The first step when it comes to solve any computing problem is find out which component is not working correctly.
Sometimes it is due to something simple such as: the audio is not working, or we can’t properly see the screen or keyboard/mouse have stopped working.
Other times the computer doesn’t even start, it suddenly restarts or turns off and we don’t know what is happening.
In order to identify the problem, we have to pay attention to the clues that the computer gives us.
The first step is to check if the problem is related to the software or to the hardware. The most simple method for this is to access your computer in “Safe mode”.
Safe mode is a start mode of the computer where the system only boots with the necessary applications and drivers and everything else which is not necessary remains disabled.
Now we are going to see how to access Safe Mode.
Click on ‘turn off’ and, while pressing ‘shift’ key, click on ‘restart’.
Now the computer will restart and will show a menu where we will select ‘Troubleshoot’ -> Advanced options -> ‘Startup configuration’.
In safe mode, we will try to reproduce the error.
If we can reproduce it, then it means that it is a hardware error.
On the contrary, if the error does not appear again, it means that it comes from the software.
The error occurs before or after an error message:
This is one of the most simple case to identify and correct errors as important information will appear in the message to help you repair the computer.
It can either be an error window or a full screen error, in both cases we must look at the error code and read the message.
The error message can also appear before the computer completely boots.
In any case we must copy the code or error message and search it on the internet so that we can find a solution for our problem.
Sometimes we don’t have an error message that gives us any clue about the exact failure.
For this reason here is a list of the most common errors and their possible solutions.
We can’t hear anything
1.Check the volume of the computer
2.Check that the speaker is turned on and connected.
3.If you have earphones connected, disconnect them.
4.Disconnect and connect again the speakers.
5.Restart the computer
6.Try to connect the speakers to other devices (mobile phone, PC, etc.) to discard that the error comes from the speaker.
1.Check that the monitor is connected to the net, to the computer and it is turned on.
2.Press the ‘turn on’ or ‘suspension’ button.
3.Check that the monitor connection cable is connected to the computer and that it is working properly.
Images are very big, very small or blurred.
Select the screen resolution in Windows:
1.Click with the right button on the desk, select ‘Display settings’.
2.Roll out the options of screen resolution and select the recommended option.
Mouse, keyboard or any other peripherals doesn’t work.
1.Check that they are connected to the computer.
2.In case they are wirelss, check that they are turned on and have battery.
3.Check that they are compatible with your computer and with the OS.
4.Turn off the computer, connect and disconnect the peripheral and turn it on again.
5.Search possible updates through Windows update.
Computer doesn’t turn on
1.Check that the computer is connected to A/C power.
2.Check the switch at the back side of the computer.
3.If the computer doesn’t turn on, it may give notice through some sounds, here are the most common ones:
Continuous Power failure.
Short and constant The mainboard is damaged
1 Very long A RAM error
1 Long and 1 short Error in the mainboard
1 Long and 2 shorts Failure of video card
1 Long It correctly works
Any of the previous failures will require changing the damaged piece
The errors and solutions provided in the previous slides are the most common ones and also the solutions proposed are the easiest and most frequent.
You can expand this information through the links in the bibliography.
The examples are based on a Windows 10 OS
They key part of your computer is the OS so in order to ensure correct functioning, it is advisable to keep it updated, and if our pc runs with Windows we can use Windows update.
This way we will always have peripherals’ drivers updated.
Just like the OS, also installed applications work better and are safer if we keep them updated.
The more applications we have installed, the slower the computer will become, due to excess of tasks in the background and files in the computer. A good maintenance task would be to delete all applications that we do not use.
Many applications start by default when we start the OS and this makes the pc goes slowly and it takes longer to be completely ready to start.
In order to avoid this issue, we can define the applications that we want to start along with the computer.
To do so we can:
The antivirus shall always be active and updated.
For Windows 10 it is not necessary to install any additional antivirus software as it brings along a good antivirus system.
It is called ‘Windows security’ and it includes several security systems apart from the standard antivirus.
It is not advisable to disable automatic control of the system, which is in charge of searching for virus with regularity.
If we want to have an extra exam we can do it by clicking on ‘Quick review’.
There is an application in Windows which can defragment the hard drive. Thanks to that the computer can access to files in an easier and more efficient way.
Search for disk defragmenter through Windows searcher, select the hard drive and click on ‘optimize’.
Over time our PC collects temporary files from different applications and this takes space and consumes resources of your OS.
There are some programmes which help us with this task, like CCleaner.
With this programme we can clean temporary files from internet apart from records that are not used.
From this screen we can select all the options of search engines and execute them.
Apart from software cleaning, hardware’s cleaning also has an impact on the optimal functioning of the computer.
We should clean PC cases inside once a month or every two months.
The best way to do it is using a vacuum cleaner that cleans all parts of the computer without causing any damage.
Laptops have to be opened for cleaning purposes, so we’d better take them to a specialised centre.
Finally, once in a while it is advisable to reinstall the whole system from the beginning.
The OS, after a while, collects many temporary files and updates and driver files which are obsolete or we don’t need them anymore.
For this reason it is convenient to format and reinstall the whole system once a year or once every two years.
5A Solving technical problems: Identifying needs and technological responses
Technical problems, hardware, software, optimize
In this course we are going to learn how to distinguish among different failures or errors that an OS can present . We will learn several methods to correct them as long as possible. We will also learn some apps that help improve our PC’s efficiency.
At the end of this module you will be able to: 1. Identify which type of failure we have in the computer 2. Try different methods to fix it 3. Prevent from future failures and improve the performance of the OS