By Jean Andrews, Ph.D.Course Technology, 2000ISBN: 0619015373Available online at TechProGuild’s Tech Books library
Jean Andrews’ PC Troubleshooting Pocket Guide for Managing and Maintaining Your PC should be in every PC technician’s library—it’s just that good. This text offers detailed information on troubleshooting everything from a faulty mouse to a failed hard drive. Here’s why your bookshelves aren’t complete without this handy text.
Let’s be honest—very few of us ever read a technical reference book from cover to cover. Usually, reference books are only flipped open when we need help with a specific problem, and then we only read the section that is applicable to the problem at hand. The PC Troubleshooting Pocket Guide for Managing and Maintaining Your PC understands our reading “habits,” offering short, concise sections focused on specific PC problems.
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Wealth of information
The best reference books offer information and instructions that are accurate and to the point. Jean Andrews has done a great job of this in her pocket guide by simplifying each task and providing essential facts while leaving out unnecessary, and possibly confusing, information.
The book is divided into four main sections and eight appendices. The first three sections cover general troubleshooting information that most experienced techs should already know. Even so, these sections can be used as a helpful reviewing tool. But the real meat comes from Section 4, “The Problem-Solving Tool—Checklists and Flowcharts,” and the appendices. The appendices offer an information bonanza on subjects such as Beep codes, POST codes, CMOS settings, CPU characteristics, DOS commands, IRQs, I/O addresses, essential URLs, and much more.
The bottom line
I highly recommend the PC Troubleshooting Pocket Guide for Managing and Maintaining Your PC for anyone who regularly troubleshoots hardware or software issues, and I consider it a must-have for any PC support technician. The book is worth having for its list of important URLs alone; but when you add in information on everything from deciphering POST codes to resolving hard drive problems, it becomes an essential reference for novice and experienced techs alike.
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Bill Detwiler has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop support specialist in the social research and energy industries. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, where he has also lectured on computer crime and crime prevention.