Troubleshooting software problems can often be difficult. When you encounter problems with a peticular piece of software, you may also have other software that does similiar things or rely on similar items to do what it does. Here's a personal story that heps describe what I'm talking about.
Recently, my video editor program stopped exporting and compressing my videos. It had been working properly with no issues. Re-installing the application had no effect on the problem. So I thought possibly something was wrong with the source video. Naturally of course the video played fine on the pc so I ruled that out.
My instinct was to suspect a corrupted codec on the system. Sure enough, my codec checking utility showed a bad codec and reported it had been installed by my DVD authoring program. I wasn't sure if my editing program was using that specific codec though.
Prior to reinstalling my DVD application, I decided to open up a folder that I store video in and preview a movie to test the DVD authoring program with. When clicking on a video, to play the movie, Explorer.exe crashed and closed all open windows into the file system. The peticular folder was set to thumbnail view.
Fortunately I was able to change the folder view settings to "Detail" view to alleviate that problem.
What was actually happening there was XP was using a 'broken" codec to try to display the starting frame of the video. Kind of a cool feature when it works, but I normally use Detail view to monitor filesizes and stuff.
Next I opened up my DVD authoring program to check it out. The last time I had used it there were no problems whatsoever. I was able to import a video and start a project with no problem. However, when I attempted to render the video to a folder to burn the video later...I recieved an error.
Magically, after re-installing that application, everything worked perfect.
So tracking down problems, often involves a little thought about what other software that is supposed to do "similiar" things and comparing notes.
Like I said..."It's All Related"!