Troubleshoot Windows Vista Issues - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Windows Vista has a very helpful utility for troubleshooting your PC. It is called the Problem Reports and Solutions tool. By activating this utility, Vista can help you locate potential problems before they show symptoms or fix symptoms after they have presented themselves. To open the window, heed these steps:

  1. Open the Control Panel window.

  2. Choose System and Maintenance.

  3. Choose Problem Reports and Solutions.


The first thing to do in the Problem Reports and Solutions window is to review any pending solutions or current problems. When no solutions or problems are reported, you see the text No Solutions Found; otherwise, current solutions and problems are displayed.

Clicking a link displays a solution window with suggestions on what do to. Mostly, you see a web page link or perhaps the name of the program’s publisher, and the rest of the solution is something you need to pursue.

Some solutions listed are the results of problems you checked on.

Check on new solutions

Just to ensure that everything is up to snuff, you can use the Problem Reports and Solutions window. To do so, open the Problem Reports and Solutions window. Click the link on the left, Check for New Solutions. Windows reviews various issues that are logged for your computer.

If you’re prompted to send information to Microsoft, click the Send Information button. It may help.

Finally, when any solutions are found, you see them listed in the window. Click a solution to see the advice that’s offered. Oftentimes, you find a link to a website where new drivers can be downloaded or where you can review the issue on a support page.

Peruse recent issues

Things may happen in your Windows Vista computer — bad things — and you may be completely unaware of them. Just to be sure, you can check the Problem Reports and Solutions window to see what’s up: Click the link View Problem History. The list you see works like a miniature log of issues with certain programs.

To see more details on a certain issue, double-click the item in the list. A report is displayed. The report may list things you can do to remedy the situation.