Use Windows Troubleshooting for More Intractable Problems
Windows 7 includes a Troubleshooting item visible in either the small or large icon view. This item includes categories for programs, hardware and sound, network and Internet, appearance and personalization, plus system and security. These tools can be invaluable when Windows issues crop up, including problems that may manifest immediately after applying one or more Windows Updates.
Figure 4 shows what the item for the Network and Internet category looks like, with its half dozen network-related entries, and a printer troubleshooter for good measure.
Figure 4 Network and Internet troubleshooting tools
To launch a troubleshooter, simply click one of the entries in the preceding list, and it runs a series of tests and diagnostics that produce simple feedback to suggest changes and fixes to users, and to gather data about what’s being observed. These aim at fairly naïve end-users, so IT pros may want to turn to heavier artillery for help and information. That’s where any or all of the following resources can come in handy:
- Windows 7: Troubleshooting and Support (TechNet) A comprehensive troubleshooting reference with information on events and errors, core OS issues, file services, core security, management infrastructure, networking and more.
- Using the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 7 (Microsoft.com) Describes how to make best use of all the Windows Troubleshooters depicted in Figure 4.
- Windows 7 Troubleshooting – Known Root Causes (MSDN) Augments the preceding articles and items with analysis of common root causes that the built-in Windows 7 troubleshooter have found to be most likely to be involved, from the standpoint of statistical likelihood (it’s nice to know Microsoft does something with the user experience data it collects).
- Troubleshooting Windows 7 with Microsoft’s Built-In Tools (Tom’s Hardware) Interesting war story on in-depth Windows 7 troubleshooting from veteran computer industry writer Loyd Case.
With some time, and careful attention, the occasional wobbles that sometimes follow in the wake of Windows Update can be handled. And remember: If worse comes to worst and you can find neither a solution to your problems nor a usable workaround, you can always open Windows Update, click on Update History, then click on Installed Updates, then right-click your problem update and select Uninstall from the resulting pop-up menu (most of the time, it’s your only option, in fact).