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This paper examines troubleshooting Windows XP Professional. As the paper illustrates, there are two main categories of problems that can affect the functioning of a system/computer; software and hardware problems. In addition to these two, other problems may result from corrupt files and virus infections (Petri, 2009). Tools that Windows XP Professional use in troubleshooting includes Last Known Good Configuration, Device Driver Roll Back, add or remove programs in the control panel, Safe mode application, recovery console, system restore, backup tool and Automated Recovery System (ASK). As they may be several, Automated Recovery System becomes a last option in Windows XP Professional troubleshooting with formatting options (Minasi, 2009). Windows XP Professional has troubleshooting sequential options that enable a user to resolve system failure from basic problems to advanced problems in a user-friendly manner.
Troubleshooting Windows XP Professional
Windows XP Professional, as an Operating System (OS) that accommodates all forms and sizes of business and home use, with a deserved professional reliability and performance incorporating great features in visual, security and privacy features, advanced recovery tools and many others, it has proved to be a useful software to users as far as troubleshooting is concerned (5 Star Support, 2010). Basically, troubleshooting will include software and hardware problems and since Windows XP Professional manufacturers understands this they have given options in the software that one can use to resolve these problems even without visiting an expert. Troubleshooting is designed to assist customers to resolve disputes in their systems, hardware or software at early stages as this can prevent a system from a potential total failure and hence save some money in replacing damaged parts and corrupted files (Minasi, 2002). It is thus important for any system/computer user to become familiar with the basic troubleshooting issues and guidelines as they can be very beneficial in terms of saving time and money. Windows XP Professional has troubleshooting sequential options that enable a user to resolve system failure from basic problems to advanced problems in a user-friendly manner.
From the two categories of system problems mentioned above, software and hardware troubles, software problems may result from the use of incompatible software that inhibits the normal functioning of the system, improper configuration of particular settings or the installation of imperfect device drivers will generally bring about lack of stability of a system, stopping the system operation. On their part, hardware problems will constitute that a device being used has defects, is working improperly, is badly installed or even there is poor configuration of the device hence bringing about instability of the system or a complete failure. Apart from the above two, other problems may result from the detection of corrupted files within the system and this may result from unfriendly use of the system and effect of virus software that causes lose of data hence creating a barrier that denies system startup operations (Petri, 2009). For example, virus like the MSBlaster worm can cause startup failures making a system to keep shutting down. To remove this worm, Windows XP Professional allows the use of registry editor program and with commands like “REGEDIT” such worms can be removed (5 Star Support, 2010).
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These three categories of problems will inhibit a user from normally starting Windows XP Professional as expected and will prevent a user from accessing particular data/information and applying certain applications. For this reason, Windows XP Profession has various designed tools that can allow a user to resolve startup problems and instability issues as well as restore a failed system and lost information files. In the following section, these tools are discussed in order of priority that is, starting with tools that resolve less threatening problems to those that can help resolve serious lose of information/data. The tools for the above will normally work in safe modes except when one prefers to use Automated System recovery (ASR), Last Known Good configuration and Console recovery, which may allow access in both normal and safe modes as well as through manual configurations (Petri, 2009).
The Last Known Good Configuration is usually an option that is available for starting a system in an event when the normal and safe mode starting options fails. Because such problems result from an installation of drivers or other applications that prevent startup, Last Known Good configuration helps in the recovery of the last viable application/drivers and reverse to these registry options thus allowing a user to start Windows XP professional.
Another option is the Device Driver Roll Back and this allows a user to manage device drivers in particular options. For example, Device Driver Roll Back allows one to “replace an individual device driver with the previously installed version if the driver was updated after you installed XP Professional” (Petri, 2009). In addition, this troubleshooting option is applicable both in safe and normal modes.
Similarly working on almost same principal like Device Driver Roll Back is another helpful troubleshooting option, the System Restore, which is a tool designed to diligently maintain regular surveillance of the system operation and records any modifications made to the registry, files in the system as well as other application data. This option gives the flexibility to cancel not long established changes to the registry and files and return to the lastly safe known references (Minasi, 2002). Therefore, a user can safely return to previous safe operations in either normal or safe modes without much difficulty.
In the control panel, one can add and remove programs. The control panel tools helps in the installation and removal of programs that assist in restoring normal system operations and the option will be applicable in both normal and safe modes. Talking of safe mode, it is an option in Windows XP professional that gives an alternative when Last Known Good Configuration startup fails to work. This safe mode option blocks all other startup applications and unneeded tools thus presenting reliable conditions for troubleshooting (5 Star Support, 2010). In these conditions, Windows XP Professional is able to initiate only a small number of drivers that allow the Operating System (OS) to operate, blocking the function of audio, USB features among other devices applications that might bring about discrepancies in the effort to identify causes of hardware or software failures in the startup application.
Apart from the safe mode that allows functioning in normal circumstances, recovery console brings an advanced taste in troubleshooting where this option allows one to undertake advance troubleshooting as well as the normal applications used in safe mode. Professional users can use recovery console to manually configure recovery. For system users, apart from the hardware and software parts of a system, data is a very valuable aspect and thus backup comes in the forefront. The backup tools will assist in saving data that can include apart from the personal data, data about the status of a system, thus giving one a peace of mind when commencing troubleshooting. With this option, a user is in a safe position to restore data in an event that the attempted troubleshooting worsens the conditions. In addition, backup tool can be used side by side with other installations to help restore a failed system if there are problems of using the normal and safe modes (5 Star Support, 2010). Nevertheless, if a system has proper functioning of safe and normal modes, no need to use parallel installations.
The final important tool in troubleshooting Windows XP Professional is the Automated System Recovery (ASR). This uses the Ntbackup.exe application in circumstances that have booting and systems information corrupted as the corrupted files inhibits the functioning of normal and safe modes as well as recovery console and ASR will be much preferred to formatting hard disks as it is able to restore previous settings of the system and other important files existing in the system and booting partitions. In addition, ASR is user friendly with guidelines on the preferred procedures in backing up information and Windows XP Professional has this friendly interface, and mostly becomes a last option in formatting disks after the failure of other troubleshooting options such as Last Known Good Configuration, System Restore, recovery console and driver roll back (5 Star Support, 2010). If all these options fail, it is always advisable to seek a professional assistance (Minasi, 2002).
With regard to the above research, Windows XP Professional has troubleshooting sequential options that enable a user to resolve system failure from basic problems to advanced problems in a user-friendly manner. As a software credited for accommodation both office and home use at all levels, Windows XP Professional has deserved professional reliability and performance incorporating great features in visual, security and privacy features, advanced recovery tools and many others. Troubleshooting is in a well organized in a sequential order, giving enough options to work out system problems. They constitute Last Known Good Configuration, Device Driver Roll Back, add or remove programs in the control panel, Safe mode application, recovery console, system restore, backup tool and Automated Recovery System (ASK). It is also advisable to visit an expert incases of complex problems. It is therefore, without doubt worthy choosing Windows XP Professional as preferred software as it gives adequate flexibility in troubleshooting giving the user a much deserved service.
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