Vista - you could go into Windows' ...
5
votes
5answers
60k views

How can I completely disable tablet functions in Windows 7?

I'm the owner of an HP Pavillion tx2120us tablet PC, which has a known problem of making the cursor jump to the lower right corner of the screen. I've narrowed the problem down to the pen tablet ...
5
votes
5answers
37k views

Robocopy permission denied

Robocopy is preinstalled with Windows 7. I've used it many times in the past. I tried to copy a folder to a remote share with robocopy c:\source "\\server\share\path" /s /r:2 /w:2` As a result I ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

How to diagnose why PC is freezing in 3D Application?

Recently I'm having some problems with my PC. I I'm running applications that depends on 3D graphics card it freezes after some time or throws a blue screen (mostly it just freezes). It's hard to tell ...
3
votes
2answers
11k views

Why would sound suddenly stop working on Windows 7?

I'm running Windows 7 RTM on a laptop and sometime between 7pm and 9:30pm tonight my sound stopped working. I was away from the computer at the time and watched a youtube video with sound just before ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Certain CD-R's not working in car..sometimes

I have an old Honda with a stock CD player. Certain CD's that I've burned only work sometimes. They typically fail in the morning or when it is raining/wet. I'd rather not go through the bother and ...
2
votes
4answers
251 views

Laptop Malfunctions After UPS Failure? I Have Got What I Deserved

My UPS failed today and laptop ceased working. UPS failed me before 1 time and it was when laptop was on standby but nothing happened to the laptop however. Also there were times when laptop was ...
2
votes
1answer
856 views

Emacs doesn't load gui

whenever I run emacs or emacs23 on terminal I just get the following output: ** (emacs:2620): CRITICAL **: menu_proxy_module_load: assertion `dbusproxy != NULL' failed And the gui doesn't load, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How to find what is causing Windows 7 Desktop pause

Windows 7 64 bit. Been in use approx 2 years since last rebuild. Recently, system is misbehaving. Specifically, on bootup, I get the login screen. I login, I get my desktop wallpapers (2 monitors)....
2
votes
2answers
3k views

How to enable Windows diagnostic / descriptive / detailed startup mode that shows what it's doing?

During the boot process, Windows normally displays that monolithic "Logging on.." screen. There's a way to switch it to show what's going on behind the scenes, (e.g., connecting to network, running ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Power Supply Not Working?

So I recently made some purchases for a new computer including: Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R CPU : Intel Core2Quad 2.66Ghz Power Supply: Antec Basiq 500w UPDATE: I got the Power Supply ...
2
votes
5answers
27k views

Blank white desktop icons on new Windows 7 install

I just did a fresh install of Windows 7 professional on my father's Toshiba Satellite laptop and everything went smoothly except for the fact that certain desktop shortcuts appear as a blank white ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

Western Digital drive making beeping noise

I have a 2TB Western Digital drive (WD20EADS). For no apparent reason, when I powered it up today it started making an odd beeping noise, and would not mount. I'm fairly certain the drive is broken, ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Why is my hard drive making weird noises after the power got shut down?

I think something within the hard drive is in the wrong place. Is it safe to open the 2.5 inch hard drive? Or is there something else I can do?
12
votes
3answers
52k views

How to find out my DNS Server address [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: internet connection problem with windows7 What is the way to know my current DNS server address? My computer's operating system is Windows 7 and I am using a broadband ...
23
votes
12answers
13k views

Why are my hard drives failing?

I have a small Ubuntu server running at home, with 2 hard drives. There are two software raids (raid1) on the disks, managed by mdadm, which I believe is irrelevant, but mentioning it anyway. Both of ...
8
votes
3answers
22k views

wi-fi connection drops periodically for a few seconds

I've read the similar question on wireless connections dropping, but no answer seems to apply to my case I have configured the wi-fi lan of my router to broadcast sid and use WPA-PSK. Every few ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Troubleshooting slow Wi-Fi performance writing to NAS

Setup: a Late 2007 MacBook Pro, running latest OS X 10.6, connects via Wi-Fi access point, ASUS WL-330gE to AFP share on NAS Synology DS508 running under latest DSM 4.0. When doing rsync from the ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

How to restore jump list for Windows Explorer pinned taskbar icon?

I pinned Windows Explorer's icon to my taskbar months ago, and all worked fine, including jump lists. Note: I changed the default Explorer's folder using the usual trick of changing the GUID in the ...
9
votes
4answers
49k views

Partition table corrupted (USB flash drive)

It's an 8 GB Patriot thumb drive, which I've used extensively with lots of data. Today, it is detected, but all data is gone: (EDIT at least some data is still there, but the partition table is gone) ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

How can I view the call stack of a running process/thread?

Someone asked me to get a call stack or stack trace of a running process so that he could analyze it for me. How can I get that information?