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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Detecting and Resolving Computer Problems
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731
Throughout this book, you’ll find troubleshooting tips and tech-
niques for specific components, features, and applications as well.
Don’t overlook these additional resources in your troubleshooting. If
you have problems that you can’t resolve yourself and you are able to
load the operating system, you can also use Remote Assistance to get
help from other people, regardless of where they may be located. See
the “Getting Help and Giving Others Assistance” section, later in this
chapter, for details.
Solving the Tough Problems Automatically (and Sometimes with a
Little Help)
Windows Vista’s built-in diagnostics framework is designed to monitor the operat-
ing system and your computer’s hardware components. The diagnostics framework
has many components, including:
Application compatibility alerts to warn you about possibly incompatible programs
Disk fault monitoring to alert you about a disk that is failing and may need to be
replaced
Corrupt file monitoring to detect and recover corrupted system files
Memory leak detection to detect memory allocation problems caused by pro-
grams or components, and to automatically free memory
Boot performance monitoring to detect and alert you about conditions that
affect startup
Standby/resume performance monitoring to detect and alert you about condi-
tions that affect standby/resume
Shutdown performance monitoring to detect and alert you about conditions that
affect shutdown
System performance monitoring to detect and alert you about conditions that
affect system responsiveness
Virtual memory monitoring to detect and alert you about low memory condi-
tions that affect system performance
All these diagnostics components work together to help ensure that your computer
runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. The alerts and notifications these com-
ponents generate are displayed on the screen in dialog boxes and are recorded in the
event logs. While the alerts and notifications vary depending on the type of perfor-
mance problem, most alerts provide you with a diagnosis and a possible resolution.
For example, if your computer is running low on available virtual memory, you’ll see
the “Close programs to prevent information loss” dialog box. This dialog box will
alert you about the low memory condition and provide options for closing the big-
gest resource hogs to free up memory.
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Chapter 21: Getting Help and Handling Advanced Support Issues
With disk faults, hardware diagnostics alerts you about a disk that is failing and
helps guide you through the process of backing up your computer. Performance
problems addressed by built-in diagnostics include slow application startup, slow
boot, slow standby/resume, and slow shutdown. If a computer is experiencing
degraded performance, performance diagnostics can detect the problem and provide
possible solutions for resolving it.
Some of the more serious problems you may be alerted to are memory leaks and fail-
ing memory. Memory leaks are caused by applications or system components that
don’t free up memory they’ve previously allocated, and this can cause your com-
puter to run out of available memory. Failing memory can also be exceptionally diffi-
cult to troubleshoot. To detect system crashes possibly caused by failing memory,
memory diagnostics works with the Microsoft Online Crash Analysis tool. If your
computer crashes due to failing memory and memory diagnostics detects this, you
are prompted to schedule a memory test the next time the computer is restarted. If
you suspect that your computer has a memory problem, you can run Windows
Memory Diagnostics manually as well by completing these steps:
1. Click Start
All Programs Accessories.
2. Right-click Command Prompt and then select Run As Administrator.
3. At the command prompt, type
mdsched.exe.
4. Choose whether to restart the computer and run the tool immediately or sched-
ule the tool to run at the next restart.
5. Windows Memory Diagnostics runs automatically after the computer restarts
and performs a standard memory test automatically. If you want to perform
fewer or more tests, press F1, use the Up and Down arrow keys to set the Test
Mix as Basic, Standard, or Extended, and then press F10 to apply the desired set-
tings and resume testing.
6. When testing is completed, the computer restarts automatically. You’ll see the
test results when you log on.
Built-in diagnostics is only one part of a comprehensive overhaul of the operating
system. Windows Vista:
Prevents many common causes of hangs and crashes by using more reliable and
better performing device drivers. Improved input/output (I/O) cancellation for
device drivers ensures that there are fewer blocking disk I/O operations and that
Windows Vista can recover gracefully from any blocking calls that do occur.
Reduces downtime and restarts required for application installations and
updates by marking in-use files for update and then automatically replacing the
files the next time the application is started. In some cases, Windows Vista can
save the application’s data, close the application, update the in-use files, and
then restart the application.

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