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

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36
votes
16answers
61k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows 7 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?
11
votes
8answers
14k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
20k 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 because of bad hardware, bad driver ...
33
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
30
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
35
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; ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

How can I identify the culprit of my slow Windows shutdown?

My computer is taking a very long time to shutdown. How can I identify the culprit? I don't want to wait minutes for my computer to shutdown... Is there a program I can use to track how long it ...
22
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
47k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
311 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
1k 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
681 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
2k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Recommendations for hardware diagnostic software (bootable)? [closed]

Can anyone recommend hardware diagnostic tools that can be run from a bootable CD? My situation is I have a machine that I built a couple of weeks ago. I loaded windows 7 RC (64 bit) on it, and it ...
6
votes
3answers
1k 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?
7
votes
5answers
21k 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
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 ...
15
votes
7answers
9k 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?
3
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
482 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
4k 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, ...
2
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
364 views

Why can I hear the cursor flashing on my screen through my headphones?

As well as just about everything else that changes on the screen, from loading a webpage, scrolling a window, typing, moving the mouse around, etc.? I have the headphones on, and I can hear it all. ...
5
votes
5answers
31k 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
3answers
958 views

Why is my shutdown time so long?

Running windows XP SP2 I can be waiting for up to 5 minutes after hitting the shut-down button until the machine actually switches off. I have tried killing an non essential services/application ...
3
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
710 views

Asus P5Q doesn't POST at all

I had a very strange incident this evening. I was watching TV on the computer and suddenly the sound stuttered. Some seconds later, the screen went black. First I thought ok some error, don't worry. ...
3
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
1answer
210 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
209 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
629 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
1answer
2k views

Web page does not display properly

I have a problem with one of my computers. It does not display any website properly. The background clouds on some websites do not show up, the layout of some websites are not properly displayed. And ...
2
votes
1answer
455 views

iPod Touch WiFi Problems

I am having major problems with my iPod Touch. The story so far... I had it connected to my Netgear Router using WEP encryption which worked fine. I had to do some maintenance of my PC which to cut a ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

How do I troubleshoot the sound card?

My system was running fine, but I occasionally noticed that the sound output is "glitchy" and I decided to add a sound card. A friend gave me his old sound card from a system he is throwing away. I ...
0
votes
2answers
780 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?
38
votes
10answers
4k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
31k 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) ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Mac Mini won't boot and won't fix

I have one of the original Mac Mini - a PowerPC one - that after the last software update will no boot - it gets to the grey screen and hangs their forever with the 'loading' icon rotating. I've ...
5
votes
2answers
951 views

What to do when machine fails a Prime95 stress test?

In an effort to diagnose the cause of random resets and freezes I have been running a series of stress tests on my two year old computer. Thus far the machine has passed nine hours of the Prime95 ...
4
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
929 views

PC freezes after repeated clicking noises

I have an oldish PC (Athlon XP 2200, WinXP). Every time I switch it on, I hear a loud "click" first of all, and when it is shut down, again a click is the last sound I hear. Lately it started to ...
4
votes
4answers
725 views

Mac OS X Leopard Kernel Panics getting absurd

Today Mac OS X kernel panicked twice on me. The first time, I got this log. The second time, I got this log. A few minutes ago, iTunes started sounding blocky, after quitting FireFox everything went ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

What is an XPerf alternative for Linux and Mac OS X?

XPerf is a tool that allows you to take a detailed trace of various system activity like CPU, I/O and more... Because of it's detail you can see stack trace counts, disk position offset graphs, ...