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Feb 3, 2010

PC Troubleshooting: The Correct Attitude

PC Troubleshooting
It really happens. You're rushing to a deadline or having a blast on your favorite game, then the system crashes. It's amazing how different people react when their computers bog down or doesn't respond. Some are indifferent, but most are bordering to violence. ^^

Here's a few tips to save yourself and your sanity...

1: Accept it. This stuff happens to everybody. Sometimes there's no rhyme or reason to it, and most of the time it's through no fault of your own. Windows is an unpredictable, unreliable beast (yes, even Windows 7). A single problem driver or incompatible program can wreak havoc on an otherwise healthy system. When you accept that problems can and will happen, they'll be less of a surprise--and less likely to ruin your day.

2: Relax. System won't boot? Printer won't print? iPhone won't sync? Take a deep breath. In fact, take several. Then walk away from the offending machine, device, or whatever, and do something else for 5-10 minutes. I know full well how annoying and frustrating these glitches can be. That's why it's crucial to get some distance, so you can come back calm and clear-headed. Which ties directly to rule #3:

3: Don't overreact. I can't tell you how many times I've made things worse by failing to heed rule #2. Instead, I start flinging mouse-clicks at the troubleshooting dartboard. Uninstall a driver here, update a BIOS there, run the free virus-removal utility that promises to fix everything--it all snowballs. That's how one problem evolves into several, until eventually you think: "Ah, screw it, I'll just buy a new PC." (Tell me you haven't had that exact reaction at some point.) By all means, troubleshoot the problem, but do so slowly and methodically.