Running Norton's One Button Checkup

Norton SystemWorks and its Norton Utilities tools work something like a PC emergency room and triage center trying to identify and fix the things that go bump and beep on your system. But what if you just want a quick spot check to see if there is something actually wrong before you call out the bigger guns? After all, the solution to your problem could be as simple as running a backup or using either Windows System Restore or Norton GoBack.

Norton includes a special tool designed just for rapid identification and repair of typical conditions. One Button Checkup is its name and speed is its game; it's a quick evaluation that looks for typical PC woes and alerts you to what it finds.

Norton Utilities One Button Checkup won't look at everything on your PC, and it may not fix all the ills. But it's a smart first step when you first install Norton SystemWorks with Norton Utilities or when you want to check your system between running the full-fledged doctors available.

Knowing what gets checked

Just as an emergency room crew gets a patient and does a fast evaluation of vital signs and what needs to be done, so does One Button Checkup. It's preprogrammed to go through your system looking for problems typically seen with Windows and the system in general.

Specifically, it checks for common types of

  • Windows Registry foul-ups and mismatched entries
  • Problems arising from a buildup of leftover Internet browsing files
  • Missing desktop and other shortcuts
  • Disk-based problems
  • Performance and system woes

After you run One Button Checkup, you'll see what it finds wrong. Then you have the option of letting it try to fix what things it can. You can also look at details about the errors discovered.

One Button Checkup also looks at the status of your Norton AntiVirus software if you also have that installed.

Starting One Button Checkup

Four years of medical school aren't required to perform this checkup. All you need is a few clicks. The very first time you run it, however, you probably want to pay close attention so you get an idea of what it does as well as to evaluate what it finds.

Follow these steps to start One Button Checkup:

1. Double-click the Norton SystemWorks icon on your desktop.

2. From the System Status window, click One Button Checkup and then Scan Now.

3. When the One Button Checkup window opens, notice that all the options like Windows Registry Scan and Program Integrity Scan are checked.

4. If you don't want to run a particular section, such as Last Virus Scan Check, deselect it.

5. Click Start Scan.

After you start the scan, you'll see a status window telling you what stage the scan is at, such as Scanning or Analyzing. Don't be surprised if the checkup takes some time, even just from one item to another.

When the checkup is complete, you see a report card of sorts. Problems are shown in red, while "No Errors Found" messages are displayed in green.

6. Review your report and click View Details to see the additional info about an item that reports an error.

7. Click Begin Fix to let One Button Checkup try to repair the problems it's found.

Need to halt the scan before it's finished? Just click Stop Scan at any time. You can then start it again when you're ready.

Pay particular attention when you see the message "Attention Needed" from the diagnosis window. Use the View Details option whenever this happens. Turn to the "Handling problems reported" section of this article to see what you need to do when One Button Checkup can't fix everything it finds. You can click Rescan if you want to try it again to see if it can resolve anything during a second pass that it didn't resolve during the first pass.

Problems running One Button Checkup?

If you hit a problem running One Button Checkup, restart your PC and try again. It's possible that something running elsewhere on your desktop when you perform the checkup is hanging up your system and this can lead to the checkup freezing.

If the checkup continues to die on you, you may want to try one of three things:

  • Close everything down on your desktop before you start the checkup.
  • If that doesn't work, deselect one or more options from the One Button Checkup scanning window.
  • If that doesn't help, you may want to run one of the doctors first. Norton WinDoctor and Norton System Doctor do more aggressive diagnostics than the checkup, so they may be able to clear a hurdle and then let you use checkup later.

Handling problems reported

It's a bummer when One Button Checkup finds a few problems that it can't fix. However, there's no reason to think your PC is terminal and needs life support.

Chances are that if your PC seemed to operate pretty well before the checkup, it will continue to run even when not all necessary repairs are done. Also, some of the things that the checkup looks for includes rather simple errors that aren't apt to result in a dead system if they don't get fixed.

Yet, with that said, getting outstanding issues corrected so they don't multiply or grow in size is a good idea. Even a few small problems can sap overall performance and cause at least minor headaches. Also, you may get a harsher diagnosis with lots of serious problems not corrected by checkup. Worse, you may not even be able to run the checkup thoroughly because your system is so fouled up.

The first thing you can try when you have problems that aren't getting fixed is to rescan using One Button Checkup. If checkup is still open on your desktop, click Rescan. If not, simply load Norton SystemWorks and go through the checkup again.

If a rescan still shows errors when it completes — and especially if they're serious ones under Windows Registry or Program Integrity Scan — you may want to call on the doctors:

  • If you encounter Windows Registry errors, call upon Norton WinDoctor.
  • For Program Integrity woes, Norton WinDoctor may help, too. But you should also consult with Norton Disk Doctor and Norton System Doctor.

If the problems show up under Cleanup, then run Norton Cleanup before you re-run checkup to see if you can clear the cobwebs out of your drive.

After you run checkup, the date is recorded on the System Status screen when you open Norton SystemWorks. Check there first if you're wondering when you last ran it.

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