Monday, January 10, 2011

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Steps For Troubleshooting Hardware

Tips & Techniques For Stress-Free Troubleshooting: Sooner or later, you’re going to have computer problems. That’s not a warning; it’s a guarantee. Read more:
Troubleshooting Hardware.
Let’s be honest, you don’t want to open your computer unless you have to. So before you go reaching for a screwdriver, listen for irregular noises coming from inside your PC. A ratchety “zzzzz” sound may mean a stray wire is touching the fan blades or that the fan motor is low on lubricant. A grinding noise may indicate a problem with the hard drive. 
If that’s the case, save the drive’s data immediately: The motor or head system, which contains read/write heads that record and retrieve information from within the drive’s case, could be preparing to fail. You have a right to panic. 
Try solving hardware problems outside your PC by first making sure the hardware is plugged in and turned on. This may sound obvious, but more than a few people have spent valuable time troubleshooting a PC when all they had to do was just reattach a loose cable or flip a switch.

If the power and cable sources check out OK, refer to the Device Manager. 
In Windows XP:
  • Right-click My Computer, select Properties, choose the Hardware tab, 
  • And click Device Manager. Navigate to the hardware device that is giving you problems. 
  • A small yellow circle and an exclamation point or question mark to the left of the device’s name indicates that Windows has detected a problem. 
  • Click the exclamation point, and you might be directed through a series of problem-solving steps.
  • If not, right-click the device, uninstall it, and remove it from Device Manager. 
  • Then reboot your computer. 
Windows will redetect the hardware, hopefully without the problem.

If your computer won’t reboot, try starting it in Windows’ diagnostics mode, called Safe Mode. In Safe Mode, Windows uses only the most vital drivers and components, which limits the numbers of tasks you can perform but makes it easier for you to spot problems caused by newly installed drivers. 

To enter Safe Mode:
Start your computer and begin tapping the F8 key until an Advanced Options menu appears. Select Safe Mode and press ENTER. 
  • WinXP users can add Safe Mode to their Boot Menu. 
  • Right-click My Computer and select Properties. 
  • Choose the Advanced Tab. 
  • Under Startup And Recovery, click Settings. 
  • Then, in the resulting Startup And Recovery dialog box, click the Edit button under System Startup. 
  • After Notepad opens, copy the last line of text and paste it in the next line. 
  • Delete the description inside the quotes (most likely “Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition”) and replace it with Safe Mode. 
  • In the same line, change “/fastdetect” to “/safeboot:minimal/sos/bootlog”. 
  • Now click File, Save, and then exit Notepad. 
  • Click OK twice (once to close the Startup And Recovery dialog box and again to close the System Properties dialog box).
  • The Safe Mode option will appear the next time you boot your computer.
During major crises you may have no choice but to refer to technical support. Try to make this your final option. Tech support can be expensive and time consuming, especially if you seek help through email, which can take days to receive a response. With patience and a little effort you can solve most computer problems on your own . . . without the panicking.

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About bench3 -

Haja Peer Mohamed H, Software Engineer by profession, Author, Founder and CEO of "bench3" you can connect with me on Twitter , Facebook and also onGoogle+

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