December 27th, 2002 04:07 AM
"Basic" Hardware Troubleshoot
I wrote this one a few years back but figured to post it anyways...
I know it doesn't have everything possible, but at least it'll put people in a good direction to know what the problem is.....
If you feel something should be changed, post it.
If you feel something should be added, post it.
(BTW, this is written in idea of running Windows... err...)
*Note: A little humor in the writting
Okay, you've been racking your brains all day and still can't get that damn computer
part to work. You're at a loss and don't know what to do. Here is a Basic guide to
aid you with your problem.
First things first, consult the owners manual (note: no manual, check the parts manufacturers website for online manuals. ie. SoundBlaster, Seagate, 3DFX...) The
manual is always your best place to correct most problems. It will tell you everything
about your hardware (ie. Jumpers) and how to configure it. If it doesn't, complain to
Second step: Manual didn't do much? or don't have the manual? Visit the manufacturers website for technical specs, FAQs, technical contacts or other helpful hints. The websites usually have information about updates or reported conflicts with other parts that manuals don't report.
Step three: Still no help? There are many forums or discussion groups on the internet
about these topics. Or go on a chat website and enter a chatroom with the topics of
"pc aid" or specific pc topics and ask for help. (Warning: Not all people on these
things are polite or punctual. Some may reticule or ignore you but it's a small price
to pay. Besides, they don't know who you really are!!)
Step four: Besides no manual, no drivers! or the damn diskette is corrupt! Not to worry! Most manufacturers will do one of two things:
-Post the drivers and updates on their website for download.
-Will offer a 1-800 number to call for replacement diskettes or parts (note: not all
companies give this stuff for free.)
Fifth step: You've read the manual and installed the drivers and yet still nothing.
Check to see if either the card is correctly inserted (note: Do not force any cable
or card into a slot. Either a pin is bent, a cable is caught or your cable is too
short or your in the wrong slot.) The power (white tipped color cables) or communication (gray colored with red stripe cable) are tightly in and in correct alignment. (note: certain cables like the communication cable has to be correctly connected. That red line on the side goes towards the power slot of a device but be sure to look for an arrow or a 1 on the top of the slot.) If you have a spare cable, try using it. The other cable may be dead.
Stage six: If it's a device like a diskette drive or hard drive and your Windows don't
detect it or you're running something else like Dos that doesn't auto-detect, check
your Bios to see if it's configured for it. If not, follow the steps to make Bios
recognize it. (note: for hardrives, the settings like heads, cylinders and cycles are
written on a sticker. Also the hardrive is never as big as they say. A 5 gig hard drive
is 5 gig unformatted and approx. 4.7 formatted) Also check the jumpers on the hardware to see if it's set on Master or Slave. (If both are on Slave or on Master, The hardrive is to be set on Master and Cd-rom or secondary hardrive on Slave)
Step seven: If it's a videocard, try changing the refresh rate in the display adapter in Windows. In other if it's another OS (Operating System) you're running like Dos, use setup or config. If that doesn't work, check the applications (game) settings.
If it's the soundcard, check the settings in the game. (note: some older games may not recognise newer cards like the Live cards from Creative, you'll have to try different
Creative type cards like AWE32 or Pro16.) Newer soundcards lack the drivers for Dos,
which some games, like classic Quake, run in. You'll have to get those drivers from the
manufacturers website. Another possibility is that some games have conflicts with certain cards. Check the games website for patches that correspond with your card. If you are getting no sound from music CDs, check the little cable that goes from your CD-Rom to your soundcard and make sure it's well connected. If you do not have one or it is faulty, try to obtain one from your soundcard manufacturer. (note: small components like this are usually free)
If it's a CD-Rom or CDRW and it won't be detected, check the jumpers (if available) on
the device and the jumpers on the card it's connected to. Also check if the CD-Rom is
connected to the proper slot on the card.
