Windows Troubleshooter Guide


Let's troubleshoot this together!

Welcome to the troubleshooting wikibook where we endeavor to provide you with knowledge necessary to properly troubleshoot a Microsoft Windows operating system. Unlike many online help websites, where there only exists solutions to problems of ranging usefulness (such as the dreaded response of "please update your system" or "restart the computer" to specific answers involving uninstalling, deleting registry editor keys, and reinstalling software), this book will instead solve not specific problems, but problems that one may face when troubleshooting.

When troubleshooting a problem, it is easy to become confused at where the problem originated from, especially with complex operating systems where a multitude of components ranging from hardware, software, or a combination thereof can either individually fail or fail catastrophically. Either way, the whole system fails to function optimally, and more often than not, the only clue will be a vague comment or, even more baffling, a number. Instead of asking, "what does the number mean?", a troubleshooter will ask "what clues do I have to check in order to find the problem in question?" They ask this because they understand that problems, like solutions, can be very complex, baffling so.

This guide will not provide simple solutions to simple problems. Instead, it will seek to do better, by offering ways to figure out your problems, so that your computer can be fixed.



This wikibook assumes a general understanding of Microsoft Windows' OS and general computer terminology. Already, you have come across the term OS (Operating System), which will be the kinds of terms expected. Others include CPU, HDD & SSD ( Hard Drive Disk and Solid State Drive), and RAM. In terms of knowing about the OS, it means knowing how to open or install programs, using a mouse, and typing. We will not assume you know shortcuts.

Table of Contents


Control Panel


This chapter will explain how the Control Panel (and the Windows 10 Settings App) works and what it can do to help increase your ability to use the Windows OS.

List of Typical Control Panel Items (Windows 10)
Administrative Tools AutoPlay Backup and Restore Color Management Credential Manager
Date and Time Default Programs Device Manager Device and Printers Display
Ease of Access Center File Explorer Options File History Fonts HomeGroup
Indexing Options Internet Options Keyboard Language Mail
Mouse Network and Sharing Center Personalization Phone and Modem Power Options
Programs and Features Recovery Region RemoteApp and Desktop Connections Security and Maintenance
Sound Speech Recognition Storage Space Sync Center System
Taskbar and Navigation Troubleshooting User Accounts Windows Defender Windows Firewall
Work Folders
List of Typical Items in Settings (Windows 10)
System Devices Network & Internet Personalization Accounts
Time & language Ease of Access Privacy Update and Security
List of Typical Administrative Tools (Windows 10)
Component Services Computer Management Defragment and Optimize Drives Disk Cleanup Event Viewer
iSCSI Initiator ODBC Data Sources Performance Monitor Resource Monitor Services
System Configuration System Information Task Scheduler Windows Firewall with Advanced Security Windows Memory Diagnostic



This chapter will explain how Windows drivers operate and how they function.



This chapter will explain general programs, settings, and tools to maintain and understand how the OS works.



This chapter will explain simple malware, how they operate in a general sense, and how you can assist in removing them after your antivirus software fixed the major problem.



This chapter will explain how the internet is handled client-side (in the perspective of your Windows machine) and how network tools works.

The C:\WINDOWS directory stores the files necessary to run the operating system. This is why modifications (especially deletion) may negatively affect your computer. Because of the directory's nature of storing the operating system, the files contained therein may baffle most users. However, a general understanding of the directory's structure and the kinds of files that inhabit it may offer you insight as to how Windows works.

This chapter will explain what the C:\WINDOWS directory is and why it is so important, as well as the programs that may inhabit it.

List of Typical Folders in the C:\WINDOWS Directory (Windows 10)
assembly Boot Cursors debug diagnostics
DigitalLocker en-US Fonts Globalization Help
IME ImmersiveControlPanel INF InputMethod Logs
Media MiracastView OCR Offline Web Pages Panther
Performance PLA PolicyDefinitions PrintDialog Provisioning
PurchaseDialog Registration rescache Resources security
ServiceProfiles servicing Setup SoftwareDistribution Speech
System32 SystemApps SystemResources SysWOW64 Temp
Web WinSxS