Troubleshooting a Dead PC (Grounding Isolation)

bent.jpgModern boards use plastic stand-offs to which the board simply snaps into place or is fastened to by ties. Older PC casings use brass ones that need paper or cardboard washers for the task. There may also be an issue with the alignment of the board itself (there was an issue with Gigabyte boards sometime back that had the whole board sagging in one place of the other which prevented the memory modules from seating properly. Thanks to answersthatwork.com for the details ) Use plastic tie-downs where a plastic tie is used to pull the board into alignment to solve this type of problems.

PC Troubleshooting – What is Causing Your Computer to Run Very Slow?



Computer running very slow? There are millions of people just like you who are having to put up with a PC which won’t respond quickly and which will not load up very quickly at all. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to fix this problem which even a beginner can do.

The first thing you need to check for is the hardware of your computer. The ‘hardware’ that a computer has is basically all the components and physical pieces which make the computer work. The speed of your PC is directly determined by how much information your hardware can process at once, and the reason why many new PCs are expensive is because they can process a lot more information than older models, making them faster.

You should check the quality and specifications of your computer’s hardware to see if it’s able to run the system and software that you have on your computer. It’s often the case that many PCs older than 2 years need to have some upgrades in order to help them run as quickly as what they should.

Poor quality hardware is the biggest cause of a slow system but there’s another big problem that not many people know about. The other big reason why your computer might be running slowly is because of the “registry”. The registry is a database which stores information and settings for Windows, and is constantly getting corrupted and damaged. This makes Windows struggle to load a lot of the settings it needs, which makes it run slower and slower.

Not many people realize the significance of the ‘registry’ and hardly anyone actually knows it exists… but every time you use your PC, it’s being slowed down more and more thanks to an increasing number of registry files becoming damaged. This means that if you have a lot of corrupt registry files on your computer, you can actually make it run a lot faster by removing them all.

You can remove corrupt registry files with a ‘registry cleaner’, which is a software program designed for this job. Cleaning out these corrupt files will make your PC run faster and can even make it run like new. New computers run fast because they have new hardware and (more importantly) they don’t have any corrupt settings inside the registry, allowing Windows to open the files it needs instantly. This means that if you use a registry cleaner to scan through your system & clean up all of the damaged registry files, you could make your PC run as fast as it did when it was new.

3 Common VGA Drivers Problems, 3 Simple Troubleshooting Solutions



There are quite a number of common problems that computer users encounter with their video graphics array (VGA), and the most prevalent of these problems are often due to the VGA drivers. This article will list the top 3 common VGA problems, and 3 simple troubleshooting solutions to resolve them.

Problem one: Your monitor’s power LED seems to flash, but there is no image displayed on screen. This could possibly mean a couple of things, but before you do something stupid like smacking the monitor hoping it will somehow jar it back to life, check to see if the connection to the computer is ok.

Sometimes even when things are all connected there may still be problems. This would most likely mean that there is something wrong with the digital/analogue connection, and you will have to look into the problem. It could be the cable itself, or it could be the port. It could also mean that you may need to have a converter, depending on how old or how new your monitor is. Not everything is a problem with the driver though, and sometimes hardware also plays quite a part in it; so you need to look at this problem from both angles.

The problem could also lie with your graphics card hardware and its drivers. One thing that you need to have is the latest drivers for the graphics card. By doing so, you can figure out the problem with ease, especially if you can eliminate drivers as being the sole cause of the problems.

First things first, make sure that you are able to verify the graphics card compatibility with both your system and the monitor. If there is still an issue with the display, then what you need to do is to get the latest drivers. You can do so by simply going online and visit the manufacturer’s website and download the drivers from there. More often than not, this is enough to solve the problem.

But if it still doesn’t work, do not worry, most of the time, blank unresponsive screens would more than often mean that you have installed a previous, outdated version of the drivers. What you can do is also to use force ware drivers, which are universal drivers for graphics card that activates the chip the same way your manufacturer has designed it. In fact, there is almost no difference when it comes to both drivers, so you can use both.

One thing unique about the display environment of the PC is that there is another set of drivers that come into play, which both facilitates and augments the capabilities of your graphics card and this is called the Direct X technology. This is a technology released by Microsoft, and a lot of the architecture built around the display driver is done so in reference to the versions of Direct X available.

