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Tip of the Week: 6 PC Troubleshooting Guidelines that Every User Should Know

Tip of the Week: 6 PC Troubleshooting Guidelines that Every User Should Know

When was the last time that you ran into a computer problem that was easily solved just by simply restarting your computer or unplugging a device from the wall, then plugging it back in? Oftentimes, simple troubleshooting tactics are enough to resolve a problem. But more often than not, there are issues that can’t be easily resolved.

Next time you run into a PC problem that you just can’t wrap your head around, try these six troubleshooting tips.

  • Keep things simple: You’d be surprised by how often some of the most common problems with technology can be resolved by simply restarting it. Reset the hardware or application, check to see if the machine is plugged in properly, shut the machine down, or reboot it. There's no real reason to go through in-depth troubleshooting practices if the problem can be easily resolved with a restart.
  • If others tried it, try it anyway: Sometimes you’ll be handed a problem that’s been tested by other people within your organization. Thinking it will help you narrow down the problem, they’ll list off what they have or haven’t done. While this might be helpful, you should trust your own judgement - perhaps they didn’t perform a process correctly, or maybe they say that they’ve tried it, but really haven’t. Don’t leave any stone unturned.
  • PEBKAC (user error): This issue, “problem exists between keyboard and chair,” is a common reason why you might be unable to diagnose what the real problem is. ZDNet estimates that about 80 percent of PC problems are a result of user errors, which means that the one at fault might not be technology at all. In these cases, it’s important to accept that you might be wrong and work towards whatever the solution might be.
  • Replicate the issue: In order to understand a problem, sometimes it’s helpful to try to remake the issue. If you know how a problem starts, you might be able to best learn how to fix it. Ask your end-users how the symptoms showed up, and what they were doing when disaster struck.
  • Fix vs replace: Your IT budget needs to be considered when you’re choosing to either implement new technology, or to fix recurring issues with your old solutions. You need to understand where the fine line between fixing or replacing lies. It makes no sense to purchase new technology if there’s still life left in your current solutions. On the other hand, hardware refreshes can be considered when you’re looking for ways to improve operations and get rid of old technology that’s no longer functional or needed.
  • Seek professional assistance: If you can’t resolve a problem on your own, it’s often more advantageous to seek out professional help, rather than waste valuable time and resources by doing it yourself. Remember, there’s no shame in asking for help when it’s needed. Businesses often do this with their IT, as it can get quite technical and challenging for those who aren’t specifically trained on its best practices. Instead, outsourcing it eliminates this responsibility so that you can focus on your business.

SMART Services can be your outsourced IT experts. To learn more, reach out to us at 586 258-0650 .

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