Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to fixing your #$%@ PC
Title:
The complete idiot's guide to fixing your #$%@ PC
Author:
Miller, Michael, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que Corp., [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
xv, 398 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780789720924
Format :
Book

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TK7887 .M55 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Have you ever turned on your computer--and nothing happened? Ever clicked your mouse or typed a command and your computer just beeped at you? Have you ever gone to a Web site that wasnt there--or have an email returned to sender? Ever received an error message? Dont Panic--help is at hand The Complete Idiots Guide to Fixing Your PC is a book for people with problems--computer and Internet problems, that is. You dont have to be a computer nerd to have computer problems, and you dont have to be a techie to find and fix whats causing your system to misbehave.


Author Notes

Michael Miller has authored more than 30 bestselling reference books in the past decade. His most recent books are The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Auctions, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Online Search Secrets, Sams Teach Yourself MORE Windows 98 in 24 Hours, and Webster's New World Vocabulary of Success. A publishing industry professional since 1987, Michael was formerly Vice President of Business Strategy for Macmillan Publishing, and is currently founder and President of The Molehill Group, a strategic consulting and authoring firm.


Table of Contents

Part 1 Start Here Before Things Go Wrong: Computer Basics for the Tehnically Timidp. 5
1 The 10 Most Common Computer and Internet Problemsp. 7
First a Few Troubleshooting Tipsp. 7
What Causes Most Problems?p. 8
What Are the Most Common Problems?p. 9
2 Hardware Basics for the Technically Timidp. 19
All About Your System Hardwarep. 19
How to Upgrade Your Hardware--Without Calling a Technicianp. 34
3 Windows Basics for the Technically Timidp. 43
All About Windowsp. 43
Starting and Stopping Windowsp. 46
Understanding the Windows Desktopp. 48
Important Windows Operationsp. 51
Windows Painsp. 53
10 Tips for Upgrading Your System for Windows 98p. 54
4 Internet Basics for the Technically Timidp. 57
What the Internet Is--and What It Isn'tp. 57
How an Internet Connection Worksp. 59
Finding an ISPp. 60
Setting Up Your PC for a New ISP Accountp. 61
After You Configure--Install the Softwarep. 63
Connecting to the Internet Via Your ISPp. 63
What Can Go Wrong Onlinep. 64
5 Staying Alive: Simple Steps to Keep Your System in Tip-Top Shapep. 67
Why You Need to Prevent Problems... Before They Become Problemsp. 67
Let Windows Tune Up Your Systemp. 71
6 Why Bad Things Happen to Good Usersp. 77
What Causes Most Problemsp. 77
How to Be a Better Computer Userp. 83
7 Preparing a PC Survival Kitp. 87
Backing Up Your Datap. 87
Making a PC Survival Kitp. 93
8 Recovering When "The Big One" Hitsp. 99
Don't Panic!p. 100
Bad Disk Symptomsp. 100
Troubleshooting a System Failurep. 101
Recovering from Disasterp. 102
9 Coping with the Year 2000 Problemp. 109
Just What Is the Year 2000 Problem?p. 109
If You're Reading This Book Before January 1, 2000, Start Herep. 110
If You're Reading This Book After January 1, 2000, Start Herep. 115
More Y2K Resourcesp. 115
The Year 2000: A Personal Observationp. 116
10 Germ Warfare--Protecting Your Computer from Virusesp. 119
What Is a Computer Virus?p. 119
How Viruses Workp. 120
Common Virus Symptomsp. 120
How to Catch a Virusp. 121
Practicing Safe Computingp. 122
Recovering from a Virus Attackp. 123
Part 2 Figuring Out What Went Wrong: Troubleshooting for the Technically Timidp. 125
11 What to Do When...Your System Won't Startp. 127
What Happens When You Turn On Your Computerp. 127
Starting Windows in Safe Modep. 130
What to Do When You Can't Turn On Your Computerp. 132
10 Do's and Don'ts When Starting Your Systemp. 143
12 What to Do When...Your Computer Freezes Upp. 145
How to Keep Your System Up and Runningp. 145
Why Your Computer Quitsp. 146
What to Do When Your System Freezes or Crashesp. 147
10 Do's and Don'ts to Keep Your PC Runningp. 155
13 What to Do When...Your Keyboard Won't Typep. 157
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Computer Keyboardsp. 157
Why Good Keyboards Go Badp. 159
What to Do When Your Keyboard Won't Workp. 160
10 Do's and Don't to Keep Your Keyboard Clicking Awayp. 164
