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Information Technology Fundamentals - Troubleshooting

Information Technology Fundamentals - Troubleshooting. 


Is there a plan B if your computer suddenly freezes? What should you do if you are unable to shut down a programme or play any audio? Don't freak out if your computer crashes on you! You can resolve such problems by employing any of a number of elementary troubleshooting strategies. In this section, we'll go over some basic troubleshooting techniques and teach you how to fix some common issues.

Guidelines to follow

Your computer could be malfunctioning for a variety of reasons. Identifying the root cause of an issue is never an exact science; sometimes you'll need to try a few different things before you find the one that works, while other times the solution will be obvious. To get started, try using the tips below.

  • Once you begin troubleshooting, you may find it helpful to record your actions step-by-step. Keeping track of your actions like this can help you recall every detail and steer clear of making the same mistakes twice. It will be much easier to seek for assistance from others if they are aware of the steps you've previously taken.
  • Write down as much information as you can regarding computer error messages if and when they occur. In the future, this data could help you determine if other people are experiencing the same problem.
  • Always double-check the cords: If your computer display or keyboard suddenly stops working, the most obvious first step is to check the cables connecting it to the rest of your system.
  • If all else fails, try rebooting the computer. Having this installed can fix many common computer problems.

Eliminating potential options

By eliminating potential causes, you may be able to pinpoint the source of your computer problems. This means that you will identify potential causes of the issue and then test each one in turn until you find the one responsible. Finding a fix for your computer problem will be less of a hassle if you've narrowed down the cause of it.


For example, your printer is acting up and you need to print out some birthday party invites. You try to rule out all the potential causes by going through your list of suspects one by one.

The first thing you do is to check that the printer is both on and connected to the power strip. That isn't the problem, as it is. In the next step, you'll double-check that the printer's paper tray is fully loaded and that the ink cartridge is still full. It's clear that the problem isn't related to the medium, as both examples show no signs of being illegible.

Inspect the connection between the printer and the computer now. It's possible that the printer isn't cooperating with your computer since you just installed an operating system update. The printer may have been functional yesterday, but you know there have been no changes since then, so you'll have to search elsewhere.

You discover that the printer's USB cable is unplugged after checking it. Probably unplugged it inadvertently when trying to insert something else into the computer previously. The printer will begin printing once again after the USB cable has been plugged in. This printer problem seems to have been fixed.

Instances like this are only one type of problem that might arise when working with a computer. The remainder of this session will focus on discussing other examples of frequent computer issues and potential solutions to those issues.

Simple solutions to common problems

Frequently, closing and reopening the software is all that's required to fix an issue. Before taking drastic action, try some of these less drastic steps first. If the issue is still there after these steps, you can try something else.

The power button refuses to start

  • In the event that your computer won't boot, option 1 is to double-check that the power cord is firmly plugged into both the rear of the computer casing and the wall socket.
  • Option 2: Check if the outlet is functional to see whether it is connected into one. Plugging in something else that uses electricity, such a lamp, will allow you to verify the functionality of your outlet.
  • Thirdly, make sure the surge protector is activated if the computer is plugged into one. Switching the surge protector off and on again may be required. The surge protector can be tested by connecting an appliance like a lamp to it.
  • It's possible that your laptop's battery isn't fully charged, which brings us to Solution #4. You can try turning on your laptop by plugging in its AC adapter and seeing if it will turn on. Sometimes you just need to let it a few minutes to warm up before trying again.

Software is running slowly

  • First, try closing the programme and starting it back up again.
  • Update the programme is the second proposed fix. Find the "Check for Updates" option in the "Help" menu to accomplish this. A search for application updates can be done online if you can't find this choice.

An application has become unusable due to a freeze

It's not uncommon for programmes to get stuck or even freeze up. If this happens, closing the window or using any of the app's buttons will be impossible.

  • One option is to end the programme abruptly. If you're using a PC, access the Task Manager by pressing (and holding) the Control, Alt, and Delete keys on your keyboard. Hold down Command+Option+Esc on a Mac. When the software stops responding, you can end it by selecting it and clicking End task (or Force Quit on a Mac).
  • Option 2: Attempt a system restart. Restarting your computer will force-quit any programmes that you have open if you are unable to do so manually.

The computer has frozen

The computer may become unresponsive, or "freeze," at times. Nothing you click on, nothing you open or close, nothing you select from the menu to shut down, nothing will work when this happens.

  • Windows users, try restarting Windows Explorer as a possible first solution. To access the Task Manager, simply press and hold the keys Ctrl, Alt, and Delete on your keyboard. Click the Processes tab, then choose Windows Explorer, and then click the Restart button. If the Processes tab is not immediately visible, you may need to click More Details at the window's bottom.
  • Solution 2: Restart Finder (only on Macs). To access the Force Quit Applications window, press and hold the Command, Option, and Esc keys on your keyboard. The next step is to find Finder, then click the Relaunch button.
  • Pressing and holding the power button is the third possible course of action. The computer's power button, represented by a stylized power button, is often situated on the front or side of the machine. You can force your computer to shut down by pressing and holding the Power button for 5-10 seconds.
  • Alternatively, if the computer still won't turn off, try disconnecting the power cord from the wall socket. To switch off a laptop, you can sometimes do so by removing the battery. Remember that this option is a last resort and try the others first.

Neither the mouse nor the keyboard is responding

  • The first thing to check is whether or not your wired mouse and keyboard are properly connected to your computer.
  • To solve this issue, try Solution 2: check that your wireless mouse and/or keyboard are both powered on and have fresh batteries.

There seems to be an issue with the audio

  • First, make sure the volume is high enough. Make sure the sound is on and the volume is turned up by clicking the audio button in the top-right or bottom-right corner of the screen.
  • As a second option, you might try fiddling with the player's settings. Depending on the media player, you may find that the volume controls are located in a different place. First, check to see if the player's volume is cranked up and then, if it is, that the sound is enabled.
  • Examine the wires. Verify that the external speakers are powered on and connected to the appropriate audio port or a USB port. The green port is the audio output port on a computer with color-coded ports.
  • Option 4: Test if sound is coming through the headphones by connecting them to the computer.
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