Windows 95/98

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Troubleshooting Devices

Windows 98 Troubleshooter

Microsoft has finally created a program that truly can help the average user. Until now you had to put a fair amount of study time into windows to be able to trouble shoot it. One thing the average user doesnít want to do is study anything, at all, about their system. Hopefully, the troubleshooter will help this type of customer and some other customers with their systems.

For one, it will give users a tool to fix their system if something on it isnít working. It can also help us in technical support because, the customer will have already done some of the trouble shooting and may know the problem or at least have narrowed it down.

The troubleshooter breaks down as follows.

The troubleshooter is very basic, but some users still may need some explanation. It is a step by step guide for resolving hardware and software problems with your computer. It asks very specific questions and gives several answers to choose from.

After the first question is answered it narrows down the possibilities w/ more questions. Hopefully by following these steps the problem will be resolved or at least the root of the problem will be known.

Another advantage to the troubleshooter is that it will help educate the user. Some users are determined not to learn anything about their systems. One reason many donít want to learn is that they are intimidated by their systems. They think that anything technical is too difficult for them to learn. This program doesnít give page after page of difficult-to-understand technical documents. It gives step by step instructions to follow, without pages of text. This program teaches in such an easy way that most users may not even realize they are learning.

The more they know, the more they can fix their system on their own. The more they can fix the fewer "soft calls" for us. If it is a "hard call" it can be figured out sooner which means faster and better service for all customers. This is not to say that a customer should ever be referred here instead of troubleshooting the system. If you let them know it is available, however, they may use it first instead of just calling tech support.

To run the Symptom Troubleshooter:

  1. Click on the start button and then on help.
  2. On the contents tab the troubleshooter is the last option on the page.
  3. Click it once to get all the different items that the troubleshooter covers

Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with this program. The biggest seems to be it can be quite vague. In some cases it will only tell if the problem is hardware or software. Although this does narrow the problem down it still leaves the end user without very much direction. In some cases it even admits that it doesnít know. Although it isnít complete, itís still a useful tool.

Here is a example:

  1. Step One.

  2. Step Two

  3. Step Three

  4. Step Four

Tip - Several of the steps require a reboot to test the trouble shooting steps. The customer must restart the troubleshooter after every reboot. They will also have to find the spot in Troubleshooter were they left off if they want to finish trouble shooting.

Here is an example of how a successful troubleshooting session goes.

  1. Step 1 Ė Choose a problem

  2. Step 2




  3. Step 3



  4. Step 4