Therefore, it is also crucial for you to have an updated version of Direct X, whose drivers are available on the company website and sometimes comes packaged with new games and new graphics cards that are purchased.

With these 3 common problems and 3 common tips to use, you will be able to route around many of the display driver problems that are plaguing people all over the world.

Intel 8088 That Started the PC Revolution



The 4004, the very first microprocessor kind of just happened. The designers started out to design a chip set for programmable calculator rather than a processor. They designed a general purpose processor instead. That led to several other improved microprocessors including a 16 bit one the 8086. Then in a kind of step back Intel produced a microprocessor a year later, on July 1979, 8088. This was internally the same as the 8086, a complete 16 bit processor, yet external interfaces were all 8 bits. Looking back that might look like a retrograde step. IBM went ahead and used the processor in their IBM-PC product and the rest, as they say, is history!

If you looked at the way a slew of processor coming out of the major manufacturers and the way support chips catch up, it would be hard to believe it used to take time for the support and peripheral chips to catch up. One of the decisions PC manufacturer wanted to implement with the PC, was to use existing technology as far as possible. They went ahead and used the 8088 for that reason. With the existing support chips in 8 bit yet the internal architecture of 16 bit gives you benefits to an extent. At least it would be better than using a processor that is 8 bits inside out. The 8088 had a 8 bit data bus instead of the 16 bit bus of the 8086. Internal 16 bits registers and the 1 MB addressing capability was retained.

The 8088 CPU took two read or write cycles to read or write 16 bit data instead of one as in 8086. But these bus changes made it compatible with 8080/8085 support chips. The 8085 related chips were available in a wider selection, they were stable and also priced much lower than the newer 16 bit support/peripheral chips.

One would think it was logical to use a 16 bit processor for the PC. That actually came later. Processors in 16 bit were already available. The 8086 was around for a year already at the time 8088 was announced. The PC came about couple of years after the coming out of 8088. Motorola 68000 was on the scene too. Many considered the M68000 processor a very well designed 16 bit processor, designed from ground up. Existing, stable technology was the key decision about the PC and they stuck to it rather than go with newer technology.

At this time the processors still did not accommodate the complexity of floating point math operations in hardware. 8086 introduced a numeric c-processor, the 8087 that works with 8086 to provide floating point operations to the 8086. Interestingly the 8088 too could work with the 8087 and provide the math support. Thus there was no restriction that the PC could support office productivity applications only. As it happened later, scientific applications like the AutoCAD too would run on the PC. The PC was ready for the applications revolution on either genre and look what happened!

Audio Problems – 3 Tips on Troubleshooting Realtek Drivers



If you ever encounter a problem with your computer’s audio, one of the first things you should do is check the system bios and see if there is any problem with it. You need to understand that the bios is not a perfect piece of software and it is prone to problems as well. This means that it is prone to problems just like anything else in the computer. What you need to do is to either flash the same bios within the motherboard again or download the latest one from the website of the manufacturer.

All you need to do is to download the new bios and flash it with the instructions given to you in the manual. You should know that each motherboard has a different way of installing new bios. You need to be careful here as you do not want to wipe it out of your system in altogether. Messing it up could mean a painful and complicated move of realigning the jumpers and recalibrating your entire system again.

Also, another thing you can do is to update the Realtek drivers themselves. The drivers that you might be getting from the package might be old and untested with the current configuration of the computer you have now. Understand that technological advancement progresses at an insanely quick rate in today’s world of computing. In order to keep up with the constant evolution of technology, drivers will be updated often because of the changing digital environments.

As new programmes and new software are released, manufacturers often have to test and retest the code of their drivers and then change them accordingly to ensure that there is a high level of compatibility for all consumers. Knowing this, you need to be able to ensure that you have the latest drivers. To do this, you need to find them either online or through third party sources. Of course, the best ways to get them online is from the website of the manufacturer of your choice and just download them into your computer.

Last but not least, you need to be careful when you do install new software or hardware, especially when they are in the multimedia range of goods. Especially when you have an all in one or sound card that you wan tot install, you need to understand that there are certain procedures involved in the process of installing them.

