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Iredell-Statesville Schools

Basic Computer Troubleshooting Tips


1. Check all connections
< Are the power cords plugged in? If using a power cord, does it
work with other electrical items?
< Is the monitor cord to the PC connected?
< Are keyboard and mouse cables fastened securely?
< Is the network cable connected to computer and hub or wall
connection? Is there a green link light on?
2. Turn computer off, wait 30 seconds and turn on again.
3. Narrow down problem
< Have you added new software recently? Could impact other
functions.
< Is it a hardware problem? (monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer); try
each component with another computer to see, if they work.
< A keyboard error could be a loose connection or a stuck key.
Check cable connections and run hand over the entire keyboard.
Reboot computer. PC's have batteries that have a life, of about 3
years. If computer keeps asking what time it is, you need to replace
battery. Can be found on the motherboard. Cost about $10 at Radio
Shack, etc.
4. Have, you deleted, moved, or renamed files recently?
5. Has computer been moved (even a few inches)? - Check connections.
6. When you turn on computer, listen for beeps - one is very good, two
to four beeps is usually a memory problem. More than four beeps can
be a motherboard problem. (# of beeps also depends on which BIOS
system is used).
7. Is the ‘num lock key’ on for using number keys at right of keyboard?
8. If your computer continually beeps .at you it could be, frozen and
must be rebooted or shutdown. Try Ctrl, Alt, Delete at the same time.
As a last resort, turn off power and wait 30 seconds to turn on. Win95
systems will prompt you to do a scandisk check - go ahead with this.

Technology Department 1998-1999


Iredell-Statesville Schools

9. Mouse isn't working - try cleaning the ball. Sometimes the driver for
the mouse will be missing. Copy mouse files from another computer
and copy to problem machine. Most of the time there is no software
to load for the mouse – just plug in and use. Mice do wear out, so
check with other machines.
10. Monitor problems --- screen arrangement looks weird? - There are
adjustments for vertical, horizontal, etc., on most monitors.
11. Printers used with Win95 systems have a troubleshooting guide
built in by double clicking on My Computer and opening Printers.
Choose the printer and use the Help files. Is the printer clean? Does it
need a new cartridge? Try turning off and on again. Make sure you
are choosing the correct printer in Print Setup. Are connections
secured?
12. If you get a memory error, you either need to delete unused files
and programs or buy more memory.
13. How much memory do I have? Type in mem at the DOS Prompt
(C:/) on 3.1 systems. In Win95, open My Computer, right click on C:
and choose properties. On both systems watch the scrolling numbers
in the upper left corner when you turn on the computer.
14. Need a formatted disk to save on? With 3.1 system - at C:\ type,
a:format or use, the, Main Menu, File, Manager, Diskettes. In Win95,
use My Computer and right click on A: drive and choose Format.
There are two capacities to choose from - 720 and 1.44. Use 1.44 for
HD (High Density) and 720 for DD (Double Density). Disks must be
formatted to save files. Transfer files after a year of heavy use to
another diskette. Floppy disks do wear out and you can lose all your
files.

Technology Department 1998-1999


Iredell-Statesville Schools

15. You may want to make a copy of a diskette (for example –


Integrade before you turn it in to the SIMS operator). In Win95, open
up My Computer, put original floppy in the disk drive and click once
to highlight. Choose the File Menu and select Copy Disk. Follow
onscreen instructions. To use DOS to make a copy of a floppy disk,
click Start, Run and type in: DISKCOPY A: A: and follow the
instructions on the screen.
16. Computer will not boot or reboot with a diskette in A: drive unless
it is a system disk. System disk can be used to boot a system that
cannot boot on its own. Should keep a system disk for each system in
use.
17. On Win95 systems, if a blue screen with writing appears, choose
Exit without Saving. The computer should continue on to the desktop.
18. Is my hard drive full? Open My Computer, and choose File Menu,
Properties. Sometimes, you will have two hard drives. Is one full and
the other almost empty? May need to move files to the other hard
drive. Contact your school technology trainer for assistance.
19. Once you have tried all the basis options of troubleshooting,
maybe you have been able to either fix your own problem or
narrowed it down. Contact the school technology trainer or TUG
person for additional help. If they need assistance, they will complete
a work order for your computer to be serviced by a system technician.

Technology Department 1998-1999