Objectives :1. Know the different beep codes and error codes.2. Troubleshoot computer problems.3. Preventive maintenance of a computer.
Basic Computer Troubleshooting Guide1.Dont panic. Relax. Take a breath.Many computer problems appear more serious thanthey really are.2.Make sure there really is a problem. Cant start your computer? Check the basics. 1.Examine the cables, connectors, and power cords to make sure theyre plugged in securely. Often times a loose cable or connector (power, network, keyboard, mouse, speaker, monitor cable, etc.) is the cause of the problem. 2.If youre using a power strip or a surge protector, make sure its on and that it works. Remember that a surge protector may not be working because it is designed to self-destruct. When an electric jolt is too much, your surge protector takes the hit saving your more expensive hardware from the voltage. 3.Try plugging something else directly into the electrical outlet to make sure there isnt a power problem. 4.Check to see if your monitor is on. Sounds silly, but it has solved my own problem more than once.
3.Can’t get on to the network or the Internet?1. Check to see if anyone else around you is having a similar problem. If so, there may be aservice outage affecting a wider area2. Check to make sure the network cable is connected to both the computer and the wall ormodem.3. Check where the network cable connection is made to the back of the computer, you shouldsee a little green light right where the cable connects. If the light isn’t on or flashing, then youare not getting a signal to the computer. If rebooting doesn’t fix it, contact the Help Desk oryour ISP.4.Error Messages - Write them down. 1.What tipped you off to the problem? Sometimes its an error code or message displayed on screen. Be sure to write it down — it may describe the problem and how serious it is. Be sure to document the exact wording of any error messages. This can make the job of the Help Desk much faster. 2.Other times you get no warning — everything just freezes. Message or no message, be sure note what was going on when the problem occurred. Were you starting your computer? Were you on the Windows Desktop? Were you in a particular application? Surfing the Web?
5.Think about what changed recently on your computer.Try to pinpoint when the trouble first started. Did the problemcoincide with any recent changes? 1.Did you change any settings? If you did you might want to change them back the way they were. 2.Any peripherals been added or removed recently (such as a printer or external Memory Card reader?) 3.Has anyone else been using your computer recently? 4.Have downloaded anything off the Web? File sharing and free MP3’s are an easy way to get a virus on your machine.6.The computer is on but…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 thenumber 7. While tapping the Num Lock key, notice whether or not the Num Lock light goes on andoff. If it doesn’t, the computer is completely locked up. You’ll have to REBOOT the computer. If thelight does go off and on, wait a minute before giving up hope. It may come back to life on its own.2 Pressing Alt + F4If a software program stops working or freezes up, try pressing the ALT+F4 keys to close the windowthat you’re currently working in. This can shut down a frozen window and bring the computer backto life. If the keyboard is frozen as well, you’ll have to reboot.
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 itkeeps 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 youcan find it, double click the speaker icon to bring up the audio controls for the computer. See if any ofthe volume controls have been muted or turned all the way down. Uncheck any Mute boxes that areselected.5 The computer is on, but the keyboard doesn’tworkSwap the keyboard or try plugging the keyboard into another computer. If it doesnt work on the other computer, there islikely something wrong with the keyboard. If it does work on the other computer, there is likely something wrong on thecomputer or the connection to the computer.6 CTRL-ALT-DELWhen 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 fromthere. If you can’t get to this screen, you’ll have to reboot.
7.Rebooting can do wonders.Don’t just pull the plug!A simple reboot may clear up the problem. Go to the Start Menu and select Shutdown. Didnt work? Itstime to try a forced reboot — with, unfortunately, no way to save your work — by pressing thekeysCTRL-ALT-DEL simultaneously twice in a row.If that didnt work, you have no choice: you have to turn the computer off manually with the powerswitch. Hold the power button down (for about 5 -10 seconds) and the computer will shut down. Waitat 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. Someprograms, like Microsoft Word, make timed backups of your work and may bring up recovered files. Ifthe program notifies you that there is a “recovered document” save the file under a different nameand compare them to your previously saved files.
BEEP CODES The beep pattern is telling you what part of the hardware is failing. Unfortunately there are different standards for the beep pattern and you will have to refer to your motherboards user manual for the meaning of it. And most common beep codes and error are as follows. BEEP DESCRIPTION 1 Short Beep Normal POST, computer is ok. Continuous Beep RAM ProblemOne Long and Three Short Beeps. Indicates a video error has occurred and the BIOS cannot initialize the video screen to display any additional information
Troubleshooting Tips for New MonitorsHere are some basic trouble shooting tips for new monitors:1. The picture does not appear Check to make sure the signal cable is firmly connected in the socket. Check to see if the computer systems power is ON. Check that the Brightness Control is at the appropriate position, not at the minimum.2. The Screen is not synchronized Check to make sure the signal cable is firmly connected in the socket. Check that the output level matches the input level of your computer. Make sure the signal timing of the computer system is within the specification of the monitor.
