should you do first?
best way to trouble shoot a computer is too use deductive reasoning.
Which is? Process of elimination!
sure all your connections are secure. If your mouse is not working or
your keyboard or any of your peripherals, first thing you should check
is the connections. Monitor not working? Try the connections sometimes
they just get jarred loose or maybe kitty has been playing!
a simple Cntrl-Alt-Delete will get you out of a screen freeze. Other
times you may have to just shut the power off (last resort). Wait about
1 minute and power it back up. A computer crash as it is called can
be a screen freeze (the mouse cursor will not move or it will move but
do nothing) or you will get the blue screen of death as it is called
"That one is pretty self explanatory you'll know it when you see
it". Don't be alarmed if you have to power your computer down by
shutting the power off (some computers you have to push in and hold
the power button until it shuts off. It could take from 10-30 seconds)
Do not just unplug it and plug it in because you risk power surges.
Just press and hold the power button! When you power back up windows
will automatically run a scan disk for errors, this is normal.
to narrow it down:
was the last thing you did ask yourself. Was it software that you installed?
If so uninstall it and try it again. Windows basically runs programs
from DLL files. Which stands for Dynamic Link Library. DLL's operate
like mini programs within windows and programs that are installed on
you computer. Every time you install or uninstall a program these DLL
files get changed or can be altered and if one gets configured incorrectly
your PC can start doing some crazy things. I once had win95 completely
stop working because of a missing DLL file. The message that came up
every time I tried to boot up was something like(Error missing xxxx.dll
file can not start windows. I eventually had to reinstall the operating
and Software Patches:
Do you have the latest drivers for your video card and sound card?
How about the latest direct x drivers installed? (a driver is software
that makes hardware work) "Its a bit more complicated then that
but its as easy an explanation I can provide without writing a book!"
If you are a gamer or you have just installed a new game or any type
of software for that matter. "Games seem to be more prone to problems
speaking from experience". Then go to the software companies web
site and see if there are any patches or fixes for your newly acquired
software. A patch is a fix for bugs in software that were discovered
after the release of the software. Just about all software you purchase
will eventually have patches released so you should check the software
companies website regularly. I once purchased and installed a game that
crashed and froze up my computer every time I tried to stop playing
the game. Drove myself and several hundred other people (who knows)
nuts until the patch was released. The programmers had the customers
who bought and were playing the game working with them via ICQ and email
trying to isolate the problem because they could not replicate it under
controlled settings. After about a week they finally got a handle on
it and released the patch that fixed it. A valuable lesson learned by
the company not to rush release on (not yet ready for prime time software)!
"They ticked allot of people off". Usually a patch is relatively
small 1-2mb which you download (SeeHow
) then install
it by just double clicking on it and boom fixed, very simple!
Starting in safe mode allows you to run your computer with the minimal
amount of drivers utilizing only your mouse, keyboard, and monitor.
It will help in troubleshooting because all other programs that are
normally running in the background are shut down. You can run diagnostic
software, virus scan software, while in safe mode. You can also defragment
your hard drive and run a scan disk in safe mode if for some reason
you are unable too in regular boot up. See Maintaining
Your PC for a detailed
explanation of these Windows applications.
to get into Safe Mode:
In many crashes, Windows asks you if you want to reboot into safe mode.
. Why use safe mode? If the computer works fine in safe mode (remember
the CD-ROM doesn't work in safe mode -- that's not a problem) that narrows
down the problem to one of conflicting software. Remember in Safe Mode
your computer will not look the same because of the minimum drivers
it is using.
Start Windows in safe mode For Windows 95:
Restart your computer (Start > Shut Down > Restart); When you see the
message "Starting Windows 95" Hold down the F8 key; A menu of startup
options will appear. Choose Safe Mode. (You have to press it at just
the right moment on both win95-98 so you may miss it a few times)
For Windows 98:
Hold down the Ctrl key while restarting (Start >Shut Down > Restart);
Release the Ctrl key when you see the Desktop dialog box that indicates
Windows 98 is running in safe mode. You can also press F5 to get into
safe mode if you're just turning on the computer. If none of these seem
to work (they should) get out your trusty manual that came with your
computer and look up safe mode and it will give you some recommendation's
on starting in safe mode.
out of Safe Mode:
Very simple just restart your computer and away you go.
all else fails:
Call tech support if you haven't already but its more fun to try
and fix it on you own after all that's how you learn and the more you
learn the more control you will feel you have over your Personal
tips on the Maintenance and Upkeep on your Computer please see:
Maintaining Your PC