• 7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks

    Overview

    Many of the tools used by professional technicians to fix various computer problems are already loaded into Windows 8. These are tools you can use to troubleshoot a wide range of computer problems, from sluggish performance to app crashes and boot failures. To use these tricks of the trade, all you need is administrative access to your computer.

    Next Slide →

  • Boot in Safe Mode

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (2/8)

    If your computer is having difficulties booting into Windows, malware, faulty drivers or even a bad program may be to blame. Safe mode runs only the vital components to let you get into Windows so you can begin troubleshooting the problem. To reboot in safe mode, press the "Win" and "R" keys to open "Run," type “msconfig” and press "Enter." Click the "Boot" tab and select "Safe Boot." To boot in Safe Mode, hold down the "Shift" key and press "F8" repeatedly while the computer is starting up. Select "See Advanced Repair Options," then "Troubleshoot," "Advanced Options" and finally "Windows Startup Settings."

    Next Slide →

  • Consult the Action Center

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (3/8)

    Whatever problems you may be experiencing with your computer, there's a good chance that Windows Action Center can identify the culprit for you. Action Center is a useful utility that is hidden in the Windows task bar. Just look at the flag in the desktop task bar. If it's red, click on it and select "Open Action Center" from the pop-up menu. Click the button next to any flagged item to see what the problem is. If it hasn't identified a problem, click the "Check for Solutions" link in the Maintenance section of the Action Center to have Windows scan for problems and—in many cases—offer a solution.

    Next Slide →

  • Use Performance Information and Tools

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (4/8)

    A useful diagnostic tool that gives you a quick look at the overall health of your computer is Performance Information and Tools. This utility comes already installed in Windows 8, and is well-hidden in the Control Panel. To launch this utility, type "performance" in the Search field, click "Settings" and then select "Performance Information and Tools." If you are using a laptop, you need to plug it in before it will analyze its performance. Scores range from 1 to 9.9 but generally range in the middle, unless you have a supercharged computer.

    Next Slide →

  • Find Problem Apps in Task Manager

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (5/8)

    If your computer suddenly starts responding sluggishly or if you are getting error messages that don't make sense, Windows Task Manager can often point to the application or process that is causing the problem. Type "task" in the Search field, select "Apps" and then click "Task Manager." This utility lists all of the apps and background processes that are currently running, showing you how much of your system resources each is taking. If you see an app or process is taking up a huge portion of your resources, you can either quit the program or select it in Task Manager and click the "End Task" button.

    Next Slide →

  • Scan For Logs in Event Viewer

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (6/8)

    Type "Event Viewer" in the Windows Search charm, click "Settings" and then click "View Event Logs." In the left menu, select the type of event you suspect is causing the problem and then scan through the list of events, which are arranged by time and date. Warnings may be responsible for delays and glitches with the computer while a serious crash is normally classified as an error. After you find the event you believe is the culprit you can save it so you don't have to search through the logs again later.

    Next Slide →

  • Ping a Bad Network Connection

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (7/8)

    If you can't connect to the Internet or another device on your home network, use the ping command to see if there is a connection problem or if the network is just very slow. To use this command, press the Windows key and type "cmd" in the Search charm to open the Command Prompt. Type "ping" followed by an IP address or server domain name like "ping anywebsite.com." Ping works like a sonar ping, sending a small blip of data to the server or device and waiting for an echo to come back. If the ping times out, there is no connection. If the ping does get a response, usually in a few milliseconds, there is a connection and your Web browser or other application is likely causing the problem.

    Next Slide →

  • Go Back in Time with Recovery

    7 Must-Know Computer Trouble Shooting Tricks (8/8)

    If you have recently made a lot of changes to your computer, like installing or uninstalling programs and changing system settings or configuration files, trying to find the root of a problem is a lot like trying to unthread a tangled fishing line. Instead of backtracking through your changes, use Windows Recovery to push your computer back in time. Type "Recovery" in the Search charm, select "Settings" and then click "Recovery." Click "Open System Restore" and you can put the computer back to a point when it was still working properly. You can then make the changes again, one step at a time, while keeping an eye out for the change that caused the system problems.

    Next Slide →

  • View More Slideshows

    10 Tricks to Speed Up Your Computer

    10 Tricks to Speed Up Your Computer

    Even if your computer seems to be running quite fast, chances are there is a lot you can do to boost its performance. Microsoft Windows 8 comes with several utilities that are designed to optimize ...

    Child-Proofing Your Computer

    Child-Proofing Your Computer

    As a parent, it's important to ensure your children have a safe and rewarding experience using the family computer, as well as making sure that your computer's files and settings are safe from a ...

    Tips on Backing Up Your Computer

    Tips on Backing Up Your Computer

    With today's tools and technologies, keeping regular backups of your computer files is neither expensive nor time consuming. Whether you realize it or not, your computer already has the tools you ...

    The Perfect Home Computer Set-up

    The Perfect Home Computer Set-up

    You spend a lot of time at your home computer. It's where you go to finish the work you didn't get done in the office, where you spend time catching up with friends and family who live hundreds of ...