Basic Computer Troubleshooting Techniques

 Basic Computer Troubleshooting Techniques


Having patience is very important when troubleshooting computer problems. Becoming frustrated or not taking notes can extend the troubleshooting process significantly Dépannage Informatique . Always take careful note of things that may have changed. Did you install a new piece of hardware or software? Was there a bad thunderstorm or a power outage? All of these things may be part of the underlying problem so take careful notes. Before you click “OK” or restart your computer, be sure to write down any error messages. Take careful note of what programs you were running at the time. If the message is in a windows box, sometimes clicking Details can provide additional information.

One of the most basic troubleshooting techniques is to perform a cold restart of the system. Shut down windows completely until the PC is completely turned off. Wait for 10 seconds or so and then power the PC back on. If there is a printer, external hard drive or other peripherals attached to your computer, it is recommended that you power these devices down at the same time that you shut down the computer. In most cases you will want to power up these devices again before you turn your computer back on.

Is there a specific action that you perform such as starting a program, accessing a specific function or using a peripheral that causes the issue to repeat itself? Taking careful note of this can be invaluable in troubleshooting issues. As you use the process of elimination to track down the issue, check to see that the issue still exists each step of the way. If the problem is predictable and repeatable it will make troubleshooting much easier. Random problems are very difficult to troubleshoot. Pay close attention to user actions and usage patterns in troubleshooting issues. The most important question is what changed prior to the problem manifesting itself.

If your computer does not turn on you probably have an issue with your power supply. Check the outlet that your computer is plugged into by plugging a different device into the same outlet. If it is on a power strip, make sure any errors have been reset. There is typically a switch or button to reset a power strip from a power condition. If the outlet tests out OK and you don’t hear anything spinning inside your computer when you turn it on, your power supply has probably gone bad. This component can be replaced by a qualified technician.

When you start your computer it will perform a power on self test (POST). If there are any obvious hardware issues, an error code will be displayed and a beeping sound may come from the system speaker. The error codes and number/length of beeps will vary depending on the specific issue. For instance a memory related issue will often display a 201: Memory Error. Any issues related to memory will start with a 2 in the error code. When you computer emits a series of beeps when starting up, that indicates a hardware issue. The system BIOS is capable of identifying hardware problems and issuing the error sound. The pattern and length of beeps will vary by BIOS manufacturer and hardware component. For instance an Award BIOS code for a video card issue would be one long beep followed immediately by two short beeps.

Always be sure to have a backup solution in place to protect your important documents and file. The best solution is to have a backup in place that is completely automatic and one in which the data is stored in a separate secure location in case of fire or natural disaster.



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