General PC Hardware Troubleshooting - dummies

By Dan Gookin

Part of Troubleshooting & Maintaining Your PC All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

There are a few standard things you should check before you get your elbows greasy and end up with screws and computer parts strewn all over the floor. Review the items in this list first to determine what’s wrong.

  • Is it plugged in?

  • Is it connected?

  • Is it turned on?

  • Press and hold down the Power button for five seconds to turn off any computer.

  • Hot things cause trouble. Ensure that the console’s air vents are unobstructed and that the fan is on. Touch a power brick to ensure that it’s not too hot. If it is hot, unplug it.

  • Check the Device Manager for conflicts detected by Windows.

  • Swap out questionable hardware with hardware that works to help pinpoint the problem.

  • The printer must be on and online or selected before you can print.