Windows Troubleshooting

Advanced Boot Options Menu – It is a tool which gives startup options to fix startup problems. Press F8 key immediately after PC starts to access these startup options which are

  • Safe Mode: Starts system with a minimal set of drivers; used if some driver fails and can do system restore.
  • Safe Mode with Networking: Same as safe mode but enables network support.
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Same as safe mode but loads command prompt instead of Windows GUI.
  • Enable Boot Logging: Creates an ntbtlog.txt file.
  • Enable low-resolution video (640×480): Uses a standard VGA driver instead of any other video driver
  • Last Known Good Configuration: Starts with the last configuration known to work.
  • Directory Services Restore Mode: Restore a domain controller’s active directory of windows server.
  • Debugging Mode: Enables a debug program to examine system kernel for troubleshooting.
  • Start Windows Normally: Boot to regular windows.

Recovery Console – It is command-line interface used for repairs. To start it by either boot PC by Windows XP CD-ROM and run the recovery console or boot from a previously installed recovery console if it appears

Boot Errors – Windows XP use the NTLDR (boot loader), Boot.ini, NTDETECT.COM, and Ntoskrnl.exe files during startup. If any of these files are corrupted or missing, error messages appears and to remove them access recovery console and copy the file from CD-ROM.

Device Failure – Device Manager can detect if a device is giving problems by its driver or  resource conflict or just been disabled. An exclamation mark (!) within a yellow circle is put on the device so, it can be removed by automatic resource allocation or update driver or refer to device manufacturer manual or website.

Event Viewer – It reports application failure, warns about issues, and displays errors as they occur. It is accessed as Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools, or through the System Tools node in the Computer Management console window. Information, warnings, and errors are stored in log files. There are three log files system for hardware or device drivers or system files, application has events about programs and security holds data for auditing and security purposes like who logged on PC and when.

Stop Errors – Also called Blue Screen of Death or BSOD, is worst error which completely halts OS and displays a blue screen with various text and code and may reboots PC after a memory dump. To configure what to be done in such events, configure startup and recovery by click Start, right-click on my computer, select properties, select the Advanced tab, and click the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery box. Windows writes  debugging information to the hard drive for later analysis.

Windows Errors – Windows has less serious errors like STOP errors and a critical error called general protection fault (GPF) which cause the application to fail, but without crashing OS so it will recover. To enable/disable error reporting in Windows XP, navigate to the System Properties window, Advanced tab, and click the Error Reporting button.

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