Friday, June 13, 2008

Dial-a-Fix


Dial-a-Fix: Knocks out Serious Windows Problems

Dial-a-fix is a collection of "known fixes" that have been compiled over the past year that really knock out some serious Windows problems, all with one or two clicks. It tackles issues with SSL/Cryptography, Windows Update, Microsoft Installer, and many miscellaneous shell problems. Most of the fixes it uses are found in various Microsoft Knowledge Base articles, and articles written by Microsoft MVPs. When you see a list of DLLs that need to be registered using REGSVR32.EXE, chances are they are already listed in Dial-a-fix. Mouse-over a checkbox or button to obtain more information about what will be executed, or what DLLs will be registered.

A word of caution (disclaimer) here. This collection of fixes could also be thought of as an oxymoron in the hands of a non-geek. Or, let's just say that it could do more harm than good if you don't like to tamper with your computer's settings, and don't find tweaking computers to be a fun and/or challenging task. This is a tool meant to be used by techie people. In the hands of a tech guru, for instance, there may be no better (and easier) set of fixes available, and at the small price of FREE. Majorgeeks.com recommends it highly. In fact, you can download it directly from their site here: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4899.html.

Click on the above screenshot to see what it does. Dial-a-fix has been proven to fix Windows Update errors. Here is a blog post with lots of screen shots showing how it fixed a particularly bad Windows Update issue. For another collection of screenshots, visit Softpedia's site which also provides a download link for Dial-a-Fix.

I can testify that as recently as last weekend, I used Dial-a-fix to repair some pretty serious Windows Update-related problems. I was working on a computer which would not retrieve any Windows updates from Microsoft, would not upgrade Windows Media Player from version 9 to version 10 or 11, and would not install Internet Explorer 7, even if I did a direct-from-CD install. After installing and running Dial-a-Fix and checking all of the boxes for each of these problem areas, within 10 minutes, all problems were repaired.

In a nutshell, Dial-a-fix stops services, installs selected software, registers DLLs, re-starts services, and removes several rogue policies. Dial-a-fix will not cause any issues if your system is already working properly. It is quite simply a fix collection. Now, if you are wondering if it is too technical for you, or if it will harm your system, here is a test. If any of the terms mentioned in this article seem over-your-head, or if you have no idea what a DLL file or a Windows service is, then it would probably be best to stay away from Dial-a-Fix, or use it with a computer technician close by.

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