NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, July 2009
Fix It Center At Microsoft
by Dave Gerber
from The June 2010 issue of The Journal of the Computer Club, Inc.

Fix it Center consolidates into a single product a whole range of trouble shooters, wizards and other support resources currently scattered throughout the Microsoft site and Windows itself, It works with any Windows version from XP through to Window 7.

The program will not only solve known problems but will also scan your PC for potential problems and suggest fixes.

The nice thing about this product is that it requires little technical imput from the user. All the user needs to do is indicate the broad kind of cateory describing the problem and then the program will launch a diagnostic program for that category. So if the user is having an internet connection problem he/she just needs to select that category and from that point on diagnosis and correction is largely automatic.

Any one who has used Microsoft troubleshooters will be familiar with this approach though Fix it Center is more advanced in its implementation than most MS Wizards and troubleshooters; it's easier and less intrusive to use and has broader diagnostic capacity. But it is still far from perfect and users need to be realistic in their exxpectations of what this program can achieve.

How it works
To setup Fix it Center you need to go through a three stage setup procedure:
1. Go to
http://fixitcenter.support.microsoft.com/Portal/ and click the "Try It" button. This will download a small 437B program.
2. Run the downloaded program and accept the licensing agreement. This will then initiate a download and installation of the full Fix it Center product. No download file size is given but it appears to be around 10MB.
3. FixitCenter will install a number of troubleshooters based on your PC configuration but to tap into the full power of the product you need to set up an online account. There you will not only have access to a full range of troubleshooters but access to other support resources as well such as the Microsoft knowledge database. Additionally you can store the support history of your PCs on line.

Using Fix it Center is a snap. Just click the FixitCenter icon installed on your desktop, select the broad area where you are having problems and the approriate troubleshooter will be launched which will step you through the problem detection and correction procedure.

If the troubleshooter can't resolve the problem automatically FixitCenter at least gives you easy access to a variety of online support resources.

As I said, this is a useful service but you need to be realistic what it can achieve. That said, it's a "must have" product for averaage users.

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