Slashdot posted a story about Mobile Magazine's Notebook Tech Support Reviews. My link to Slashdot is on the right. Here is a link to the story which as Slashdot puts it, "Mobile Magazine tested companies' technical support for their notebooks/laptops. Each test had three calls to each of ten major notebook manufacturers (added three additional vendors since last year). Also, called three third-party providers of PC help. On the whole, what they found was a sea of ignorance -- and annoying fixation with pinning down our name, address, and serial numbers. Things haven't gotten any better since our 2004 test -- and most of the vendors we tested have actually gotten worse..."
At the end of the article is a great little gem of advice for anyone troubleshooting a problem with Windows. The advice is below. You can also check out the entire article here
.Fix It Yourself
Unless you have a real hardware problem, don't bother calling tech support -- you could save yourself hours of grief by following these quick tips. In many cases, these techniques are exactly what successful tech-support reps will have you do anyway.
1. If you're having trouble with a device, reinstall its driver.
Right-click on My Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tab, and press the Device Manager button. Find the troublesome device, right-click on it, and choose Uninstall. Then either reboot, or right-click on another device and choose "Scan for hardware changes."
2. If you're having trouble getting Windows to start at all, reboot into safe mode.
As your computer is booting up, press F5 repeatedly until you get a menu. Then pick safe mode. From there you may be able to uninstall troublesome devices or programs, and reboot normally afterward.
3. Remove programs from your startup sequence until the notebook reboots normally.
Choose Start > Run, enter msconfig.exe, and click on the Startup tab. Uncheck any programs that you don't know to be essential. Try rebooting and see if the problem goes away.
4. Run System Restore to bring your computer back to a happier time.
From Windows, choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. Or, choose Start > Run, enter msconfig.exe, and then click on the "Launch System Restore" button. Can't get to the Start menu? Hit Control-Alt-Delete to get the Task Manager, then click on the New Task button and enter msconfig.exe.
(Original article linked above written by Dylan Tweney)
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