Windows troubleshooting tools

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Windows troubleshooting tools

Windows provides numerous troubleshooting tools for system administrators and support personnel to use in diagnosing and fixing computer problems. Many of these tools are built into the operating system and can be opened from within Help and Support Center. Additional tools can be downloaded from the Windows CD.

Click the following options for information about some of the more commonly used tools.

  • Safe Mode

  • Device Manager

  • System Information

  • Performance tool

  • Registry Editor

  • Windows Update

  • Command-line tools

  • Network Monitor

  • Additional tools on the Windows CD

Safe Mode

If you are unable to start your computer, you might be able to start it in Safe Mode, which uses default settings and no network connection.

Startup options

Device Manager

Use Device Manager to view and make changes to your hardware configuration.

Device Manager

System Information

Use System Information to view comprehensive information about your hardware, software, and system components.

System Information

Performance tool

The Windows Performance tool consists of two parts: System Monitor and Performance Logs and Alerts. System Monitor collects and views information on hardware usage and system-service activity. Performance Logs and Alerts records performance data and enables you to set system alerts.

Monitoring Performance

Registry Editor

Configuration information for Windows is stored in a database called the registry. Most users do not need to change the registry because software installed on your computer will automatically make changes for you. Only experienced users should edit the registry directly using the Registry Editor.

Open Registry Editor

Windows Update

Use Windows Update to get online, up-to-date information about product updates and known issues. Windows Update includes answers to frequently asked questions.

Windows Update

Command-line tools

Several command-line tools are useful for monitoring and configuring your computer or network.

Use Ipconfig to display TCP/IP network configuration values.

Use Nbtstat to display protocol statistics and current TCP/IP connections.

Use Netsh overview to configure and monitor Windows using a command-line, scripting interface.

Use Nslookup to display information from domain name system (DNS) name servers.

Use Pathping to determine which routers or links are causing network problems.

Network Monitor

Use Network Monitor to diagnose and troubleshoot network problems.

Network Monitor overview

Additional tools on the Windows CD

System administrators can download more than 40 tools from the Windows CD. You can use these tools to diagnose and solve problems on networks and individual computers.

Install Windows Support Tools

See Also


Install Windows Support Tools
Support resources