A three-step procedure that fixes most problems with Windows 7 and 8.1

A three-step process involved in solving Windows problems should solve most of them. The first two steps are relatively quick to perform. No reading through a solution is required, which would be confusing or involved.

1. – The first step is to make use of the troubleshooters built into Windows, including Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer supports but which is still being used by a high percentage of computer users.

2. – The second step is to make use of Microsoft’s Fix it Solution Center on its website.

3. – The first two steps should result in a fixed problem, but, should that not be the case, the third step involves coming up with the best short search query you can that encapsulates the problem in as few keywords as possible, entering it into your favourite search engine and reading through the pages that look as if they contain a solution to the problem. Microsoft’s Bing search engine is good for problems with Microsoft’s Windows.

Windows 7 and 8.1 (Microsoft dos not support version 8.0 unless it has been upgraded to version 8.1) contain about 30 built-in troubleshooters. To access them in Windows 7 click the Start Button, open the Control Panel, select View by: Large or Small icons and open the Troubleshooting category. Categorised areas of the system are presented. Just click on the one that is most likely to result in a solution to your problem.

If there is no suitable troubleshooter, the next step is to use Microsoft’s online Fix it Solution Center:

Microsoft Fix it – https://support2.microsoft.com/fixit/

When the page on the Fix it website is open, it provides the following three steps numbered 1 to 3:

Select a problem area by clicking on its button – Top Solutions, Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Entertainment, etc. Clicking a button places Top Solutions in box 2. When a solution is doubled-clicked it puts automated Run Now options under box 3. Clicking on a Run Now option makes the fix run on your computer. It won’t do anything unless it finds a problem, so can’t screw anything up.

Note that you can sometimes miss solutions by using the three steps when just using box 3 provides the solution. It has a Filter Solutions search box. You just have to enter a search term in it that encapsulates your problem in as few keywords as possible.

For example, a common problem involves not being able to uninstall software due to a uninstall that failed or was somehow corrupted and doesn’t work, leaving the software installed with no way of getting rid of it. To find a solution to a problem like that just choose “All problem areas” in box 2 and enter the keyword uninstall in the Filter Solutions search box on the right side of box 3. You should be provided with a Run Now solution, which, in this case is called “Fix problems that programs cannot be installed or uninstalled”, which are mainly caused by corrupt Windows Registry keys. Here is the Microsoft Knowledge Base page that is provided, which should provide a solution to that particular problem:

Fix problems that programs cannot be installed or uninstalled –

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/mats/program_install_and_uninstall