As small businesses, we can’t just yell for some guy/gal in the support department to fix our computers when something goes wrong, like every large business can. Often times its faster and cheaper to have a look at things ourselves and/or call our local solution provider if we can’t solve it. If we have a support contract – perfect. If not, we’ll expect to pay by the hour.
Just a few minutes ago my wife needed help importing addresses into Yahoo Mail – what I thought would be a 2 minute job took 20 minutes or so!
RescueCom a North American franchised computer repair and technology services company that provides on site, 24/7 service from coast to coast has some great PC repair tips:
Windows Won’t Start
* After checking all connections, turn off your computer, unplug all
components and restart. If the problem persists, it is most likely a
hardware issue. These are often the most difficult problems to deal
with and generally require assistance from a qualified expert.
Internet Connectivity Difficulties
* After checking all wired and wireless connections, turn off and unplug
your cable or DSL modem. Wait 30 seconds, plug in the modem and restart
your computer. If this doesn’t work, malicious software or altered
network settings may be the cause, which can sometimes be mitigated by
utilizing commercial virus and spyware removal software. You may also
want to try reinstalling your Internet Service Provider (ISP) software.
Computer Running Very Slow
* Spyware/Viruses — Most often computer sluggishness is caused by
multiple viruses or spyware that has infected your computer (most
computers have some sort of spyware on them). These programs are
designed to popup advertisements, track your computer usage or even
steal your identity. They also consume valuable resources and can be
more than just a nuisance. The fix may be as simple as going to
websites such as Norton.com, TrendMicro.com and even Microsoft.com,
which all offer trial versions of anti-virus, spyware and virus
protection software to detect and remove malicious software.
* Clean Up Your Computer — Many programs also unnecessarily start
automatically when your computer starts up. Taking these non-critical
programs out of your “Start Up” folder can dramatically speed up your
computer. Similarly, removing unneeded software can free up resources
to improve your computer’s performance.
* Set Up Automatic Windows Updates — By running Windows Update you
install the latest patches and software. This will reduce your risk of
viruses, spyware and may speed up your computer.
* Run Defrag and Scan Disk — There may be errors on your hard disk drive
that are slowing down your computer. Programs such as defrag and
scandisk will identify these errors and optimize your hard drive for
* The most effective defense against data loss is a solid back up system
with offsite data storage. This is an absolute must. Users should also
be sure to enable their “auto-save” function, which automatically saves
their work every few minutes. These saved, or partially saved documents
may be retrieved depending on the type of data loss experience. For
extreme situations where significant data loss is detected, users should
immediately shut down and unplug their system to prevent future harm and
data loss, and then call in an expert to help retrieve the data.
Printer Not Working
* Check all connections and restart your printer. If your computer still
doesn’t recognize your printer, go to your control panel, click
“Printers and Faxes,” click on “Add a Printer” and follow directions.
This problem may also be fixed by checking to ensure the paper tray is
not empty and toner cartridge is adequately full.
* When setting up either a wireless network, or a file-sharing system,
ensure that your computer has the appropriate firewalls, encryption, and
a non-obvious password to protect important files and data on your
computers. If your wireless network keeps disconnecting, make sure your
router and your cordless telephone are set to different frequencies.
This may be as simple as changing the channel of your cordless phone,
many of which come with up to 11 channels.
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