So, back in the day, I was always a big fan of the Microsoft Knowledge Base. It used to be that I knew that if I got an error message in Windows, and typed in the first few words and did an exact phrase search, I could be fairly certain that I'd find a KB article that would help me solve my problem.

Recently, though, I've noticed that I have better luck using Live Search (or the search from that other company) than in the KB. I'm not sure whether that's because Vista hasn't been out long enough to build up a solid base of KB articles, or some other reason.

But today, I ran into a problem where I could no longer successfully burn DVDs, and keep getting an error message suggesting that the disk is not writeable. The good news is that by entering the error message (or most of it) I was indeed able to find a relevant KB article. Unfortunately the article, which mentions an issue with burning files that have $ in the extension when using Mastered mode, does not seem to apply in my case.

I'm guessing that my case may be an issue of some third-party app holding onto the drive, since I recently installed some disk utilities to deal with a separate issue (not enough space left on my C drive), but I'm bummed that my old standby has failed me.

I'm not giving up on the KB yet, but I'm open to suggestions for better ways to find solutions.

Let me know in the comments what you use when searching for help on various error messages (Windows and otherwise).