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Troubleshooting

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					        Troubleshooting

• Please, read the material on reserve for
this lecture. It is taken from the book
Surviving PC Disasters.
•There will be no homework assignment
from this lecture.
           Hardware Failure
Common causes of hardware failure:
1) Age - prolonged use of any electronic device
  causes it to break or renders it unusable.
   - technology becomes obsolete, because of the
      constant development of newer technology
   - most computer technology has a life
      expectancy of 1-5 years
2) Faulty development
   - the device may be broken right out of the box
   - the device was poorly designed and easily
      breakable (but it might be cheap!)
      Hardware Failure (pg. 2)
Common causes of hardware failure:
3) Incompatibility
   - you must be very savvy to ensure that
     separately purchased hardware and/or
     software work together
4) Damage
   - devices can not withstand physical damage
     such as being dropped or kicked
   - misuse of devices can also cause damage,
     such as putting broken floppy discs into the
     drive
 General Troubleshooting Tips
• Do not be afraid to touch a computer. You
  can’t fix it if you don’t try.
• Unless you drop it or play with the insides
  of a machine, you probably won’t damage
  it.
• Many problems can be fixed by just
  turning the electrical device off and then
  back on.
   If a Computer Will Not Boot
Try these things first:
1) Make sure that the power cord is properly
  plugged into the electrical socket and into the
  computer
2) Turn the power off (wait a few seconds to make
  sure that the computer is completely shut off
  from the electricity) then turn back on.
3) Make sure that the monitor is turned on. The
  computer may be working correctly, but you
  can’t see anything.
Recognizing a Dying Hard Drive
• Remember from an earlier lecture that the hard
  drive is the permanent storage space for your
  software. It holds your operating system and
  most of your programs.
• If your hard drive dies, your computer dies!

Things to look for:
1) Noise is coming from your hard drive
2) It takes a long time for the computer to start up
3) You receive many error messages
  Recognizing a Dying Hard Drive
              (pg. 2)
4) File names are strange or contain weird
  characters and symbols
5) Files are missing
6) It takes a long time to bring up files
7) You see the “blue screen of death.”
  The computer will display a error message
  on a blue background. This means that
  you have a serious problem with your hard
  drive.
       If a Keyboard or Mouse
            Stops Working
1) Make sure that the cord is properly
  connected.
2) After re-connecting, you may need to
  reboot.
3) Clean the mouse and keyboard using
  compressed air and/or cotton swabs with
  alcohol.
 If a CD or DVD Does Not Work
1) If you have a DVD, make sure that you have a
  DVD drive. A CD player cannot play DVDs.
  (However, a DVD player can play CDs.)
2) If you are trying to burn a CD or DVD, make
  sure that you are putting the disc in the correct
  drive. Many computers have more than one
  drive. If you look on the outside of the drive, you
  will see emblems that tell you what the drive can
  do.
   If a CD or DVD Does Not Work
               (pg. 2)
3) Older drives may not be able to play
  some CDs and DVDs
4) Insert a disc and see if the LED (light
  emitting diode) lights up. If not, you may
  have a bad drive.
5) Clean the disc (using a soft cloth and
  water or alcohol) and clean the drive
  (using a cleaning disc)
6) Make sure that the disc was inserted
  correctly.
 If a USB Drive Does Not Work

1) Try a different USB port.
2) Some USB drives need to install software
  to work. This may not be possible due to
  security restrictions on your computers.
        If a Floppy Disc or Drive
             Does Not Work
1) Check to see if the drive’s LED lights up when
  you start the computer.
2) If the LED is continuously on, there is a
  problem.
3) Make sure there is not a piece of a floppy disc
  or a foreign object stuck in the drive. You can try
  to remove the object yourself, but the drive may
  already be damaged.
4) Make sure the floppy is not locked. Locking
  prevents anything from being saved on a floppy.
  To unlock a floppy, look for a small plastic tab.
    How to Lengthen the Life of a
            Floppy Disc
• Floppy discs will eventually become
  unusable do to wear.
• You can think of a floppy disc as a piece of
  paper that is being written on and then
  erased over and over again.

