By [http://ezinearticles.com/?expert=Kevin_Couler]Kevin Couler
Computer problems can be frustrating, especially when you don't know the reason. Sometimes there is a simple solution, other times fixing your computer requires more effort. In this article, we will take a look at how to troubleshoot common computer problems.
Question #1: Is it Just You or Your Entire Network?
One of the most common reasons for sudden problems such as the inability to access the web or print documents is related to your network. If all of the computers on your home or office network are experiencing the same problems, then you know that the trouble lies in the network not your PC.
Question #2: Are all Cords Firmly Connected?
"My computer won't start", have you checked to make sure it's all plugged in? Cords can come loose and cause your computer to fail to power up. Sometimes, this is also the case when a specific device (such as a mouse or keyboard) fail to function.
If everything is plugged in and your device still won't work, try another jack if possible. I have personally had several computers where the USB ports die for no apparent reason, causing my devices to not work. Plugging them in to another port clears it right up.
Question #3: Have You Installed Anything New Lately?
New software can introduce a variety of problems. If you started having problems after installing something new, try uninstalling or reinstalling the program. If the failed installation has caused errors in your windows registry (as often happens), you will need to run a registry cleaner to restore your registry to proper condition.
Question #4: Is It Hanging on Startup?
If you can't get past the Windows startup, you can attempt to hit the "F8" key on your keyboard and select the option to start up in safe mode. While in safe mode, you can uninstall problematic software or just attempt a reboot from there to see if the problem clears up. While in safe mode, it would be a good idea to back up all of your critical data as failure to boot can be a sign of serious problems with the hard disk.
Question #5: Is It Making Strange Noises?
Years ago, I booted up my office computer one morning only to be greeted by a screeching sound coming from my hard disk. Not knowing what else to do, I quickly shut it down. Still, I was not fast enough to save the data from permanent loss. What had happened was the needle in my hard disk had come loose and the sound I heard was it scraping my hard disk and wiping all of my data away with it.
Needless to say, if you hear a loud scraping noise immediately shut down the computer. Your data may still be able to be recovered, but you will need a new hard drive before you can use the computer again. The moral of the story is that loud noises can signal big problems for your PC and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Question #6: Are You Experiencing Problems with Specific Software?
If a particular program is giving you trouble, it can be the result of a corrupt document or a Windows registry problem. In order to find out, try closing your current document and opening a new one. If the behavior clears up, then it is likely just a corrupt file. If the problem persists, you could have errors in your registry.
If this is the case, a good registry cleaner can repair those for you automatically. In fact, cleaning the registry is a great way to put an end to many problems and end up with a faster computer as well. I left a link for you at the bottom of this article for a free download of my favorite registry cleaner.
Question #7: Is Your Computer Giving Error Messages?
Error messages are not usually much help unless you take the time to research them. If you type the exact error in to Google, you can find information on the specific cause of the problem. Often, error messages are the result of registry problems. As in the last step, installing and using a registry cleaner can help a lot with errors.
Question #8: Have You Run Your Virus Scanner Lately?
Lastly, it's an unfortunate truth that viruses are out there and your computer could catch one if you are not keeping up to date with your virus definitions. Be sure to update your anti-virus software on a regular basis to make sure that it has the information it needs to fight current threats. If you don't yet use an anti-virus software what are you waiting for? Download and run one right away to find out if your computer problems are the result of a rogue virus.
Hopefully these tips will get you started troubleshooting your computer problems. Oftentimes, computer troubles are something simple that you can fix yourself. Other times, you will need to take the computer to a technician for repairs.
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Article Source: [http://EzineArticles.com/?Troubleshooting-Computer-Problems---8-Questions-to-Ask-Yourself&id=1355022] Troubleshooting Computer Problems - 8 Questions to Ask Yourself