Prepare to wrestle computer issues unprepared

I was heading out this morning with plans absolutely unrelated to computers (I was even dragged out for a walk in the evening by two lovely ladies – imagine that). And I caught myself thinking that I am not taking my backpack… Or even external hard drive… I should at the very list sync up and take my flash drive! Who knows what will I have to fix!

And it hit me – am I a wimp that cannot face computer problem without comfort of bootable flash drive with extensive set of utilities in one hand and CyberTool in another? Am not! And I can even tell you how you can pull off troubleshooting run completely unprepared!

Have a blog / know a blog

Google is nice if you have plenty of time and belief there is actually a solution to what you are looking for. So it should not be your first source.

Where you should be looking first is blog that you follow or publish for considerable time, know in and out. Blog with precise and actionable solutions plus contacts that will be glad to help you if you ask a tricky question.

Remote access files

Your files may not be with you, but if you have your computer running and hooked up to Internet they can be with you very quickly:

Upload files to cloud

Even if your computer is offline your files do not have to be. If you put your files in Dropbox you can easily login to site and access them online without client software.

If you are worried about compromising your login you can put files in public folder. Those can be accessed by direct URL without need of login. In this case it is also good idea to create list of files you might need there so you don’t have to struggle remembering exact file names.

Access browser bookmarks online

Bookmarks by definition are for stuff we might need but don’t bother remembering.

If you use Opera browser you might now about Opera Link – function that allows to sign up for account and sync your bookmarks (and more) between computers. Lesser known feature is that you can also login at link.opera.com and access your bookmarks online.

Otherwise they don’t even have to be your bookmarks, tlbox gives you categorized collection of IT bookmarks people find useful.

Know portable options

Aside from usual benefits portable is also perfect to be thrown at issue quickly. We can sneeze at how size matters little for software with modern hundreds of gigabytes storage mediums. Still compact and portable utility remains fast and efficient option.

Some developers like Nirsoft and Sysinternals offer extensive suites of such utilities that are quick to download and run.

Antivirus products that now their stuff also often provide portable scanners like DrWeb CureIt or SuperAntiSpyware Portable.

Run Sysinternals utilities from web

On topic of Sysinternals it also offers original service live.sysinternals.com that allows to run their utilities right from browser ( http://live.sysinternals.com/ ) or command line ( \\live.sysinternals.com\tools\ ).

Make use of native Windows tools

Think advices so far rely on Internet access bit too much? Feel helpless stuck with problem offline?

Windows itself actually includes a lot of utilities, many of which are genuinely useful – if not irreplaceable:

  • SFC and expand.exe allow to efficiently restore damaged system files from disc or local copy;
  • chkdsk.exe is still most useful and reliable tool to find a fix file system issues;
  • msconfig.exe allows to disable items from running on startup;
  • services.msc console shows and lets you control system services;
  • diskmgmt.msc console can show and change disk volumes.


You can be ready to face computer issues, even if you are not.

Have an advice or technique that made an amazing save in unprepared situation and forged your geek reputation? Share it in the comments! :)

Related Posts


  • web design preston #

    Being honest any PC repair I might come across usually gets fixed via my iphone. The main tools I use are Google, Dropbox Appp on the iphone. The problem I get is when no internet :). Since windows 7 I've seen less and less problems.
  • Rarst #

    @web design preston You have it easy then. :) Some of stuff I encounter can take days to figure out, even with tools. At least it makes excellent blog posts.
  • Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#54) « What's On My PC #

    [...] Rarst.net Prepare to wrestle computer issues unprepared [...]
  • Jonathan #

    Hmm, Certainly does take days to figure out and even then sometimes I am stumped. Tools deffo help the process but like the old saying goes 'its not the tools, its the person using the tools' lol nice article