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Microsoft has equipped its new OS with some tools to make problem-solving easier
Microsoft Windows Vista includes a comprehensive toolkit to fix a broken Windows installation: the Recovery Environment. To launch the Recovery Environment, boot your system from the Windows Vista DVD, select your language, time, currency, and keyboard settings, and in the next dialog box, select the Repair option.
The Recovery Environment includes five tools: Startup Repair automatically analyzes boot-level problems and performs the appropriate repairs. Because startup repairs may require multiple passes, you can run Startup Repair up to five times before it gives up. Run it, restart your system, and continue running it if the system won’t start. You can also run System Restore from the Recovery Environment, enabling you to undo a software or hardware installation that prevents your system from starting. Windows Complete PC Restore is a full-blown disaster-recovery solution for Vista Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise editions. It restores the backup images made using the backup software included with those versions of Vista. Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool tests all system memory, offering three test levels and many customization options to help you find memory (or CPU cache) problems. The Command Prompt, unlike the limited Windows XP Recovery Console, enables you to run any command-line program needed for system or data recovery, including Copy, Xcopy, and Robocopy (a supercharged file/folder copy program). The Command Prompt can also format CD and DVD media and can copy data to or from USB drives connected to the computer. To get help with the Command Prompt, enter Help at the Command Prompt to see a list of commands and add /? to any command you’d like to see specific help for.
When you have a hardware or software problem, Windows Vista captures information about the problem and uploads it to Microsoft for analysis. To view problems and solutions, open the Problem Reports and Solutions applet in the Control Panel. Use Problem Reports and Solutions to view a history of problems and their solutions, configure problem reporting, list current problems and upload them, and clear the solution and problem history. When you upload problems, you may be prompted to upload additional information to help find a solution. Go ahead and say “Yes.” You can review the details in case you’re feeling paranoid.
Get fast relief for system problems with Vista’s exclusive combination of ingredients: an improved version of Event Viewer and the brand-new Reliability and Performance Monitor, both of which are found in the Control Panel’s Administrative Tools. Event Viewer uses the newly redesigned Microsoft Management Console interface to display application, security, setup, system, and forwarded events. You can customize and filter event views to help you find problems quickly. The Reliability and Performance Monitor provides real-time tracking of CPU, disk drive, memory, and network performance, and its Reliability Monitor tracks application failures, hardware failures, Windows failures, and installation failures to generate a reliability index.