Monthly Archives: February 2016

Troubleshooting Computer Speaker Problems

You are in a mood to listen to your favorite music CD or DVD. You start your computer, put on the speakers, play the DVD, and it won’t work. This will certainly be the cause of a lot of irritation for you. There are many problems that may occur in our desktop computer, and the speakers not working is one of them. For troubleshooting problems related to the speakers, you need to perform some very simple checks. The problems can be related to power connection and supply, sound card, or simply the speakers gone bad.

Firstly, you need to check if there is actually a problem in the speakers. They can be times when the computer settings are at fault, like the volume controls and audio setup. The best way to make sure if the problem lies with the speakers is to use the speakers on a different PC or laptop computer. If they work fine, then your computer has some problem. But if they don’t, then you need to take the steps for troubleshooting your computer speakers.

Check Power Connection
If the computer speakers are not working, you need to make sure if they are properly connected to the power switch. Typically, home theater speakers and other portable computer speakers have an LED light that turns on when the speakers are connected to the power source. Check if the light is on, and if it is not, remove the power connection, and plug it back again.

Check Speaker Connection
Another reason is the individual speakers not connected properly to the sub-woofer, or the portable ones not properly connected to the back of the CPU. If you are using home theater speakers, check if every individual speakers is appropriately connected to the back of the main sub-woofer. Remove all the connections and plug them back again. But before getting the connections out, make sure that you know exactly in which format to connect the individual speakers to the sub-woofer. In case of portable speakers, simply remove the connection from the back of the CPU and put it back again.

Check Volume Settings
If the speakers are not playing audio or video, you need to check the volume settings on the computer, as well as on the speakers. On a PC, with Windows operating system, the volume can be adjusted by clicking on ‘Start’, ‘All Programs’, ‘Accessories’, ‘Entertainment’, and then ‘Volume Control’. Also check if the volume is totally muted. If yes, uncheck the ‘Mute’ option. Set the PC and the speaker volume to a suitable level.

Check Sound Card Functionality
There are also times when the sound card may get corrupt. If you have a doubt regarding improper working of the sound card, you can check by connecting another set of speakers to the computer. If the new speakers do not work, then the sound card is at fault. This check can also be performed by using headphones, instead of separate speakers.

If all the above mentioned troubleshooting steps do not work, then probably the speakers themselves have gone defunct. In this case, you would need to call the dealer and get the speakers repaired or replaced.

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How to Fix Blue Screen of Death

The blue screen of death (BSoD) is a problem that occurs in the Windows operating system. This problem can be simply described as a problem which Windows finds difficult to overcome, and hence crashes, causing the BSoD. This problem occurs mainly when Windows gets affected by a hardware, software, or driver error, which results in this infamous screen.

Fixing the Blue Screen of Death
The problem, if minor in nature, can be solved by just restarting the system. Serious problems, however, need proper diagnosis and all operations are halted by Windows till this problem gets fixed. The factors causing this problem could be numerous; one should narrow down the search to find the source of this problem. Solving/fixing problems which are serious in nature requires professional help. This is because the error messages associated with blue screen of death problem can only be understood by those having sufficient knowledge and experience.

Windows XP
The following steps would help in dealing with the problem in most cases; if not, an expert technician needs to be consulted.

Removing New Installations
A newly installed hardware could be the cause of the blue screen of death. A simple step that one can undertake to check if this is the problem is to remove new installations. If the system works properly after the removal of these installations, it becomes easy to understand the problem and proceed further.

Virus Scan in Safe Mode
If the activity of removal of new installations doesn’t sort out the problem, one should try scanning the system in safe mode. A spyware scan too needs to be performed along with the virus scan.

Last Known Good Configuration
If the problem is not solved even after undertaking the above measures, the option of running the system in the ‘last known good configuration’ should be used. If even this does not work, then the problem is more serious, and might require expert help.

Online Search
Searching for help on the basis of error codes is one more option. The Internet provides information about how to deal with specific problems. Online discussion forums could also prove to be a good source of information.

