Troubleshooting Technology Is Easier Than You Think
Ever sit down at your desk ready to get the day started and push the power button on your computer, only to have NOTHING happen? I mean nothing. No lights, no fan sounds. nothing…
You’re not alone. But before you run out the door to your favorite computer or tech store to have it looked at, here are some tips on how you can solve the problem, or at least help the tech repair place solve the problem.
Basic Steps To Fixing Your Technology
There are some things you can do
- Reboot! – “Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
THE basic troubleshooting step is to power the device all the way down, give it a few seconds, then turn it back on. We have a tendency to leave tech sleep mode or standby, and while that makes it easy to quickly power it back up it can leave the device in a mode that isn’t fully functional. Rebooting also clears out running processes and programs that are using memory and even processor power.
- Document Errors – If the reboot doesn’t fix your problem (it will, most of the time), write down or make note of the exact error you are seeing. Does it boot to a black screen, does it even turn on, is there an error box on the screen, can you close it out or move past it? This information is very important to you or the technician to solving the exact issue you are experiencing.
If you can get past the error, type the exact error into Google and find out how thousands of other users have solved the exact issue.
- Check the cables – Whether you’re talking about smartphones, computers, lights, tv’s… whatever, cables come loose. Maybe it wasn’t plugged in correctly the first time and it worked itself loose. Power everything down, unplug and replug everything, then power back up. A loose cable can cause not only the attached device to not work but also the operating system or top-line device.
Steps To Ensure You’re Prepared For A Breakdown
Tech issues are inevitable… here are some steps you can take that when something big happens, you’re prepared.
- Virus Scan – I’m not a fan of the big anti-virus programs like Norton, McAfee, Avast, etc. If you’re running a Windows computer, Windows Defender does a great job of protecting your PC. Just make sure it’s turned on, updated and running. I run a full scan around when I do a feature update (twice a year).
- Updates – Keep your operating system, phone OS, and various programs and apps updated to keep small pinholes from being exploited by attackers. If Microsoft, Android or Apple is telling you NOT to run an update, hold until they give you the green light.
- Backups – Need to restore information damaged by viruses, attacks, broken hard drives or virtually anything else? Backups are your savior. Backups are also great in the event you get hit by ransomware. If your files are corrupted and you have a backup, you can tell the guy holding your tech hostage to pound sand, reinstall Windows and restore the backup. All you lose is some time.
- Get Rid of Programs You Don’t Need – Uninstalling programs, apps or even browser plugins that you don’t use or will probably not update is a great way to harden your device from attack.
- Eliminate Insecure Wi-Fi Hotspots – Lock your devices down to connect to know and safe hotspots, and if you do have to run on an open system, get a VPN.
Regardless of how great your technology is, it will fail. It may be today, it may be four years from now, but it will fail. Power supplies quit turning on, hard drives stop spinning, memory fails. Prepare yourself from an issue, and if you do suffer a failure, take a few moments to reboot, document issues, and hopefully you will get your machine back online in minutes, not days.
Have any questions or suggestions on fixing your own technology issues? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!