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Microsoft Fix it works on only the specific problem that it is designed to fix, so it is not a general, over-all fix-it solution.

Hi, Leo. Does Microsoft Fix-it really fix it? I followed instructions to clean up Internet Explorer with the usual tools, and also with Fix-it, and all seems okay for awhile then it slows again. I use Malwarebytes and Super Anti-spyware regularly.

In this excerpt from Answercast #88 I look at the way Microsoft Fix it Center works on specific problems on your computer.

Microsoft Fix it

Well, I think the way your question is worded has me concerned. There is no single "Mr. Fix it."

It's not like "Fix it" is one tool that fixes everything. What Microsoft has done, is they have provided specific fix-it tools for specific problems. So if you go into their knowledge base and you're diagnosing some kind of a problem, or some kind of an odd behavior, the knowledge base may include something that says, "Here's a description of the problem; here's the description of the resolution; here are the steps you need to take to fix the problem - and by the way, if you'd rather not take all those steps, here is a fix-it utility for this specific problem."

And it's only going to solve that specific problem if in fact that specific problem is the problem that is present on your machine.

Does it work?

So, does it always fix it? Well, it always fixes what it claims to fix. Usually, more often than not, what misses the mark is that it's not fixing the problem that you actually have!

So, I can't really say that Fix-it fixes it - because it's very difficult to make sure that you've chosen the correct fix-it for the problem that you are experiencing. It's difficult to say that the fix-it they've provided for a specific symptom is actually fixing a problem that is causing that same symptom on your machine.

Remember symptoms can be caused by any number of different problems.

Fix-its "work"

So, ultimately fix-its are great. They do exactly what they claim to do - but realize that they only do exactly what they claim to do. If your problem is something else, then running the wrong fix-it is not necessarily going to help your specific problem.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6247 - January 16, 2013 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Dieter Walsemann
January 18, 2013 10:40 AM

Your link to Fixit Utility takes me to a Dell Computer website....what gives???

January 18, 2013 3:22 PM

I think you clicked on one of the advertisement links. Those show on the page with double underlines, you'll also notice that they move around when you refresh the page.

The link to Microsoft Fix It is in the link section below the article. It goes to Microsoft:

January 18, 2013 6:07 PM

Try another browser like firerefox to compare speeds..
Slow browsing speeds are often an indication of maintenance issues rather than malware ..but not always of course.
Run ccleaner{free} for a general clean up.

Then temporarily disable most start up will find they are generally not required.

This can be done either by using msconfig or ccleaner under tools.
During the test even disable your antivirus.AV programs often causes slowdowns because of daily full scans being set as a default for example.
Make sure only one AV program is running otherwise big slowdowns can occur.
Try reducing as many start up items as possible.These can be enabled later if required.
Disable all search engines except for Google.Disable toolbars and other add on which can drain resources.Run a defrag ..but do it overnight as this can take many hours.
Disable any non windows schedules tasks ..this can be done via cccleaner under tools.These can be enabled later if required.

Danny Smith
January 18, 2013 8:06 PM

MS Fix-it has helped me with problems a couple of times but as a general rule, like you said Leo, it doesn't always "do the trick"!

The info on Ask Leo has been consistently much more of a help to me.

January 18, 2013 10:47 PM

Yes, "Fix-It" tools are tightly focused. They are basically batch files or PowerScripts (or similar language) that performs a very specific set of steps to fix a very specific problem. I have not issue with that, especially when the KB article includes a "method" showing what steps the Fix It is automating.

My complaint about "fix-it" tools is the generic name. What MS has to start doing is ALWAYS include the number when they refer to a fix-it. ie "... Use Fix it 12345 to delete Office ...". When asking for help everyone just says, "I ran the fix it but it didn't work ...". Well, shucks! What fix it? In what KB article?

Glenda Oakley
January 19, 2013 7:33 PM

I like the fix-it. It has helped me a couple of times too, but like some of you are saying, you need to know exactly what the problem is, to find the correct section and terminology for your problem. And sometimes that is hard!

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