Windows 10 is a hugely complicated operating system and the sheer volume of combinations of hardware, apps, and user experience can make diagnosing and repairing even the simplest problems difficult. In this course, you'll learn how to use the troubleshooting and diagnostic tools in Windows 10, how to support users remotely, how to repair common problems to get users working again quickly, and how to get started diagnosing the most difficult cases.
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.
Remotely Troubleshooting Windows 10 When you're troubleshooting a PC, it's great to be able to have physical access to the computer to be able to sit down with it and spend some time going through what the problems are and fixing them yourself. However, it's not always possible, and you may be in a situation where you're remotely supporting users. Perhaps you're in a call center working in first, second, or third line tech support. So, let's spend this module looking at how we can remotely support users and troubleshoot PCs over a distance over the phone or over the internet. We'll start by looking at how we talk users through troubleshooting PCs, what are the challenges that we're going to face talking to users and understanding them and having them understand us? And what are the challenges faced by users who are working in remote locations? Then we'll look at the Problem Steps Recorder, which is a fantastic little tool in Windows that I can't recommend highly enough for recording and documenting problems. We'll follow this up by using Windows Remote Assistance, which has been around for many years, as has the Problem Steps Recorder, actually, but it may be more familiar to you, and we'll finish up by looking at how you connect to a PC with Remote Desktop.
Finding Frozen Processes in Task Manager In the previous module, we spent a little bit of time looking at the Windows 10 Task Manager, and how you can customize its views to monitor what's going on on your PC with things like network and disk usage. Now we're going to look at the Task Manager in a little bit more detail and we're going to look specifically at how you can manage and find frozen processes within the Task Manager. So, we're going to begin by looking at how we manage apps in the Task Manager itself. We'll move onto getting very detailed information on Apps and Services that are running or frozen or suspended on your PC. And then we'll finish up by looking at how you can use the Task Manager to manage Windows and third-party services.
Securing and Managing User Accounts Nothing can ever go wrong on a PC without a user being involved. It's just a sad indictment of our times, really, that the one person who should never be allowed to use a computer is the user. So, securing and managing user accounts and administering them properly is key to keeping a Windows 10 system robust, resilient, and problem free. So, in this module, we're going to look at how we can secure and manage our user accounts. So, let's look at what we're going to cover. We'll begin by looking at an overview of how user accounts are managed within the operating system and the different types of accounts that are available to us. Then we'll look at how we manage a user's credentials and how we manage their profile on a business computer that's connected to a domain. We'll look at how we set and manage User Account Control on a PC. Now User Account Control UAC is an essential security subsystem. And then we'll finish up by looking at how we use Group Policy in the Group Policy Editor to manage users.
Undoing System Changes with System Restore A large part of Windows and PC troubleshooting is prevention and making sure that problems don't occur in the first place and that's why I've spent so long so far going through details of how you can make a system resilient and robust and how you can control and manage users on a PC. Now though we're going to begin to get into what happens when it all goes horribly wrong and we'll begin with system restore and how system can be used to roll back changes that have been made to a PC. It's most commonly needed when you've installed a hardware driver or a Windows update that is faulty and you need to undo the changes that you've made. So what we're going to look at is two things. We're going to first look at how you can create restore points in Windows 10 that are automatically created every time you install a new app or make a major system change such as install an update, or you can create them manually as well when you want to. And then we'll look at how you can roll back changes using system restore on a Windows 10 PC.
Undoing System Changes for a Non-bootable PC So System Restore is a great thing. It's really useful for rolling back changes that have caused a PC to become unstable such as Windows updates, hardware drivers, and app installs and updates, but what if the change has actually rendered the PC non-bootable? What if you can't start to the desktop at all, or you can start to the desktop but when you get there, everything's flaky, it's shaky, it's unstable and maybe after 30 seconds or a minute or two you're getting a blue screen of death; what do you do then? Well, this is where the Windows Recovery Environment comes in and in this module we're going to look at that. So how do you actually access the Windows Recovery Environment? So we'll look at the different ways of being able to get into this menu so that you can use it on a Windows 10 PC. Then we'll look at what's available in the Windows Recovery Environment and this actually harks back to the very first module where we were talking about system image backups as well and then we'll look at how you can use system restore within the recovery environment to restore a non-booting PC.
