Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk

Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk

3.75 (8 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , By (author) 

List price: US$29.99

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


Nurse your PC back to health with a little help from Leo Laporte. Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk in a Book uses a unique, medical dictionary approach, complete with symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment for all of your common and not-so-common PC maladies. Flow-charts will help you correctly diagnose and treat such problems as:

Windows installation woes
Storage device tragedies
Printer problems
Pesky audio, video and general multimedia mayhem
Keyboard and mouse afflictions
Home networking headaches
Core PC hardware issues
Application failures
Viruses, spyware and spam infections

Don't waste time digging through paperwork only to find a tech-support line that is going to cost you an arm and a leg to cure your PC's ailments. Make your own house calls instead with Leo Laporte's PC Help Desk in a Book.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 768 pages
  • 224 x 235 x 44mm | 1,152g
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • United States
  • English
  • 0789733943
  • 9780789733948
  • 1,518,103

Table of contents


1. PC Anatomy 101.

Subsystems Make the Computer

All Around a Desktop PC

Front Views of Typical Desktop Computers

Rear Views of Typical Desktop Computers

Stop ESD-Don't Fry Your PC!

Inside a Typical PC

Expansion Slots

Points of Failure Inside the Computer

All Around a Notebook Computer

Points of Failure on a Notebook Computer

Controlling Your PC's Operation with BIOS Setup

How the BIOS Displays Your PC's Components

BIOS Setup Screens and Their Uses in Troubleshooting

What to Do If Your Computer Can't Retain BIOS Setup Information

Power-On Self Test

Hardware Resources


I/O Port Addresses

DMA Channels

Memory Addresses

Viewing Hardware Resources in Use

Using Your Computer's Anatomy for Troubleshooting

2. Troubleshooting Windows XP and Windows Applications.

Fixing Startup Problems

Overview of the Computer Boot and Windows Startup Processes

Fixing Hard Disk Configuration Problems

Fixing Other Startup Problems with Windows XP

Fixing Shutdown Problems

Using Control Panel

Accessibility Options

Add Hardware

Add or Remove Programs

Administrative Tools

Display Properties

Folder Options



Power Options

Sounds and Audio Devices

User Accounts

System Properties

Using Device Manager

Solving Resource Conflicts with Device Manager

Using Device Manager to Determine Other System Problems

Signed and Unsigned Device Drivers

Windows Update and Device Drivers

Using the Windows XP Hardware Troubleshooter

Other Windows Diagnostic, Reporting, and Repair Tools

Using System Information

Using System File Checker

Using Error-Checking (CHKDSK) and Defrag

Using Remote Assistance in Windows XP

Using MSConfig

Keeping Windows Healthy with Service Packs and Windows Update

Using Windows Update

Ordering and Downloading Service Packs

Performing a Repair Installation

Fixing Programs That Won't Run

Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run Under Windows XP

Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run from Shortcuts

Troubleshooting Programs That Won't Run from Windows Explorer

Adding a Shortcut

Why Application Software Can Fail

Researching Your Program's Compatibility with Windows

I'm Not Sure What My Exact Program Version Is

I'm Having Problems Removing My Application

I'm Having Problems Reinstalling My Application

Upgrading Applications

Problems with Applications' Default Settings

The Unworkable Application

Troubleshooting Games

Troubleshooting STOP Errors with Windows XP

Preventing and Reducing Occurrences of BSOD Errors in Windows

Stopping Viruses

Antivirus Strategies

Slamming Spyware

3. Troubleshooting Storage Devices.

Troubleshooting Installed Hard Disk Drives

Non-Bootable Floppy Disk in Drive A:

