The Trials and Tribulations of a Confused Computer User

Dealing with Computer Problems

Dealing with Computer ProblemsDuring a recent period of the fretted PC breakdown, I came to realize that I took my computer for granted. I thought the high tech machine would never let me down and I was never further from the truth. Just when I thought things were going smoothly, “BANG”, I was in deep trouble.

Home-based businesses should be aware that computer down time can and will mess up your schedule.After only a week, I was behind and a bit discouraged to say the least. I was lucky enough to be able to fix my pc myself, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes it takes an expert to bail you out and it can be costly. Professionals charge $50.00 per hour, and up, to find and correct problems. It may be wise to stash a bit in the bank for such an occasion.

I found backing up your files is of the utmost importance. Store your important pieces on floppy or CD-ROM. Do not wait too long and be sure to format those floppies. I stored information on a floppy and found after I was back to normal, the floppy was no good and would not open my files.Never store a program on a floppy, it will not work properly when you try it. Programs must be reinstalled. A good example is Aureate Group Mail or something you downloaded online. If you have an opt-in list, that can be saved to floppy.

Think you know your computer? Take a look at its contents. Go to My Computer, C drive, Wow, I was amazed at the contents and the worst of it was I did not know what everything was. Another great place to see the internal contents of your computer is the Control Panel, Go to my computer, control panel, system, and device manager. This place is a maze of high tech content. Do not change anything unless you know what you are doing. The results can be disastrous. I have had my share of problems with down time, ranging from installing a new CD-ROM, to blowing dust from my tower. Yes, dust is a common culprit! Fans get clogged with dust quicklya nd the result is overheated components and leads to computer failure. I blow out the dust using a vacuum cleaner and also being careful not to disturb delicate parts.

PC problems sometimes develop from a loose connection. It may be a cord or a circuit board within the tower. Gently pushing in a loose connection may solve a problem.

Booting into the safe mode is a safe way to fix problems. When booting, after the start up screen, pressing Ctrl, puts the PC in this mode with Internet access, and many programs disabled, so the problem can be found and corrected.

Running Disc Cleanup, ScanDisk and Defragmenter regularly is a must. Keep your Recycle Bin emptied, and the cache of your browsers cleaned.

Downloading too many programs and files can be a hazard. Games the kids like to play require a lot of hard drive with their special effects, graphics and colors.

Updating programs help out a lot and often results in faster load time, and keeps up with technology. Windows updates are included in the start menu. Many programs have updates files included. Another important update is the antivirus software. New viruses are discovered every day and your antivirus program needs to cover new and potentially harmful viruses. This is another great way to lose important data and wipe out your whole system.

Email is the culprit for unwanted viruses. Never open an email if you do not know where/who it is from and beware of attachments. Always scan your mail before opening,if your unsure of the content….DELETE IT!

Starting from scratch is not fun and may take several days to accomplish. Reloading programs back into the computer is time consuming and usually requires technical assistance. Check your warranty for additional information. If you are out of warranty, you may have to pay for repairs.

Additional hardware cause problems too, such as a backup unit for power outages, scanners, and printers. Be sure to service these often, check for wear and upgrade when needed.

I have an additional comment for those of you that want to save money, be aware those universal ink printer refills for any printer may not work for your printer. I thought I was saving money and the results were a damaged printer, thus repairs. In my case, not only did I get ink all over my hands, ink leaked into my printer from the cartridge and caused the damage. You are much better off paying for the cartridge that goes with the printer, than trying to save money and end up paying 3 times the cost in repairs. Last but not least….again…Never, ever think your computer is not vulnerable to sickness… Some never recover!

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©2001, May 9. Donna Sweat Publisher/Editor, Dee’s Helpful Info.