First comes the sinking feeling. Uh-oh, that's not supposed to happen! Then comes the scramble to find the answer—and since the computer's down, scratch any online help files.
I've had this experience on my own behalf, and in providing tech support at work and at home. What you really need when something goes south on your PC is this nifty reference by Jesse M. Torres and Peter Sideris, Surviving PC Disasters, Mishaps and Blunders. To start with, the language is accessible. You don't have to be a tech-guru to find and apply the advice that will fix your problem. You can read the general explanation, a couple of pages for each major failure type, or zip right to the specific issue for a quick fix.
I Just Broke the Antenna on My Wireless Device, Is That OK?
Broken hearts, broken promises, broken antennas—no matter what it is, broken is never OK. [This profound observation is followed by four possible fixes, and a TIP on replacement.]
The book starts with the biggest possible PC disaster, theft and loss, which covers everything from data theft from your PC and PDA to actual, physical theft of your computer. From there, the authors discuss recovery after all kinds of hardware catastrophes, then swing into salvation from software fiascoes.
What Can I Do If My Computer Boots Really Slowly?
We have to think that the real reason Starbucks got its start was because of all the PC users out there who were tired of waiting for their PCs to boot up and didn't have anything else to do. The more you use your PC, the more cluttered it can get with all of the software you have installed, and this can really slow it down. In fact this has become such a big issue that our publisher recently released a book titled Degunking Windows that has rapidly become one of the top-selling computer books...
Software fixes concentrate on Windows XP issues and error messages. I guess the subtext is that if you still have a Windows 95 PC, it's a PC mishap or blunder all by itself. But no reference can provide answers for the whole PC heritage of operating systems, so I accept that limitation. The real fix for an older system, the authors seem to say, is to upgrade to XP.