Basic Troubleshooting

Hardware problems typically show up in the form of a computer that won't boot or a piece of equipment that doesn't work (a modem or a sound card, for example). Software problems show themselves when a particular program locks up your system, a program stops working, or your computer slows to a crawl.

Many computer troubles can be solved using the Windows 2000 troubleshooting wizards known as Troubleshooters. To locate the appropriate troubleshooter for your problem, choose StartHelp, then click the Contents tab. Double-click Troubleshooting and Maintenance, then Windows 2000 Troubleshooters.

Of course, a troubleshooter is useless if your computer doesn't start, as described next.

Computers that Won't Start

Startup is generally a smooth and predictable process. When there's a problem with startup, it's always because something has changed. You may have added a new sound or video card, installed new memory, changed a hardware setting, or even acquired a virus. (A new video card is by far the most likely culprit when the operating system doesn't start.)

Until you determine the cause, you'll have a hard time fixing the effect. Start by returning to the instructions that came with the new hardware to see if there's an additional driver that must be installed, a jumper that must be set, or a mistake in installation.

"Non-system disk or disk error"

If, at boot up, the computer stops and displays an error message that says, "Non-System disk or disk error; Replace and strike ...

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