1) Clean the drive using a vacuum
2) Rotate your floppies. Do not use the
  same one over and over
If a CD or DVD is Stuck in the Drive
1) Make sure the power is on. You must have
  power to the computer in order for the disc to
  eject.
2) Use a paper clip to manually eject the disc.
  There is a very small hole near the drive.
  Straighten a paper clip and push the tiny button
  in there.
3) Gently pry the tray open. If you can not open the
  tray gently, do not force it to open.
    Why Do Discs Get Stuck?
1) The discs are warped because they were
  exposed to heat.
2) Labels on the discs jam up the drive.
3) There is more than one disc in the same
  drive.
4) The drive is broken.
         If a Desktop Computer
              Won’t Start Up
1) Make sure you are pressing the correct button.
   It probably looks like this:




2) Listen for the fans to make noises. If they do
     not, there is a probably a problem with the
     power supply
3) If you smell something burning, you probably
     have a problem with your power supply.
        If a Desktop Computer
         Won’t Start Up (pg. 2)
4) Make sure your connections are correct.
5) Make sure that you have power. If there is
  a power strip, make sure that it is on. Most
  power strips have a light to tell you when
  they are on.
6) Make sure that the power button is not
  broken. If the button feels loose or does
  not seem to depress correctly, it may be
  broken.
7) Try replacing the power cord.
          If a Computer Keeps
               Shutting Off
1) Use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power
  Supply)
2) Make sure your connections are correct
3) Install updates for your operating system
         If There Is No Sound
1) Make sure the speakers are turned on.
  Speakers usually have a separate power switch.
  Also, look for a small green light on the speaker
  to tell you when the power is on.
2) Turn up the volume.
3) Check the Sound control panel. Make sure the
  sound is not muted. This volume control also
  effects headphones.
4) Check your connections. Make sure the
  speakers are in the correct jack. The speaker
  jack should be green. Make sure headphones
  are in the correct jack.
   If There Is No Sound (pg. 2)
5) Listen for crackling. If you hear crackling, it
  means that there is a loose connection
  somewhere or that the speakers have been
  blown.
6) Check to see if a sound card is present and
  working. In the Control Panel, click on Sounds
  and Audio Devices. Select the Hardware tab and
  look for an audio device. When you select a
  device, it will tell you if the device is working
  properly.
    If a Laptop Won’t Turn On
1) Make sure that it is getting power. If the
  battery is dead, you must plug the laptop
  into a electrical plug.
2) Make sure you are pressing the correct
  button. Like a desktop, many laptops have
  a similar looking power button.
3) If there is a burning smell, you have a
  serious problem and need to replace
  parts.
     If a Laptop Won’t Turn On
               (pg. 2)
4) Check your connections. Although a
  laptop has many fewer connections than a
  desktop, make sure the power cords are
  fully inserted.
5) Make sure the power button is not
  broken. If the button feels loose or does
  not seem to depress correctly, it may be
  broken.
 If a Laptop Display Won’t Turn On
1) Make sure the display is not sleeping. To
  save power, the display may go to sleep.
  Usually, you can wake up a computer by
  moving the mouse or using the keyboard.
2) Make sure the button that turns off the
  display when the laptop is closed is not
  stuck in the down position. This button is
  usually found near the hinge.
    If a Printer Won’t Turn On
1) Make sure the printer is getting power.
  Check the power cable and the power
  strip.
2) Check to see if the printer display says
  “Ready” or “Online” or some other similar
  word. Check to see if the LED is green.
3) Make sure that the printer is warmed up
  and not asleep. To save energy, the
  printer may go to sleep, just touch a button
  to wake it up.
       If a Printer Won’t Print
1) Turn the printer off, wait a few seconds
  and then turn it back on.
2) Turn both the printer and computer off,
  wait a few seconds and then turn them
