PC Repair Checklist

Submitted by reb on Mon, 03/21/2016 - 00:27


* Royce's notes on basic easy PC repair processes. Mainly for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

* Royce has repaired computers for 21 years, as of 2015.

* Back Up important files to a flash drive before doing anything.

* Google before you act. You WILL confuse your PC or files if you randomly click things.






Basics to Sort, and MSI GE60 Specific

Windows 8.1 Specific Fixes for MSI GE60 Laptops, by Royce Barber. 2015. 

* Set Windows UAC Security to max.

* Places I Keep PC Fix ideas: Manuals Folder, and Software>PC Repair.

* Disable Bad Apps: TaskManager, Startup Tab. And, Download AutoRuns to ensure nothing dangerious is scheduled or runs when PC is turned on.

* Open Device Manager, look for driver problems. Find a non-installed device, go to it's properties and copy it's code. Search that on Google and Support.Microsoft.Com. 

* Open Device Manager, ensure all USB Hubs have power-saving disabled. 

* Ensure all Windows Updates are installed and rebooted. 

* Use SFC to scan for broken sytem files. Open CommandPrompt as Admin, type SFC /Scannow

* Use Driver Verifier. Open CommandPrompt as Admin, type verifier.exe

* Boot to Windows Repair Screen (same as booting to a thumb drive). 

Optional Ussage of Verifier: Create standard settings, Next, select driver names from a list, next, sort by Provider, select all non-Microsoft drivers, Finish. Then reboot and try to make the issue happen. If system doesn't boot, boot into SafeMode and tell DriverVerifier to delete it's changes. 

* Install an alternate LAN internet driver: 

* Detect Hanging windows apps [and ShellExView is like Autoruns]: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/what_is_hang.html

* Antivirus: Run Housecall and Malwarebytes, and Avast! has a boot-virus-scan. 

* Hardware: Scan C Drive for errors. 

* Run Defrag for spinning hard drives, or Optimize for SSD's. (It's the same app). 

* Rufus iso on USB Boot Utility. 

* Ensure Physical Cables are Tight. 

* Reboot. Cold Boot. 

* Reformat Windows or the Registry as last option. 


* Run in administrator command prompt [preferably from command prompt in windows repair screen]: Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Then run sfc /scannow again.


* Note, DISM /ScanHealth, /CheckHealth, and /RestoreHealth arguments can only be used when servicing Windows8 or WindowsServer2012 images. Information on this script: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh824869.aspx


* Built in "Driver Verifier". cant b launched via search. 

get syntax commands: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff545448(v=vs.85).aspx

basically: Open a Command Prompt window (Run as administrator). Type verifier to open the Driver Verifier Manager, or type verifier /? to view command line options. 


* Open "View Reliability History", look for reasons for bugs. 

* Use a app like "sandboxie.com" to run unknown apps. Related ideas are "Spoon.net" virtual browser, or a paid streaming browser in "AirGap Spikes Security".




Repair Downloads;

* Download "Microsoft Emergency Response Tool Scan". Download "Take Ownership" script. Download AutoRuns and Ccleaner.



Specific to MSI GE60 Laptops like mine;

* Disable service "Nvidia Streamer" because it causes some MSI laptops to crash. Info here:


* Optionally install the "Wifi Radio Switch Driver" from your MSI folder. Info here: 


Win 8.1 fixes. Blue screen crash during some updates and plugging in a display, with error; "video dxgkrnl fatal_error". basically, one gpu has hybrid power resume but the other gpu doesnt. u hav intel mobo chipset gpu + nvidia gpu. ms fixit worked on 2nd try, even after saying wrong os. Also I ran driver verifier to ensure all drivers are signed. 

* USB device errors: Open services.msc, Set service "WUDFRd: Windows Driver Foundation" to Automatic startup instead of manual. Windows sometimes freezes on boot due to multiple USB devices being plugged in. I don't know if this fix helped me, but it didn't hurt. 

* Most of my issues are related to bad NVIDIA drivers.






Repair and Cleaning Apps to Install (aka Third-Party)

* AutoRuns allows disabling startup items, drivers, scheduled events, services, codecs, and more.

* CCleaner allows cleaning junk files, and start-up items. 

* Recuva recovers some deleted files.

* Speccy lists hardware in great detail. 

* CoreTemp monitors system temperature and processor usage.





The Tools Tab inside MSConfig

Note: MSConfig Enables Safe-Boot, view services and start-up items, and the Tools tab has many redundant tools. Type: msconfig.exe 

* About Windows: Windows version and build number.

* Change UAC Settings: Simply set security level.

* Security and Maintenance: Diagnose issues. Error history. 

* Windows Troubleshooting: Compatibility test. Diagnose issues. Run maintenance apps. Fix Windows Update. 

* Computer Management: Huge app. Hard Drives, Tasks, Logs, Events, Storage Drives, Device Manager, and more.

* System Information: List of hardware devices, ports, system components. 

* Event Viewer: View errors, system events, permission events, app events.

* Programs: Uninstall apps, updates, windows features.

* System Properties: Simple info about your PC.

* Internet Options: Internet Explorer options.

* Internet Protocol Configuration: Configure internet routing.

* Performance Monitor: Diagnostics info, settings. Add counters.

* Resource Monitor: See wasteful apps, priorities, search a app online.

