Q is for questions…

q, letter, alphabet

Q is for questions, something that is part of the technical support ethos. We all have questions, and if you are working within a tight field of an industry, it is quite easy to find all those questions and write them down in a document called frequently asked questions, but it’s much harder to do this as I cover a variety of different areas.

Computer questions

There are a number of buying questions you need to consider:

  • Is the screen big enough? How can I work around it?
  • Have I looked at all the possible options? If I need power, does a desktop computer meet my needs more than a powerful laptop? Could I use a tablet instead of a computer?
  • Am I buying something too cheap or should I save up and buy something more expensive?
  • Should I buy second hand or new?
  • Is the shop recommendation only good for the sales person’s commission or is it a worthwhile purchase?

Internet connectivity questions

There are a number of questions when it comes to Internet connectivity too. Most of this is differential diagnosis of a problem. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • Is the router showing there is no link light? (or on BT routers, there might be a flashing b) This means you have a line problem.
  • Pick up the landline receiver and listen, do you hear crackling? Press a key, do you hear crackling in the silence? If so, you have a line problem.
  • Is your router showing a connection but a red light for Internet? It’s often a billing issue, or a problem with your provider.
  • Is your connection really slow?

With all these problems, it’s best to remove the front panel of your master socket and plug directly into the test socket, if the problems go away, it’s an internal extensions wiring problem. If they don’t, report the line to your provider for a line test and engineer’s visit.

Are you on the Internet and you can see Google but your searches aren’t opening? Restart your router and computer.

Are you getting disconnected when you receive a call or make one? You either need a filter on the phone or the filter needs replacing.

Computer Questions

Why doesn't my computer turn on?

  • Desktop questions

This is a common question, you need to look at the common causes:

  • Is your monitor plugged all the way in?
  • What is displayed on the screen when you turn the screen off and on? It could be looking for the wrong cable input (refer to the manual that came with the screen)
  • A am seeing a dim image of the screen on the monitor, what’s wrong? Ruling out the brightness being turned right down, a common fault is the backlight board has failed.
  • I’m still not seeing any display or the monitor turns off what could be wrong? If the computer is turned on and the hard drive light is flashing and you’ve checked to see if the cable from the monitor is connected, you could have a bad graphics card. If the hard drive light isn’t flashing you could have a bad power supply.

Laptop questions

  • I’ve dropped my laptop, and now it doesn’t turn on, what is wrong with it? Commonly, the screen is damaged; and if the computer was switched on when it fell, it’s probably damaged the hard drive as well.
  • The screen flickers when I open the lid, what is wrong? You probably have a bad LCM cable between the computer and the screen.
  • The laptop refuses to turn on, what could be wrong? There are a number of things, so start by removing the battery and the power adapter, then hold the power button down for about a minute, then reconnected the power adapter. If the computer comes back on, then it’s either a chip called the SuperIO or the battery at fault. Turn the computer off and insert the battery, then if it turns on okay, consider getting a new computer asap. The SuperIO is more likely to be failing. If the computer doesn’t turn back on with the battery inserted, then you have a bad battery. If the computer turns on for a second or two, you may have a bad power adapter.

Tablet questions

  • The tablet is not turning on, what should I do? If you have another device, do a Google search for that model and the key combination to reboot the device. If the device reboots, then it’s a software problem. It might be a charger problem or a bad battery.
  • Why doesn’t my tablet charge when I connect it? Often this is down to not using the proper charging cable or charger. Samsung are renowned for making devices that need 5.5V instead of 5V so you need their charger to charge.
  • I’ve dropped my tablet and the screen has cracked, can it be repaired? You have to weigh up the cost of a new screen as to whether it’s worth replacing the screen or the tablet. However, screens can be replaced, go to a professional on the high street that has the tools to open them properly or go back to the manufacturer for a proper job if it’s under guarantee.

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