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20 March 2009

Basic Troubleshooting Tips for your PC and Internet Connection

As mentioned previously, a freelance worker’s success is also dependent on the technology he’s using. Let me cut to the chase and go directly to discuss some basic troubleshooting steps for some common problems we freelancers are faced with.

The basic rule for proper diagnosing is to isolate the possible points of failure.

1. Slow PC - When do you experience slow performance on your PC?

a. During boot up

This is an indication that there are a lot of programs that are included in your startup items during bootup.

Click on Start > Run > type msconfig then click Ok to bring up the System Configuration Utility window.

Click on the Startup tab. In this tab, you should see a lot of programs enabled during startup (see those check marks on the left side)

Click on the Disable All button then just put the check mark back on your Antivirus software .

Hit Apply then Ok. It will ask if you want to restart so just hit Yes to restart.

b. When opening an application

At this point, you will have to check first if this problem occurs only on one application. If it does, the safest thing to do is uninstall and reinstall the program. There are two ways to do this:

First go to Start > All Programs then go to the name of the program and check if theres an option to uninstall.

Second, if the program does not have an Uninstall submenu, you can just go to Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs then highlight the program on the list then click Remove.
You might need to restart your PC for changes to take effect. Once you're back on your desktop screen, you can just go ahead and reinstall the program.

c. When opening all applications

This might be an indication that your virtual memory is too low. By default, Windows already sets the allowable page file size. If it still doesn’t do the trick, you will most likely need to upgrade your memory.

Note: If you’re running on Windows XP, you will need something that’s higher than 256MB (at least 512), as 256MB alone will already be eaten up by XP. You will need additional memory for you to multiple programs efficiently.

If you’re certain that this is not a memory issue, at this point, there might just be a need to to check the system for any virus or spyware.

The first thing that I check is by going to Task Manager by hitting Ctrl Alt Del simultaneously. Once I see that the CPU usage is steady at 100% that is most likely an indication of a virus.
What to do? Scan the whole computer with an updated antivirus software

If it still doesn’t do the trick, check for spyware. There are a lot of free spyware removal tools available in internet.

Last tip: This is actually something that you could do once a week – Defrag and Disk Cleanup.
You can run the Disk Defragmenter by clicking Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. For Disk Cleanup, you can go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.

2. Slow Internet Connection

Oftentimes, we confuse slow internet connection with slow pc performance. The best way to verify a slow connection is by calling your ISP’s tech support number then have them do a line test on your connection. If the speed indicated in the line test results is lower than what you have subscribed for, then it’s confirmed slow connection problem – something that your ISP should fix.

Now, in case your ISP has verified that the line test is ok, and that the speed that you’re receiving is within an acceptable range, here are some basic troubleshooting steps that you could do:

a. If you have another computer, try to remove the LAN cable (this is the cable that connects your PC to the DSL modem) from the problematic computer and connect it to that computer. If the internet works fine on that computer, then you now know where the problem is.

b. If you don’t have an extra computer, the first thing that you could check is your browser. If you’re using Internet Explorer 7, go to Tools > Internet Options > General Tab > hit the Delete button then click Delete All then hit Apply then Ok.

c. Spyware could also slow down internet connection. One way to test this is by going to Safe mode with Networking.

1) To go to Safe mode with Networking, restart your computer, then continuously tap on the F8 key. Tapping on F8 will bring you to Windows Advanced Options menu.
2) Using your arrow keys go down to Safe mode with Networking.
3) Once you’re in Safe mode with Networking, you will get a prompt asking if you want to run System Restore or continue to work in safe mode. Just click Yes to continue working in Safe mode.
4) At this point, you can just open your Internet explorer and see if you’re able to load pages faster.

Next post: Basic troubleshooting steps for no internet connection issues


Blogger said...

Have used Kaspersky protection for a few years, I'd recommend this Anti virus to all you.

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