Troubleshooting computer problems
It does not need not be an expensive affair. How
to solve most problems yourself.
There are many tools and aids that guide you in
your troubleshooting. They are examined in detail here.
Operating system help
Your operating system provides help
from the start menu. It provides step by step
guidance on a great number of problems. You can get to help by pressing
the start button and selecting help and support.
Next, select fixing a problem
Let’s take a printing problem as an example. Let’s say you can’t print
from any program. First select printing problems.
Next, select Printing Trouleshooter.
Select My document doesn’t print at all.
Select I cannot print any files, even in
Notepad and Wordpad.
Continue following the instructions and the help will either resolve
the problem or tell you what the next steps would be such as contacting
the manufacturer or a computer repair professional.
Computer troubleshooting online
There are a number of websites
that offer to help troubleshooting for free.
I provide this service via my contact form and can respond to most
requests in under 12 hours.
Some of these sites allow for submission of questions
via email. The response may vary with some not guaranteeing a
response before 5 business days. They may offer faster response for a
Others have voluminous, searchable
information at their site. This may or may not be better than
a pure Google search of your particular question.
Contact your computer vendor
You can contact your computer and/or hardware
manufacturer in most cases. Many have 24/7 toll free service as well as
chat and they can help you evaluate and solve your problems.
If you have an HP product for example typing HP
support contact yields the HP contact page which allows you
to speak to an agent or chat over the web.
Dell support contact yields Dell contact
Netgear support contact gets you to Netgear contact
Search for solutions to your problems on the web
Use one of the search engines
to post your question. You may need to phrase it in different
ways to get the results that you want.
The data may be out of date so use
the search engine’s date specification to a date
which applies to your equipment. For Google, select the advanced search
link that is next to the text box where you enter what you are
If your computer or operating system is new,
select a date within the last 6 months or whatever is appropriate.
Keep clicking on the returned answers that seem
the most relevant and that make sense to you. If all the answers are
not on target, you can try rephrasing the question.
There are sites that have experts to help you if
you have a subscription. Experts Exchange is an excellent
Online repair services
These services will analyze
your computer for a fee. They may also be able to
solve your problem by doing remote computer repair
directly on your computer.
One famous and notable service which received a
favorable review is the Geek Squad. They allow for remote repair. Here
is a recent full review of their service from PC Magazine
However, a review of expert
comments reveals some strong reservations about
Geek Squad so caveat emptor, let the buyer beware.
Computer repair outlet
If all else fails, you will need to bring it to a
Reviews of major chains that
sell computers doing repairs do not paint a
Chain stores are very focused on the bottom line.
Therefore, they don’t pay the techs very much and don’t attract quality
talent in general.
The large chain stores make the majority of their
profit from sales, not from tech services, therefore they can afford to
have customers unhappy with their support. If you know someone that had
a repair done at one of these places that was happy and can identify
a qualified repair agent, it can pay to follow up.
Small shops depend on repeat business and have a
vested interest in keeping their customers satisfied. If the small
shop has been in business for a while, it
is a good sign. If you need more reassurance, ask the owner for
references and check them out.
Get your own guru
It goes without saying that you can ask your
friend the guru for help. The methods above allow you to get help on
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