14 What to Do When...Your Mouse Won't Pointp. 165
How a Mouse Worksp. 165
What to Do When Your Mouse Doesn't Workp. 167
10 Do's and Don'ts for Keeping Your Mouse Runningp. 170
15 What to Do When...Your Display Looks Funnyp. 171
How Your Monitor Worksp. 171
What Can Give You Bad Videop. 175
What to Do When Your Display Goes Badp. 177
10 Do's and Don'ts for Your System Videop. 181
16 What to Do When...Your Printer Won't Printp. 183
How Printers Printp. 183
How to Get and Keep Your Printer Printingp. 185
What Can Go Wrong When You Printp. 191
What to Do When Your Printer Doesn't Printp. 192
10 Do's and Don'ts for Your Printerp. 201
17 What to Do When...Your Disk Is Damagedp. 203
Working with Diskettesp. 204
Working with Hard Disk Drivesp. 204
What Can Happen to Your Disksp. 209
What to Do When Things Go Wrong with Your Disksp. 210
10 Do's and Don'ts for Disk Maintenancep. 212
18 What to Do When...Your CD-ROM or DVD Doesn't Spin Rightp. 213
Looking at CD-ROM and DVD Drivesp. 213
What Can Go Wrong with Your CD-ROM or DVD Drivep. 215
Fixing CD-ROM and DVD Problemsp. 216
10 Do's and Don'ts for Using Your CD-ROM or DVD Drivep. 219
19 What to Do When...Your Sound System Doesn't Sound Rightp. 221
Looking at (or Listening to) PC Soundp. 221
What Can Go Wrong with Your System's Soundp. 225
Fixing Audio Problemsp. 226
10 Do's and Don'ts for Quality Soundp. 229
20 What to Do When...Your Files Are Funkyp. 231
The Least You Need to Know About Filesp. 231
Working with File Typesp. 239
When Files Get Vilep. 241
What to Do When You Have File Problemsp. 242
10 Do's and Don'ts for File Managementp. 246
21 What to Do When...Your Software Is Hard to Usep. 247
What You Need to Know About Softwarep. 247
Things That Can Go Wrong with Your Windows Softwarep. 250
What to Do When You Have Software Problemsp. 250
10 Do's and Don'ts for Softwarep. 255
22 What to Do When...Your New Software Causes New Problemsp. 257
Things to Do Before You Upgrade Your Softwarep. 257
Installing New Software Programsp. 258
Uninstalling Software--the Right Wayp. 259
Upgrading Your Windows Installationp. 260
New Things That Can Go Wrongp. 261
What to Do When You Have Upgrade Problemsp. 261
The Last Word on New Softwarep. 262
10 Do's and Don'ts for Software Upgradesp. 263
23 What to Do When...Your Hardware Upgrade Downgrades Your Systemp. 265
Why Should You Upgrade Your Computer?p. 265
Before You Upgrade--Taking Precautionsp. 266
Doing the Deedp. 268
After You Upgrade--Common Problemsp. 269
Fixing Upgrade Problemsp. 269
10 Do's and Don'ts for Hardware Upgradingp. 272
24 What to Do When...Your Internet Connection Goes Offlinep. 273
All About the Internetp. 273
Configuring Your System for Internet Usep. 276
Connecting to Your Internet Service Providerp. 280
What Can Go Wrong with Your Internet Connectionp. 280
Diagnosing Modem Problemsp. 281
What to Do When Your Internet Connection Goes Offlinep. 281
10 Do's and Don'ts for Connecting to the Internetp. 288
25 What to Do When...Your Email Works More Like Snail Mailp. 291
How Email Worksp. 291
What Can Go Wrong with Your Emailp. 293
What to Do When Your Email Works More Like Snail Mailp. 293
10 Do's and Don'ts for Effective Emailp. 298
26 What to Do When...Your Web Surfing Wipes Outp. 301
How the World Wide Web Worksp. 301
What Can Go Wrong on the Webp. 303
What to Do When Your Web Surfing Wipes Outp. 304
10 Do's and Don'ts for Better Web Surfingp. 310
27 What to Do When...Your Kids Uncover Naughty Bits Onlinep. 313
How to Make the Internet Safe for Childrenp. 313
What to Do When Your Kids Uncover Naughty Bits Onlinep. 316
10 Do's and Don'ts to Protect Your Kids on the Internetp. 318
Part 3 A Quick Course in Problem Solving: Technical Details for the Technically Timidp. 321
28 Windows Error Messages...What They Mean and How to Deal with Themp. 323
Understanding Common Error Messagesp. 323
29 Getting It Right... System Settings and Technical Maintenancep. 337
Keep an Eye on Your System's Performance (from a Technical Standpoint)p. 337
Troubleshooting Hardware Problems--the Technical Wayp. 340
System Settings: Technical Settings for Technical Stuffp. 346
30 The Course of Last Resort...Editing the Windows Registryp. 349
More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About the Windows Registryp. 349
Managing the Windows Registry--Without Editing Itp. 350
Editing the Registryp. 352
Understanding Registry Keysp. 354
Appendix A The OOPS! Glossary: Technical Terms for the Technically Timidp. 357
Appendix B Online Troubleshooting and Help Resourcesp. 369