Uninstalling Faulty Components in Diagnostic Mode You'll probably already be familiar with safe mode even if you haven't used it yourself in Windows because it's been around for many, many years and it's a special reduced functionality mode of the operating system that can be used to repair and troubleshoot problems, but did you know that there's also an extra diagnostic mode in Windows? That's also been around in Windows for many years, but it's much less well heard of. Well in this module we're going to look at both. We'll begin by looking at safe mode and how you actually access safe mode because Windows 10 starts and boots to the desktop so quickly now that the old traditional way of accessing safe mode is not, is commonly not available to you, and then we'll look at this diagnostic mode. We'll look at what it is, how it works, and how you can use it and what benefit it offers over safe mode.
Repairing Software Compatibility Problems Let's face facts. Our PCs are pretty useless to us unless we can get the software that we need running on them. Now quite often, especially in business, this can include older software. Now perhaps it's just software that you're familiar with and that's as comfortable as an old shoe or perhaps it's absolutely crucial to your workflow and you're not in a position, perhaps you can't even afford to commission or purchase replacement software. So in this module we're going to look at how to manage and repair software compatibility problems and there are three areas to cover. The first of which is the Windows 10 software compatibility troubleshooter which will automatically detect and set compatibility settings for older apps. Then there's manually setting software compatibility and I'll show you how to do this for any type of Win32 desktop software. And then there's setting website and intranet compatibility because we've got web apps as well and we've got intranet that we need to be able to use in the business base that may not be compatible with the newest browsers.
Managing File, Folder, and Drive Sharing and Access Problems Now while we can't use our PCs unless we have the software apps that we need installed on them to actually be able to get things done, equally we can't do anything with our PCs if we don't have access to our files and folders and network resources. Now I'll deal with networking troubleshooting later on in this course but now I want to deal directly with file and folder troubleshooting. So let's have a look at what we're going to cover and there are four main sections. The first is file and folder sharing. We'll look at how you set it up and how you can make sure that it's actually set up correctly so that people can access the files and folders they need over a network. Then we'll look at how you troubleshoot network shares on a PC. Again, we're looking at file and folder sharing and drive sharing and how you can troubleshoot those problems and make sure that all the settings are as they should be. We'll look at how you can set file and folder permissions both for troubleshooting, but also for security to make sure that the files are secure and then we'll finish by taking ownership of files and folders that perhaps you don't have access to but you really do need to have access to on a PC.
Resetting Windows Components with the Automated Troubleshooters You'll often find that problems with a Windows PC can be fixed simply by resetting a component or a feature or a service to the way it was before, to the way it was meant to be, to the way it was when it was first set up. And Windows 10 is capable of doing this to quite an extensive extent all on its own. And the Microsoft Help website can also assist with this. So, let's spend some time having a look at the automated troubleshooters in Windows 10. And we'll begin by looking at the automated troubleshooters that actual ship with the operating systems that are available. What they are, the types of things that they can do, and how you use them. And then, we'll look at how you can find more troubleshooters online and how you can create your own.
Using the Event Viewer to Obtain Information About Errors Things don't just happen in Windows, everything that happens is an event - literally. Nothing happens within the operating system, or almost nothing, without being documented, and we use the Event Viewer to view the records of the things that have happened, be they successes of operations or warnings because a component isn't working perhaps properly, to critical failures and even blue screens of death, and yes they're still in there, they do happen rarely, but occasionally. So in this module we're going to have a look at the Event Viewer and how we can use it harness detailed information about Windows 10. We'll begin by looking at an overview of the Event Viewer, what it is, how you use it, how you begin to get information from it. We'll then look at how you can obtain very detailed information from the Event Viewer, how you can filter the views and view information in different ways. And then we'll look at how you can attach tasks to events to perhaps alert a user or support person when an error occurs.
Cleaning and Maintaining a Windows 10 PC Sometimes one of the easiest ways to repair problems with a slow or an unresponsive PC is to clear it out a bit and give it a spring clean. And in this module I'm going to show you the tools that you can use to do just this. We'll begin by looking at disk defragmentation. Not just how you use the Disk Defragmenter, but what the effect, if any, would be of defragmenting solid state disks if you use those on PCs or if you have a laptop or a tablet with SSDs installed. Then we'll look at the Disk CleanUp Wizard. Now the Disk CleanUp Wizard has changed ever so subtlety in that it can now be additionally used to cleanup previous Windows installations. So we'll look at that as well. And then, we'll look at some of the third-party cleanup tools that are available.
