Cover image for PC help desk in a book : the do-it- yourself guide to PC troubleshooting and repair
PC help desk in a book : the do-it- yourself guide to PC troubleshooting and repair
Soper, Mark Edward.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Indianapolis, Ind. : Que, [2002]

Physical Description:
xi, 555 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TK7887 .S57 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Each year, thousands of harmless PCs suffer the pain and humiliation of buggy Windows installations, bad cable connections, mismanaged system resources, viruses, and slow Internet connections. All too often, these downtrodden PCs end up being scrapped before their time by owners who just can't care for them any longer. The real travesty is that with a little love, these wounded PCs could become useful members of society. That's where PC HelpDesk in a Book comes in. Using a unique, medical dictionary approach, this book walks users through the symptoms to diagnose and treat the problem. End-users will be armed to perform cost-effective upgrades, repair fouled Windows installations, and squeeze out a little more performance from a slow Internet connection in lieu of purchasing a new computer.

Author Notes

Mark Edward Soper is president of Select Systems and Associates, Inc., a technical writing and training organization.

Mark has taught computer troubleshooting and other technical subjects to thousands of students from Maine to Hawaii since 1992. He is an A+ Certified hardware technician and a Microsoft Certified Professional. He has been writing technical documents since the mid-1980s and has contributed to several other Que books, including Upgrading and Repairing PCs, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th Editions; Upgrading and Repairing Networks, Second Edition; Special Edition Using Windows XP, Home Edition; Special Edition Using Windows XP, Professional Edition; and Special Edition Using Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition. Mark coauthored Upgrading and Repairing PCs, Technician's Portable Reference; Upgrading and Repairing PCs Field Guide; and Upgrading and Repairing PCs: A+ Study Certification Guide, Second Edition. He is the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to High-Speed Internet Connections and Absolute Beginner's Guide to Cable Internet Connections and is coauthor of TechTV's Upgrading Your PC. Mark has been writing for major computer magazines since 1990, with more than 125 articles in publications such as SmartComputing, PCNovice, PCNovice Guides, and the PCNovice Learning Series. His early work was published in WordPerfect Magazine, The WordPerfectionist, and PCToday. Many of Mark's articles are available in back issues or electronically via the World Wide Web at Select Systems maintains a subject index of all Mark's articles at Mark welcomes comments at

Table of Contents

Symptom Tables
Troubleshooting Flowcharts
Display and Audio Flowcharts
Internet and Network Problems Flowcharts
Peripheral Problems Flowcharts
Printer and Scanner Problems Flowcharts
Storage Media and Device Problems Flowhcharts
Windows and Application Problems Flowcharts
PC Anatomy
101 Dissecting Your Computer
The Outside Story of Typical Computers
Inside a Typical PC
BIOS Setup
Preventing ESD
Hardware Resources
Using Your Computer's Anatomy for Troubleshooting
1 Troubleshooting a Windows Installation
Startup Problems
Shutdown Problems with Windows
Problems with Programs and Applications
Windows Limitations
Keeping Your Windows Installation Healthy
2 Internet and Online Problems
The Sources of Problems with Internet Connections
Troubleshooting Missing or Outdated Software Components
How Internet Connections Are Configured
Using TCP/IP Diagnostics to Troubleshoot Your Connection
3 Troubleshooting Storage Devices
Overview of Drive Installation and Preparation Tasks
Troubleshooting Drive Detection Problems
Preparing a Hard Disk for Use
Troubleshooting Booting Problems
Solving UDMA Mode Problems with ATA/IDE Drives
Solving Problems with Writeable CD and DVD Media
4 Troubleshooting Your Printer
Printer Types, Technologies, and Common Problems
Printer Does Not Print
Anatomy of an Inkjet Printer
Anatomy of a Laser/LED Printer
Understanding Your Printer's Properties Sheets
Troubleshooting Gibberish Output
5 Troubleshooting Display, Audio, and Multimedia Problems
Troubleshooting Monitor and Display Adapter Problems
Troubleshooting Sound Problems
Troubleshooting Multimedia Problems
6 Troubleshooting Input Devices
Common Input Devices
Fixing Problems with Input Devices
Troubleshooting Scanner Problems Not Related to Port Issues
7 Troubleshooting Your Network
Troubleshooting Network Hardware
Troubleshooting a Shared Internet Connection
8 Troubleshooting Memory Problems
Troubleshooting Memory Bottlenecks
Upgrading System Memory
Troubleshooting Defective Memory or Memory Sockets
9 Troubleshooting Processors and Motherboards
How Processors Can Fail
How Motherboards Can Fail
Troubleshooting Motherboard and Processor Upgrades
10 Troubleshooting Power Supplies
Why Power Supplies Fail
Determining You Have a Power Supply Problem
Replacing Your Power Supply
Powerline Protection
11 Solving Application Software Problems
Why Application Software Can Fail
Problems with Applications' Default Settings
The Unworkable Application
Appendix A
Using Windows Diagnostic Tools
Control Panel
Using Device Manager
Using the Windows XP Hardware Troubleshooter
Other Windows Diagnostic, Reporting, and Repair Tools
Troubleshooting System Resource Shortages in Windows 9x/Me
Appendix B
The Philosophy of Troubleshooting
The Troubleshooting Process
Summarizing the Troubleshooter's Philosophy