• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 21. How to Deal with a Finicky PC > Basic Troubleshooting Tips

Basic Troubleshooting Tips

No matter what kind of computer-related problem you're experiencing, there are six basic steps you should take to track down the cause of the problem. Here they are:

Check for user errors— something you've done wrong. Maybe you've clicked the wrong button, or pressed the wrong key, or plugged something into the wrong jack or port. Retrace your steps and try to duplicate your problem. Chances are the problem won't recur if you don't make the same mistake twice.

Check that everything is plugged in to the proper place, and that the PC itself is getting power. Take special care to ensure that all your cables are securely connected—loose connections can cause all sorts of strange results!

Be sure that you have the latest versions installed for all the software on your system. While you're at it, be sure you have the latest versions of device drivers installed for all the peripherals on your system.

Run the appropriate Windows diagnostic tools. If you have them, use third-party tools as well.

Try to isolate the problem by when and how it occurs. Walk through each step of the startup process to see if you can identify which driver or service might be causing the problem.

When all else fails, call in professional help. That means contacting a technical support line, or taking your machine into the shop. Don't be embarrassed; if you need professional help, go and get it!



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint