An overview of these computer troubleshooting tips can
down to looking at a trouble (problem) and determining exactly what's
causing it. Then, allowing you to proceed to the next step of repairing
or replacing the cause of the trouble.
This process is started by looking at the computer and
seeing what is happening, what appears to be working and what does not?
Can you identify any parts that are working properly and the parts are
not? You may have to make a list of the good and bad components.
Can you start the computer? How far does the computer go
in loading the operating system? If you are able to power up the PC and
the monitor displays the proper images, then there is a good chance
the main components are working properly and this includes the power
supply. You wouldn't get this
far if the motherboard had a major problem. The same goes for the CPU
and RAM; also the hard drive, that is where the operating system is
stored. As long as you can see the operating system loading on the
monitor, then the hard drive appears to be functioning.
If at this point, with everything that
you've done so far,
the computer is still functioning you can proceed using these computer
troubleshooting tips to test all of the other components. When
computers, do you realize, that you have the best tool to work with,
Keep in mind, one of the best computer
is to replace the suspected part with a known good part and see if that
corrects the problem. While this sounds good, it is not always easy or
economical to do this. Then you must go on and evaluate each of the
parts. Another one of the computer troubleshooting tips is to use the
manufacturers and the vender's technical support team. They are
provided to make
sure their products are functioning properly. This is a valued
resource, but, you
should anticipate some difficulties.
power supply is
not working properly if it does not produce the proper voltages, then
use any of these computer troubleshooting tips to resolve the problem.
computer is working you can use the BIOS, It can display on the monitor
the voltages that are supposed to be present. If not you can measure
the output voltages at the 24 pin and the 4 pin motherboard connectors
with a volt meter or a power supply tester if you have one.
The most common problem with the power supply is it is not plugged into
the power outlet or the power outlet is not working. This should be
your first check. Also check the power switch and the reset switch on
the computer case; if defective it can appear as a power supply
problem. Finally, make sure all of the power and data connectors are
can be tested by
using any of the many free and shareware programs that are found on the
Internet. This is basic computer troubleshooting. Before you run tests
on the motherboard it is important to
inspect it for loose connections, missing or damaged parts. or that
are in the proper place and secure. If the testing finds that the M/B
repairable then repair it, if not, then the M/B must be replaced. The
two software products I recommend are Test My Hardware
and Motherboard Monitor.
has the ability of being tested by using any of the many freeware and
shareware programs that are found on the Internet. Again it is up to
you to find them by using any one of the search engines. The CPU is an
integral sealed component and cannot be repaired. If it is bad, it must
replaced. This is also one of
the computer troubleshooting tips.
- The RAM
tested by reading and writing data to it. This is best accomplished by
using one of the many free programs available on the Internet. One that
I find very reliable is Memtest86+. There are many others to
choose from, use any one of the search engines to find them. This is
how you start troubleshooting computer problems.
(CD or DVD) is
tested by reading and writing a disk. Also check the connectors and
cables to make sure they are seated properly and working. Replace if
with known good cables in order to test them.
is used to store and
retrieve data from a magnetic medium. A simple test is to create a
file; write it to the disk, then read it back and display the data on
the screen. Here again, free programs can be found on the Internet that
will do this repeatedly on different areas of the hard drive. I use as
much free software as I can find when I am troubleshooting my computer.
- The network interface allows the
computer to communicate with the Internet or with other computers on
the local area network. This is easily tested by sending and
data over the Internet or to other computers that are part of the
network. There is plenty of network testing software available on the
Internet, much of it free. Use any of the computer troubleshooting tips
you need to resolve network problems.
- The modem is tested by uploading and
over the Internet, to a remote location. This can be done simply by
connecting to any website
over the Internet. If you look at the tech
support center page,
you will see my experiences
with trying to correct a problem with a modem. Additionally you might test the
speed of the modem and the data that is being transmitted
over the Internet.
is an inexpensive item
and can be replaced easily if it is found to be defective. Using
any word processing program you can type each of the characters and
make sure that they are displaying correctly on the screen. This will
allow you to detect if any key is not working properly. There are
also several free or shareware programs that can be downloaded, which
will test the keyboard. The keyboard of a laptop is an integral part
and cannot be replaced. In this case you would have to repair or
is tested by using the software built into the operating system, which
will allow you to
exercise all of its functions. Doing this will tell you if it is
working properly. If you have an older ball mouse make sure that the
ball housing is clean and free of lint. If your mouse has a LED, make
that it too is clean.
usually has its own power connection, make sure that it is properly
Also make sure that the data cable is connected at both ends. Does the
printer have ink, both black and color? Much beyond this, you will have
to work with the tech support group at the printer manufacturers.
can be tested by
using a utility called the sound recorder. Your voice is recorded when
you speak into a microphone. This sound file is then stored to disk and
when played back you hear your original recording. If unable to play
back, try a known good microphone. These computer troubleshooting tips
will allow you to tackle any problem. Also, there are several free
programs available that will determine the sound quality of the
Windows live messaging has a testing tool that will allow you to test
and adjust the microphone.
can be tested by
playing any prerecorded sound file, or CD, or communicating with anyone
over the Internet using voice messaging. For this you must have the
proper audio drivers installed. Additional testing can be done with
free downloadable testing software located on the Internet. Windows
live messaging has a testing tool that will allow you to test and
adjust the speakers.
can be tested by
displaying the pictures taken. This requires using any video software
usually supplied by the webcam manufacturer. Windows live messaging has
a testing tool that will allow you to test and adjust the webcam. This
camera is not a repairable item and will have to be replaced if found
is tested by scanning a
graphic and displaying it on the monitor. If this does not work try
some of the diagnostic software provided by the manufacturer, or found
on the Internet. Talk to the tech support group, they can provide
can be tested by
reading and writing data to it. If you still have a problem
make sure the connections are good, or try plugging it into a different
USB port. Finally try using a known good USB flash drive. If that works
then the original flash drive was bad, replace it.
an output device that displays visual images on its screen. If
nothing displays that's a good indication of a problem. In an attempt
to fix computer monitors begin by using these computer troubleshooting
tips which can be done with any one
of the diagnostic programs located on the
Internet. They can be found by any one of the search engines.
As you can see, using these computer troubleshooting
tips, you have many methods of troubleshooting
every part of the
computer and identifying any problems that exist. Now it is time to
repair or replace the defective component.
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