- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Nurse your PC back to health with a little help from Leo Laporte. Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk in a Book uses a unique, medical dictionary approach, complete with symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for all...
Ships from: Chicago, IL
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Nurse your PC back to health with a little help from Leo Laporte. Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk in a Book uses a unique, medical dictionary approach, complete with symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for all of your common and not-so-common PC maladies. Flow-charts will help you correctly diagnose and treat such problems as:
IntroductionIntroductionWhy You Need This Book
Whether you use a PC for gaming, creativity, or extending your workday, you're going to have problems with hardware, Windows, applications, networking, the Internet, or peripherals. There's no getting around it—PCs don't always work right. And when they don't work, you want answers that work and you want them fast!
Computer problems can be divided into three categories:
Sometimes, a computer problem involves two or more of these areas, making the solution even tougher. Fortunately, Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk is designed to solve the most common problems you'll encounter in all three areas, even if multiple problems are plaguing your system.
This book is designed to give you the answers you need to solve your computer problems—fast! Instead of forcing you to read about the history of computers or stuffing long lists of software and hardware features into your brain and making you figure out which ones hold the answers to your problem, our goal is to take you directly from symptoms to solutions.
You can count on the solutions in this book. They are based on Leo and Mark's over 40 years of combined experience with computers and related technologies and many years of applying their knowledge to solving problems via consulting (Leo and Mark), teaching troubleshooting classes and writing magazine articles (Mark), hosting radio and TV shows (Leo), and writing books (Leo and Mark). Mark's trusty FRANKENPC laboratory computer and its mates were subjected to dozens ofconfiguration changes during the course of research on this book and its predecessor, Mark's PC Help Desk in a Book. For this edition, even more problems and solutions have been gathered from discussions with computer users, online research, and suggestions from Que Publishing's editorial and technical staff. This book is based on facts, not fantasy, so you can rely on it.How to Use This Book
Unlike most computer books, which dump huge numbers of facts into your brain and expect you to sift through them to find the answers to your problem, Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk is designed to provide you with fast access to practical solutions you can apply right away. We hope you'll find it fascinating reading, but it's really intended to be a quick reference you'll turn to when your computer has a problem and put aside until you have another problem—or another question.
Some troubleshooting books tell you what do to without telling you why. Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk is different. We love to explain why things are the way they are inside your computer, commiserate with you when things don't make sense, and show you solutions that make sense. We've never believed that treating human beings as robots it a good idea, and we're not about to start. You deserve an explanation of computer problems and their solutions, and we make sure you get what you deserve.
Some books are designed to be read just once; again, Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk is different. Because of its broad and deep coverage of computer problems and solutions, you'll turn to it as a valuable reference again and again to solve computer problems at home, at the office, or at the corporate help desk.
Here's how to get the most from this book:
Take a look at the chapters; they're discussed in detail later in this introduction. Go to the chapter that most closely matches your general problem area. For example, if you're having a problem getting your digital camera to connect with your PC, go to Chapter 6, "Troubleshooting Multimedia and Imaging Devices."
Each chapter starts with a feature we call Fast Track to Solutions, a table of symptoms and solutions. Use this table to point yourself toward underlying problems and their solutions. Start here when you need help fast. Each table lists symptoms common to the parts of your computer or peripherals discussed in that chapter.
As soon as you have located the appropriate Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table, look up the symptom. Each symptom sends you directly to a troubleshooting flowchart or book section that covers your problem and its solution.
If you are directed to a flowchart, each flowchart provides step-by-step solutions with ample cross-references to the text that provides detailed information about the problem and how to find the solution.
If you are directed to a particular book section, use the text, screen shots, and equipment photos to learn more about how your hardware and software work and to learn the troubleshooting steps needed to solve your problem.
Use the special elements in each chapter to find valuable tips and shortcuts, discover useful websites, and avoid potential dangers.
