2.0 Operating Systems

Unless otherwise noted, operating systems referred to within include Microsoft Windows 2000, Windows XP Professional, XP Home, XP MediaCenter, Windows Vista Home, Home Premium, Business and Ultimate, Windows 7 Starter, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate.

2.4 Evaluate and resolve common issues

  • Operational Problems

    • Windows specific printing problems

      • Print spool stalled

        Documents in the print queue that will not print and cannot be deleted may be the result of a stalled print spooler. To correct this issue, try to stop and restart the Print Spooler service. If the issue persists, check the hard drive. There might not be enough space for spooling the document. If not, relocate the spool folder to another volume. Once you have cleared and restarted the Print Spooler, go back and re-print all the affected print jobs.

      • Incorrect / incompatible driver / form printing

        If you run into problems while installing a printer, or if you've added a printer but are unable to use it or recieve a garbled printout, you might need to install or update the printer driver so that it is compatible with the operating system you're running.

    • Auto-restart errors

      An auto-restart error is a typical STOP error that immediately triggers an auto restart on systems that are configured to restart automatically whenever a STOP error occurs.

      By default, the auto-restart feature is disabled, but this can be changed in the Startup and Recovery settings found in the Advanced Options of the System Properties.

      More on Auto-restart Errors

    • Bluescreen error

      When Microsoft Windows encounters a condition that compromises safe system operation, the system halts. This condition is called a bug check. It is also commonly referred to as a system crash, a kernel error, a Stop error, or BSOD. A hardware device, its driver, or related software might have caused this error.

      Blue Screen Of Death

      More on Blue Screen
      Demystifying the Blue Screen of Death

    • System lock-up

      A system lock-up can be described as a very long delay in which the system becomes unresponsive and no error messages are presented.

      A lock-up can be caused by either hardware or software issues. Common reasons for lock-ups can be from Windows running low on resources or available memory. In this situation, it can be helpful to close any unnecessary applications, increase the size of your pagefile, or increase the amount of memory installed in the system.

    • Devices drivers failure (input / output devices)

      A hardware or device driver is an installed software application designed to permit communication between a device and a computer. It manages access to the device by taking the device in and out of service, sets hardware parameters, and transmits data between the device and memory.

      Drivers are loaded into memory whenever the computer is switched on. Each driver is designed specifically for each device installed as well as the operating system it's running on. A driver designed for one specific device (mouse, keboard, CD drive, etc.) may not work on another similar device.

      Device Drivers will occasionally need to be updated. These updates may be to accomodate an operating system or application update while some might be the result of necessary fix.

      Troubleshoot hardware and software driver problems.

    • Application install, start or load failure

      Application installations don't always go as planned, and errors may happen for a number of reasons. Most applications will require all other programs to be closed before proceeding to avoid conflicts with system resources. Try restarting your computer, or uninstall the program and re-install it again to see of the problem persists. If there is a start or load failure, verify that the application is compatible with your operating system. Check the manufacturer's website for an available patch or upgrade.

      Start or load issues can occur for a number of reasons, and you may not always recieve an error message when it happens. If you recieve an error message that refers to a particular file or service, you may be able to disable the file or service in the System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) or by using Computer Management. If a program or a Windows component has been recently installed, check the Device Manager for problems with the drivers. If a program has been removed by deleting it manually, remnants of the program could remain causing issues. In some instances, starting in Safe Mode or using the Last Known Good Configuration tool may be necessary.

      More on Start or Load Issues

    • Service fails to start

      Ensure services restart upon failure in Windows.

  • Error Messages and Conditions

    • Boot

      • Invalid boot disk

        An 'Invalid Boot Disk' or 'Invalid System Disk' error may be shown if a removable disk was left in a floppy drive during previous use. Check each drive for the presence of a disk, if one is found, remove it and reboot the computer.

        The same error will display if an optical drive is configured to read first in the BIOS boot order and no disk is available. To resolve this issue, set your computer BIOS to start in the following order, then reboot.

        1. Hard disk
        2. Drive A
        3. CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive

      • Inaccessible boot drive

      • Missing NTLDR

    • Startup

      • Device / service failed to start

      • Device / program in registry not found

    • Event viewer (errors in the event log)

      Event Viewer is an advanced tool that displays detailed information about possible issues and significant events on your computer. It can be helpful when troubleshooting problems and analyzing errors with Windows and other programs.

      The Event Viewer can be accessed through the Start Menu by first selecting Start, then the Control Panel. From the Control Panel window, select Administrative Tools, then Computer Management. From the console tree on the left side of the window, select Event Viewer, Event details will be displayed on the right side of the window.

      Windows Event Viewer

      More on Event Viewer

    • System Performance and Optimization

      • Aero settings

      • Indexing settings

      • UAC

      • Side bar settings

      • Startup file maintenance

      • Background processes