Chapter 21
Getting Help and Handling Advanced
Support Issues
Computers have dozens, and in some cases hundreds, of different devices, services,
and applications configured on them. Keeping all these components working prop-
erly is a big job that Windows Vista handles aptly with your help. Still, it’s a fact of
life that stuff happens: computers crash, services and applications stop working, and
devices fail. Fortunately, Windows Vista includes many features to help ensure that
your computer keeps running optimally and to help you resolve any problems you
may encounter. In addition to the traditional tools available in earlier releases of
Windows, you’ll find a new diagnostics framework that can detect problems as they
occur, new tools for helping you recover your computer and data, and more.
While the built-in diagnostics features attempt to provide solutions to problems, not
all problems can be diagnosed automatically, and you’ll often need to work to resolve
problems on your own. This is why Windows Vista includes a variety of troubleshoot-
ing tools as well as tools for backing up and restoring your computer. Because it’s too
late when disaster strikes to configure these tools, you’ll need to ensure that your com-
puter’s backup and restore features are configured properly as part of your periodic
preventive maintenance.
Detecting and Resolving Computer Problems
Windows Vista includes an extensive diagnostics and problem resolution architec-
ture. Although earlier versions of Windows include some help and diagnostics fea-
tures, those features are, for the most part, not self-correcting or self-diagnosing.
Windows Vista, on the other hand, can detect many types of hardware, memory, and
performance issues and can either resolve them automatically or help users through
the process of resolving them. When the automated features are unable to resolve
problems for you, you may have to do more extensive troubleshooting by using the
event logs and checking the status of essential services.

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