Configuring and Managing Networking Problems There are three things a PC must have a good and stable and reliable connection to in order for you to be able to get any work done at all. These are your apps, your files, and either an Internet or a good network connection. If you don't have these things, then you might as well just go out and buy yourself a packet of playing cards. Now we've already dealt with apps and files in previous modules, so let's have a look now at maintaining a stable network and internet connection. We'll begin by looking at the network and sharing center. And I'll show you around it, I'll show where to find what you need, and how you can begin configuring things and troubleshooting network problems. Then we'll look at network adapt to settings, how we can specifically modify the network adapt settings to make sure that we're working, we have good and stable network and internet connections. And then, we'll look at how you can troubleshoot a network adaptor configuration to fix problems on a PC.
Securing Files by Managing Partitions and Disks Way back at the very beginning of this course I showed you how to create a full system image backup of the PC. Now this includes all of your installed apps, all of your settings, all your user accounts, all the installed updates and configuration options you've made to your software and apps as well. Now, if you create this system image of a Windows drive that also includes all of your user files then when you restore that system image you're going to wipe your current files or just restore all of the files to the point as they were when the image was captured. So if you're going to do that, you're going to want to move these files away from your windows installation. And in this module I'm going to show you how to do that and how you can manage your disks and partitions on your hard disk and on your PC in Windows 10. So let's have a look at what we're going to cover. We'll begin by looking at the disc management console and I'll show you around that. And then we'll look at how you create, resize, and manage disk partitions. Lastly we'll look at how you can create and manage virtual hard disks, VHDs, in Windows 10. And why you might want to use them on your PCs.
Using the Registry to Change the Behavior of Windows and Apps The registry is effectively the nervous system of your PC. It contains all of the configuration options and settings, not just for your apps, but your user accounts, your security, everything on the PC. And without the registry, nothing would function. So it's important to keep the registry trouble free and to know how to fix and repair problems with it should they occur. So that's what we're going to look at in this module. And let's see what we're going to cover. We'll begin by introducing the registry, we'll look at what a registry is, and how you can work safely with it. Then we'll look at what's in the registry. So what are the different types of registry keys and what do they mean for you. And then we'll look at how you can create and modify registry keys to make changes within the operating system.
Repairing Startup on a Non-booting PC I've been writing about making tutorial videos for and helping people with Windows troubleshooting now for years. And there is no subject that is more frequent in my mailbag then Windows startup. A non-bootable PC is the biggest single problem people can face, because how do you fix it? Well in this module I'm going to teach you all that you need to know. So let's look at what we're going to cover. We'll begin by looking at how you can automatically repair the Windows boot system and the features within Windows that will enable this to occur. Then we'll look at how you can rebuilt the Windows 10 boot files, should you need to. We'll move on to moving the system reserve partition. Sometimes, especially on PCs where there is more than one physical hard disk, the system reserve boot partition can actually end up on the wrong hard disk, so we'll look at how we can move it. And then we'll finish up by looking at how we can manually effect additional repairs to the Windows boot system if we need to.
Troubleshooting Windows Drivers and Services Drivers and Services, both Windows and third parties services can, on occasion, cause all manner of problems. Because they are, especially in the case of things like graphic drivers, embedded so deeply within the operating system that it can be hard to manage them. It can also be hard to install a correct version of a driver when a faulty or a malfunctioning driver is installed and you've got to uninstall it. And the moment you uninstall it, the operating system goes and puts it straight back in again. So in this module we're going to look at how we can manage drivers and services in Windows. We'll begin by looking at how we can update, uninstall, and reinstall drivers and how we can do this in a safe and robust way. Then we'll look at how we can find correct hardware drivers, now this includes how we can identify unknown devices. If you have an unknown device in the device manager, how do you figure out what it's actually supposed to be. Well I'll show you how. And then we'll look at how you can manage services in Windows 10.
Troubleshooting Complex and Hardware Issues Throughout this course I've shown you how to diagnosis, troubleshoot, and repair all of the common problems that people find with their PCs and with Windows 10. This is everything from hardware drivers and third-party services to app compatibility internet compatibility, and networking and more. But what happens when you get to the really naughty problems, the really, really difficult complex problems? How do you troubleshoot those? Well in this module that's what we're going to cover. Now there are different sections to this, we're going to look at how we troubleshoot complex issues. To begin with we'll look at the methodology of this. Then we'll move onto using a minimal software boot to troubleshoot problems. And then a minimal hardware boot to troubleshoot hardware problems as well. We'll follow this up by looking at how you can jumpstart a PC and you will use this if you suspect the power supply or a hardware component has failed. And then we'll round everything up by having an introduction to the Microsoft sys internals suite.