Re: Letting Windows help you find possible problems
This one's a keeper....good post.
"Adam Albright" <AA@ABC.net> wrote in message
> Assuming you can at least get Vista (or other versions of Windows) to
> boot yet things don't seem right, here a few places to look that may
> help you solve your problem.
> A. Using System Tools
> Click on the Start button, All Programs, then Accessories, System
> Tools and finally System information. You'll see a wealth of
> information about your hardware, drivers, codecs and what if anything
> is a issue to Windows in a simple to use tree format similar to
> Windows Explorer. Click on a category in the left pane like
> Components, then Storage and finally look under BOTH drives and disks
> if you think you have a hard disk problem.
> Looking under Hardware Resources/Conflicts often will show problems
> with multiple devices sharing IRQ's.
> Click under Software Enviroment, then System Drivers and you gain a
> wealth of information on which drivers are running stopped, etc..
> B. Control Panel
> This area of Vista has changed quite a bit over past versions and at
> times is more user friendly, yet some things are now burried. If you
> go there, click on Classic View, then pick Administrative Tools.
> Now select Event Viewer. Windows tries to log errors in three broad
> categories; actual errors, warnings and just information. These may
> help explain WHY Windows or one of your applications or devices got
> hung up. Like with Device Manager, a red flag is serious and usually
> something stopped working or is working as it should. Yellow means
> something happened that shouldn't have but Windows likely was able to
> recover at least partially.
> For example I just looked in mine. The first error I see was caused by
> my CD/DVD burner. Windows reported "The driver detected a controller
> error on \Device\CdRom0". I remember it prevented the tray from
> opening until I rebooted. Such "error log" events can be useful since
> they show the date, time and likely source of problems. Not all, but
> A warning message in my error log said this:
> "Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other
> applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The
> applications or services that hold your registry file may not function
> properly afterwards.
> DETAIL -
> 1 user registry handles leaked from
> Process 820 (\Device\HarddiskVolume1\Windows\System32\winlogon .exe)
> has opened key
> Again I can tell by the timestamp this happened when I shut down for
> the night. It took longer than usual, still managed to.
> Something else you can try if you're having troubles booting or
> booting seems to be taking longer then it should.
> Advanced Tip:
> Go to Start, then Control Panel, Administrative Tools, System Tools,
> System Configuration and choose the boot tab. You will see a "boot
> log" check box. Check it and restart computer and Vista will generate
> a detailed human friendly log of all it did or TRIED to do during the
> boot process as far as loading drivers. This can be a BIG file, but
> looking at it line by line often will at least point to what's going
> wrong. Once you solve the problem just turn this feature off again
> from System Configuration and again reboot.
> You will now have a log of all actions during boot.
> Like many things in Vista "seeing" the bootlog file has been made
> somehwhat harder.
> Microsoft's default idea is to hide system files. This is done to
> protect you the user from messing things up. So to easily find the log
> file do the following:
> Click on Start, then Search, Advanced. Under Location Select Local
> drive C. Under name type: ntbtlog. Now check include none indexed,
> hidden and system files then click the search button. Now wait a few
> minutes or so until the search is finished. If Windows made a log file
> is should come up in this search if your entered 'ntbtlog'. Once
> Search in finished you can click on the file name right from within
> the search utility and view it in Notepad or any text viwer or just
> print it out.
> What you're looking at is a check list of what Windows did in order in
> try to last boot the system. If you see a log file Windows was at
> least partially successful in booting, obviously. This file will
> typically run hundreds of lines. You should see allmost every line
> begin with "loaded driver" followed by the name and location of the
> driver as seen at the bottom of this post.
> If Windows can't load a driver it will say "did not load driver" as
> you see in the example below. That at least should give you a clue.
> Partial sample log (ntbt) log file:
> Loaded driver \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\mrxsmb20.sys
> Loaded driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\srv2.sys
> Loaded driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\srv.sys
> Did not load driver \SystemRoot\System32\DRIVERS\srv.sys
> Loaded driver \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\asyncmac.sys
> Loaded driver \SystemRoot\system32\DRIVERS\parvdm.sys