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This article is based on my years of experience as a Computer Technician. Listed below are some tips and techniques for trouble-shooting your personal computer. In these guide I assumed that you have some knowledge identifying computer component if not try browsing PC component for more information on identifying system components of your Personal Computer.
Troubleshooting tips for your pc problems
- Always take notes: Before trying to troubleshoot your pc, it is a good idea to take notes of all the problems you encountered such as blank screen, error beeps, or if you are in Windows try to take note off the error message displayed on the screen and what you have done to solve them. You can use this later in your troubleshooting or if you know someone that knows how to troubleshoot PC’s you may refer the error to him/her he/she might give you a good idea where to start your troubleshooting steps.
- Check Visual Inspection of your PC: Before beginning your troubleshooting procedures take a look at your pc, inspect what’s inside your computer. There are only 5V, 12V, and 3.3V DC voltage supplied to the components from the power supply but of course you have to unplug the power before you begin opening the computer case. Don’t be afraid to touch your pc, familiarize yourself of what’s inside your computer but before touching any component be sure to discharge your body of electrostatic discharge (ESD) by touching a metal plate on the casing of your computer. Most component inside the computer are sensitive to static discharge and can be partially damage by just touching them, but don’t worry proper handling of the component can prevent catastrophic electrostatic discharge by learning how to handle component properly. You can avoid ESD by handling circuit board such as motherboard and other add-on cards by their edges and avoiding touching IC chips and other electronic component such as transistor and resistor connecting pins the good news is most computer component today integrates electrostatic protection to protect the component from sudden Electro Static Discharge.
- Check for cables: Most often cables are the cause of computer problems such as loose connections. For example your computer have no power, you begin checking all of the components and found out later that an old power cable is causing the problem, for not power related problem such as your hard drive can’t be detected by the system you might have an IDE or SATA cable problem. Always start from the basic, sometimes the one you think not causing the problem is actually the culprit. Check all the cable inside your computer from IDE, SATA, floppy cable, power supply cables, usb cable connector from your motherboard depending on the problem you encounter.
- Try different component: When your trouble-shooting your computer all you wanted to do is to isolate the problem, you can do this by trial and error procedure for example your computer screen is blank or has no display then it may came to your mind that the video card is the defective component the best way to test this is to swap the video card with a known working video card and check if it work, if not try swapping other component such as the memory, blank screen cannot always be blamed to a video card other component such as memory, microprocessors, power supply or the cable from video card to the monitor can also be blamed. If you have other computer machine you can always try the suspected component to see if it work or not, this way you’ll know if the component is defective or not. Always change component one at a time to isolate the problem.
- Don’t be frustrated: If you can’t solve the problem don’t get frustrated, repairing and troubleshooting computer is fun as long as you don’t get easily frustrated and willing to learn, imagine the satisfaction and joy if you successfully solve your computer problem yourself. If you have spent too much time repairing one problem then it might be a good idea to relax, call someone who can help you, or bring it to your local computer repair shop.