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Computer Troubleshooting


The basics of troubleshooting are the same whether you are troubleshooting a network, a standalone PC or a DVD drive. The first step in troubleshooting is to get as much information as possible. I don't care if you think it's relevant or not. The more information you have, the better you'll be able to narrow the problem down, and the more you can narrow the problem down, the faster you can fix it.

One of the first questions you need to ask is, "has this ever worked"? If it worked in the past but not now, then the question is "what has changed"? Was anything added to the computer recently, hardware or software? Any changes made to software recently? What software was being used or what function was being performed when the failure occurred?

When troubleshooting, it is essential to use a systematic approach. If you don't you risk wasting valuable time and resources. Define the specific symptoms, identify the potential causes of the symptoms, then eliminate these potential causes one by one. Start with the most likely cause and work your way down from there.

Standalone Computer Troubleshooting

  • Hardware

    Warning!!!: For your own protection and for the protection of your computer, always do the following before doing any troubleshooting work on the hardware of your computer.

    1. Turn off your computer and all connected devices.
    2. Touch an unpainted metal surface on the computer before touching anything inside to ground yourself. It is a good idea to periodically do this while working on the computer.
    3. Disconnect any devices connected to the computer from their electrical outlets. Also disconnect any telephone and/or telecommunication lines from the computer
    4. Disconnect you computer's power cable and press the power button to ground the motherboard


    • Removing the Cover
      • Remove the cover screws
      • Physically remove the computer's cover: Apply thumb pressure at the back of the computer. Pull the cover back about 1" and lift straight up.
    • Internal Connections
    • Drivers Backup - When upgrading Windows Device drivers you should make a backup with the old drivers if possible. You can do a backup of your drivers using software like DriversBack which is free to use.
    • DVD - Troubleshooting DVD problems is like troubleshooting any other kind of problem. First you must determine what is causing the problem. DVD problems can be caused by hardware, software, and/or bad discs.
  • Software

Network Troubleshooting

The dependency on computer networks has grown tremendously over the last ten years, and continues to grow. In the world today, a company's success can depend on the availability of its' network. Proper network troubleshooting is an essential of business today.

As our networks have grown in complexity, the potential for connectivity and performance problems have grown as well. Learn how to troubleshoot your network with these tutorials.

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