One of them is that you need to deactivate the onboard chip to make sure that the installation goes smoothly and that you can eliminate all possible conflicts. This ensures that the installation process is very smooth and that no other problems might occur at the same time as well.

These are the three ways in which you can ensure that your audio driver issue with Realtek does not cause problems for you. Of course, do note that these are general tips – problems that are way more involved may require a more advanced technical expertise, depending on the severity of the issue.

Understanding Blue Screen of Death

 

Blue Screen of Death. Just the name is terrifying! It is likely that if you’ve used Windows that you’ve also encountered this blue screen STOP error. It happens whenever your computer senses a software, hardware or driver error which will not allow it to continue operating properly. It can happen anytime for any different reasons. Before you have a heart attack, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to deal with BSOD

The first step is trying to reboot your computer. Sometimes, all it needs is that and you will have recovered. On other more complicated times, you may need to troubleshoot more. All BSOD comes with clues. Take your time to read because it will contain what you need to do. Most of the time it will tell you to restart your computer. (Do that) Otherwise, go into safe mode. From there you can get into “My Computer” and right click on the “c” select the tools tab and do a defrag and schedule a disk check – check both boxes in disk check – one says “check for errors” the other one say “attempt to repair”

Importance of troubleshooting computers

Troubleshooting, as it is commonly defined, is a form of solving problems especially those found in systems, machines, and devices. Its definition alone exhibits the importance of such activity mainly because through it, expenses on repairs and buys are lessened and more importantly, a device’s usage is maximized. It is important to remember that at the very instant that a device is bought; issues could instantly go with it. This explains why it is greatly important to know how to troubleshoot these ever increasing system, machine, and computer problems. Troubleshooting lessens expenses brought by repairs and even the need of buying new systems and computers knowing that through it, problems are given immediate solutions. Also, through troubleshooting, uses and benefits of an involved software or device are maximized which as well makes its cost worth it and thus avoiding serious problems such as system failure or device malfunction and breakdown.

Network Troubleshooting Commands



Troubleshooting computer network is among the most important job descriptions of the network administrators, system administrators, network technicians and the IT consultants. A computer network can have different kinds of problems such as it can be infected with virus and spyware, attacked by hackers, accessed by unauthorized users and may face connectivity failure issues due to the faulty network devices or configurations. Following is a list of the basic network troubleshooting commands that are built-in the Windows based operating systems and UNIX etc. The right use of these troubleshooting commands can helps a lot in diagnosing and resolving the issues with your computer network.

PING

Ping is the most important troubleshooting command and it checks the connectivity with the other computers. For example your system’s IP address is 10.10.10.10 and your network servers’ IP address is 10.10.10.1 and you can check the connectivity with the server by using the Ping command in following format.

At DOS prompt type Ping 10.10.10.1 and press enter

If you get the reply from the server then the connectivity is ok and if you get the error message like this “Request time out” this means the there is some problem in the connectivity with the server.

IPCONFIG

IPconfig is another important command in Windows. It shows the IP address of the computer and also it shows the DNS, DHCP, Gateway addresses of the network and subnet mask.

At DOS prompt type ipconfig and press enter to see the IP address of your computer.

At DOS prompt type inconfig/all and press enter to see the detailed information.

NSLOOKUP

NSLOOKUP is a TCP/IP based command and it checks domain name aliases, DNS records, operating system information by sending query to the Internet Domain Name Servers. You can resolve the errors with the DNS of your network server

HOSTNAME

Hostname command shows you the computer name.

At DOS prompt type Hostname and press enter

NETSTAT

NETSTAT utility shows the protocols statistics and the current established TCP/IP connections in the computer.

NBTSTAT

NBTSTAT helps to troubleshoot the NETBIOS name resolutions problems.

ARP

ARP displays and modifies IP to Physical address translation table that is used by the ARP protocols.

FINGER

Finger command is used to retrieve the information about a user on a network.

TRACERT

Tracert command is used to determine the path of the remote system. This tool also provides the number of hops and the IP address of each hop. For example if you want to see that how many hops (routers) are involved to reach any URL and what’s the IP address of each hop then use the following command.