* Task Manager: See what's running, what's using memory, and services.

* Command Prompt: Text commands. (May require to run as Admin).

* Registry Editor RegEdit: Toggle (turn on or off) specific app features.

* Remote Assistance: Use a PC at a distance.

* System Restore: Revert system settings.






More Built-In Features (Run Command Prompt as Administrator)


* System File Health Check, type: sfc /scannow


* Safe Mode: Runs Windows in minimum mode, with almost everything disabled. Remove stubborn software.


* Boot to your Windows disc for some tools.






Misc Tips

* Run administration apps as Administrator. Especially Command Prompt. 

* Google anything before disabling it. 

* Prepair: Yearly make a system repair CD or Flash Drive of your working PC. 

* Backup! All important files in TWO places, because a backup drive can die. Yet many people get lazy and lose files. Often a 128GB flash drive is used monthly, or a 2TB external hard drive can store huge video and music collections. 

* Reinstalling Windows is often a cure-all, as fast as removing a tricky virus or error. 

* Your Bios program has a boot-priority list. May help in booting to a DVD or Flash Drive. 

* Drivers not designed for your Operating System, may cause freezing.

* Ensure at least 15% of the Windows drive is empty.

* Slow Laptops take a minimum of 2GB of RAM, 4GB Recomended. Fast laptops take a minimum of 6GB of RAM.

* 64bit Windows can't install on a 32bit processor. New PC's are 64bit.






PC Speed-Up

* Hardware speed-ups are Solid State Drive "SSD", and max out your memory.

* Run CCleaner. Run DeFragment (Or it's called Optimize, for SSD).

* System Janitor. 

* Carefully delete start-up items and scheduled items in TaskManager and in AutoRuns. 

* Delete all fonts. 

* Turn off special effects. 

* Turn off Sound effects. 

* Unplug unnecessary devices.






Other Useful Apps

* Ninite Website can auto-install a lot of free apps. 







Easy Virus Removal

* Daily, don't run more than one anti-virus at a time. 

* Windows 8 and 10 have anti-virus built in. Running another anti-virus is not required. 

* There are many free Anti-Viruses. AVG and Avast are popular. Microsoft has Security Essentials. If you like it, donate to it. 

* Free online scans: 

* Virus or malware apps: malwarebytes.org and "Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool": http://www.microsoft.com/security/pc-security/malware-removal.aspx 

* Avast is faster and more successful if you boot to a virus scan.

* Browsers: Reset Internet Explorer options. Remove all plug-ins or extensions. Uninstall toolbars. Do the same in other browsers, and delete user profiles. 







What to Back Up?

* Internet bookmarks, Tax Files, Music, Home Videos, Pictures, My Documents folder, Projects, Game Saves, list of software, website logins, contacts.






General Troubleshooting Steps

* Often, a simple power down will fix it.

* Are all cables TIGHTLY connected, inside and outside?

* A cable came loose. 

* RAM chip went bad. 
* CD is in the drive. 

* Bad DVD in the optical drive, or bad memory card attached to the PC. Detach everything unnecessary, see if issue is fixed, and if fixed, plug them back in one by one to see which one was the problem. 
* Master Power Switch in back of PC is off.

* Restart the PC. 

* Not enough ram. 

* Out of hard drive space. 

* Ensure all internal/external cables are extra tight. 

* Built incorrectly, cables placed wrong.

* Hardware to go bad: Hard Drive, RAM, Motherboard, CPU Cooler, Power Supply, Graphics Card, 3rd Party Cards, Optical Drives.

* In Safe Mode, run virus scans with multiple antivirus apps.

* Do all windows updates. Restart. Do more windows updates. Continue until there are no more updates. 

* Reset the BIOS to default. Or disable booting from DVD. 
* Examine the windows error log for critical errors. 






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Misc to Sort

Common Issues and Things to Try



Common PC Repair Sites

* Microsoft Knowledge Base
* Many large forums
* Tech areas of How-To Sites.
* Search Google for good advice.
* Search YouTube for PC Repair.
* If Linux, use Ubuntu Community Websites.
* Ask a question in the TWIT.TV chat.


Software Solutions 

1. Turn off PC, unplug it for 10 seconds. Turn on.

2. Reset the bios to default settings.

* Ensure all Windows Updates are applied.

* Ensure all drivers are installed in Device Manager. 

* View a Graphical Error Chart: Click Start, type system repair, select View Reliability History. Or click start, type View Reliability History. 

* sfc /scannow to check windows files integrity. MsConfig to check startup apps. Services.MSC to check services. 

* Boot-Scan with avg free or avast free. 

* Bios has "boot from optical disk" disabled. 

* Spybot - Search & Destroy. 

* Memory Scan (May take hours to do several passes).

* System restore. 

* If WindowsXP, skip virus removal and ask to upgrade to Windows8 instead. Let them register it within 30 days.


Speed Solutions

* Remove unwanted apps from Startup Folder.

* For extra speed, delete unused fonts. 

* CCleaner is Free, deletes junk files and scans registry. 

* Turn off system sounds/effects.

* Safely remove any USB external hard drives.

* Remove any faulty Multi-Memory Card Readers (most of them suck).


Piriform's Free Products

* CCleaner cleans junk files, Defraggler defrags hard drives (I need to research this one), 

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End of Article.