Your desktop won’t turn on, your laptop has viruses that prevent you from going online and you can’t print. Bummer… Before you turn to help desk support, here’s a guide on how to approach a situation when your computer has a problem. After all, you should be the first level of support before contacting anybody else.
Some of my friends and co-workers turned to me to fix their computer on numerous occasions in the last two years. Based on my experience, here are some possible scenarios that can happen to your PC , along with suggested fixes.
If your PC won’t turn on, check your cables and make sure everything is connected properly. You can then try plugging it into a different outlet or power strip. If it’s a laptop then try a different battery and AC adapter, if it’s possible. A desktop might not turn on if graphics card, RAM and all the other cards are not seated properly. If none of those help, then it might be a motherboard or power supply problem. If you hear a series of beeps on startup, it might be a mother board problem. You cannot fix a motherboard or power supply problem and your best bet would be to call the tech support line.
System restore can save you time and money.
If you computer turns on but won’t boot into Windows or it runs very slow, or it stops responding, it may also be because a program you installed recently. Enter the computer using the safe mode and uninstall the last installed program. Also, update all your drivers and, if needed, use the system restore. How to do this?
First start your computer, and press at least twice F8 key during the booting process ( right before the operating system loads). This lets you enter the computer through a different way that shows you a menu with different options. Select safe mode or safe mode with networking and open up the system restore application. System restore can be a very useful application that can save you time and money because otherwise you might need to reinstall the operating system. Click to restore the computer to an earlier time when you know it worked well.
If your computer has a virus that prevents you from using your computer normally you can try to enter the computer in Safe Mode and roll back the computer to an earlier period when your PC worked well. It is essential to do this as soon as possible as restore points are created automatically every week . Also, run your antivirus programs to check for viruses. You can install free antivirus such as: AVG, free edition, Avast or Avira, in case you don’t have one.
Other useful tools.
A good tool to have handy for other computer problems is to use a recovery disc. Recovery disk or system repair disk will help your computer recover from a serious error or restore your computer from a system image. To create a recovery disk just insert a black CD and in the search bar type ‘create a system repair disk’ (windows 7) and follow the instructions. Boot up from it and save your data if you cannot get into your computer using the safe mode.
Another tool is Check now option that checks your hard drive’s errors. Right below the COMPUTER icon on your screen you go to your hard drive OS (C), right-click and select Properties. Then click Tools and then Check now, right under the error-checking tab.
In case your program crashes, or your computer has a strong virus that prevents you from using it, then your last resort is to wipe out everything and reinstall the operating system. Try to save your data first, as an operating system reinstall will delete your files, folders and programs.
Google it or sign up for a tech forum.
Another troubleshooting tool is using google to search for your problem. It is possible that it was encountered by other users and the solution may be published online. Search for the specific error messages or go to free tech forums to ask for help such as PC World forums.