Troubleshooting Basic Technical Problems When Working from Home


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Working from home has many advantages, but one of the biggest disadvantages  is that unless you’re tech savvy, or know someone who is, you have to take care of your own computer problems.  There are some simple fixes for common technical problems though, as well as ways you can cut down on technical problems – this post will discuss those fixes, and provide some advice on cutting down on technical problems.

The computer won’t power up. 

  • First, make sure the PC’s power cable is plugged firmly into a wall socket or power strip, and make sure the power strip is on.  If it is, try plugging the PC or the power strip into a different socket. Also, make sure the power cable is firmly connected to the PC’s power supply outlet.
  • Make sure the power supply is on, and check if the PC has a voltage setting.  If it does, make sure it’s set to the correct setting.
  • If the suggestions above don’t help, attach a working power cable to the PC’s power supply, plug it in and try turning it on again.
  • Unplug all external devices from the PC, except the monitor – this includes printers, scanners, and other devices.  If the computer powers on with no external devices attached, add each external device back one by one until you find the device that’s causing the problem.

The computer powers up, but the monitor is blank

  • Make sure the monitor is plugged firmly into a working wall socket or power strip, and make sure the power strip is turned on.  If it is, try plugging the PC or power strip into another wall socket.
  • Make sure the monitor’s power button is in the “on” position.
  • Make sure the  monitor’s brightness and contrast controls are properly adjusted.
  • Make sure the monitor cable is plugged firmly into the back of the display, and the pinned end is tightly screwed into the video output on the back of the computer’s case. If it is, try removing the existing cable and replacing it with one that you know works.
  • Get a new monitor and hook it up to your PC.  If the new monitor works, contact a technician or buy a new monitor. If it doesn’t work, your video card may not be working, and you will need a professional to diagnose the problem.

The computer won’t boot from the hard drive.  

  • Make sure there’s  no bootable media, such as DVDs or flash drives, inserted into the computer.
  • Remove all external drives or devices and try restarting the computer.
  • If you receive a series of beeps or error messages, write them down – they could be important when it comes to diagnosing your problem. Beep codes are different from one manufacturer to another, so consult your BIOS documentation, or do a search online for more in-depth information on what the beeps mean.
  • Listen to make sure your hard drive is spinning – if it’s clicking, that means it no longer works, and you’ll have to replace it.
  • Enter your computer’s BIOS – the method varies depending on the computer, but usually you need to push the F1 or Delete key as the computer boots up. Write down the current settings before you proceed further. Look for any built-in tools for diagnosing problems, you may be able to use these to find an error.
  • If there are no diagnostic tools, go to the section labeled “Hard Drive” on the BIOS and make sure it’s configured as “Auto”.
  • If the BIOS has an autodetect feature, run it to make sure it automatically detects your hard drive.
  • If the BIOS has an failsafe default option, try loading it and rebooting.

Windows won’t start up properly

  • Make sure there’s no bootable media in the computer.
  • Remove external drives or devices and try restarting the computer.
  • Enter the Windows Advanced Options Menu by pressing the F8 key during the BIOS’s power-on self test (POST). Select the option “Last Known Good Configuration.”  Please note, if this works, you will lose any software you recently installed or files you recently created.
  • In the Windows Advanced Options Menu, boot into Safe Mode with networking, and perform a System Restore.
  • While you’re in Safe Mode, run Windows’ built-in diagnostic tool to check your hard drive for errors that  may be affecting the start-up process. Also, scan your computer for viruses, trojans, spyware and other threats that  may cause problems.
  • If you cannot boot into Safe Mode, and you have a recovery bootup disk that you created with your anti-virus program, use that to boot up your computer and scan for issues.
  • If you can’t boot into Windows at all, use the manufacturer’s default recovery procedure to recover the drive and reset Windows to its original configuration. Once that is complete, you will need to restore your data.
These are just a few basic issues you can try to fix yourself without having to call technical support.  If you aren’t able to fix these problems with the suggestions provided, or if you have other problems that aren’t on this list, you’ll have to contact technical support for your computer’s manufacturer.




2 Comments

  1. This are great technical tips, even for someone who doesn’t work at home full-time. There is nothing worse than discovering your computer – and your source of work and income – is not working properly.

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