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Computer quick fixes can save day

It makes my day when a customer comes into the store with an ailing computer, and we can provide quick advice or a simple solution to the problem. Here are a few of the quick fixes we have seen work out well for customers.

Problem: DVD/CD player isn’t showing up on the desktop when you put a disc in. Possible quick fix: Go to “My Computer” select “Audio CD” or D: Drive. The control box will come up for the CD/DVD player. If a DVD drive will not play or record DVDs, you may need to install a driver or DVD burning software such as NERO or Power DVD.

Problem: Laptop won’t power on at all. Possible quick fix: Take battery out, unplug power cord, hold power button down for several seconds. Replace battery, plug in and turn on. Surprisingly, sometimes it works!

Problem: Your laptop shuts down randomly. Possible quick fix: Have the power cord tested. This is a free service at better computer repair businesses. After checking power strips and outlets, a desktop’s power supply component can also be checked at no cost.

Problem: Your Internet connection has stopped working and the Internet provider has determined that the problem is with the computer. Possible quick fix: Consider purchasing a network device to connect by USB or through the card slot on your laptop. One other possibility, some laptops have a wireless switch near the edge of the work surface, be sure it is in the “on” position.

Problem: Laptop screen has been broken or badly damaged, and the fix is too expensive. Possible quick fix: Connect the laptop to a computer monitor and activate it by pressing “Function- F8” or another key marked on your laptop.

Problem: The cursor or typing “jumps” unexpectedly while you are typing. Possible quick fix: If you are working on a laptop, be sure your thumbs or palms are not contacting the touchpad. Settings can be adjusted so that the touchpad is less sensitive, or is completely inactivated if you do not use it. If the touchpad or mouse buttons on your laptop fail, try plugging in a mouse to avoid costly repairs. Persistent mouse or keyboard problems may be an indicator of virus or motherboard issues.

Problem: Sound doesn’t work. Possible quick fix: Check volume settings at Control Panel/Sound & Audio Devices. Check the mute settings. On a laptop, use the function key along with volume control often near the top right corner of the keyboard. If you are using a separate monitor, check volume on the monitor, or a dial on attached speakers. Be sure speakers have power plugged in, if needed. If all these checks provide no improvement, drivers could be missing, or a sound card could be bad.

Problem: Computer slows down considerably after installing an anti-virus or other application, Possible quick fix: There could be software conflicts. Anti-virus programs will compete with one another; a computer should run only one anti-virus at a time. Norton Anti-Virus may be particularly difficult to uninstall, and may require the use of a removal tool provided by Norton. Multiple anti-spyware or anti-adware programs can be used simultaneously.

I hope these will help you troubleshoot in the future. Perhaps you can be the hero and provide that quick advice that makes someone’s day.