Troubleshooting is the identification of ‘trouble’ in a system caused by a failure of some kind. The problem is initially described as symptoms of malfunction, and troubleshooting is the process of determining the causes of these symptoms. You can also say that troubleshooting is a process of identifying a computer problem so that it can be fixed.
Some people use their instincts; others use advice from experts to get an idea about different types of troubleshooting. A few common steps are then followed to find out the problem on the computer. You can try these steps in the given order whenever you come across any problem in your computer. If these steps do not help much, then you can call an expert to do so i.e. a computer engineer.
Important of computer maintenance
It is important to take proper care of your computer for the following reasons.
- it will increase the speed and the life of your PC
- it prevents errors
- it secures your data and information from any unwanted damages
- lastly, it saves your precious time
Area of troubleshooting
There are three areas to troubleshoot. These are discussed here.
Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer and it is frequently changed or updated. Most computer hardware is in-built and cannot be seen by normal users. There are a large number of computer hardware devices including hard disk, CD-ROM, RAM, motherboard, monitor, printer, and other peripheral devices. In order to identify the problem with your system hardware, you need to identify the type of hardware first.
Some of the basic hardware problems that you may face are:
- power failure in a computer.
- device problems like keyboard, mouse, and printer not recognized.
The computer software can be any program file or an application running on a computer. The software problems could be of any form such as unexplained crashes and strange error messages. Before calling up a software expert, you need to identify the problem.
Some of the basic software problems that you may face:
- unable to install a program.
- program or utility does not load or has an error when it attempts to load.
- the system crashes when working with specific software.
Probably the most frustrating problem computer users run into are startup problems where your computer fails to boot up properly.
Some of the commonly faced problems involving the operating system of a computer:
- windows restart without warning
- windows start in a safe mode
- windows stop responding
- windows slow down.
- windows file do not boot.
Steps of troubleshooting
Lets us find out how you should handle any problem that crops up in your computer.
Step 1: find out the problem
This is a very important step as it gives you an idea of just how frequently you face this problem. On the basis of your findings, you can also divide whether it needs attention. Once you are able to answer these two questions, you can think of troubleshooting your computer system.
Some of the common problems that you may face:
- the system is not getting a proper power supply
- the system restarts on its own after a few minutes
- sometimes the system stops responding
- the system is running slow
- some flashy error messages are displayed
- windows do not get loaded
Step 2: categorize your problem
When you have figured out whether the problem is related to hardware or software, then half of the work is done.
For hardware-related problems
- check the power supply points
- check whether the devices like keyboard, mouse, printer, and system unit are connected properly
- ensure that during the startup process all the peripherals attached are recognized properly
For software-related problems
- check the operating system files
- check the software files that are frequently used
- the devices drivers should be properly installed
Step 3: Check the services manually
You have learned to figure out the type of problems that your computer system may be facing. The services manuals contain instructions for troubleshooting and service information. Almost every computer and peripheral made today has a set of services documentation in the form of books, services CD-ROMs and websites. Websites are growing in popularity as more service centers get connections to the internet. For example, if the computer is not able to recognize any device attached, like a printer, then take out the CD for the device driver installations. Insert it in your CD-ROM and install it.
Step 4: back to its original state
When you troubleshoot, make one change at a time in the problem sector. If the changes do not solve the problem, restore back to the original state. You must not make any alterations at a time as this may lead to more complications. Whenever changes are made with no results, then it is always advisable to undo the changes.
Step 5: call the expert
If you can feel that you will not be able to solve the problem on your computer then it is always advisable to call the technician. It ensures that you do not end up creating complications in troubleshooting.
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