Your computer won’t start, the screen goes blank, the program freezes, error messages pop up on the screen and you don’t know why. Sound familiar? Most people have experienced a problem with the computer or will at some point. When a problem occurs, don’t panic! Try these basic troubleshooting techniques to identify the problem.

Basic Troubleshooting Techniques

  • Check the cables and connections – Many computer problems are related to the physical connections, so check all the related cables are plugged in properly to the correct sockets. Restart the computer to see if the problem persists
  • Isolate the source of the problem – Try to narrow down the possibilities by asking questions; has the computer been moved, have there been software changes? Can’t access the Internet?
  • Check to see if others are experiencing the same problem – If you can’t access the Internet perhaps others can’t either. There may be a service outage or a wiring fault.
  • Try an alternative device – If you’re having problems with a piece of hardware, try turning it off, disconnecting and reconnecting it or try an alternative device. If your mouse isn’t working try a different mouse.
  • Write down error messages – If error messages appear on the screen, take note of what the message says, don’t just press OK! If basic troubleshooting doesn’t work, you might need this information.
  • Document what you have done – When troubleshooting, take it step-by-step and write down what you have done. If you need to ask for help later it’s useful to know the steps you’ve already taken.