3. The position of the screen is not in the center Adjust the H-Size, H-Phase or V-Size, V-Center controls. Check if the signal timing of the computer system is within the specification of the monitor.4. The screen is too bright or too dark Check if the Brightness or contrast control is at the appropriate position, not at the maximum or minimum. Check if the specified voltage is applied Check if the signal timing of the computer system is within the specification of the monitor. Especially, check the horizontal frequency.5. The screen is shaking Move all objects that emit a magnetic field, such as a motor or transformer, away from the monitor. Check if the specified voltage is applied. Check if the signal timing of the computer system is within the specification of the monitor.
Troubleshooting Tips for a New MotherboardMore than 70% of all computer problems are related to cabling and connections. Ensure allcables are connected and connected firmly. IDE and floppy ribbon cables and power cables canoften go loose. Ensure microprocessor, memory modules, and adapters such as video card areinserted correctly and didnt "pop-up" due to vibration.System has no power at all. Power light does not illuminate, fan inside the power supplydoes not turn on, and indicator light on keyboard does not turn on. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Power cable is Visually inspect power Make sure power cable is unplugged. cable. securely plugged in. Visual inspection, try Defective power cable. Replace cable. another cable. Power cable and wall Contact technical Power supply failure. socket are OK, but support system is still dead. Use different socket, Faulty wall outlet;circuit Plug device into socket repair outlet, reset circuit breaker or fuse blown. know to work and test. breaker or replace fuse.
System inoperative. Keyboard lights are on, power indicator lights are lit, and hard drive is spinning. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Turn off computer. Take cover Using even pressure on both Expansion card is partially off system unit. ends of the expansion card, dislodged from expansion slot Check all expansion cards to press down firmly on expansion on the motherboard. ensure they are securely seated card. in slots. Turn system off. Disconnect the cables from one of the floppy drives. Turn Defective floppy disk drive or on the system, check to see if Contact Technical Support. tape drive. the keyboard operates normally. Repeat until you have located defective unit. Turn computer off. Make sure expansion card is Defective expansion card. Remove an expansion card. secure in expansion socket.
System does not boot from hard disk drive, can be booted from floppy disk drive. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION When attempting to run the Check cable running form disk to FDISK utility described in the disk controller on the board. MakeConnector between hard drive HARD DISK section of the sure both ends are securelyand system board unplugged. manual you get a message, plugged in; check the drive type in INVALID DRIVE the Standard CMOS Setup (in your SPECIFICATION. motherboard manual). Format hard disk; if unable to doDamaged Hard Disk or Disk so, the hard disk may be Contact Technical Support.Controller. defective. Run the FDISK program, format Backing up the hard drive isHard Disk directory or FAT is the hard drive(See HARD DRIVE extremely important. All Hardscrambled. section of manual). Copy your Disks are capable of breaking down backup data back onto hard drive. at any time.
System only boots from Floppy Disk. Hard Disk can be read and applicationscan be used, but booting from Hard Disk is impossible.Error message reading "SECTOR NOT FOUND" or other error messagesindication certain data is not allowed to be retrieved. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Back up data and applications files. Reformat the Hard Drive Hard Disk boot A number of causes as described in the Hard program has been could be behind this. Drive section of the destroyed. manual. Re-install applications and data using backup disks.
Error message reading "SECTOR NOT FOUND" or other error messages indication certain data is not allowed to be retrieved. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Back up any salvageable data. Then do a low level format, partition, and high Use a file by file backup level format of the hardA number of causes could instead of an image drive( see Hard Diskbe behind this. backup to backup the section of your manual for Hard Disk. instructions). Re-install all saved data when completed.
Disk formatted on IBM PS/2 will not operate with this system. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Format disk in the AT typeThe IBM PS/2 uses a IBM PS/2 disk format will computer insert disk into thedifferent format than other not work in an AT type IBM PS/2 and copy the filescomputers. computer. you wish.After install an expansion card (network card, tape drive card, etc.) the system no longer works properly. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Change the interrupt or RAM address on the new expansion All or part of the system may be card. See the documentation that inoperable. The new card may came with the new card in orderNo power to monitor. work but a mouse or COM port to change pin settings. many may not work. expansion devices come with proprietary software that will assist you in doing this.
