[This will need a fair bit of contribution before it can be considered complete... here is a start.]
It is recommended that before you begin to trouble shoot software issues that you check for any hardware error that might be the root cause of a problem.
1. Start by testing the computer's memory for errors. In Vista and above a memory check is built into the opperating system and can be started by xxxxxxxx. On Windows XP you will need a separate program, Memtest is a fairly universally used tool and is a reliable detector of memory errors. Memtest can be found here... http://www.memtest.org/
If this process indicates a memory error, remover all the memory sticks and lightly rub the contacts with a pencil rubber. Replace the modules and run the test again. If the RAM continues to fail enter the BIOS and if possible set the RAM speed to a lower value; test again. If a module continues to fail it will need to be replaced.
Memory contact errors occur most frequently with new RAM due to residue from the manufacturing process and RAM that has suffered oxidisation of the contacts or has experienced mild electrolysis caused by a difference in the metals of RAM sticks and slots.
You can apply the same rubber technique to any cards in expansion slots. Use a small brush to remove any rubber left on the contacts. If there is dust in the box you should carefully vacuum the inside of the case with a plastic or rubber nozzle.
Always when being hand on inside a computer earth yourself to the metal case before touching anything.
For more information see the Kingston Ultimate Memory Guide.
2. Run a full disk check on all drives.
3. Method One -- Delete temp files. Do NOT rely on Windows cleaner to do this. In XP they are located in [Drive]:\Documents and Settings\[my user name]\Local Settings\Temp InVista and above [Drive]:\Users\[my user name]\Local Settings\Temp
Method Two -- Click Start Run then type %temp% it opens the temp folder then Ctrl A to select all files then Del. (Needs confirmation for Vista if someone could test this.)
You should close all applications before attempting this. Some files might show as active and halt the delete process. Deselect those files and try again.
4. Scan the computer for viruses. If you do not have a virus detection program try the free tool from Avira.
* Windows File Protection ensures important operating system files are not overwritten or changed. You can run a program to restore these important file. RUN 'sfc /scannow'
* A common error that can cause problems in Windows is DLL or OCX files that are not registered. To register a DLL or OCX right click the file and in the context menu select 'Register Component'. An Alternative method is to RUN 'regsvr32 [DLL/OCX name]'
* Windows .net Framework Portions of the .net framework may be used in some Corel products, recommend you download the full package 3/4 down the page so if a failure occurs you don't have to download again. Trouble shooting for .net 3.5 (the latest version when this was written) is here.
Not specific to Corel... the following error occurs... (XP only)
The procedure entry point IsThreadDesktopComposited could not be located in the dynamic link library USER32.DLL
The cause is a Vista file being placed in the XP System 32 folder by an erroneous application install. The file is DWMAPI.DLL rename the file DWMAPI.WDL (as in wrong). The file can most likely be deleted, rename as a safe option initially.
* Uninstaller for the WinFX that troublesome puppy that won't go away, when tested this software failed to remove WinFX, you should check in the windows folder after using this to ensure WinFX is removed.
* Aaron Stebner's WebLog -- Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, XNA, Windows Media Center, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio
More of an issue for XP than Vista, with updates being created by MS on such a regular basis most original XP install disks are now incapable of repairing the XP OS. The way to solve this is to slipstream the service packs with the original disks to create an up to date install disk.
If you are having issues with .Net this may be the best solution as while OS files can be protected from being updated when XP is running they have no protection when repaired with an up to date OS.
nLite is excellent this task for XP and vLite provides the same functions for Vista. The software is easy to use and has plenty of instructions.
So bottom line, if you feel you are having an issue with the XP OS, slipstream the disks and repair the build.
* These options under Windows XP above also apply to Vista
Workspace corruption is a common error. This is solved by holding F8 down during application start-up. It symptoms are xxxxxxx
Sysinternals a series of Windows troubleshooting and maintenance tools is available on the Mircosoft Technet website. Dependency Walker is a tool designed to assist in identifying many common application
problems such as missing modules, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, circular
dependency errors, mismatched machine types of modules, and module initialization