Here's an example of how to use this book to solve a problem:
Assume that you can't hear any sound coming from your computer's speakers. Chapter 5, "Troubleshooting Graphics and Sound Problems," covers audio problems, so turn to the start of Chapter 5 to get started. The Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the beginning of this chapter offers a flowchart called "Speaker and Volume Control Problems." Go to the flowchart and follow the solutions given in order. For example, in this flowchart, the first question is, "Is your sound hardware working according to Device Manager?" If you are not sure or if you have already used Device Manager to determine the sound hardware is not working, follow the cross-reference to the "Sound Hardware Problems" flowchart for solutions. If Device Manager indicates the sound hardware is working correctly, the next question is, "Did you just attach the speakers to the sound hardware?" If you answer Yes, the flowchart directs you to check the speaker connections. If you answer No, the flowchart directs you to make sure the speakers are turned on. Cross-references to specific sections of the book provide you with illustrations and write-ups to help you answer the questions posed in each flowchart. Continue through the flowchart until you find the solution that matches your hardware and situation.
If you are directed to a particular portion of a chapter by Fast Track to Solutions or a flowchart, read the text and follow the suggestions and cross-references given there until you solve the problem. The pictures and screen shots provided will help you locate and use similar features on your system. For many problems, you will use a combination of one or more flowcharts and particular book sections to find the right solution.
Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk includes the following sections:
Ten chapters cover all the important hardware and software components of your computer and peripherals.
An appendix includes a guide to troubleshooting methods and tools and over 50 flowcharts to help you solve the most common PC and peripheral problems.
The following sections explain the book sections in greater details.Chapter 1: PC Anatomy 101
The first chapter of this book provides a detailed look at what makes your computer work inside and out, along with coverage of the BIOS setup program, hardware resources, Power-On Self-Test error codes, and coverage of the major I/O port types in typical computers. Because you need to be careful when you work inside your computer, this chapter also provides you with instructions on how to avoid damage from electrostatic discharge (ESD).
Wherever you are on the computer knowledge scale, from novice to expert, be sure to read Chapter 1 for valuable background. If you're in a hurry for particular information about your PC's internal layout or external ports, use the Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the beginning of the chapter to go straight to the appropriate section of the book.Chapter 2: Troubleshooting Windows XP and Windows Applications
Chapter 2 starts with a Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table. Dig into it for fast help with the most common problems with Windows and software (shovel not included).
In this chapter, you learn how to troubleshoot and solve problems with the Windows boot, startup, and shutdown processes. Next, you discover how to use Control Panel to solve problems with your system, how to use Device Manager to fix balky components, and how to use other Windows XP tools such as System Information, Net Diagnostics, CHKDSK, Defrag, and others to solve common problems. This chapter also shows you how to keep Windows up to date with service packs and Windows Update, and how to repair a "broken" Windows installation. If Windows works but programs don't, this chapter also shows you how to fix and update problem programs, how to fix STOP (blue screen) errors, and how to select the best tools to stop viruses and slam spyware. This chapter assumes that you have installed Windows XP Service Pack 2 (because Microsoft says it's good for you, and this is one time they're right!).Chapter 3: Troubleshooting Storage Devices
If your PC's running out of storage space or can't read some of its drives, forget about passing Go. Instead, proceed directly to the Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the start of the chapter.
In this chapter, you learn how to solve problems with floppy drives, ATA/IDE and Serial ATA (SATA) internal hard disks, as well as external drives that connect through USB, IEEE-1394, or CardBus connectors. This chapter also covers drive upgrades for both desktop and portable computers, and wraps up with solutions for rewritable CD and DVD drives, including the latest dual-layer models.Chapter 4: Troubleshooting Your Printer
No printing? Garbage printing? Wasting paper? Read Fast Track to Solutions at the start of this chapter. (It's preprinted for your troubleshooting convenience!)
Inside this chapter, learn how to diagnose printers that won't print or print gibberish output and solve problems with standard and photo inkjet printers, dye-sublimation photo printers, or laser and LED printers. Learn how to use printer properties sheets to achieve top-quality output.Chapter 5: Troubleshooting Graphics and Sound Problems
Fuzzy monitor? Shaky sound? If you've already cleaned your glasses and removed your earplugs but things haven't improved, mosey on over to the Fast Track to Solutions symptom tables at the start of this chapter for help.
