Brandon is a community member who works for Geek Squad. He sees customers come in every day with nearly the same problems, and came up with his top five tips for getting your own machine back up and running, whether you own a PC or a Mac.
Google is your friend Knowledge is power, even when working on a computer problem. There are thousands of websites and resources out there in Internet-land that can help you decipher that odd error message, sound or whatever problem you are experiencing.
Ask the dumbest questions possible Start from the ground up. Many times, the simplest fix can be the one that works. Don’t try to over-think the problem, or assume it’s something awful and too hard to fix.
Read the Manual… especially when it comes to add-on devices such as a sound card or modem. You will usually find the answer you need simply by reading the manual that came with the product. An addendum to this is that you can go to the manufacturer’s website, and read their “FAQ” or similar page. Many vendors have these with the answers to the most common/frequent questions and complaints. Remember: RTFM. (Read the FINE Manual).
Backup BEFORE you begin This is imperative… especially if you’re going to open the case to work on something physical. Regular backups outside your machine are always a good idea, anyway. You can backup to another machine, a CD or DVD, or even to an online service.
Be patient and calm This is the biggest tip I can give you. Computer repair can be a long process, especially when it comes to software. Most people have the capacity to fix their own machine, but aggravation often causes them to just give up. Stay calm, walk away when you need to. You might be surprised what you can fix on your own with some patience and research.
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