“What’s wrong with my computer?” you ask.
Computer troubleshooting is a process requiring both logic and knowledge of every component inside of a PC. Knowing the boot process and the way components interact with each other can save techs and PC users a lot of time when troubleshooting problems with a system.
Types of Computer Problems
Problems can basically be separated into either hardware or software. Hardware computer problems can result in beeps codes, nothing on the screen, a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death),a dead system or even smoke. Software problems can manifest themselves in BSODs and other errors that show up once Windows boots.
Starting The Troubleshooting Process
First thing to do is just stop. Yep, stop and try to think back to any recent software or hardware that was added. Then proceed with the following checklist:
1. Write down any error messages you see on the screen. Write clearly, as the syntax in the error must be exact for techs to track down the problem.
2. If anything is smoking or running hot, be sure to unplug the computer.
3. Do you hear any beep codes? If so how many and note if they are long or short beeps.
4. Is there any power? Do you hear fans spinning or the hard drive churning?
5. If it says “No Operating System Found,” can you tap the BIOS setup key and confirm that the hard drive is showing up in the BIOS under the Primary Master?
6. Confirm there are no disks in the floppy or CD drive.
The above steps should at least help you determine if the problem is hardware or software related. In either case, make sure you have the system recovery disk or your Windows Operating System disk, as you may not be able to repair your computer without those.
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- Keep track of noises, beeps or any strange smells coming from the computer.
- Write down exact error codes–they matter.
- Make sure there are no disks in the floppy or CD drives.
- Unplug any external devices–like hard drives, scanners, etc.