The First Rule of Windows Troubleshooting
You’ve seen the problem. The program you use every day, or maybe one you use occasionally, isn’t doing what it should.
Perhaps the program can’t load one of its data files, so it doesn’t actually start. Perhaps it won’t do the task you told it to do – even if it worked yesterday. Perhaps the program crashes when you run it.
There is one often-forgotten cure for Windows.
In today’s world of Windows, fast computers, fast Internet connections using cable modems, DSL modems or even Ethernet connection to the ISP, many of us leave our computers turned on all the time.
We take the prudent and necessary steps of running a two-way firewall (like Sunbelt Personal Firewall), we run an anti-virus program that auto-updates like NOD32, we run an anti-spyware/anti-adware program (like CounterSpy v2), and maybe even run an anti-spam program.
Want to know what I use and recommend?
See my article My Computer Security Recommendations.
But, we forget to reboot our computers occasionally. We joke about calling technical support at a software company and being told to reboot.
While Windows XP isn’t as bad as its predecessors, it still likes to be rebooted occasionally.
That quick and easy fix should be your first step when trouble-shooting a problem.
If you reboot and the problem goes away, then you know that it was either (a) a Windows problem or (b) a Windows problem. [Proofreaders – Yes, a and b are the same!]
If rebooting doesn’t solve the problem, then you can proceed to try other things. If it does solve the problem — and if the problem recurs — start thinking about the last couple of programs you ran. One of them may be causing the problem with your current program.