The Troubleshooting Process

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UNESCO-NIGERIA TECHNICAL & VOCATIONAL EDUCATION REVITALISATION PROJECT-PHASE II

NATIONAL DIPLOMA IN COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY

Computer System Troubleshooting1
COURSE CODE: COM 216

YEAR 2 SEMESTER 1 THEORETICAL BOOK Version 1: December 2008

Table Of Content
Opening the Display Properties Panel ....................................................................... 107 The Layout of the Panel ............................................................................................. 108 Background ................................................................................................................ 108 Screen Saver............................................................................................................... 109 Appearance ................................................................................................................ 110 Effects ........................................................................................................................ 111 Web ............................................................................................................................ 111 Settings ....................................................................................................................... 112

Week 1 This Week Learning Outcome To Understand:
The Process of Fault diagnosis

The Universal Troubleshooting Process
Regardless of how complex your particular computer or peripheral device might be, a dependable troubleshooting procedure can be broken down into four basic steps (Fig. 4-1): define your symptoms, identify and isolate the potential source (or location) of your problem, replace the suspected sub-assembly, and re-test the unit thoroughly to be sure that you have solved the problem. If you have not solved the problem, start again from Step #1. This is a “universal” procedure that you can apply to any sort of troubleshooting—not just for personal computer equipment.

Define Your Symptoms
When a PC breaks down, the cause might be as simple as a loose wire or connector, or as complicated as an IC or sub-assembly failure. Before you open your tool box, you must have a firm understanding of all the symptoms. Think about the symptoms carefully—for example: Is the disk or tape inserted properly? Is the power or activity LED lit? Does this problem occur only when the computer is tapped or moved? By recognizing and understanding your symptoms, it can be much easier to trace a problem to the appropriate assembly or component. Take the time to write down as many symptoms as you can. This note-taking might seem tedious now, but once you have begun your repair, a written record of symptoms and circumstances will help to keep you focused on the task at hand. It will also help to jog your memory if you must explain the symptoms to someone else at a later date. As a professional troubleshooter, you must of-ten log problems or otherwise document your activities anyway.

Identify and Isolate
Before you try to isolate a problem within a piece of computer hardware, you must first be sure that the equipment itself is causing the problem. In many circumstances, this will be fairly obvious, but some situations might appear ambiguous (i.e., there is no power, no DOS prompt, etc.). Always remember that a PC works because of an intimate mingling of hardware and software. A faulty or improperly configured piece of software can cause confusing system errors. Chapter 3 touched on some of the problems that operating systems can encounter. When you are confident that the failure lies in your system’s hardware, you can begin to identify possible problem areas. Because this book is designed to deal with sub-assembly troubleshooting, start your diagnostics there. The troubleshooting procedures throughout

this book will guide you through the major sections of today’s popular PC components and peripherals, and aid you in deciding which sub-assembly might be at fault....
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