Having trouble with your computer? You've come to the right place. Even if you don't know a computer language (or want to), you can solve several common PC problems on your own. In this article, we offer many ways to do what you need to do in Windows 7 and Windows Vista. Often, there may not be a Help topic for Windows XP, but the process is often the same as in Windows 7 or Windows Vista. The only difference is usually where to find the link in Control Panel. Most often, it’s just a matter of slightly different wording in the heading or the text describing the task. Don’t worry. If you search in Control Panel, you’ll usually find the link you need. F1 is magic: Get help on your PC If you can’t figure out how to complete a particular task in your software program—and you’re using a PC—the most important shortcut to know is the F1 key. Just push it while the program—Word, Excel, or whichever program you’re using—is open and active, wait a moment, and the Help window specific to your active program will appear. See an F1 key demonstration. The F1 key works with almost all Microsoft products, so it’s a helpful starting point for a wide variety of problems. The basics If you’re encountering a different kind of obstacle – your new device won’t appear on your desktop, an application you added won’t run, you see an error message, or your computer is refusing to start up – here are a few preliminary steps: Before adding any major hardware or software to your system, make sure you've recently backed up your Windows 7-based PC or your Windows Vista-based PC as a safeguard. By using the automatic backup functions, you can schedule regular upkeep for maximum convenience. Many issues can be resolved by simply checking to be sure that all of your plugs are connected properly. After you are sure of that, try restarting (“rebooting”) your system. Turn your computer off, and then back on a few seconds later. If the problem continues, follow the steps below. Write down the contact information for Microsoft Customer Service and Support, should you need to consult an expert. Take a second to print the below instructions as well, and keep them handy as you walk through the troubleshooting process.