Basic Troubleshooting Steps for your Windows PC
Computer users can save time and money with these basic troubleshooting steps for your Windows PC.
These troubleshooting steps address basic, often overlooked problems that do not require you to open your computer’s case, handle hardware components, or dive deeper into your operating system inner workings. Keep in mind that your goal is to solve an existing problem, not create a new one.
Listed below are two common scenarios that occur with Windows-based computers.
1. The computer won’t power up.
2. The computer won’t boot from the hard drive.
Please keep in mind that these are all generic recommendations. With the huge number of different makes and models of PCs, specific troubleshooting steps may vary somewhat. If these steps fail to address the issue you are encountering, you will need to seek advice from a certified professional or from the manufacturer if your computer is still under warranty.
The Computer Won’t Power Up
- Is the PC’s power cord plugged firmly into a wall socket or power strip, and is the power strip on? If so, try plugging the PC or the power strip into another wall socket. Likewise, check that the power cord is firmly connected to the PC’s power-supply outlet.
- Is the power supply (the part on the computer to which the power cord is attached) switched to the “on” position? Does the PC also have a voltage setting, and if it does, did it get changed to an incorrect setting?
- If all the above fails, attach a known working power cord to the PC’s power supply. Plug it in and try to power on again.
- Unplug all external devices, excluding the monitor from the PC, such as printers and scanners. If the computer powers on without the devices, add the peripherals back one at a time until you can identify the problem device.
- For laptops, also remove and reinsert the battery and power the device on without the cord. Most laptop batteries have charge indicator lights. Pressing them will cause them to light up and show how fully charged the battery is. If the indicators do not light up even after the laptop has been plugged in for a while, the battery will need to be replaced.
Windows Won’t Start Up Properly
- Make sure there are no DVDs or flash drives inserted in the computer.
- Remove external drives or devices and then try restarting the computer.
- If Windows seems to start booting but fails partway through, you may be able to fix it with a Windows 7 Startup Repair operation or a Windows 10 Startup Repair operation. If you’re not given the option to do a startup repair at boot-up, insert a Windows installation disc or recovery disk and use the startup repair tool from there.
- If you cannot boot into Windows at all, use the computer manufacturer’s default recovery procedures to recover the drive and reset Windows to its original configuration. After that is complete, you will also need to restore your data, if you have backed it up.
If you are looking for a source of certified assistance, please visit us at All About Technology. We provide residential and small businesses the full force of an IT department whenever they need it and for a fraction of the cost.
Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, located at 6450 Michigan Avenue in Detroit, Michigan.
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