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Using Automated Troubleshooting (Windows 7)

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This document applies to HP and Compaq computers with Windows 7.
This document describes how to use the Windows 7 automated troubleshooting tools. These tools use a combination of installed and online applications to detect and resolve many PC problems, such as problems with networking, system performance, and hardware devices. Although Windows 7 Troubleshooting cannot find and correct every problem, it is a useful tool, and can often save you time and effort.

View a video on Windows 7 automated troubleshooting

(in English)

Opening Windows 7 automated troubleshooting

The Windows 7 automated troubleshooting tools are a Control Panel option in the System and Security category. They are a group of tools sometimes referred to as Troubleshooting Packs, Troubleshooting Wizards, or Troubleshooters.
To open the troubleshooting tools:
  1. Click Start (), and then click Control Panel.
  2. Under System and Security, click Find and fix problems.
    Find and fix problemsControl Panel with System and Security selected
    The Troubleshoot computer problems window opens.
    Troubleshooting windowTroubleshooting computer problems window
  3. If this is the first time you have opened the troubleshooting tools, you may see the following question:
    Do you want the most up to date content available for troubleshooting?
    Figure 3: Get access to Windows Online Troubleshooting service
    Do you want the most up to date troubleshooting window
    To get the most complete set of tools, click Yes. This connects you to the Windows Online Troubleshooting service.
    If you select No, you can turn this service on later by checking the box for Get the most up-to-date troubleshooters from the Windows Online Troubleshooting service at the bottom of the Troubleshoot computer problems window.
    Figure 4: Troubleshoot computer problems
     Troubleshoot computer problems

Troubleshooting tools in Windows 7

The Troubleshoot computer problems window contains five categories of troubleshooting tools. Run the troubleshooting tool that matches the problem on your PC. Upon completion a report is generated in Microsoft's Action Center (in English) listing any messages and resolved problems it found. It also lists problems that were automatically fixed for you.
To run a troubleshooting tool:
  1. From one of the Troubleshooting computer problems categories, click on the tool you want to run, and then follow the on-screen instructions.
    For example, to run a tool to check your Internet connection, select Programs, and then click Internet Connections.
  2. The troubleshooting tool automatically diagnoses any problem it finds. Some problems are fixed as the tool runs. In other cases you will be instructed to take corrective action. When the tool finishes, you can close it, or run the troubleshooter again to verify the problem is fixed.
  3. If the problem continues, or the troubleshooter did not find a problem, try another troubleshooting tool, or go to Additional troubleshooting options for more help.
The troubleshooting tools are divided into several categories:
Use these tools to identify problems related to software applications, drivers, and utilities that are installed on your PC.
  • Network - Checks network and internet connections.
  • Web Browser - Checks that the web browser is functioning correctly, that the security settings are adequate, and that the web browser performance is maximized (if available).
  • Programs - Updates older programs to run with Windows 7.
  • Printing - Verifies that printer drivers are installed, and that printers are functioning correctly.
  • Media Player - Verifies that the CD/DVD player is functioning correctly, that the media files are in the Windows Media Player library, and resets the media player to default settings if necessary.
Figure 5: Troubleshoot problems - Programs
Troubleshoot problems - Programs window
Use these tools to identify and fix hardware devices, such as audio devices, DVD/CD and Blu-ray players, network adapters, printers, and TV tuner setup.
  • Sound - Checks audio hardware, plays sounds and music files, records sound from microphone or other recording device.
  • Device - Checks system access to hardware devices connected to your computer, resolves problems with DVD/CD and Blu-ray players.
  • Network - Checks networking hardware, such as Ethernet, wireless, or other network adapters.
  • Printing - Troubleshoots printer hardware problems.
  • Media Player - Plays a DVD using Windows Media Player.
  • Set-up TV tuner - If your PC has a TV tuner, all you need to set up a TV is Windows Media Center, and a TV signal. Use this tool for:
    • TV tuner setup
    • Troubleshooting problems with TV viewing and recording
    • Troubleshooting Windows Media Center problems
    For more information, see Microsoft's Set up a TV signal in Windows Media Center (in English).
Figure 6: Troubleshoot problems - Hardware and Sound
Troubleshoot problems - Hardware and Sound
Use these tools to connect to a particular website, to access shared files and folders on other computers, to view a Homegroup, or to solve problems with networked printers.
  • Internet Connections - Identifies Internet connection failures. Run the Network troubleshooter in Hardware and Sounds first, and then test your Internet connection.
  • Shared Folders - Identifies shared files and folders on other computers on your network.
  • HomeGroup - If a Homegroup has been setup on your network, use this tool to view computers in the group.
  • Network Adapter - Troubleshoots your network adapter, the Ethernet connection, or whether a computer's wireless networking capability is turned off.
  • Incoming Connections - Allows other computers to communicate with your computer through Windows Firewall.
  • Printer - These tools help solve problems with printers that are connected to your network.
  • Connection to a Workplace Using DirectAccess - If your computer has this option, you can connect to your workplace network over the Internet.
Figure 7: Troubleshoot problems - Network and Internet
Troubleshoot problems - Network and Internet
For more details see Using the Network troubleshooter in Windows 7 (in English).
Use these tools to diagnose display problems, or improve the appearance or performance of the display.
  • Aero - Diagnose visual effects, themes, and transparencies that are not working or are disabled. Verify that the video card and driver are working correctly. Verify that your video card has enough memory and the video driver settings are correct. Check that the power settings support Aero desktop effects, such as not running on battery power.
  • Display Quality - Change the display settings for best appearance or best performance using the Visual Effects Setting Page. If your PC is running slower than you like, you can speed it up by disabling some of its visual effects.
Figure 8: Troubleshoot problems - Appearance and Personalization
Troubleshoot problems - Appearance and Personalization
For more information, see Microsoft's Windows Aero Glass visual effects are not working or displayed (in English).
Use these tools to make your computer safer by turning on pop-up blockers and malware filters, and by performing regular maintenance tasks, such as cleaning up old files and shortcuts. These tools also help improve system performance and power utilization.
  • Web Browser - Verifies that safety features, such as SmartScreen filter and pop-up blockers are turned on to help protect your computer from malware, unwanted websites, and pop-ups.
  • System - Performs common maintenance tasks, such as cleaning up unused files and shortcuts.
  • Performance - Troubleshoots system problems, optimizing Windows 7, and increasing your computer's speed.
  • Power - Verifies your computer’s sleep mode, timeout settings, and other power settings to conserve power and prolong battery life.
  • Windows - Uses Windows 7 Search tool to find items on your computer. Helps resolve issues that prevent you from updating Windows 7.
Figure 9: Troubleshoot problems - System and Security
Troubleshoot problems - System and Security

