Common Troubleshooting Techniques and Strategies

Here are my five common-sense techniques and strategies to solve common computer hardware problems.

Swap Components (Trial-and-Error)

Personal computers by design are highly modular. The most effective way to troubleshoot your PC is by isolating the problem to a specific parts by trial and error. In this method you swap compatible components and see if the system works. Try other components or peripherals on different machines and see if the problem still occurs. Remember also to make one change at a time. This is a very effective method on locating a PC problem.

Check the cables

Almost 80% of all PC problems are related to cabling and connections. You must ensure that all cables are connected firmly. IDE and floppy ribbon cables and power cables can often go loose. Check if your microprocessor, memory modules, Video adapters and sound cards are inserted correctly and didn’t “pop-up” during transportation.

Don’t get frustrated

Don’t get frustrated and don’t be afraid of the computer problems consider it as the best opportunity to learn. For me troubleshooting is a fun part of having a computer. Just think of the satisfaction, the knowledge and experience it will give you after you solve the problem.

If you feel frustrated just leave it for a while, take a minute rest then go back with your fresh ideas to solve the problem or if it’s too much to handle seek help call someone who can help.

Rule of thumb: You shouldn’t spend more than three hours on the same problem at one time.

Take down notes

Taking down notes will be very helpful. Take notes of what you have done and all the error messages. Those notes will be valuable if you encounter the same problem. For instance, when you see an unusual blue screen with an error message, copy the entire message onto a piece of paper. In many situations, that message may point to the right direction in getting the problem solved quickly.

Look inside

Don’t be afraid to open and look inside of your computer. It’s OK to look inside your PC There is only 5V and 12V DC voltage supplied to the components outside the power supply. But always remember to power down and unplug the power chords before opening your computer.