Troubleshooting 101: 9 Steps to Try Before Calling IT Support

by | Jul 12, 2021 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

When your business’s computer hardware is a few years old, it’s only natural that things start to slow down. Even if you take the very best care of all your machinery, it’s likely that you’ll encounter an issue at one point or another. Want to try troubleshooting on your own? We’ve put together a list of nine things to try before calling tech support!

Before we get into the meat of the issue, we want to stress that trying to solve the problem by yourself is definitely not necessary. If you’re unsure, unfamiliar, or not confident with computers, the team at Nuvex Solutions is here for you. Doing some basic troubleshooting could save you some time, but if you’re worried about damaging something, we’re happy to assist!

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Step #1: Back Up Your Work

If you’re trying to diagnose or fix an issue on your own, make sure you save your work before you try anything. This can save you a lot of trouble later on and ensures that you won’t lose everything you worked so hard on before. If possible, save your files to cloud storage (like Google Drive or Dropbox) or an external hard drive so that you can retrieve it even if the hardware goes down.

If you’ve finished troubleshooting and are still not sure what the problem is, it may be time to consider getting an IT expert to take a look at it. Before that, try to back up your files and passwords if possible. While most IT technicians will try their best to avoid deleting or clearing files, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if your data is backed up regularly, we recommend making an extra copy of your most recent files just in case.

Step #2: Check for Anything Out of the Ordinary

Take a look at your computer to check for anything out of the ordinary. This typically appears in the form of pop-up windows or notifications in your notification bar. Keep an eye out for anything that could give you a hint to the problem. For example, if you restart your computer and the screen says that your computer’s temperature is too high, let your computer cool before trying to turn it on again. This is also a good indicator that there is an issue with your computer’s cooling system.

Remember not to click on anything that looks suspicious! If the notification does not come from trusted antivirus software or your operating system, do not click it. If you are unsure about a notification’s origin, play it safe and avoid clicking it as well.

Step #3: Restart the Program

If the computer program you’re working on suddenly freezes, you may need to restart it. In some cases, this can be enough to solve the issue. Typically, you can click the X on the window to close out the program. If a dialogue box pops up asking if you want to force close the program, click Yes.

In the event that you can’t X out of the program, you can also force close the program by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL at the same time to call up the Task Manager. Select the program that you’re looking to close (it may show as Not Responding in the Task Manager) and click End Task at the bottom.

Once you’ve closed your program, open it back up and see how it works.

Step #4: Reboot Your Computer

There’s a running joke (maybe a complaint) that people call IT support and the first thing they’re asked is “did you try turning it on and off again?” While it can be frustrating to be on the receiving end of that, there’s a reason that’s a common question! The power of a reboot is not to be trifled with. There are plenty of benefits to regularly rebooting your computer!

Step #5: Check the Basics

This might sound obvious, but sometimes computer issues are linked to very simple problems. Is everything plugged in properly? Is the power source switch turned on? Is the cable connected? These may seem like insignificant things to check, but you may find that it can make a difference! For example, a family friend once had an issue with no sound coming out of their speakers. After running through many tests, rebooting the system, and more, it was found that the volume knob had accidentally been turned all the way down!

Step #6: Clear Your Cache and Unwanted Files

In order to keep your computer running smoothly, you may want to regularly clean it of unnecessary files. This could be cleaning out your Recycle Bin or Downloads folder. You may also want to clear your internet browser’s cache. To learn how to do this, check out these guides for your browser: Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer.

Note that clearing your cache also clears any saved passwords or forms you may have. If you rely on a website’s autofill, you may want to make note of your passwords beforehand.

Step #7: Look for Help Online

Unsure about how to handle an issue? You can try searching for the answers online! You can search using keywords for your issue, such as “program crashing on start” or by inputting any error codes (ex: DirectX Error 8123.25). There are usually online forums where people can find answers to their solutions. These could be official forums hosted by companies like Microsoft or NVIDIA, or even Reddit. However, note that these are usually user-driven, so don’t expect an official answer from a manufacturer or company.

Step #8: Run Your Antivirus Software

It’s important to do virus scans regularly, but if you’re encountering issues, running a scan right there and then could shed some light on the problem. Run your antivirus software to see if there is any sort of virus or malware that has infected your computer. Think you might have a virus? Take it to the experts and have it looked at.

Step #9: Talk to an IT Expert Like Nuvex Solutions

At Nuvex Solutions, we’re proud to provide not only quality solutions, but also top-notch service. From computer repairs to malware troubleshooting, we’re here to help you with whatever problems you’re facing.

Looking for consistent 24/7 monitoring and solid support? Take a proactive approach to your IT support and hardware health with our managed IT service packages, available at a flat monthly fee based on how many workstations you have.

Have questions or need some advice? Contact us today!

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