Tip this week is a list of 3 easy steps you can do to try to fix your computer problems before trying to get help from others.
#1 - This is the most important thing you can do it may seem simple and I don't mean this in an insulting way but it's a common mistake and you would be surprised by the number of people I talk with that don't even do this. Read the error message if there is one. Some times these messages won't make any sense to some people and that's fine but some times it gives clues to even the most un-computer savvy people out there. So if the message says something like "You must reboot the computer before running." you'll know that rebooting might fix the issue.
#2 - This brings us to the second simple thing you can do to try to fix your computer problems. Reboot the computer! This actually works with most electronic devices. Rule of thumb is to make sure the computer says off for 10 seconds before starting it again. This will give it time to allow the electricity to dissipate before turning it back on. Also if your internet connection stops working rebooting your router will almost always fix it and anytime you call your internet provider they will almost always have you do this first.
#3 - This one is and can be a bit more tricky then the reset of them but some times it can be super quick and easy is is always worth a shot. This step is your new slogan: Just Google it. Nike was close but didn't quite get it right. Be sure to be as exact as possible for searching for the error. For example if your getting an error message when trying to run a program type the exact message your getting and what program something like: "Critical Fault running Office Word 2007" also including what version of Windows your running may help if your using Vista or Windows 7. Before you say "Oh I'm using a Mac" don't bother that's a problem of it's own.
Some where out there Google probably has an answer to all your computer problems but finding them can some times be a challenge and then once you find the answer it may be too difficult or you might not feel comfortable with digging in places you've never been before in the computer and that's fine but your one step closer. Best thing to do is to avoid the pit falls of searching Google. Always try to stick to the web sites of companies you know of. Under each site listed in Google it will give you the address like www.microsoft.com/****** or dell.com/*** or what ever always look at those before even clicking on them. Never go to sites like computerfixit.com or fastcomputerfix.com or anything like that that includes fix or fast repair or what ever in the address. They might be legit but not worth the risk. I wouldn't recommend checking any forums sites unless your ready to roll up your sleeves and really get into it. Most of them will result in being something like first post is the person saying what their problem is and asking for help followed by 20 more posts of other people saying they have the same problems or it may be a similar problem but not the same that your having. It's best to just stick with sites from the company of the program or hardware that's having the issue or from Microsoft anything else might have the answer but can be hard to find. Also if you don't find it in the first few pages of your Google search it's probably best to give up or change the wording of your search.
If your still having the problem then you can confidently ask others for help knowing you have done what you can. I just want to leave you with one last word of advice. Never take your computer to geeksquad or other similar places they will over charge you for things that are not needed. Just give me a call I'll love to help you with your computer problems for free or even point you to the right people to help with your problems who will in many cases help you for free.