Troubleshooting Difficult Problems in Windows

Not every problem on PCs has a simple solution. The concepts in this course will be demonstrated by focusing on real-world examples of problems that people face with their PCs, and how to troubleshoot those specific problems.
Course info
Rating
(10)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 2, 2017
Duration
3h 41m
Table of contents
Course Overview
The Methodology of Troubleshooting
Dissecting the Windows File System and Disk Structure
Understanding Networking on PCs
Advanced Troubleshooting and Repair Methods
Getting Helpful Diagnostics from the Administrative Tools
Using Sysinternals for Troubleshooting
Description
Course info
Rating
(10)
Level
Intermediate
Updated
Aug 2, 2017
Duration
3h 41m
Description

Not every problem on Windows PCs has a simple solution, and not every problem can be solved by reimaging your computer. In this course, Troubleshooting Difficult Problems in Windows, you'll learn the next level of diagnosis, troubleshooting, and repair, with advanced topics and tools aimed at helping you become more efficient with your IT skills. First, you'll explore the core structure of the Windows operating system software and drivers. Next, you'll dive into how to troubleshoot the most common and complex problems you'll face on PCs. Finally, you'll discover what tools and utilities can help you get the advanced diagnostic information you require. By the end of this course, you'll be able to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair any type of complex PC problem.

About the author
About the author

Mike was first awarded as a Microsoft MVP in 2011 and is a recognized technical expert in the Windows experience and troubleshooting with more than a dozen books published, including Beginning Windows 10 and Windows 10 Troubleshooting.

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Section Introduction Transcripts
Section Introduction Transcripts

Course Overview
Hi. I'm Mike Halsey. I'm a Microsoft MVP awardee and the author of many books and courses on Windows troubleshooting. And I'm excited to bring you this course on how to troubleshoot difficult problems in Microsoft Windows. Not every problem you will face on Windows PCs has a simple solution, and not every problem can be solved by simply reimaging the machine. Any proficient troubleshooter or IT pro will regularly encounter problems that need advanced diagnosis and repair. This could be because you're trying to fix a complex with software or a driver or it might be because you really need to understand what went wrong so you can mitigate against it on that and other PCs in the future. That's where this course comes in with all the information you need to become an expert troubleshooter across Windows 7, Windows 8. 1, and Windows 10. In this course, I'll detail on the tools and utilities you can use both as part of the operating system and from Microsoft and third parties, show you the techniques for obtaining the detailed information you require and help you become faster and more proficient at helping other people with their PC problems. Consider this course a master class in becoming a truly expert troubleshooter. In this course, you'll learn the core structure of the Windows operating system software and drivers, how to dig into the most common and complex problems you'll face on PCs, and what tools and utilities can help you get the advanced diagnostic information you require. By the end of this course, you'll be able to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair any type of complex PC problem. I hope you'll join me on this journey to learn how to troubleshoot difficult problems in Microsoft Windows, on Pluralsight.

Dissecting the Windows File System and Disk Structure
The Windows File System and Disk Structure can be the cause of a great many problems in the operating system and it's also an incredibly complex subject, so I want to guide you through this mine field during this module so that you have all of the information you need to diagnose and repair problems with the disk and partition structure and the file system. So let's have a look at what we're going to cover. We'll start by looking at the disk structure on PCs. Where is Windows installed, how can you make sure that when you install an operating system, you're minimizing the chances of problems occurring in the future, then we'll look up the different partition types that are available in Windows because there are actually several, and the different file systems. Now this includes legacy systems that supports really all the PCs, but are still supported in Windows itself and newer ones that are, to be honest, still in development. Then we'll look at the Windows boot system. This again, is incredibly complex includes legacy boot systems and future proof boot systems in they're very different. And then we'll look in depth at the Windows operating system file structure. We'll look all the key folders, what they are, what's important, what you can get rid of, what can actually help with troubleshooting and we'll cover that in depth.

Understanding Networking on PCs
Networks and networking can cause huge problems on PCs and all manner of troubleshooting and snarl up issues. So in this module, I'm going to look exclusively at how you troubleshoot difficult network problems on Windows and how you get detailed information about the networking system on the PC. So let's begin by looking at what we're going to cover. We'll start by looking at the different types of network connections that you can have in Windows because there are actually quite a few and being aware of all of them can help you expand your skills and your knowledge as a proficient troubleshooter. Then we'll look at how you obtain information about network connections. What information is there in Windows, what tools in Windows can you use to get that information. We'll follow that on by looking at how you configure advanced network settings in Windows and where you find the settings to configure before looking at how you actually troubleshoot network problems in the operating system itself.

Advanced Troubleshooting and Repair Methods
In the previous module, we looked at some of the methods you can use to troubleshoot and repair network issues on PCs because nothing is more frustrating than having a PC that can't access the internet or the company network. But what about everything else? There are a great many other problems that can cause a complete headache for PC users and system administrators both. So let's have a look in this module at how we tackle advanced troubleshooting and repair methods. So let's look at what we're going to cover. Well we're going to start with how we repair the Windows boot system. If you think a PC that can't connect to a network or the internet is annoying, what about a PC that won't even start. We'll look at how we can repair it. Then we'll look at the different diagnostic modes available in Windows because you're probably well aware of safe mode, but did you know that it's not the only one available and different modes have different uses. Then we'll look at how we use the advanced repair tools that come with Windows. Windows is actually able to self-heal and self-repair to a certain extent. And we'll finish up this module by looking at how we can connect to remote PCs and help users repair problems on their own.

Getting Helpful Diagnostics from the Administrative Tools
One of the biggest problems faced by people who are troubleshooting and diagnosing complex problems on a PC is how you actually get information about what is going on when the problem occurs. Because a PC, when you think about it, is a huge mash of complex hardware, software, and driver components that can make the situation hugely complex. Fortunately, Windows does include lots of very powerful and very useful and highly-configurable diagnostic and reporting tools, and in this module, I'm going to show you what they are and how to use them. So let's have a look at what we're going to cover. Well, we'll start by looking around the Administrative Tools in Windows, seeing what's there and how you can use it. Then, we'll look at how you can master the Event Viewer in Windows. It really is an incredible reporting tool. It's really, really powerful. We'll move on to look at how you can get advanced information about a PC installation. Now, this means how you can get information about everything that's installed, the configuration of it, what's happening at startup, and more. And then we'll look at how you can monitor what happens on a pc in real time, because there's a lot more that you can do than just look at the Task Manager.

Using Sysinternals for Troubleshooting
Throughout this course, I've shown you the tools and utilities that you can use within Windows in order to be able to diagnose, troubleshoot, and repair problems, but it doesn't stop there. Some years ago, a Microsoft engineer called Mark Russinovich, created what's called the Sysinternal Suite and it is a massive suite of tools and utilities that you can use to get detailed information about and to fix problems with your Windows operating system and it works on all versions of Windows. So I'm going to show you through the Sysinternals Suite and highlight specific tools that are incredibly useful when it comes to troubleshooting. So let's have a look at what we're going to cover. We'll start with an introduction to Sysinternals. Before moving on to have a look at file and disk utilities, the Sysinternal Suite is all separated into different categories of utilities. Then we'll look at networking utilities, process utilities, security utilities before finally moving onto utilities that will provide system information and other miscellaneous utilities that don't necessarily fall into any of the other categories.