Better PC Answers In Front of Your Face


Sometimes the best answer to your PC problems is right in front of your face.–PC Pitstop.

Better PC Answers In Front of Your Face

Get Better, Faster Answers by Reading What’s in Front of You

By Leo Notenboom

I vent a little about people missing what’s right in front of them (including myself), and then discuss why taking the time to read what your machine is telling you is so important to a less frustrating experience with your technology.

One of the things that frustrates me occasionally in the questions that I’m asked is something I’m also guilty of myself: not reading what’s right in front of my face.

Rather than only venting about it, I want to talk a little bit about why it’s so important to read and follow instructions.

Because it’s obvious that so many people do not. (And, yeah, like I said, sometimes that includes me.)

The question that started this

This morning as I was reviewing questions in the Ask Leo! question queue, I came across this one:

How i solve this problem sir pls! I use windows 7!-

A problem has
been detected and windows has
been shut down to prevent
damage to your computer.
UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME
If this is the first time you’ve seen
this stop error screen, restart your
computer. If this screen appears
again. Follow these steps: _ _ _

That was the entire question. (I did not respond, for reasons that will become apparent.)

We’ve all seen these types of error messages at one time or another. Messages that, essentially tell you exactly what to do next.

My assistant’s proposed response was spot on: “I’d follow the steps described in the error message”.

So why didn’t the questioner do that?

And if he did, why didn’t he include that information? After all, the Ask Leo! question form does also include the following instructions:

BE COMPLETE: I require the version of all software involved (particularly Windows), the full text of any error messages, the specific make and model of computer and detailed steps to reproduce the problem you’re seeing. Without enough information you won’t get an answer. Period.

Article Continued Here

This excerpt appears with permission from Leo Notenboom.

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3 thoughts on “Better PC Answers In Front of Your Face

  1. I am 86 yrs in the mix, and work daily with two PC’s and a laptop. I would add only one message to the other older participants with a need for a little more concentration than usual at the closing of the day. Back Off !
    Your brain as well as your arthritic knees are telling you something. Attack your ‘problem’ after a night of rest and a cup of coffee. For me the cobwebs are greatly reduced.
    Thanks Leo, since my neighbor does not have a 12 year old in house, I will be sure to “allow” him to digest your iteration.

  2. SPLENDID ARTICLE. I did note that one of the items was a follow-up to an earlier podcast. Oh dear! I thought! Black mark to Leo! Then I looked back to 2007, and there was a transcript too! Gold star to Leo! One of my bugbears is advice only available as a podcast. One is totally locked onto the presentation as the author sees fit: can’t skim-read to see if it’s relevant; can’t go back and forth to take in difficult bits; takes a LOT more time and is much less useful to the recipient, usually. There ARE occasions where a DEMONSTRATION is needed, and podcast is much the best approach. But such demonstration podcasts need care in presentation. But many podcasts are produced because it’s quicker for the author to ramble into microphone, than produce text that will stand up to publication, and is worthy of printing out.

    I don’t look at podcasts UNLESS either they ARE obviously needed visual demonstrations, OR I’m really desperate for the information. And then I’m usually disappointed with the quality.

    I’m never disappointed with Leo’s textual advice!

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