In order to better serve you as a client, and possibly save us both time and money, here are a few things that you can do before calling the help desk:
Basic things to try before calling help desk
1. Unplug Power from Everything – This one may be much to ask for those with complicated setups, however you will find that it is worth the time and effort. Unplug the power cords from all devices and keep things unplugged for a matter of five minutes before plugging them back in the same way as before (labels are highly recommended to alleviate the confusion). This process resets all electrical systems and network connections. Once plugged back in make sure that all attached equipment is functional, check if the internet is working properly and if the problem has fixed itself. This is the first and often the last step in the process.
2. Make Sure Everything is Plugged In – This may seem like an exercise in futility but cords are easy enough to knock loose and simply going behind the computer tower for a couple seconds to testing each one can fix several issue related to internet connection and hardware malfunctions.
3. Backup Everything – You should already have this happening on a regular basis, but if you haven’t been then now is the best time to start. If nothing else get an external drive from a local retailer and copy/paste your important files, because if the hard drive is the problem then data loss is a serious threat. All computer repairs performed by a professional tech should be non-destructive, but assurance is better than the alternative.
4. Run a Basic Disk Cleanup – There are tools built into Windows that are there to help keep things up and running properly. The three most important and used of these tools are “Disk Cleanup,” “Disk Defragmenter,” and “chkdsk” – all of which are fairly simple to use. Both the cleanup and defragmenter are available under the “Accessories” folder of the start menu and “chkdsk” can be used by typing CHKDSK into the “Run…” option of the start menu. These will tune up your computer and keep it running at its best.
5. Delete Temporary Internet Files – Doing this will cure several internet related issues, especially if the problem is with a particular website. Click Start, then click Control Panel, and then double-click Internet Options. On the General tab click Delete Files under Temporary Internet Files. In the Delete Files dialog box, click to select the Delete all offline content check box, and then click OK. Click OK. Some websites might load slowly the first time after this and passwords will need to be re-entered on some websites login pages.
6. Record All Errors – This is vital if you want the support call to go quickly and smoothly. Make sure to carefully catalog all of the messages and codes that appear, each piece works together to become the trail of crumbs that leads to the solution. Also try to find a pattern that leads to the error’s appearance – if it is repeatable then it is fixable.
7. Gather Information – The most comprehensive way to get detailed information about your system is built into Windows. Click on the Start button then click on Run. Type in DXDIAG and click the OK button. This gives valuable information like operating system, system manufacturer / model, processor type / speed and memory. One other needed
piece of information comes from the My Computer icon on the desktop or start menu. Right click on the main hard drive and choose properties. This will show you how much used / free space there is left on the computer.
Armed with this information the computer tech may be able to diagnose the issues over the phone, via remote connection or at least give them a basis to work from. Also by taking care of these basics it should also help make the bill for services much smaller.