How to Use Google When You Get Errors

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Got a pesky error message like this one?

Vista Error Message

Many times error messages like these come up from time to time and people don't know the first clue on how to fix or prevent messages from popping up in the future.  Well Etienne is here with a dose of cyber-Tylenol. Google and other search engines are great tools in finding out how fix many problems.  Unless you're the type of person that can break a computer just by looking at it, chances are someone in this big world has had the same issue you have.  In the Bible it says there is nothing new under the sun.  Well, it's right.  You're not the only person in the world that is getting this error message, or has ever got an error message.  Your computer is not out to get you.  You're not John Connor and you're not being chased down by your T1000 laptop to frustrate your life.

On the internet there are things called forums, which are help sites that people pose questions and other more computer savvy people answer them.  Best of all?  They're usually free!  Imagine you're getting free computer help from some tech savvy individual, isn't that great?  Before long you will be a tech savvy individual.  Okay enough commentary.  By know you're pretty juiced and you're wondering how do I take advantage of this wonderful amazing thing?  All you need to do is to, Google, Yahoo, Bing, your error message and voila you'll get 100s of results of people who have asked and answered your exact question.  The only catch is that you have to put in your error message exactly as it's shown.

For example:

If I were do a search on the error message above, I would put in: You do not have permission to view the current permission settings for Properties, but you can make permission changes.  If you really want to get fancy, you wrap the message with some quotes and you narrow your search by that exact phrase, so "You do not have permission to view the current permission settings for Properties, but you can make permission changes."  Quotes restrict your search to the phrase exactly as it appears, so it will look for websites that contain that exact phrase in that order.  Without quotes it will take the less common words like "do" and "to" and ignore those and just perform a search on the bigger words.

For example this is search without quotes:

Google Search Without Quotes

Now here is the same search with quotes:

Google Search With Quotes

Well there you go happy searching!

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Posted by: Etienne Douglas

Etienne is the Webstar Coordinator/Community Library Specialist at the Marin City Library.

This is an official blog for the Marin County Free Library.

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