Step for Computer Troubleshooting
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While solving computer problems can often be complex, more
often than not, some basic troubleshooting will help you quickly fix the more
common problems, which are often the simplest ones. Here are the ten steps you
should go through to systematically troubleshoot basic computer problems:
1. Save your current work. Before doing
anything, make sure you save your current work so that you don't lose it. Save
it on the hard drive or on a floppy disk. It doesn't matter where, just make
sure you save it.
2. Backup your critical data. If it looks like
your hard drive may crash or the computer may not start up again, take steps to
back up your critical data while it is still working and before you turn it
off. Hopefully you have a recent full backup and will only have to back up your
most recent documents. Consider copying the data to a network drive or burning
it onto a CD-ROM.
3. Reboot your computer. Turn your computer off,
let it sit for two minutes, and reboot it. Sometimes one command of the
hundreds a computer executes every second can cause corrupted memory or other
temporary unexplainable problems. Rebooting will clear out all the gremlins and
gives everything a fresh-start.
4. Is everything plugged in properly? Asking
this a question may seem very basic, but you will be surprised how often it can
often be the fix you are looking for. Cables get bumped or work themselves
loose over time. Make sure they are all snug and tight. If you want to look
under the hood, and are comfortable doing so, ideally you should check the
cables and connections within your computer case as well. You should also make
sure all cards and memory are firmly seated by gently but firmly pushing them
into their respective slots.
5. Ask yourself what you did last. Did your
problems start just after you installed new software programs or updated
hardware drivers? This can be a great clue as to the source of a problem.
6. is your hardware happy? Unhappy hardware is
often the source of problems. To check your hardware, right-click on My
Computer, select Properties, click on the Hardware tab, and then the Device
Manager Button. This will open the Device Manager Dialog box. It lists all the
hardware devices on your computer. Devices that aren't working properly will
have a yellow exclamation mark next to them. Double-click on the problem
devices to open a dialog box that may have details on the problem, and a
listing of suggestions on how to fix it.
7. Check your computer for nasties. Run a
complete system scan with your anti-virus software (make sure you update your
virus definitions before you run the scan). You should also scan your computer
for adware, spyware. Scanning your machine with two of these products can be
helpful as sometimes you will find something that one product missed.
8. Install software or driver updates. If it
seems one program or hardware device is acting up, check the manufacturer's Web
site for updates. The code in most software is thousands if not millions of
lines long and it is impossible for software companies to find all the bugs in
their programs. As users discover problems, software and hardware manufacturers
often release revised software or updated drivers that include new code to
address newly discovered problems.
9. Check online support. If you get as far as
this step, your problem is probably more complex. Most hardware and software
manufacturers now have extensive support information online in searchable
databases. These are often called Knowledge Bases. Microsoft's support page is
at. Odds are someone else has already experienced the same problem you have,
and you can often a solution online. Good luck with your troubleshooting.
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