Basic Computer Troubleshooting Guide
Many computer problems appear more serious than they really are.
It may look like the computer has crashed and all your data is lost forever. But there are a host of problems that keep you from reaching your data or the network that can be fixed, sometimes in a matter of minutes.
If it’s your computer at the school, all the documents on the “H” drive (your “My Documents folder) are saved on the server and not on the individual computers in the classroom and labs so they’re most likely still there. Even if they’ve been saved on the “C” drive of your home computer computer, they may still be there waiting for you.
That's not to say catastrophic data loss doesn’t happen – it can, but not very often.
1. Check to see if anyone else around you is having a similar problem. If so, there may be a service outage affecting a wider area
2. Check to make sure the network cable is connected to both the computer and the wall or modem.
3. Check where the network cable connection is made to the back of the computer, you should see a little green light right where the cable connects. If the light isn’t on or flashing, then you are not getting a signal to the computer. If rebooting doesn’t fix it, contact the Help Desk or your ISP.
1 Everything on the screen is frozen and the keyboard and mouse are not responding.
Try tapping on the Num Lock key. It’s located on the right-hand side of the keyboard above the number 7. While tapping the Num Lock key, notice whether or not the Num Lock light goes on and off. If it doesn’t, the computer is completely locked up. You’ll have to REBOOT the computer. If the light does go off and on, wait a minute before giving up hope. It may come back to life on its own.
2 Pressing Alt + F4
If a software program stops
working or freezes up, try pressing the
3 The “Blue Screen” has appeared.
The dreaded “Blue Screen of Death”. There’s not a lot to be done except to reboot the machine. If it keeps occurring, this is an indication of a major problem with the computer.
4 The computer is on, but there is no sound.
Is there a speaker icon next to the clock on the taskbar? (It’s in the lower right side of the screen) If you can find it, double click the speaker icon to bring up the audio controls for the computer. See if any of the volume controls have been muted or turned all the way down. Uncheck any Mute boxes that are selected.
Swap the keyboard or try plugging the keyboard into another computer. If it doesn't work on the other computer, there is likely something wrong with the keyboard. If it does work on the other computer, there is likely something wrong on the computer or the connection to the computer.
When you press the Ctrl-Alt-Delete buttons together, you will bring up a control panel where you can select “Task Manager” and see if any of the programs are shown as “not responding”. You may be able to shut down the offending program from there. If you can’t get to this screen, you’ll have to reboot.
Don’t just pull the plug!
A simple reboot may clear up the problem. Go to the Start Menu and select Shutdown. Didn't work? It's time to try a forced reboot — with, unfortunately, no way to save your work — by pressing the keys CTRL-
If that didn't work, you have no choice: you have to turn the computer off manually with the power switch. Hold the power button down (for about 5 -10 seconds) and the computer will shut down. Wait at least 10 seconds for the hard drive to stop spinning and then restart the machine.
If the computer starts up, start the applications you were using when the crash occurred. Some programs, like Microsoft Word, make timed backups of your work and may bring up recovered files. If the program notifies you that there is a “recovered document” save the file under a different name and compare them to your previously saved files.
Created and managed by the CCSD Technology Team.
Any non-profit or educational institution may link to this page