At command prompt type tracert www.yahoo.com you will see a list of all the hops and their IP addresses.

TRACEROUTE

Traceroute is a very useful network debugging command and it is used in locating the server that is slowing down the transmission on the internet and it also shows the route between the two systems

ROUTE

Route command allows you to make manual entries in the routing table.

Hopefully the above mentioned commands will help you to diagnose the troubleshooting your computer networking problems.

Troubleshooting With Your MP3 Player



One of the most common problems that an individual encounters with their MP3 player is incompatible file formats. All MP3 players can read files in .mp3 format and most can also accommodate .wma formats. Even if a music file doesn’t match these extensions, there are several software programs that allow an individual to convert file formats to suit their MP3 player. Compatible files are the most important thing to consider with an MP3 player because without them, the music will not play.

If you’re MP3 isn’t playing an entire song, check to make sure that the entire track was downloaded properly. Sometimes a computer glitch or simply an oversight in downloading a portion of a track rather than the entire track will present a problem. If the complete track was downloaded and working properly before being downloaded onto the MP3 player, there may be a hardware problem with the player itself.

When downloading any file, including an MP3 music file, make sure that the download is free of any viruses and was obtained from a reputable source. By running a virus check on the file prior to opening it, an individual may be able to protect themselves from a computer virus. If a file contains a virus of some type, it may cause operational problems with the MP3 player as well. Before it even makes it to the MP3 player, however, any present virus will have already infected the computer. Your best bet? Purchase a reliable anti-virus software program and use it regularly on every file download.

If a problem arises with an MP3 player and cannot be resolved by first consulting the user’s manual, which should have been included in the packaging, individuals are urged to contact the manufacturer for possible warranty information. If the MP3 player is not covered under warranty, the company may still be able to repair or replace any defective part at the customers expense. Otherwise, a local electronic retailer may be able to correct the problem or recommend that the MP3 player be replaced altogether.

A PC Technician Can Do More Than PC Repairs



He can give a lot of technical advice to the client in various things like Internet security, data storage, right use of various computer applications etc. This will work out to be a mutually beneficial relationship between the client and the service giver. All those who own a PC are bound to need PC repairs now and then, and for these repair requirements they would need a PC technician. While this is an indisputable fact a technician can do much more than repair a PC. So far as he has got a good rapport with the PC owner, he can forestall a lot of repairs by helping him to maintain the computer well.

One of the ways in which a PC technician can help is by emphasizing to the client the need for data protection. With relation to the Internet, there is a lot that a client has to know about firewalls, securing of passwords, problems with an unsecured router etc. If his PC technician can explain to him all these and guide him on how to use the Internet in a secure way, the computer owner will be able to prevent data exposure to a great extent.

In most cases, computer users try to get the help of a PC technician only when there is an emergency need for some PC repairs. Instead of that they can tie up with a technician, which can involve technical advice as well. Even if he charges a little extra for it, it will work out as a mutually beneficial package. Under this agreement, the technician can give his client detailed advice on the need for surge protection, power backup requirements, registry cleaning, virus protection, and the need to continuously back up data to save data.

The need for data backup can never be overemphasized. Data can be stored in external storage devices like eSATA or a USB flash drive. For those who find even this inconvenient, there are online provisions for data storage. A PC technician can obviously guide a computer owner on the advantages and disadvantages of using different data storage facilities and on the cost effectiveness of each.

Online data storing facilities have many advantages over external data storage devices. When the data is stored online, the user does not even have to carry a thumb drive in his pocket. There is no risk of mechanical injuries to the storage device as well. The data can be accessed from anywhere in the world and the user can work on any other computer if his own one is non-functional and in need of PC repairs.

Many of the online storage arrangements allow free storage of limited amounts of data and charge an annual or monthly fee for more storage. The computer can be programmed to back up data and store it at the site on a daily basis. Lots of computer users may not be aware of even such a provision, while others may not know how to program the computer for it. All these are arenas where a PC technician can help.

Another arena where a technician can help is in guiding the user to take advantage of the many inbuilt programs that a computer will have. Many users are either not aware of, or are not conversant with the programs. In short, a PC technician can help a computer owner in many more ways than doing PC repairs.