3. Diagnosing, and Troubleshooting
3.3 Recognize common operational and usability problems and
determine how to resolve them.
Content may include the following:
Some of the frequently encountered print problems include the following:
Documents on the print server will not print and cannot be deleted. The
likely reason is that the print spooler might be stalled.
Solution: On the print server, try to stop and restart the Print Spooler
Normally, most of the established printers have driver software bundled with
the Windows OS CD. However, some times, a printer might have been released
at a later date and the driver software is not yet bundled with the OS
software. Under such circumstances, you may need to load the printer driver
software manually. Follow the steps below to load the software manually:
Download (if not already available with the printer) the driver
software from the printer vendor's website. Extract the files and save
to an empty folder.
Click Start, point to Settings, and then click Printers and Faxes.
Double-click Add Printer to start the Add Printer Wizard, click Next,
click Local printer attached to this computer, and then click Next.
Click the port where your printer is attached, and then click Next.
Click Have Disk, enter the path from Step 1, and then click OK.
Click the appropriate printer, click Next, and then continue with the
Add Printer Wizard.
After completion of driver installation, verify by printing a test
Some times, you get an error says "Incorrect
parameter". Try re-installing the driver, verifying the cable
connections, spooler, and printer configuration.
A general protection fault
(GPF) is a fault indicating
that a currently executing program has violated the rules of the
hardware on which it is running. The errors that cause a general
protection fault are unrecoverable and that the safest response is
usually to terminate the program.
A typical GPF fault screen appears as below:
The error screen displays something like "[Program
Name] has encountered a problem and needs to close" for Windows XP
and "[Program Name] has stopped working" for Windows Vista.
The Dr Watson utility writes information about these errors in
DRWATSON.LOG which can be viewed for more information.
Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) (sometimes called "bluescreen", or
"stop error") is the name given for the screen displayed by
Microsoft's Windows operating system when it cannot recover from a
system error (also known as Stop error). The causes fpr BSOD can be a
poorly-written device driver, bad memory, or damaged registry. In
extreme cases, you may need to re-install the OS or recover it from the
operation" messages occur in Windows when the computer has been
unable to do something that it was trying to do. It is possible to
correct the situation by following the instructions on the screen.
"The working directory is invalid" message may be displayed
when the directory specified in the Working Directory option or in the
Command Path option does not exist in a Windows 2000 OS computer..
You can select OK, then specify the name of a directory that contains the
program file and all of the required libraries.
System lock up is a serious problem as system “freezes” and you need
to restart the system. Sometimes, it is possible that you mistake a busy
system that is responding slowly to your commands (or mouse clicks) as
having freezed. Look for any hard-disk activity. If there is any hard disk
activity wait for some time before re-starting. Similarly, check if the
system is responding to your keyboard keys such as Caps Lock, or Number Key.
If the computer is responding to the keyboard keys, it is very likely that
the system is busy, and you may need to wait for some time.
Usually, this problem is very rare.
This is usually the problem with the device driver
(assuming that the devices are PnP, and you don't need to set the IRQ
and IO addresses manually). Try re-installing the device drivers.
This is usually associated with the application or the
necessary support for the application by the OS. Check the following
when an error like this happens:
Verify that you have applied latest Service Pack to the
Verify that the application is supported on the given OS
( see application vendor's docs)
Verify that the necessary dll or class files are
If necessary, you may un-install and re-install the
application by going to Add/Remove programs in the Control Panel.
Sometimes, the application itself may not respond. An example
error message is given below:
A typical error message is shown above.
You may need to remove and re-install such application.
Here the problem might be with the device driver or the
protocol configuration. First check whether the device driver is
properly functioning. Then, go to network protocols screen and verify
whether the protocol parameters are setup properly. For TCP IP, you may
need to set up the IP address, subnet mask, and default gateway. NETBUE
hardly requires any configuration, and very useful for testing network
connectivity. However, this protocol is supported only on internal
Check whether the application is compatible with the
Operating System that you intend to install it on. Good place to verify is
the application's manufacturer documentation (like README file). Also ensure
that you have installed latest service packs.
Many times, we find it difficult to set up networking
between two or more computers. You need to check for hardware and
software problems when troubleshooting network connectivity. Hardware
problems may include improperly wired network cables or connectors, NIC
problems, or Hub/Switch problems. Software problems usually include
device driver problems, network configuration problems, or IO addressing
Broadly, malicious programs can be classified in to the
Viruses are small programs that are written to infect a
computer without any explicit indication while being infected. The
viruses may damage your program files as well as
data. Sometimes, it may so happen that you may not be able to boot your
computer because the executable code is infected with virus. Another type of
virus, known as a 'macro' virus, can infect your documents that use macros.
Most of the Microsoft Office programs including MS Word, and Excel use
executable code in HTML documents.
A Trojan is a malicious program and usually do not
replicate itself. It performs some malicious action, like loss of data
files etc. A Trojan arrives as a seemingly harmless program with hidden
A worm is a self-contained program that spreads itself to
other computer systems. The propagation usually takes place through internal
networks, Internet or email attachments. Some worms may also prevent you from
accessing antivirus websites.
Many a times, these viruses infect, and stay
resident on your computer. These viruses initialize when some particular
action (like executing program or opening a file) is performed. Internet viruses may also
transmit your files over the Internet using your email or FTP programs.
examples of viruses include MyDoom, Slammer, Melissa, etc. MyDoom
spreads through emails and file-sharing software. MyDoom entices email
recipients to open an attachment that allows hackers to access the hard
drive of the infected computer. T he Melissa virus executes a macro in a
document attached to an email, which forwards the document to people in the
user's Outlook address book. The virus also infects other Word documents and
subsequently mails them out as attachments. Each of these viruses have their
own properties, and no two viruses act the same. There are several thousands
of viruses existing to-date. Earlier days, when the Floppy disk was the
primary means of transporting software, viruses used to get transmitted
through Floppy disks. But this is not the case any more, as the Floppy disks
are hardly used these days. The primary means of transport for Viruses is
Viruses normally do not spread through data
files, that are not capable of performing any action themselves. Such files
include image files (.gif, .jpg, etc.) or data files (.txt).
To determine the presence of a virus, you need
to scan your hard disk, and emails regularly using any antivirus software
such as Norton or Avasti. Most of the antivirus softwares have the ability
to stay resident in memory, and scan any documents, web pages or emails that
you download or view in real time. The antivirus programs basically look for
any virus signature, and prompt you to isolate or remove the virus infected
files. You need to keep the virus database files up to date for detecting
Popular paid versions of antivirus software
include Norton, Mcafee, and AVG. On the other hand free versions of the
software include Avast! (avast.com), and others.