In this chapter, you learn how to troubleshoot monitor and graphics card problems, tweak your display for best visual quality, set up multiple displays, improve 3D game performance with graphics and audio settings, reinstall or update a driver, and fix audio problems with applications and music CDs.Chapter 6: Troubleshooting Multimedia and Imaging Devices
Hit the Fast Track to Solutions symptom tables at the front of the chapter instead of hitting a balky DV camcorder, bothersome digital camera, or other multimedia hardware and software.
In this chapter, you learn how to fix DV camcorder or digital camera connections to your PC, recover data from formatted or erased media, fix DVD playback problems, solve compatibility issues with digital music players, make Windows Media Player work your way, and improve the quality and performance of photo scanners.Chapter 7: Troubleshooting I/O Ports and Input Devices
If your mousing is miserable or your ports are leaning to starboard, steer for the Fast Track to Solutions symptom tables at the start of this chapter.
In this chapter, discover the best methods for troubleshooting problems with IEEE-1394, USB, PS/2, serial, and parallel ports. Learn how to get the most out of USB 2.0 ports and solve problems with standard and wireless keyboards and mice.Chapter 8: Troubleshooting Your Network and Internet Connections
Got an Internet connection that connects to nothing? Got a "notwork" instead of a network? Get thee to the Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the start of this chapter, pronto!
In this chapter, you learn how to fix problems caused by bad web-viewing components, discover the meaning of website error messages and numbers, solve problems with analog and broadband Internet connections, repair broken Ethernet and Wi-Fi networks, and discover TCP/IP configuration and troubleshooting tools and methods.Chapter 9: Troubleshooting Memory, Processor, and System Performance Problems
If your computer acts as if it's sloth-powered, go to the Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the start of the chapter for help.
In this chapter, you learn how to track down the causes of slow system performance and solve them through virtual memory fine-tuning as well as processor or memory upgrades. Discover the best solutions for cooling problems and how to right-size a memory upgrade. Find out how to avoid motherboard and processor failures.Chapter 10: Troubleshooting Power Problems
If your computer won't boot or reboots whenever it feels like it, power up with the Fast Track to Solutions symptoms table at the start of this chapter.
In this chapter, you discover the signs of power supply overloading and failure, learn how to perform a power supply upgrade, and how to protect your system from poor-quality power or electrical blackouts.Appendix: Flowcharts and Troubleshooting Methodology
A human appendix is mostly useless. On the other hand, this appendix is one of the most useful sections in the entire book (the rest of the book's pretty good too!).
Whether you've arrived at the flowcharts from a symptoms table or headed straight to the back, you'll find dozens of flowcharts to help you with major PC and peripheral problems. A sample flowchart helps you understand the concept if you're new to flowchart-driven troubleshooting.
If you're an experienced troubleshooter, the flowcharts might be all you need. However, if you're new to solving your own computer problems, be sure to read the section called "Troubleshooting Methodology." We've placed it at the front of this appendix so you won't miss it. This section puts our recommendations for tools, techniques, and general troubleshooting philosophy at your fingertips.Special Elements in This Book
In addition to extensive cross-referencing, screen shots, and equipment photos, you will also find several special elements in this book to help you with particular troubleshooting issues:
On the Web—Websites that have more information about the current topic
Cautions and Warnings—Information you should read and digest before attempting operations that can be hazardous to you, your data, or your computer
Leo Says—Advice from Leo
Shortcut to Success—Tips for accomplishing a task more easily
This book is the long-awaited (at least by some readers) second edition of my PC Help Desk in a Book. If you already own that book, you're probably wondering, "Do I need this new edition?" Of course you do!
But seriously, here's what's new and better about this edition:
Every chapter has been upgraded with updated material, new illustrations, enhanced coverage, and brand-new topics and sidebars.
