Basic Troubleshooting

When you use your computer, occasionally problems will occur. There are a few simple things to check before you call for tech assistance.

Start up problems
If your computer does not turn on, check these things:
     Is the monitor indicator light on?
        Is the computer indicator light on?
        Is the power cord plugged into the outlet or surge protector?
        Is the surge protector turned on and is it working?
        Is there a diskette in the A: drive?
        Are all the cables pushed in all the way? 

General Situations
    If your computer "freezes" (it's running, but you cannot use any commands or the mouse pointer will not move) and you cannot shut your computer down by using the Start button, there are other options. 
     Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE on your keyboard. This will open a dialog box like the one below. Point to the program that needs to be shut down. By clicking the End Task button, you can close the program that is causing the error or you can shut down the computer by clicking Shut Down in the menu bar to choose Turn Off. If you do this, you will lose any unsaved information. Use this method to shut down only if it is necessary. 

    Windows XP

Windows 98

    If your computer "freezes", here are some other options. 
 If you press CTRL + ALT + DELETE twice, you can restart your computer.
        Use the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start menu. Then use the up arrow key to choose Shut Down. Press the Enter key on the keyboard. Use the arrow keys to choose the button for Shut Down. Press Enter.
        If the above solutions do not work, press the Restart button on your computer.
        If the above does not work, turn off your computer by pressing the on-off button. However, do not make a habit of this because it is not good for your computer.
        Lastly, if nothing works, unplug your computer.

Note: Remember that you will lose any unsaved data. Make it a habit to save often if the information is something that you want to keep.

When your computer system "freezes", what steps will you take to get it working again?

Back                                                                          Next 

Return to Workshop Overview

Introduction to Computers
Developed by Alyce Bunting, Jintavee Monsakul, and Donna Green

  Return to Introduction to Computers

Return to dfgreen home page