Windows Tips For Computer Users...
Old and New
Here are some tips that you will use at some point in your computer life... While the tips are not technical in nature they will lead to making problem solving easier.
Use Windows Help
It's not that I don't want to hear from you (because I do) but if you have a problem with your computer, don't call for tech support right away. Sometimes problems arise late at night or when I am not readily available. When that is the case, select Help from the Start menu and enter the search term "troubleshooters" in the Index tab. If the Help system doesn't have a trouble-shooter for your particular problem, try searching on other terms related to what you think the problem is
Capture Error Messages
Many computer problems involve error messages, and it's essential to record the precise wording of these messages. In Windows 2000 and XP, pressing Ctrl-C will copy most error messages to the Clipboard. The next step is to start Notepad (Start | All Programs | Accessories | Notepad), and paste the copied message (Crtl V), and save it.
Under Windows 98 and Me (or when Ctrl-C doesn't work), type the exact text of the message into Notepad for reference. (You can also take a screenshot of the error message by hitting Alt-PrintScreen, which copies the screen image to the Clipboard, and then opening the Paint program (Start | All Programs | Accessories | Paint) and pasting the image into a blank file. You now have a picture of the error message. When copying or reporting an error message, you can omit the interminable lists of numbers found at the end of some message boxes as they don't necessarily have any usefulness
Use Microsoft Knowledge Base
The next place to go for help is the immense Microsoft Knowledge Base. Navigate to http://support.microsoft.com and type in a few search terms that describe the difficulty; for instance, shutdown problem, or search on an exact phrase from an error message. If necessary, refine the search by selecting your version of Windows from the drop-down list provided.
If that fails you can call me and describe the problem, along with the remedies you've tried. And of course, you now know the skills to provide any system information that I will request
All computer users come upon problems from time to time, even us. No matter when that happens you want to solve that problem ASAP so you can continue on with your work or play.
On, and one final tip that is often overlooked... restart the computer. A lot of problems happen because Windows gets confused. The system will naturally make errors on its own. While they are rarely serious, it does hiccup from time to time. By clicking on Start | Turn off Computer and then Restart, Windows essentially shakes its head and clears the cobwebs. A lot of the times it will work properly when it restarts. Before you restart though you must save any files that you were working on or the information will be lost.
As always, should you have any questions about your computer, do not hesitate in picking up the phone or writing... better to contact me and be sure.
Tom @ Tata Computers