A Girl’s Guide to Computer Repair

We’ve all been there, after hours of procrastination, you sit down to your computer to get some work done on that big project and the compter won’t turn on. Panic sets in when you quickly realize just how much you depend on your computer for work, research, communication and entertainment. This situation is made all the more distressing for damsels who, like me, know frighteningly little about how to fix a computer. Lucky for me, whenever my computer has a problem – anywhere on the scale from minor to major –  I can turn to my computer programmer husband, pout my lips, bat my eyes and say, “muffin, it’s not working,” and he makes everything better. For those women who aren’t so fortunate, I asked my personal nerd for his best tips when facing a broken computer.

Minor Malfunctions

  1. Symptom: You turn the computer on but it does not boot. You do not hear the usual beeps or only the fans engage.

Problem: Some component is not being detected.

Solution: Check cables to see if they are loose or have come unplugged.

  1. Symptom: The computer is frequently freezing, locking up or blue-screening.

Problem: The computer is overheating.

Solution: Take the side panel of the computer off, clean the fans and make sure they are working.

  1. Symptom: You are given an error message.

Solution: Cut and paste error message into Google. Look for forum posts or Microsoft websites with tips for the cause and steps to fix the problem.

Major Malfunctions

  1. Symptom: Computer still does not turn on after cables have been checked.

Problem: Dead hardware.

Solution: Take computer to a professional repair shop / nerd friend.

  1. Symptom: Computer turns on, but does not boot.

Problem: Corrupted hard drive.

Solution:  Take computer to a professional repair shop / nerd friend.

Tips for taking your computer to a repair shop

  • Look up local computer shops and call around for quotes.
  • Describe your problem over the phone, most shops now offer flat repair rates.

Tips for taking your computer to a nerd friend

  • Remember that they are saving you a lot of money and giving up their free time, be cordial and cooperative.