Default [Q] ADB users guide / problem solving guide

I've seen many other people having problems with adb and so am I.
I've been reading through a lot of stuff but I still have some questions.

Is there any users guide on how to use adb, as far as I know it should work when the phone is booted.

For me this does not work, adb does not see any connected device,
  • I've installed he latest htcsync from the htc site,
  • htc sees my phone,
  • windows sees my phone,
  • fastboot works.
  • usb debugging on the phone is enabled

adb does not

is there a general guideline for solving adb problems, I've seen lots of questions
and other people helping out on that specific question but I could not find a general guide people should read first,
I know that's what I want to start with before going through all those messages

And for those who want to help me out
I'm running on a Windows 7 pro with sp1 64bit