Chapter 24. Useful Tools and Weapons

Nothing beats charging into a troubleshooting battle when you're armed with an arsenal of appropriate tools and deadly weapons. Windows Vista does not disappoint. Included with your PC's operating system are interesting utilities, useful tools, and valuable programs that will help you on the road toward troubleshooting nirvana. Most of these tools are covered elsewhere in this book. What remains is covered here. Consider it an overview of those interesting and nifty programs you can use to help troubleshoot your PC.

Weapons within Windows

I could write a jolly good reference book on each of the various programs included with Windows. For some of the programs, I'd have to make up some stuff — you know, extra "padding" because writing 380 pages about Notepad would be a bit excessive. But for other tools, the information could easily fill a complete book, along with plenty of tips and tricks. Sadly, I don't have the time to do that (and I'm sure the notion would freak out the sales team), so instead I offer in this section some general overviews of the most helpful of the nifty programs you can use for troubleshooting your PC.

The System Configuration utility (MSCONFIG)

The System Configuration window, shown in Figure 24-1, is your main weapon in fighting the PC's startup battle. This handy window provides a platform from which you can view just about anything that goes on when Windows first starts up.

Figure 24.1. The System Configuration utility.

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