Screen message says "Invalid Configuration" or "CMOS Failure.” PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTIONIncorrect information Check the configuration Review systems equipment.entered into the program. Replace any Make sure correctconfiguration (setup) incorrect information. information is in setup.program. Screen is blank. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Check the power connectors to monitor and to system. Power connectors may be Make sure monitor isNo power to monitor. loose or not plugged in. connected to display card, change I/O address on network card if applicable.Monitor not connected to See instructions above.computer.Network card I/O address See instructions above.conflict.
System does not boot from hard disk drive, can be booted from floppy disk drive. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Check cable running form When attempting to run the disk to disk controller on the FDISK utility described in Connector between hard board. Make sure both ends the HARD DISK section of drive and system board are securely plugged in; the manual you get a unplugged. check the drive type in the message, INVALID DRIVE Standard CMOS Setup (in SPECIFICATION. your Problem PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Reboot computer. Re-install memory, make sure that all memory modules areMemory problem, display card installed in correct sockets. Check jumperjumpers not set correctly. and switch settings on display card. See display card section for information of settings. Use anti-virus programs (McAfee/PC-Computer virus. cillin, E-port, etc) to detect and clean viruses.
Screen goes blank periodically. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTIONScreen saver is enabled. Disable screen saver.Keyboard failure. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Reconnect keyboard.Keyboard is Check keys again, if nodisconnected. improvement, replace keyboard.No color on screen. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION If possible, connect monitor to anotherFaulty Monitor. system. If no color, replace monitor.CMOS incorrectly set Call technical support.up.
Error reading drive A: PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTIONBad floppy disk. Try new floppy disk. Format floppy disk(typeFloppy disk not formatted ENTER) C: drive failure. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Boot from drive A: using SETUP program does not DOS system disk. Input have correct information. correct information to SETUP program. Hard Drive cable not Check Hard drive cable. connected properly.
Cannot boot system after installing second hard drive. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTIONMaster/Slave jumpers not Set master /Slave jumpersset correctly. correctly. Run SETUP program andHard Drives not select correct drive types.compatible / different Call drive manufacturesmanufacturers. for compatibility with other drives.Missing operating system on hard drive. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION CMOS setup has been Run setup and select changed. correct drive type.
Keyboard is locked, no keys function. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTIONKeys jammed or Replace keyboard.defective.Keyboard is locked, no keys function. PROBABLE CAUSE DIAGNOSIS SOLUTION Keyboard is locked. Unlock keyboard
Video Cards & Display issues. When loading, your computer follows Is there a logo?
•Try disconnecting your monitors cable from your videocard!If your monitor is working you should see a messagelike "No Signal". It doesnt matter what is on the screenas long as it shows something.•Verify your cable. Are you missing pins from the headof the cable?•Reset all monitor Settings to default (contrast,Brightness, color, ...)
Hard Drive IssuesAny problem that has anything to do with your HD can be diagnosed using the belowFlowchart. Remember to click on the questions to get more details about the question. •The primary Master is a Hard Drive as shown by the arrow, and the secondary Master is a DVD Drive in the picture above
•Do you see an error code, or a beep?> If your Hard Drive was working and thenall the sudden it is not recognized (seen), byyour system then it is bad news. Trychanging the Hard Drive connection withthe CD ROM connection just to make sure itis not the connection that is failing. If nosuccess, go to the Data Recovery page to seeif there is anything you can do to retrieveyour data
Computer working with minimum hardware ?•Take out / unplug any non-essential component (CD ROM, PCI cards[except video],...) and try to boot.•With the minimum components (CPU, 1 RAM, 1 video card[ if you have an on-board video card on yourmotherboard, use that one], 1 Hard Drive) try swapping power cables and connector ribbons.•Sometimes it is a connector or a slot that causes the problem. Trying different IDE ribbon cables or power wirefor the hard drives or checking the RAMs one by one on all the slots, can help in identifying damaged parts orslots.•Verify that the heatsink is in full contact with the CPU. CPUs not connected to heatsinks heat up in a matter ofseconds crashing, or turning the computer off.•If this does not work, take the motherboard out of the casing. Sometimes there is a short between themotherboard and the case. Put the motherboard on an insulated surface and try.•You should have verified your power supply before getting to this page. If you have not, then proceed to powersupply test. If you have already done that, then we need to check your motherboard•If you are not sure how to manipulate different parts click on the following links to get more informationonhow to install:
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