There you are, working on next year’s projections, working toward a deadline and your computer freezes, or gives you an error message you have never seen before, or the grey screen of death appears.
You don’t know anything about the insides of your computer. You think it may be time to call someone about it. There are deadlines to meet if you are going to enjoy the weekend!!
Hold on before you dial that number!
There are a few things you (yes you) can do first to see if you can save yourself and your company time.
1. Number One with a Bullet! - Reboot
Time to close all your apps and save all your documents (If you can) and completely power down the computer. Hitting the power button sometimes isn’t enough because some systems simply go to sleep. Hold that button down for 5 seconds. You will hear the fans spin down and the screen go black. This is a power down!!!
Give it another 5 seconds and power it back on.
2. Recreate the state your computer was in right before the error occurred.
When your system is completely up (no spinning color wheel in OSX and no hourglass in Windows) then you can try to recreate the steps you took right before it crashed.
Did you have a certain program open? A certain document? Were there lots of applications open at the same time? Were you streaming music off the Internet. What web pages were up and in which browsers. Be as detailed as possible setting it up like it was right before the error.
So if a reboot doesn’t work, what then??
3. Make sure your operating system is up to date. If you know how to check for updates, do so.
In Windows, run Windows updates and install any critical updates that may come up.
In OSX, choose to go into the App Store and click on the Icon in the top menu bar “Updates”. Like Windows, choose the critical updates and install them. These may require a reboot. If it does, reboot it.
Go back to #2 and see if you can recreate the problem.
If you have to call tech support be ready to answer some questions. This will greatly shorten the time needed to resolve the problem.
Be Prepared with:
A. Your make and model of computer
B. Your Operating System
C. What was happening right before the error
D. What you have done so far (if you followed the above steps)
E. Be patient. Support people are people and some are slower or faster, more talkative or less than others.
If all else fails….
Perhaps its time to start that weekend early. (wink).