In most cases, the above steps should be helpful in overcoming the problem. Usually, new installations, outdated drivers, and even heating issues can be the main culprits behind the annoying blue screen. Most simple problems can be solved with a restart, while uninstalling newly installed hardware can help in other cases. If these steps are not providing you with a solution, it is better to call in an expert, who will be able to get to the root of the problem.

Windows Vista
The procedure of fixing a BSoD in Windows Vista is more or less similar to that of Windows XP. Let us understand the steps which can be taken to deal with this problem. One can try the method of inserting the Vista DVD in the drive and then booting it. The option of ‘Repair Your Computer’ should be selected in the process. The next step in this process would be to select ‘Startup Repair’ from ‘System Recovery Options’.

There is one more way to deal with this problem in Windows Vista. The ‘Automatic Restart on Fatal Error’ option should be turned off so as to retain the error message long enough to read. This error message can be then be googled to obtain the solution for this problem. Chances are high that someone else has already suffered from the problem, and has posted the solution online. In that case, before you spend money calling in an expert, searching online for solutions is a good idea. However, one also needs to remember that some solutions are posted by experts themselves, and if you have no software or hardware knowledge, it is always advisable to call in the experts.

The blue screen of death is an all too familiar occurrence for people using Windows, and knowing how to fix it can save you not only time, but also money. However, it must be kept in mind that these solutions would only be of help if the problem is minor, and serious problems will still require the help of a professional. All the best!

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How to Start Your Own Computer Repair Business

There are a few important points to consider before starting a computer repair business. You must set the right price for your service. Time is money, and you will probably charge by the hour. You must
identify your clientele by deciding whether you want to sell your services to businesses or to private individuals! Next, you will need to find a niche, so that you can specialize in a particular sector of the market. You may also have to make a decision to quit your day job to be able to run your business full time. If you don’t have any background in the field of finance, you might even have to employ an accountant to record your transactions.

If you have pondered over and decided on the above mentioned points, you are well on your way towards becoming a businessman. However, successfully establishing and running a computer repair business will require you to take care of a number of other significant details too. Presented below are a few tips that can help you in doing this.

Tips on Starting a Computer Repair Business

1) Market Your Business Well
To establish a good customer base, you should market your business well. This can be done by sending mails or by distributing flyers. You can also promote it over the Internet, through SEO (search engine optimization) or by sending emails.

2) Highlight Your Technical Proficiency
Highlight the credentials of technicians working under you, so that clients are assured that the ‘techies can do their job well. Also make sure that their technical skills are up-to-date. You should train your workers well, and also encourage them to get certifications, such as the CompTIA A+. Before interviewing candidates for a job in your organization, make them fill an application form in which they need to list their technology-related skills, so that you know what questions to ask them in order to evaluate their technical proficiency.

3) Hire Employees With Good People Skills
In a computer repair business, there will be a direct interaction between your employees and clients. If the people working under you are able to establish a good rapport with your clientele, it will significantly help boost your business. Hence, you must try and hire employees who have good social skills, and even train them to improve at it.

4) Gain the Client’s Trust
To gain the trust of your clients, first and foremost, you will need to be able to do a good and transparent repair job. Many computers have the user’s Social Security Number, credit card numbers, and other sensitive and private information stored in them. It will be your job to assure them that their data will be safe with you.

5) Work From Home
You can run your business from home itself. For example, your garage could be used as your office cum workplace. This will help you save money, as you won’t have to lease space for your business. With the question of workspace out of the way, all you need to start a business are few desktop computers, and some cabinets or shelves to store all the tools and instruments that you’ll require for your repair work.

6) Diagnostic Fees and Pricing
You can charge a diagnostics fee to test the hardware and software of your client’s computer. As an act of good faith, you can refund the diagnostics fee if you are unable to figure out the problem. After you have determined what the issue is, you can give a written estimate, so that you and your client can agree on the final cost.