  back on.
3) Make sure the printer is on. A printer has
  a separate power switch from the
  computer it is connected to.
4) Make sure the paper trays have paper
  and are fully closed.
   If a Printer Won’t Print (pg. 2)
5) Make sure you have toner or ink in the
  printer. The cartridge may need to be
  replaced.
6) Check to see if the printer display says
  “Ready” or “Online” or some other similar
  phrase. Check to see if the LED is green. If
  the LED is red, you have a problem.
7) Read the display and check for an error
  message. If you are able, follow the
  directions on the display to fix the problem.
  If a Printer Won’t Print (pg. 3)
8) Make sure that the printer is warmed up.
  It may be functioning but needs time to
  warm up before it can print.
9) Make sure the computer and printer are
  correctly connected to one another.
10) Make sure you are printing to the correct
  printer. You can find out which printer you
  are using by opening the Printer control
  panel.
  If a Printer Won’t Print (pg. 4)
11) Check for a paper jam. Open all of the
  trays and doors and look for paper. You
  may have to remove the ink cartridge and
  look for paper stuck underneath it.
12) Print a test page directly from the printer.
  This can usually be done by using the
  menus, the display and the buttons
  located on the printer.
13) Go to the Control Panels and open the
  Printer control panel. Make sure that the
  printer is ready and not paused.
    If the Printer Stops Picking Up
       Paper or Jams Repeatedly
1) Check to see if the paper tray is overfilled.
2) Do not use heavy paper such as transparency
  paper. These papers are heavier and thicker
  than normal paper.
3) Check to see if the paper is lifting into the paper
  path.
4) Make sure you do not have a paper jam or a
  small piece of paper in the path.
5) Clean the printer.
6) Perform regular maintenance on the printer.
7) The printer may be broken and needs to be
  repaired or replaced.
Other Problems: Num Lock Key
• The Num Lock key is the top left key in the
  number keypad.
• In order to use the number keypad, the
  Num Lock must be on.
• Simply hit the Num Lock key to turn it on
  and off.
• If you attempt to use the number keypad
  with the Num Lock off, either nothing
  happens or very strange things happen.
Other Problems: The Insert Key
• The Insert key is located in the group of
  keys adjacent to the number keypad.
• The insert key is the “insert and delete”
  key.
• With the insert key on, any typing that you
  do will overwrite and delete any text that
  follows.
• Simply hit the Insert key to turn it on and
  off.
  Other Problems: Losing Focus
• In Windows, you can have several windows
  open at the same time.
• Sometimes, you lose focus and the another
  program (or perhaps the desktop) is what is
  in focus.
• This means that nothing appears to be
  happening when you are using the
  keyboard.
• To regain focus, simply click anywhere
  inside the window that you want to be active.
     Other Problems: Windows,
     Pop-ups, and Dialog Boxes

• When a new window, or a pop-up window,
  or a dialog box opens, it may be hidden
  behind the current window.
• If you are expecting to see a new window
  or pop-up window or a dialog box and do
  not see one, try closing or minimizing the
  current window.
           I’m a Librarian,
     Not a Computer Technician!
• All of the above are suggestions for what you
  could do to fix a problem.
• However, you should be aware of your
  limitations.
• Do not do anything that requires you to open or
  disassemble a computer or part.
• Contact your Technology Support Department
  when you feel overwhelmed.
• Remember, you are a library employee and not
  a technician.
• Try to do the best you can to help, but realize
  that you cannot fix everything!
       Other Electrical Devices
             in Libraries
• There are many more electrical gadgets in
  libraries than just computers and printers.
• You may have to work with photocopiers,
  scanners, fax machines, and microfilm
  reader/printers to name a few.
• Be sure to attend any training sessions on
  new equipment.
• And, don’t be afraid to learn.

				
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