If it's RAM, make sure you purchased the proper type (Simms, Dimms) Simms must be paired while Dimms are singular. Make sure you are inserting them correctly in proper sequence without skipping a slot. Make sure you also properly align the holes and notches perfectly (Warning: Do not force! If it doesn't want to go in, you're doing something wrong or something is obstructing the way.)
If it's a new processor (Intel, AMD), Make sure your motherboard can support it. When inserting, make sure you're putting the chip in correctly. Look under the chip for a
pin more towards the center and then look at the slot for the same thing. (note: the
slot on your motherboard will have a locking arm to keep the chip in place. Remember
to lock and unlock the arm before operating!)
If it's a modem, make sure you remember which com port (communication port) it's set
to and that you have that port configured on your computer. The com port is set by jumpers on the card. Also make sure you have a working phone line connected and placed in the proper jack behind the modem. If your modem is external (outside the computer) make sure it's plugged in and turned on and check the parallel cable connecting the modem to the computer.
If it's a printer and/or scanner, always remember to "unlock" them and turn them on. Most brands of printers and scanners have a little switch under, behind or inside that must be unlocked. The instructions should show you where to locate it. Always make sure the sequence connection is Printer>Scanner>Computer. Keep in mind that if you are using your printer to print, your scanner will not be able to use the parallel port at the same time. (note: printers vary problems. A friend had a printer that stopped responding because his black ink was low.)
If it's a keyboard or mouse, make sure you purchase the proper connection (Serial, PS/2) according to the back of your PC. A nine pin socket is "serial" while a circle with six pin holes and a straight line is a PS/2 port. You can purchase adapters that make a serial to ps/2 and vise versa. If you have an older computer (quite older) you may have to unlock the keyboard. There will be a lock on the front of the computer (the base or tower, not the monitor) and you will need it's key to turn the lock upwards (on most cases). If you are using an extension cable, try unplugging it and connecting the keyboard or mouse direct to the pc, it may be that the extention is faulty. If the mouse's cursor is difficult to move, try cleaning the contact rollers inside the mouse. Just turn the little cap off from where the trackball is and remove the ball. Then moisten a q-tip with rubbing alcohol and clean off the two little rollers (one is for up and down, the other left and right.)
If it's the monitor, two things can be:
-Either the videocard is improperly installed, connected or the videocard is fried, or
-The monitor is burnt (if that's the case, sorry to tell you)
Step eight: Still can't get it to work? You can always e-mail (if available) the Tech's
through their website or call for technical support with their 1-800 (if available) or
1-XXX number (charges may apply) (note: the techs on the other end of the phone believe you screwed up the computer, no matter the problem, and will instantly blame you. They will talk to you like if you're an idiot and if you suggest certain things, your reply may be: "I'm sorry, that's out of my department". If you're a tech reading this and are offended, get over it, you know I'm right!)
Ninth inning: If those techs didn't help, you can always bring your computer into a shop and overpay a local technician to look at it for you. (note: you won't see your computer for a minimum of two weeks.) or you can make a house call. A house call is where you
overpay a stranger to come to your house and waste his time by repeating the same things you've done, only to make more money before figuring out what's wrong (note: most cases, some cases they can't figure it out either) (Warning!: Do not offer something to drink, trust me!)
10 and going: Still? Go to Wal-Mart and buy a gun with some ammo and shoot the tech who just took 140\\$ for doing nothing and then shoot yourself (Okay, don't shoot yourself) The only thing I can tell you now is that either the card is faulty or your computer is possessed! Either get a replacement if the card is still under warranty or return the device where you purchased it if possible. If not, use it as a coaster, beat the **** out of it with a sledgehammer or do the adult and mature thing and just throw it away (note: dull, boring)
Final Step: Having nightmares about the device? Either seek counseling (note: \\$$$) or... shoot yourself and put yourself out of your misery! (note: maybe you shouldn't, you wouldn't want the computer to "win" would you? Why not shoot it instead?)