We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,258 News Articles

Fix your friends' PCs in five easy steps

Get in with the IT crowd, the easy way

When friends call you with computer trouble, you try to help. But no matter how much you know about PCs, correcting a problem can be a challenge when you're talking to someone who doesn't know a taskbar from a USB port. So we've put together the definitive guide to providing IT support for those closest to you. We'll show you the tweaks, the tricks and the freebies that will make you the most popular geek in town.

4. Vista: heal thyself

If your friend or relative is running Windows Vista, he or she will need lots of support. Luckily, Vista offers its own reporting tool.

Have the poor devil begin by clicking Start, typing Performance Information and Tools, and pressing Enter. In the resulting window, the person should click Advanced Tools (in the left pane) and then Generate a system health report (at the bottom of the window). After the report is generated, instruct your friend/relative to select File**Save as and send the resulting file to you.

What about remote software?

At this point, you probably expect us to recommend a remote control program. After all, what could be better than controlling your friend's computer over the internet?

Unfortunately, we have yet to find such a program that is easy enough for a novice to install and set up - even with you giving instructions over the phone.

  1. Be a tech-support hero
  2. The right tools for the right job
  3. IT support from far away
  4. Vista: heal thyself
  5. Help your friends to help themselves


IDG UK Sites

LG G Watch R video review: The most desirable Android Wear smartwatch

IDG UK Sites

Apple's 2014 highlights: the most significant Apple news of 2014

IDG UK Sites

2015 creative trends: leading designers & artists reveal the biggest influences & changes coming th)......

IDG UK Sites

Ultimate iOS 8 Tips: 35 awesome and advanced tips for using iOS 8 on iPhone and iPad