Something went wrong, and you’ve resorted to Windows’ wide range of built-in troubleshooters to see if it can fix the problem. The only problem is that the troubleshooter couldn’t identify the problem either.
So where do you go from here? Luckily, there are things you can try if Windows troubleshooter can’t find the problem. Let’s explore each.
What causes Windows Troubleshooter to fail?
The built-in troubleshooters you find in Windows only provide you with limited information. However, this should be enough to identify and fix typical hardware or driver malfunctions.
If you get an error that the troubleshooter cannot identify, the problem may be outside the scope of the troubleshooter. As such, you’ll have to do a little digging to identify the problem.
What should you try next?
The Windows community is no stranger to solving their own problems. As such, there is a vast network of resources and communities to connect to depending on your issue.
For the purposes of this article, we will look at two potential and common causes of your problem: a driver issue or a hardware malfunction. If you’re having trouble connecting to the Internet, you may have a hardware problem. Conversely, a newly configured sound system may not work properly due to missing drivers.
Although the cause of your problem could very well be anything, the solutions to fix it are mostly the same.
How to Diagnose Possible Hardware Problems
Hardware issues are easy to identify and as such should be the first point of investigation.
If you are using an external device, you can try disconnecting and reconnecting it. If that doesn’t work, try using the device on another system. And if that doesn’t work, you can investigate further using Windows Device Manager.
Open the start menu and search for Device Manager. Open this program and all your connected devices will be displayed.
Windows can immediately identify an unrecognized device in this list, indicated by a yellow triangle icon. If so, you can right-click the item and press Properties to see more information.
Pressing action then Check for hardware changes is also a useful tool to determine if your device stays properly connected. For external devices, connectivity issues will cause devices to appear and disappear from the list. For internal hardware, they may not appear on this list at all.
Once you have more information about your problem, you can get to work replacing or repairing the faulty hardware.
How to Diagnose a Possible Driver Problem
Something may be going wrong on your system due to an incorrectly installed or configured driver. This can be harder to determine in general, but there are still steps to take to resolve it.
By using the Device Manager in the method mentioned above will give you an immediate overview of everything that is not working, with the same yellow triangle icon to indicate if something is wrong.
As before, you can check the properties page to get more information about the error. Device Manager also has two other important functions to troubleshoot driver issues – Update Driver and Uninstall the device.
These can both be used to perform similar troubleshooting. This being a clean install of the drivers. Update drivers to have Windows search for the latest driver package or uninstall the device to allow you to manually install your own drivers.
Your problem may be more complex than a simple fault in your hardware or an outdated driver. In this case, you may need to look a little further.
How to Check for Windows Event Viewer Issues
The Event Viewer app, built into all Windows installations, can give you advanced insight into what’s going on in your system. To access this application, simply search Event Viewer in the Windows Start menu.
There’s a lot to see in Event Viewer, but most problems can be detected by looking at the System log. Click the arrow next to Windows logs and click on System.
You will see a log of all events that occur in your system. Everything marked Information is most likely safe to ignore. These are the yellow triangles you are looking for, marked Warning.
Click on recent warning messages and see if they match the problem you are having. The information displayed here can give you more advanced insight into what to look for next.
Windows troubleshooting can take time
When Windows won’t tell you what’s wrong, figuring out exactly what it needs can take time. Fortunately, with the right information, you’ll likely find a solution with a little research. More advanced troubleshooting methods, such as safe mode, can be used when the issues are more severe or system-specific.
Safe Mode is a built-in Windows feature, but when should you use it?
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