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When I try to turn on my computer, nothing happens, what can I do?q

Make certain that your computer power cord is snugly plugged in - both to the computer and to a power source. Check the rocker arm on the computer's power supply to ensure that it is in the "On" position. If you are using a surge protector or UPS, make certain that the device is on and that the status indicator light, if any, is green. Temporarily bypass the surge protector or UPS and connect the computer directly to a wall receptacle. If, after checking that you have power to the computer, you find that you still have no lights, your power supply is the likely culprit. If your computer has been exposed to a strong power surge, the surge may have damaged the power supply, components (motherboard, processor, modem, etc.) and peripherals (keyboard, mouse, printer, etc.) connected to the computer.

Why won't my computer boot?q

As a general rule, if there is power to the computer, but it will not boot (nothing on screen), one (or more) of the following is the cause:

  • Loose or defective memory stick.

  • Loose or defective video card.

  • Defective motherboard.

  • Defective CPU (processor).

I hear a loud, clicking sound when my computer is running and it is starting to lock up on me. What's happening?

A loud, clicking sound and lockups are signs of imminent, physical failure of the hard drive. If you don't have your files backed up, try to do that immediately, since the hard drive may fail completely at any moment. If the hard drive fails completely, your files are irretrievably lost.

I installed a USB (Universal Serial Bus) peripheral (scanner, printer, digital camera). My computer does not recognize it and my system has started to lock up? What is going on?

USB devices must be installed exactly as the directions provide. In many cases, the driver must be installed before you attach the device. After installing the driver and re-booting, you connect the USB device. If the operating system does not recognize the device, try removing it from your system and un-installing the driver. Re-boot. Read the instructions carefully and try again.


My system has only 256MB of RAM. Should I get the cheapest memory that I can find and install it?

No. There are hundreds of different kinds of memory. Memory is like tires. Just as you must match tires and vehicle makes and models, you must determine the specific memory type and speed required by the motherboard. If you don't, the machine may not boot or if it does boot you may not get the full benefit of the additional memory.


How can I determine what programs are running on my computer?

Simultaneously depress the Ctrl, Alt and Delete keys to bring up Task Manager. Click on the Processes tab and see all programs that are running in the background. Most Spyware/Adware programs will not show up in the Task Manager. If you use Task Manager to close out programs for diagnostic purposes, you can only select one program at a time to quit. For more advanced users we recommend Process Explorer program to see more information about the running processes.

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