Book Review - Troubleshooting Your PC For Dummies by Dan Gookin
If you need this book, you're probably crying or swearing. But Troubleshooting Your PC For Dummies By Dan Gookin (Wiley) will help you solve the problem while putting a smile back on your face.
Part 1 - What the @#$%&*!?: It's Not Your Fault! Well, It Might Be Your Fault; Stuff to Try First; Telling a Hardware Problem from a Software Problem; The "R" Chapter (Reinstall, Restore, Recycle, Recovery); Your Last Resort: Tech Support
Part 2 - Troubleshooting Minor Irks and Quirks: This Just Bugs Me!; Gosh! This Is Embarrassing!; Startup Problems; Finding Lost Files and Things; Sounds Like Trouble; The Mystery of System Resources (and Memory Leaks); The Slow PC; Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor Dilemmas; Printer Problems; Dealing with Disk Disaster; Correcting Graphic Disgrace; Internet Connection Mayhem; Web Weirdness with Internet Explorer; E-Mail Calamities with Outlook Express; General Windows Disruptions (Or, Is This PC Possessed?); Windows Can Be Your Friend; Shutdown Constipation
Part 3 - Preventive Maintenance: Maintaining Your Disk Drives; Useful Tools and Weapons; The Benefits of Backup
Part 4 - The Part of Tens: The Ten Rules of Tech Support; Ten Dumb Error Messages; Ten Things You Should Never or Always Do
Appendix: Windows Startup Program Guide
Even though I've been in Information Technology for over two decades, I generally don't do well at PC or Windows troubleshooting. I design business software, and I basically want my hardware and operating system to just work. While I've gotten better at troubleshooting, I'm still interested in any help I can find. Gookin does an excellent job in targeting the specific areas that are most likely to go haywire on your home or work PC, and he then gives you some of the more common approaches to resolving those problems. In addition, he also helps you to take ongoing steps to make sure your PC stays functional and clutter-free for as long as possible. Following the information in this book, there's a relatively good chance you'll be able to extricate yourself from a number of blunders or problems before you start teaching your children new words that shouldn't be repeated in public.
Long-term hardware techies or software/OS geeks will probably know most if not all of this information already. But this is the type of book I could conceivably give my dad in order to help him fix some of his own computer problems when I'm not around. Or he can have it on the shelf so *I* can use it when I show up to fix whatever he did. Either way, this book is a perfect first line of defense and reference when you're desperately trying to resurrect your great American novel from the dead...