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  1. Sometimes computers can be downright frustrating. When something happens to disrupt your routine, it can put you on edge. However, computers can be fixed and you can go back to being happy! Following some easy steps to troubleshooting a computer can quickly diagnose and potentially solve most problems you are having. 1.Ensure that all plugs and connectors are plugged in on your laptop or desktop computer. Sometimes the problem is as simple as knocking the plug loose in the outlet or jostling your computer's case so that something has become disengaged. 2. Run an anti-virus program --- use the "full system scan," "complete scan" or other in-depth options--- and wait until it finishes. If the software detects a virus, follow the instructions given by the anti-virus program to remove the infection and restart your computer. 3. Press F8 repeatedly while the computer is in BIOS during restart. (BIOS is the black screen with white lettering which you will see before your operating system loads.) You will get to the screen that allows you to start in "safe mode." This feature only runs programs vital to Windows functions, and will allow you better access to your computers files if a virus is interfering. 4. Click the "pause" button on your computer if you are not able to access the operating system, or if you are seeing a "blue screen of death." This should keep the crash-report screen on your monitor long enough for you to write down any valuable information the report my give. 5. Buy a new part if you determine the problem to be hardware-related. Replace (or hire someone to replace for you) the defective part. As with electrical plugs, sometimes a hardware component just got loose and all that is needed is to push it back in. Caution: Always unplug your computer and use a grounding device before you touch anything inside the computer. Failure to do so can result in electrocution or destroying a computer part.
  2. Due to their small size and lack of ventilation, laptops tend to overheat more than desktop computers. A noisy cooling fan that runs continuously is one sign that your laptop is overheating. Laptop overheating can also cause a loss of performance, system crashes, and even permanent damage to components. The goal is to make sure your laptop has proper ventilation and is kept as cool as possible. Instructions 1. Always use your laptop on a tray, desktop, or other cool surface. If you use it on your lap, make sure clothes, upholstery or bedding are not blocking the case vents. Blocked vents are the number one cause of laptop overheating. 2. Use an aerosol air duster, or can of compressed air, to blow dust from the air intake vents. Air intake vents are a set of slots on the side or bottom of the case that allow cool air to flow into the laptop. 3. Clean the cooling fan exhaust system. The cooling or CPU fan is located on the side or back of the case. A clogged CPU fan vent keeps hot air trapped inside the case. Use an aerosol air duster to loosen the debris, then use a vacuum cleaner with crevice tool to vacuum out the dust and dirt. 4. Use a commercial laptop cooler. A laptop cooler pad is an external USB powered fan that serves as a base for your laptop. If your laptop generates a lot of heat, even with a clean cooling system, a laptop cooler will extend the life of your laptop. 5. Adjust your BIOS settings. Most laptops have features built into the system BIOS that allow fan speed, CPU temperature alarms, and other settings to be adjusted. Read your owner's manual to learn how to enter the BIOS and change the settings for your particular laptop model.
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