Better organization reduces duplication and page flipping and makes finding the right answers faster than ever before.
Updated and brand-new flowcharts cover additional topics.
To make room for the many improvements in this new edition, a few cuts have been made. Now that Windows XP has been the dominant version of Windows for four years, we felt it was time to do away with legacy Windows coverage. Similarly, coverage of legacy devices no longer in widespread use such as SCSI host adapters and scanners and parallel port scanners has also been eliminated.
We believe that Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk is a "must-buy" for every reader of the original edition and is destined to make many thousands of friends in this new and improved edition.
© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
1. PC Anatomy 101.
Subsystems Make the Computer
All Around a Desktop PC
Front Views of Typical Desktop Computers
Rear Views of Typical Desktop Computers
Stop ESD-Don't Fry Your PC!
Inside a Typical PC
Points of Failure Inside the Computer
All Around a Notebook Computer
Points of Failure on a Notebook Computer
Controlling Your PC's Operation with BIOS Setup
How the BIOS Displays Your PC's Components
BIOS Setup Screens and Their Uses in Troubleshooting
What to Do If Your Computer Can't Retain BIOS Setup Information
Power-On Self Test
I/O Port Addresses
Viewing Hardware Resources in Use
Using Your Computer's Anatomy for Troubleshooting
2. Troubleshooting Windows XP and Windows Applications.
Fixing Startup Problems
Overview of the Computer Boot and Windows Startup Processes
Fixing Hard Disk Configuration Problems
Fixing Other Startup Problems with Windows XP
Fixing Shutdown Problems
Using Control Panel
Add or Remove Programs
Sounds and Audio Devices
Using Device Manager
Solving Resource Conflicts with Device Manager
Using Device Manager to Determine Other System Problems
Signed and Unsigned Device Drivers
Windows Update and Device Drivers
Using the Windows XP Hardware Troubleshooter
Other Windows Diagnostic, Reporting, and Repair Tools
Using System Information
Using System File Checker
Using Error-Checking (CHKDSK) and Defrag
Using Remote Assistance in Windows XP
Keeping Windows Healthy with Service Packs and Windows Update
Using Windows Update
Ordering and Downloading Service Packs
Performing a Repair Installation
Fixing Programs That Won't Run
Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run Under Windows XP
Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run from Shortcuts
Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run from Windows Explorer
Adding a Shortcut
Why Application Software Can Fail
Researching Your Program's Compatibility with Windows
I'm Not Sure What My Exact Program Version Is
I'm Having Problems Removing My Application
I'm Having Problems Reinstalling My Application
Problems with Applications' Default Settings
The Unworkable Application
Troubleshooting STOP Errors with Windows XP
Preventing and Reducing Occurrences of BSOD Errors in Windows
3. Troubleshooting Storage Devices.
Troubleshooting Installed Hard Disk Drives
Non-Bootable Floppy Disk in Drive A:
Troubleshooting ATA/IDE Hard Disks
Checking the Hard Disk Connection to the Power Supply
Checking the Drive and Host Adapter Connection to the Data Cable
Configuring ATA/IDE Drive Jumpers
Checking a Laptop/Notebook's Hard Disk Power/Data Connection
Troubleshooting Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Disk Drives
Checking the SATA Hard Disk Power Connector
Checking the SATA Data Cable
Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Drives
Troubleshooting Other Problems with an IEEE-1394 Drive
Troubleshooting a USB Drive
Troubleshooting a PC Card/CardBus Drive
Determining Actual Drive Failure Has Occurred
Preparing a Hard Disk for Use
Preparing an Additional Hard Disk with Windows XP
Preparing a Bootable Hard Disk with Windows XP
Troubleshooting Problems with Recognizing Full Drive Capacity
Troubleshooting Disk Partitioning Problems
Troubleshooting Booting Problems
Troubleshooting Hard Disk or Optical Drive Bootup Problems
Preparing Other Drives to Act as Bootable Devices
Solving UDMA Mode Problems with ATA/IDE Drives
Upg rading a Portable Hard Disk
Using EZ Upgrade Universal and EZ Gig II
Installing the New Hard Disk in Your Portable Computer
Solving Problems with Writeable CD and DVD Media
Solving Can't-Write-to-Media Problems
Troubleshooting Recorded Media You Can't Read on Another System
Troubleshooting Buffer Underruns
4. Troubleshooting Your Printer.
Printer Types and Technologies
Troubleshooting Common Printer Problems
Troubleshooting a Printer That Doesn't Print
Troubleshooting Inkjet Printers
Troubleshooting an Inkjet Printer with Its Status Lights
Solving the "Inkjet Printer Blues"
Troubleshooting Photo Printers
Troubleshooting Printing from the PC
Troubleshooting Direct Printing
Troubleshooting Laser/LED Printers
Laser/LED Printer Status Lights and Messages
Common Laser/LED Problems and Solutions
Understanding Your Printer's Properties Sheets
Accessing the Properties Sheets for Your Printer
Troubleshooting Gibberish Output
5. Troubleshooting Graphics and Sound Problems.
Troubleshooting the Display Subsystem
Troubleshooting Monitors and Displays
There's a Problem with the Size or Position of the Windows Desktop
The Text and Icons Onscreen Are Hard to Read
The CRT Monitor Flickers
Troubleshooting Damaged or Defective Displays or Display Adapters
Troubleshooting Graphics Cards
Can't Start the Computer Using Normal Display Drivers
Computer Locks Up Frequently or Has Display Quality Problems
Colors Are Distorted
Increasing Available Display Memory on Systems with Integrated Video
Troubleshooting Multiple Displays
Troubleshooting 3D Game Performance and Image Quality
3D Games Run Too Slowly
Improving AGP Video Performance
Reinstalling or Updating Your Display Adapter Driver
Can't Record or Play Back Sounds
6. Troubleshooting Multimedia and Imaging Devices.
Troubleshooting DV Camcorder Connections
Troubleshooting Camera and 1394a Port Recognition Issues
Troubleshooting Video-Editing Software Problems
Troubleshooting Digital Camera Connections
Troubleshooting Digital Camera Configuration Problems
Troubleshooting Digital Camera Power Problems
Troubleshooting Digital Camera and USB Port/Hub Problems
Troubleshooting AutoPlay Problems
Preventing and Troubleshooting Data Loss in Digital Cameras
Troubleshooting File-Viewing Problems
Troubleshooting Problems with Camera and Printer Docks
Troubleshooting Flash Memory Card Readers
Troubleshooting DVD Playback
Can't Use Advanced Speaker Systems with Your DVD Player
Troubleshooting Aspect Ratio and Screen Resolution Settings
Troubleshooting MP3 Digital Music and Media Players
Troubleshooting PC Connections to Your MP3 Player
Troubleshooting Capacity Issues with Your MP3 Player
Troubleshooting DRM Problems with Your MP3 Player
Troubleshooting Other Types of Media Playback
Using Device Manager to Troubleshoot Scanner Problems
Common Problems and Solutions for Scanners
Troubleshooting Scan Quality Problems
7. Troubleshooting I/O Ports and Input Devices.
I/O Port Uses and Types
Common I/O Port Types
I/O Port Uses
Diagnosing Problems with Ports and Input Devices
Diagnosing Port and Driver Problems with Device Manager
Troubleshooting USB Ports and Hubs
Troubleshooting USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed USB) Support