Troubleshooting ATA/IDE Hard Disks

Checking the Hard Disk Connection to the Power Supply

Checking the Drive and Host Adapter Connection to the Data Cable

Configuring ATA/IDE Drive Jumpers

Checking a Laptop/Notebook's Hard Disk Power/Data Connection

Troubleshooting Serial ATA (SATA) Hard Disk Drives

Checking the SATA Hard Disk Power Connector

Checking the SATA Data Cable

Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Drives

Troubleshooting Other Problems with an IEEE-1394 Drive

Troubleshooting a USB Drive

Troubleshooting a PC Card/CardBus Drive

Determining Actual Drive Failure Has Occurred

Preparing a Hard Disk for Use

Preparing an Additional Hard Disk with Windows XP

Preparing a Bootable Hard Disk with Windows XP

Troubleshooting Problems with Recognizing Full Drive Capacity

Troubleshooting Disk Partitioning Problems

Troubleshooting Booting Problems

Troubleshooting Hard Disk or Optical Drive Bootup Problems

Preparing Other Drives to Act as Bootable Devices

Solving UDMA Mode Problems with ATA/IDE Drives

Upg rading a Portable Hard Disk

Using EZ Upgrade Universal and EZ Gig II

Installing the New Hard Disk in Your Portable Computer

Solving Problems with Writeable CD and DVD Media

Solving Can't-Write-to-Media Problems

Troubleshooting Recorded Media You Can't Read on Another System

Troubleshooting Buffer Underruns

4. Troubleshooting Your Printer.

Printer Types and Technologies

Troubleshooting Common Printer Problems

Troubleshooting a Printer That Doesn't Print

Port Problems

Troubleshooting Inkjet Printers

Troubleshooting an Inkjet Printer with Its Status Lights

Solving the "Inkjet Printer Blues"

Troubleshooting Photo Printers

Troubleshooting Printing from the PC

Troubleshooting Direct Printing

Troubleshooting Laser/LED Printers

Laser/LED Printer Status Lights and Messages

Common Laser/LED Problems and Solutions

Understanding Your Printer's Properties Sheets

Accessing the Properties Sheets for Your Printer

Troubleshooting Gibberish Output

5. Troubleshooting Graphics and Sound Problems.

Troubleshooting the Display Subsystem

Troubleshooting Monitors and Displays

There's a Problem with the Size or Position of the Windows Desktop

The Text and Icons Onscreen Are Hard to Read

The CRT Monitor Flickers

Troubleshooting Damaged or Defective Displays or Display Adapters

Troubleshooting Graphics Cards

Can't Start the Computer Using Normal Display Drivers

Computer Locks Up Frequently or Has Display Quality Problems

Colors Are Distorted

Increasing Available Display Memory on Systems with Integrated Video

Troubleshooting Multiple Displays

Troubleshooting 3D Game Performance and Image Quality

3D Games Run Too Slowly

Improving AGP Video Performance

Reinstalling or Updating Your Display Adapter Driver

Troubleshooting Audio

Can't Record or Play Back Sounds

6. Troubleshooting Multimedia and Imaging Devices.

Troubleshooting DV Camcorder Connections

Troubleshooting Camera and 1394a Port Recognition Issues

Troubleshooting Video-Editing Software Problems

Troubleshooting Digital Camera Connections

Troubleshooting Digital Camera Configuration Problems

Troubleshooting Digital Camera Power Problems

Troubleshooting Digital Camera and USB Port/Hub Problems

Troubleshooting AutoPlay Problems

Preventing and Troubleshooting Data Loss in Digital Cameras

Troubleshooting File-Viewing Problems

Troubleshooting Problems with Camera and Printer Docks

Troubleshooting Flash Memory Card Readers

Troubleshooting DVD Playback

Can't Use Advanced Speaker Systems with Your DVD Player

Troubleshooting Aspect Ratio and Screen Resolution Settings

Troubleshooting MP3 Digital Music and Media Players

Troubleshooting PC Connections to Your MP3 Player

Troubleshooting Capacity Issues with Your MP3 Player

Troubleshooting DRM Problems with Your MP3 Player

Troubleshooting Other Types of Media Playback

Troubleshooting Scanners

Using Device Manager to Troubleshoot Scanner Problems

Common Problems and Solutions for Scanners

Troubleshooting Scan Quality Problems

7. Troubleshooting I/O Ports and Input Devices.

I/O Port Uses and Types

Common I/O Port Types

I/O Port Uses

Diagnosing Problems with Ports and Input Devices

Diagnosing Port and Driver Problems with Device Manager

Troubleshooting USB Ports and Hubs

Troubleshooting USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed USB) Support

