Below are a couple tips to assist with troubleshooting issues on Windows XP. The tips include using the Microsoft Event Viewer, understanding running processes, checking disk space, and looking at memory.
Microsoft Event Viewer
First we will look at the Event Viewer. Many times you might get a pop up error with an error code that might mean absolutely nothing to most people. Windows XP has an event viewer though that may provide more details and possibly even a link to solutions. To open the MS Event Viewer click Start >> Run and type eventvwr.msc in the run box and hit the enter key. This will pop up the Microsoft Event Viewer that looks like the below.
Once the Event Viewer is open you have to click on one of the sub sections as shown in the image above where the System section is highlighted. Once a section has been selected you can browse warnings, errors, and other informational messages that provide details about possible issues. You can double left click on any message for more details and a link to Microsoft.com for possible resolutions.
The Task Manager is very useful for troubleshooting problems on your Windows PC. The Windows Task Manager can be opened by clicking Start >> Run, typing in taskmgr, and clicking Enter. This will open a new window that looks like the below.
The Task Manager will open on the “Applications” tab that will show you the applications you have open. You can highlight applications and then stop them by clicking end task. Other useful tabs include “Processes” that will show a more detailed view of each process running on the Windows computer. Again here the processes can actually be stopped by highlighting it in the list and the clicking the “End Process” button at the bottom. Another very useful tab is the “Performance” tab that will detail CPU Usage, Page File Usage, Physical Memory, Kernel Memory, Threads, Processes, System Cache, and Handles. If you are having speed issues the Task Manager is a great place to start.
The My Computer icon is also a great troubleshooting tool. If you double click the icon it will show you each disk which will then allow you to see how much disk space is left. If you right click My Computer you can find out the Processor speed and total memory.
These are just a few of the basic tools that will assist you in troubleshooting issues on your Windows PC. There obviously are many more tools but understanding these basic items that are included with Windows will provide a solid start to troubleshooting any errors or other problems you have on your computer.