Additional troubleshooting options in Windows 7 Automated Troubleshooting

Automated Troubleshooting provides you with additional features to manually select a troubleshooting tool, to view the troubleshooting history or change the maintenance settings. In addition, if the troubleshooting tools have not helped fix the problem, you can use Remote Assistance to get help from a friend, or the Problem Steps Recorder to record the steps you take to recreate the problem.
The left side pane of the Troubleshooting computer problems window shows a list of options:
View all opens a list of all the installed troubleshooting tools. To run the Troubleshooting tool from this window, click the tool name.
Figure 10: View all
 View all Troubleshooting Control Panel option
Figure 11: All installed troubleshooters
List of  troubleshooting wizards
View history opens a list of the troubleshooting tools you have previously run and any problems found.
Figure 12: View history
 View history Troubleshooting Control Panel option
Figure 13: Troubleshooting history
Troubleshooting history window
Change the settings that allow System Maintenance to check for routine maintenance issues and alert you to potential problems. This option allows you to browse for troubleshooting packs from the Windows Online Troubleshooting service.
The automated troubleshooting tools can also help prevent problems by providing scheduled maintenance, cleaning up temporary files, or scanning your hard disk for errors. If the tool detects a problem, it sends a notification to Microsoft's Action Center (in English). This option is turned on by default.
Figure 14: Change settings
 Change settings Troubleshooting Control Panel option
Figure 15: Change troubleshooting settings
Change troubleshooting settings screen
If the troubleshooting tools have not been able to detect or fix the problem, try Remote Assistance, which allows someone you trust to have access your computer. You can also use this tool to gain access to someone else's computer so you can help them.
Figure 16: Get help from a friend
 Get help from a friend Troubleshooting Control Panel option
Figure 17: Remote Assistance tool
 Remote Assistance tool
The Problem Step Recorder automatically takes snapshots of the screens as your reproduce the PC's problem. These snapshots can then be sent to someone else to help fix the problem.
Figure 18: Problem Steps Recorder
Problem Steps Recorder screen
For detailed information and frequently asked questions about these tools, see Microsoft's Windows Remote Assistance (in English) or How do I use Problem Steps Recorder (in English).

Troubleshooting tips in Windows 7

When you run the automated troubleshooting tool, it might display questions for you to answer or reset common settings as it works to detect and fix the problem. If the automated troubleshooting tool fixed the problem, you can close it. If it could not fix the problem, you can view several options that take you online to find an answer. In either case, you can view a complete list of changes by clicking Microsoft's Action Center (in English) in the troubleshooting home page.
  • To manually apply repairs from a list of possible problems, click Advanced on any of the troubleshooting pages and then uncheck the Apply repairs automatically box. Click Next and the troubleshooter displays a list of detected problems and possible solutions. Select an option and follow the on-screen instructions.
    Figure 19: Apply repairs automatically
      Apply repairs automatically check box
  • Windows 7 includes many troubleshooting packs, and more are available online when you select the Get the most up-to-date troubleshooters from the Windows Online Troubleshooting service check box at the bottom of Troubleshooting. (Depending on your system settings, this might be replaced by the Do you want the most up to date content available for troubleshooting? box. Click Yes for access to the online troubleshooters.)
    Figure 20: Get Windows 7 online troubleshooting service
     Get the most up-to-date troubleshooters from Windows 7 online troubleshooting service check box

Related support for Windows 7 Automated Troubleshooting

NOTE:One or more of the links above will take you outside the Hewlett-Packard Web site. HP does not control and is not responsible for information outside the HP Web site.
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