PC Problems? Try these Quick Fixes
(c) Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
Have you ever had your computer make you want to commit an act of
violence, such as throwing it out the window?
No, not you.
Computer problems only happen to other people - NOT SO!
Nothing frustrates me more than having a deadline or important task
interrupted by my computer losing its mind.
The next time your computer acts up, try these tips and see if you
can't solve the problem before you give in to temptation and heave a
brick through your monitor.
** Computer Locked-Up? **
Computers usually lock-up because a program becomes unstable or
performs an illegal function.
Regardless of why your computer stopped responding, the following
sequence should help you avoid damaging your software while trying
to get going again.
The first step after you lock up is to press the
Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys at the same time. A dialog box should appear
showing which programs are running.
Look for a program that has "Not Responding" or a similar message
next to the program name.
If your mouse still works, click on the program and then
click "End Task" or "End Process". If this unlocks the computer,
exit Windows and shutdown properly. Restart in 15 seconds.
If your mouse doesn't work, but your keyboard still
functions, press Alt+F4 to start closing down programs, including
If your mouse and keyboard don't respond at all, none of the
above steps work, and you can't shut down properly, turn your
computer off or hold in the power button for 4-6 seconds until the
computer shuts down.
Restart in 15 seconds.
** Computer Won't Boot Up? **
Make sure you don't have any floppy disks in the disk drive.
A floppy in the drive will prevent the computer from starting
properly and can cause no end of embarrassment if you've already
called tech support for help.
** Hard Drive Making Noises? **
Now that's a cause for
If your hard drive starts making strange noises,
you need to act quickly.
Drastic changes in the usual "beeps and burps" of your computer can
represent anything from a loose screw to the imminent and
catastrophic loss of all your data.
Log on to
http://support.wdc.com/ and you can test the health of your hard
drive and spot problems before they get really bad. This free
service offered by Western Digital, one of the world's largest hard
drive manufacturers, gets a very high endorsement from Smart
** "Blue Screen of Death" **
The ultimate cause for panic... at least for me.
Who hasn't gotten that blue screen in Microsoft Windows
telling you a fatal error has occurred and directing you to "press
any key to continue" or "hold down the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys to
restart your computer?"
Needless to say, most people either get scared or annoyed upon
seeing the screen, but usually do as they're told.
The same thing happens when error messages pop up telling them a
program has performed an "illegal operation." Most people just click
"continue" without ever checking out the details.
Everyone experiences computer errors occasionally, but those errors
can also signal a deeper computer or software problem.
To save time and money on technical support, users should do the
following every time an error message appears: WRITE it down!
Record the error message, time, date, and the circumstances under
which the error occurred.
With a blue screen message, write down the entire error message.
When an illegal operation occurs, click the "details" button and
write down everything that appears beginning with and ending with
the words in CAPITAL letters.
Write down any other error messages as well.
Recording this information will aid your computer technician or
software technical support in spotting any trends and it will
definitely save you time when explaining what happened.
The more quickly the tech understands the problem, the faster your
computer gets fixed!
The moral of the story: don't let small problems get big!
If you repeatedly experience an error or a problem, get it fixed.
You might pay a computer tech for an hour of their time now, but it
sure beats spending several hundred dollars (or worse) later on down
Jim Edwards is a syndicated
newspaper columnist and the co-author of an amazing new ebook
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