One tool Windows Vista offers to help troubleshoot issues is Microsoft’s Problem Reports and Solutions (PRS). This tool diagnoses the issues tracked by Windows Error Reporting and goes online to find solutions.
Today my Vista Ultimate machine reported that I had 239 problems and asked if I wanted to see solutions. Sure, I clicked. A few minutes later Microsoft came back with its findings. Zero solutions. Zero out of 239. Not surprised? Me neither.
What did surprise me was the numerous items listed under “Information about other problems”. I saw a listing telling me to download the latest service pack, which I already have installed. Another item told me to update to the the latest version of Firefox, which I am already running. Microsoft told me to update Quicktime, Acrobat Reader, Skype and a half dozen other programs that I already have the latest versions of as well. All of this advice in an effort to resolve “problems” with these applications – though it never bothers to tell me what those problems are. You have to go into another area of PRS to get the technical details on any issue, which are all nothing more than error codes.
It seems that Microsoft’s answer to ever problem is to update your software, even if it is already at the latest version. The few other recommendations it gave me were pretty useless as well – telling me to go to the support site for the software in question. What good is a tool that gives you no answers and reports incorrect information? Not much.