If you have the skills or the time to do your own computer troubleshooting (or friends and family that do), by all means give it a try.
But if you need it fixed quickly and properly, then your key question has to do with troubleshooting steps you go through before calling the technician.
Making that decision is a bit of a balancing act.
You don't want to wait too long before calling for help, but you also don't want to pay a technician a minimum of one hour work when the solution only takes 5 minutes.
(However, if you do that...make sure you have a list of additional things the technician can do to take advantage of that hour of time)
You computer troubleshooting should have some very basic things that you do before calling the technician.
You should also have a daily, weekly and monthly set of preventative maintenance tasks that you routinely perform.
Here are some of things you should do before calling for help (your technician may have additional things to recommend...(please remember to ask for recommendations)
It is amazing how often this will solve many of your problems.
If you find you have to reboot too often, then that might be a sign you have other problems to solve
Power off all your network components (modems, routers, etc.).
Wait 30 seconds or more.
Then power them back up one at a time.
Make sure the software is installed with the proper license (fee or Free).
Make sure it is updated with the very latest definitions.
You could backup to and external drive, to the cloud or to any number of internet solution providers.
Or else make sure you have a backup from your routine administrative tasks.
You could use software available from four operating system.
Or again, there is software available on the internet that can perform this task for you.
You can find free software to do this or use any number of fee based applications.
Once again, there are several software providers that offer this capability.
Your computer troubleshooting list could be longer, but if these steps don't get you up and operational, then it is time to call your favorite technician or service provider. (I am assuming here you really don't want to carry it in...)
Once the technician arrives, cover all the things you have already done.
You want to make sure they don't waste too much time repeating cleanup tasks already performed.
A good technician should have an objective of very quickly getting to the point where they can make appropriate recommendations on course of actions.
As an example the technician could spend hours debugging and fixing a Windows XP problem, and the real problem is it's a complete guess if it will be 1 hour or 4 hours to fix.
It would be clear that the system could be reloaded and operational in a known time frame, like 45 minutes.
The choice would be yours to make...but generally in this case, the recommendation would be to reload the system.
Over the years, the list of computer troubleshooting problems has become consistent from the perspective of key problem areas our customers are interested in.
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