Installing the Right Device Drivers for Your USB Device

Troubleshooting USB Hub Power Problems

Troubleshooting IEEE-1394 Ports and Hubs

Tracking Down Integrated and Add-on 1394 Ports

Troubleshooting Keyboards and Mice

Troubleshooting USB Keyboards and Mice

Troubleshooting Wireless Keyboards and Mice

Troubleshooting PS/2 Ports, Keyboards, and Mice

Troubleshooting Pointing Device Problems with Control Panel

Troubleshooting Serial and Parallel Ports

Parallel Port Troubleshooting

Serial Port Troubleshooting

8. Troubleshooting Your Network and Internet Connections.

Troubleshooting Missing or Outdated Software Components

Installing/Reinstalling ISP Setup Software

Troubleshooting Problems with Secure Websites

Troubleshooting Problems with Viewing Certain Websites

Dealing with Website Error Messages

Website Viewing Tips and Tricks

Internet Options

Troubleshooting a Dial-Up (Analog Modem) Connection

Configuring Dial-Up Networking

Troubleshooting Dial-Up Modem Hardware

Troubleshooting a Broadband Internet Connection

Troubleshooting a Cable Modem Connection

Troubleshooting Ethernet Networks

Troubleshooting Network Software Configuration

I Can't Access Other Computers on the Network

I'm Not Sure My Network Settings Are Correct

Updating Network Hardware Drivers

Troubleshooting Ethernet Network Hardware

Troubleshooting Wi-Fi Networks

Using the Windows XP SP2 Wireless Network Setup Wizard

Troubleshooting Routers and Gateways

Troubleshooting PC Card/CardBus Devices

TCP/IP Configuration and Troubleshooting

Using a Fixed IP Address with a Dial-Up or PPPoE Broadband Connection in Windows XP

Using TCP/IP Diagnostics to Troubleshoot Your Connection

Using PING

Network Connections

Troubleshooting the Windows XP Firewall

9. Troubleshooting Memory, Processor, and System Performance Problems.

Troubleshooting Slow System Performance

Troubleshooting Virtual Memory

Defragmenting Your Drive

Using Disk Cleanup

Viewing and Adjusting Page File (Swapfile) Configuration

Troubleshooting Memory Upgrades

Determining the Right Memory for Your System

Installing Desktop Computer Memory

Installing Notebook Computer Memory

Freeing Up Sockets for Additional Memory

Troubleshooting Memory Upgrade Problems

Troubleshooting Defective Memory or Memory Sockets

Troubleshooting Installed Memory

Troubleshooting Processor Failures

Detecting Overheating and Incorrect Voltage Levels

VCore Settings and Overclocking

Troubleshooting Processor Upgrades

Understanding Processor Brands, Models, and Sockets

I'm Not Sure What Type of Processor I Can Use in My Motherboard

I'm Having a Hard Time Installing My New Processor

My System Won't Start After I Installed a New Processor

My New Processor Isn't Running as Fast as It Should

Troubleshooting Motherboard Failures

Preventing Electrostatic Discharge Damage to Your Motherboard

Preventing Powerline Damage to Your Motherboard

Troubleshooting Motherboard Upgrades

Making Sure Your New Motherboard Will Fit into Your Case

I'm Having a Hard Time Fitting My New Motherboard into My Case

Preventing Damage to Your Motherboard During Memory and Add-in Card Installations

Preventing Damage from Loose Components Inside the Case

Diagnosing Other Motherboard Problems

My System Beeps Abnormally After I Restart It with the New Motherboard in Place

Troubleshooting Cooling Problems

Preventing Overheating Damage to the Motherboard

10. Troubleshooting Power Problems.

Why Power Supplies Fail

Determining You Have a Power Supply Problem

Troubleshooting an Overheated Power Supply

Troubleshooting a Power Supply That Reboots the Computer

Troubleshooting a Computer That Won't Turn On

Troubleshooting System Lockups

Troubleshooting an Overloaded Power Supply

Troubleshooting a Power Supply Upgrade

Right-Sizing a New Power Supply

Selecting Powerline Protection

Checking Wall Outlets

Choosing the Right Surge Suppressor for Your Equipment

Battery Backup Systems

A. Troubleshooting Methods and Flowcharts.

The Troubleshooting Process

The First Step-Finding Out What Happened

How to Check Out the Computing Environment

Your Diagnostics Toolbox

The Troubleshooting Cycle

Testing a Subsystem

Where to Start?

Where to Go for More Information

Keeping Track of Your Solutions

Summarizing the Troubleshooter's Philosophy


show more

About Leo Laporte

Leo Laporte is a radio host on LA radio KFI AM 640 and co-hosts Call for Help on Canada's TechTV network. He also appears on programs including ABC's World News Now and Live with Regis and Kelly. He is the author of Leo Laporte's 2005 Gadget Guide, Leo Laporte's Mac Gadget Guide, Leo Laporte's Guide to TiVo, and Leo Laporte's 2005 Technology Almanac.

Mark Edward Soper is a longtime contributor to Upgrading and Repairing PCs,. Mark also authored Absolute Beginner's Guide to Home Networking, Absolute Beginner's Guide to A+ Certification and Absolute Beginner's Guide to Home Automation.
show more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 38% (3)
4 25% (2)
3 25% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 12% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X