7) Repair Over the Internet
If the problem is purely software-related, you can repair your client’s computer by remote access over the Internet. This can be achieved by connecting to the client’s computer online, and controlling it remotely, while the client watches you repair it.

8) Offer On-site Repair Facility
You can provide an on-site computer repair service. This will probably help in increasing your business, as many people would prefer a computer repair service that is provided to them at home, rather than having to go through the trouble of disconnecting and bring their computers to your repair shop.

9) Buy a Franchisee
You will be competing with the likes of Best Buy’s Geek Squad, and big companies such as RadioShack and CompUSA. However, you will have an advantage over these national stores, because you will be focusing at the local level. Some established businesses outsource their PC repair services and maintenance to local companies, while others let you but a franchise of theirs. These are a good ways to start a business, as marketing would become much easier when working under the umbrella of an established and well-known brand name. Among the good companies offering their franchises are Fast-teks and Computer Troubleshooters. You can also buy computer parts from an online retailer such as Newegg, or an auction site such as eBay.

10) Become a Data Doctor
One of the common occurrences in the world of personal computers is hard disk crashes. People usually store a ton of their important data on their computers, without thinking twice or considering backing it up, until the storage device stops working. So, you can consider becoming a drive saver or a data doctor who can recover clients’ data when their hard disk crashes.

Thus, you can go ahead and start you own computer repair business by keeping in mind all the important points mentioned in this article. If you play all the cards right, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to run your business successfully.

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How to Choose a Home PC Repair Service

Suddenly find yourself in a situation where your PC isn’t working? Can’t seem to fix it? And you have tried everything from defragmentation to deleting temporary Internet files, but it still won’t do much for you. You could either have some kind of hardware problem, or a virus in your computer; the bottom line is you do not know what to do and you need to get some urgent work done.

You wouldn’t find yourself in such a bind if you had a PC repair service at your beck and call. So why didn’t you think of getting one before? Probably because you thought you could handle all of it yourself. Well, my friend, there are some technical details that even you don’t know.

Important Things To Consider Before Choosing a Home PC Repair Service

Meet with a computer consultant from a computer service agency and talk to him. If he tries to confuse you with technical jargon, then he is not worth choosing. Look for someone who can simplify and explain the problem to you in layman’s terms. You should also feel comfortable with your repair service ‘guy’, and also gage whether he has your best interests at heart.
Look for a consultant who is willing to listen to you, your problems, and your needs before shooting off solutions to you. The reason you are using this service is so that the person can understand and do what you want them to do, and offer you the best advice and solutions.
Always check for references before choosing a computer repair service. A friend may have referred you to a particular service, or you could have randomly picked it out of the yellow pages; irrespective of that you have to always check for references. Call up about three of their customers and ask if they were satisfied, what kind of service they got, and how everything worked out for them. Based on the answers you get, you can make a choice.
Find out about vendor-consultant relationships. Most computer repair consultants or service agencies will have some kind of tie with vendors that will help them in their work. This could be beneficial to you as a customer.
Check for the agency’s objectivity. Do they have an underlying agenda in recommending a particular product, or are they doing so in your best interest.
Find out about the kind of replacements the computer service agency will offer in the event that they are unable to send anyone for your PC repair. Do they have a tie up with another service for such cases? It is important that you look into details.
Check the rates that these agencies are charging. Are they at par with other agencies or do they seem exorbitant to you? Do not be fooled by an hourly or daily rate, ask for complete rates.
Check for memberships and computer training that do matter at the end of the day. Good agencies should have some kind of membership with computer associations such as the ICCA. The ICCA membership ensures the customer of high business standard and professional liability insurance. Also, the ICCA allows for reference checks to be conducted by the customer. Where training is concerned, it is important that the consultant be trained specifically in computer repairs.

So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a situation where your printer isn’t working, or the monitor doesn’t turn on, you need not go into a state of panic. Just pick up the phone and call your repair service, that you took such pains to choose and employ.

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