Free ebook: Windows 7 troubleshooting tips

Mitch Tulloch, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional and lead author of the just-published (and hot-selling) Windows 7 Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 2010; ISBN: 9780735627000; 1760 pages), has created a short ebook called “What You Can Do Before You Call Tech Support.” Here are the opening paragraphs:

Your sound card has stopped working, your computer seems sluggish, the network is down, your hard drive is clicking, you can’t view a website, your monitor is hard to read, your new webcam isn’t working, your favorite program won’t run, and a funny burning smell is coming from your computer. What can you do on your own to try to troubleshoot the issue before you pick up the phone to call tech support?

If you’re running Windows 7, quite a lot. Microsoft has included a lot of self-support tools in Windows 7 that you can try using before you seek the help of others, and we’ll examine these in a moment. Then there are the tools you were born with—your five senses (see, hear, smell, taste, touch) and most importantly your brain. And by brain I’m including your memory, experience, and capacity for logical reasoning. Finally, there is ancient and sacred lore passed on in secret from Master to Disciple over the millennia. We’ll see shortly how your brain, your senses, and the secrets of the Wise Ones can be very helpful for troubleshooting computer problems. But first let’s look at what troubleshooting tools are built into Windows 7.

You can download the ebook in XPS format here and in PDF format here. Enjoy!

Comments (17)
  1. Vijay Potdar says:

    I am fan of Windows 7 and loved all the new features.

  2. Bob says:

    The text on page 4 refers to things like "the yellow exclamation point" or "the red X", but the document is in black & white, not color!

  3. Hi, Bob. Yes, Mitch is describing the color of items you’ll see in the user interface of Windows 7. Sorry if that’s confusing.

  4. Patrick Logan says:

    Can get neither the PDF nor the XPS links to load anything! 🙁

  5. Skip says:

    Oh, of course!!!  I should have known!!  YOU HAVE TO USE IE TO GET THE FILES TO DOWNLOAD!  Bravo, MS!  Never let an opportunity pass to show how much BETTER, FASTER and SMARTER IE is than everyone else!  Better, that is, when the page is written to only work in IE! 🙁  The arrogance is a nice touch!

  6. Kai says:

    @Skip: What are you talking about? I just downloaded the pdf with Firefox. Stop trolling.

  7. Chris says:

    Downloaded ok with Firefox….

  8. naeem says:

    i want free e-book 7 troubleshooting tips

  9. Is there any website from where i can get the free troubleshooting book?

  10. Darren says:

    Thanks once again more to get stuck into,Must say Windows 7 is So So very good,Wish i could help more people with advice and tips, Unfortunatly for me i worry about getting some topics wrong and do not wish to point people i am trying to help in the wrong direction with incorrect advice.

  11. says:

    Nice book!


  12. piga says:

    Downloaded the ebooks usin Safari…………

  13. vinod kumar soni mediyaras says:

    very helpfull for user thanks…

  14. sudeb says:

    I am not able to download this any one help me…

  15. DroidLuvr says:

    What's the big fuss about? I downloaded just fine with Firefox… Some people just have to be troublemakers, I guess.

  16. Fred says:

    Nice Book, and covers many general problems. No problems downloading with IE.

    I have a very basic problem, that is not covered in the book, and I can't find an answer on-line, or on other Win-7 systems.  I inadvertently changed the 'Default Program' for shortcuts (.lnk files), to the NotePad. And the 'Always Use' box was checked.

    Now, NONE of the .lnk files execute. Other Win-7 systems show NO program in the list for .lnk.

    What is the name of the DEFAULT program for .lnk files?  

  17. Years ago when I got a new computer it came with a users manual and some were more extensive then others and they would always suggest using and or starting the computer by pressing one of the F keys when having problems with it. I think there should be more books or booklets sold that takes a person right to the heart of the problem using the F keys to troubleshoot a problem. Right now I have a computer with Win. 7 that has a virus, a virus that by passed my anti-virus program. This virus has taken me through a sires of problems. and this last one has My mouse pointer frozen on the screen.

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