Installing the Right Device Drivers for Your USB Device
Troubleshooting USB Hub Power Problems
Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Ports and Hubs
Tracking Down Integrated and Add-on 1394 Ports
Troubleshooting Keyboards and Mice
Troubleshooting USB Keyboards and Mice
Troubleshooting Wireless Keyboards and Mice
Troubleshooting PS/2 Ports, Keyboards, and Mice
Troubleshooting Pointing Device Problems with Control Panel
Troubleshooting Serial and Parallel Ports
Parallel Port Troubleshooting
Serial Port Troubleshooting
8. Troubleshooting Your Network and Internet Connections.
Troubleshooting Missing or Outdated Software Components
Installing/Reinstalling ISP Setup Software
Troubleshooting Problems with Secure Websites
Troubleshooting Problems with Viewing Certain Websites
Dealing with Website Error Messages
Website Viewing Tips and Tricks
Troubleshooting a Dial-Up (Analog Modem) Connection
Configuring Dial-Up Networking
Troubleshooting Dial-Up Modem Hardware
Troubleshooting a Broadband Internet Connection
Troubleshooting a Cable Modem Connection
Troubleshooting Ethernet Networks
Troubleshooting Network Software Configuration
I Can't Access Other Computers on the Network
I'm Not Sure My Network Settings Are Correct
Updating Network Hardware Drivers
Troubleshooting Ethernet Network Hardware
Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Networks
Using the Windows XP SP2 Wireless Network Setup Wizard
Troubleshooting Routers and Gateways
Troubleshooting PC Card/CardBus Devices
TCP/IP Configuration and Troubleshooting
Using a Fixed IP Address with a Dial-Up or PPPoE Broadband Connection in Windows XP
Using TCP/IP Diagnostics to Troubleshoot Your Connection
Troubleshooting the Windows XP Firewall
9. Troubleshooting Memory, Processor, and System Performance Problems.
Troubleshooting Slow System Performance
Troubleshooting Virtual Memory
Defragmenting Your Drive
Using Disk Cleanup
Viewing and Adjusting Page File (Swapfile) Configuration
Troubleshooting Memory Upgrades
Determining the Right Memory for Your System
Installing Desktop Computer Memory
Installing Notebook Computer Memory
Freeing Up Sockets for Additional Memory
Troubleshooting Memory Upgrade Problems
Troubleshooting Defective Memory or Memory Sockets
Troubleshooting Installed Memory
Troubleshooting Processor Failures
Detecting Overheating and Incorrect Voltage Levels
VCore Settings and Overclocking
Troubleshooting Processor Upgrades
Understanding Processor Brands, Models, and Sockets
I'm Not Sure What Type of Processor I Can Use in My Motherboard
I'm Having a Hard Time Installing My New Processor
My System Won't Start After I Installed a New Processor
My New Processor Isn't Running as Fast as It Should
Troubleshooting Motherboard Failures
Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage to Your Motherboard
Preventing Powerline Damage to Your Motherboard
Troubleshooting Motherboard Upgrades
Making Sure Your New Motherboard Will Fit into Your Case
I'm Having a Hard Time Fitting My New Motherboard into My Case
Preventing Damage to Your Motherboard During Memory and Add-in Card Installations
Preventing Damage from Loose Components Inside the Case
Diagnosing Other Motherboard Problems
My System Beeps Abnormally After I Restart It with the New Motherboard in Place
Troubleshooting Cooling Problems
Preventing Overheating Damage to the Motherboard
10. Troubleshooting Power Problems.
Why Power Supplies Fail
Determining You Have a Power Supply Problem
Troubleshooting an Overheated Power Supply
Troubleshooting a Power Supply That Reboots the Computer
Troubleshooting a Computer That Won't Turn On
Troubleshooting System Lockups
Troubleshooting an Overloaded Power Supply
Troubleshooting a Power Supply Upgrade
Right-Sizing a New Power Supply
Selecting Powerline Protection
Checking Wall Outlets
Choosing the Right Surge Suppressor for Your Equipment
Battery Backup Systems
A. Troubleshooting Methods and Flowcharts.
The Troubleshooting Process
The First Step-Finding Out What Happened
How to Check Out the Computing Environment
Your Diagnostics Toolbox
The Troubleshooting Cycle
Testing a Subsystem
Where to Start?
Where to Go for More Information
Keeping Track of Your Solutions
Summarizing the Troubleshooter's Philosophy