This is the presentation, history and documentation of various problems and solutions encountered during technical practices for the express purpose of creating a reference manual for future repairs.
Although I have encountered many previous problems and solutions during my many years of tech experiences I am only documenting this manual starting from my experience in the year 2007. It is my hope that this information may perhaps assist other striving technicians.
I started this manual seeking to publish it one day and for your input I decided to share this small portion of the manuscript with you here on this forum
1. Floppy disk wonâ€™t write to disk!
Problem One: began when a friend of mine contacted me saying that he had a problem with his computer floppy disk drive, and that he could not write to the disk. He informed me of his experience with the problem the problem solutions as he saw it and the possible solutions to the problem (he had assumed the floppy was damaged). However he was not sure, so I proceeded to investigate the problem further by testing and reenacting the problem on his computer. By placing the suspected disk in the drive I noticed that the drive was able to read the disk, but when I tried to write to the disk an error menu would appear stating that â€œThe disk was write protected or unformatted and was unable to perform this functionâ€. I further tested the disk by placing it in my notebook computer to test it and received the same results. This test was an indication that the problem was not in the computer or the software but it appeared to be with the floppy disk itself. Therefore I removed the write protection from the disk by moving the small switch from the whole on the top corner of the floppy disk and retested the disk in the drive, yet getting the same results again, â€œunable to write to diskâ€ (This should have been my first action). Well it appeared that something was wrong with the disk at first glance but I wasnâ€™t convinced so I proceeded with further test and observations. As I continued with my investigation and testing efforts, here is the solution I had come across.
As I looked into all aspects of the floppy subsystem I began to suspect the BIOS (Basic input and Output System) as being the culprit behind the problem so I turned all my attention to that realm. Upon entering the BIOS I immediately found the problem, the floppy disk drive had been write protected from within the BIOS and merely had to be reset so that it could read and write to the disk.
Because this computer once belonged to the courts system it was protected by this feature protecting all the valuable information of law with in the computer subsystem from anyone changing the information on these disks or from being replicated. So there was two problems here; the BIOS was blocking the operations of the floppy subsystem and the floppy disk itself was write protected, removing each problem resolved the problem.
2. Modem has stopped functioning and customer canâ€™t go online!
Problem two: was not unusual by any means, all the same, after the first glance into my investigation of the problem I found it to be very unusual in nature. Always remember when you are diagnosing a computer for a client, customer or family and friends, ask a lot of question because questions helps you build your road map towards successfully repairing the computer. My testing procedures began by entering the properties of My Computer, accessing the Device Manager and evaluating the modemâ€™s status as itâ€™s seen by the operating system. Sure enough the modem wasnâ€™t functioning, so I tried to reinstall the drivers for the modem thinking that the drivers perhaps became damaged or corrupted. This didnâ€™t yield any success in repairing the condition, so the diagnosis continued. I located the name of the modem the model number and the manufacturer of the modem so that if necessary I would be able to download needed drivers from online. I uninstalled the modem and reinstalled the modem thinking that the operating system may redetect its presence and perhaps PNP (Plug and Play) may take charge of the installation and assist me in solving the problem. But to no avail so I continued by removing the modem and testing the system with a new one (working modem) to see if itâ€™s the modem or the operation of its software. And again to no avail, yet this condition lead me to the conclusion that it was not the modem at fault here but the software. So I decided to test and check the software.
As I turned all of my attention to the detection of the cause of the problem within the software subsystem I began the test by running various system tests beginning with Nortonâ€™s Anti-virus and Utility programs and bingo I had found the problem and the solution. A virus had corrupted the files of the modems software and these files were in quarantine, locked up and unusable. I proceeded to run a virus scan, I then deleted all suspected files from the system and reinstalled new software for the modem, updated the virus program online and restarted the system. The modem worked fine.
3. Windows operating system GUI (Graphical User Interface) appears very small and in the vertical position instead of horizontal!
Problem three: is a bit unsettling to the owner but I had assured him that this problem can be repaired, although I wasnâ€™t quit sure how at the moment. I immediately assume it to be a virus or a very damage operation system so I decided to replace the operating system with a new one. Determining weather a problem is hardware or software related is the second duty of any diagnosis and the first step in solving the overall problem. , the first duty is to ask questions to find out possible causes.
Solution three: Although I hadnâ€™t ran many test on the system I began working on a hunch and to my surprise I was right and as I reinstalled the OS system the problem was alleviated. The window appeared normal again and all operations functioned as before. I later ran a virus test to assure myself that there was no virus. Then I ran a utility test to ascertain the condition of the overhauled new software subsystem. Sometimes these problems can have the same symptoms with very different problems, so you must ask a lot of questions and make your determination based on the answers as well as the outcome of your diagnosis testing results. Always back up your system in an effort to save important files before overhauling the computer with a new Operating system.
4. The (NTLDR) New Technology Loader file is corrupted or missing from the operating system start sequence and the system could not start. Without this file in perfect operation your computer will not start, because this file loads the operating loading functionality of your system.
Problem Four: This condition is not an unusual mishap in the world of user problems. Nevertheless it can confuse any novice when they see this warning appear on their screen instead of the GUI that they are familiar with during the boot process. They see a blank screen and those words of warnings about the NTLDR, â€œfile corrupted or not loading properlyâ€.
The remedy is quite simple as with most missing or corrupted files, moreover you would only have to replace the missing file NTLDR. Under the NTFS (New Technology Filing System) which allows the system to select a boot scenario and the boot process. I first tried to extract the file from the OS installation disk with no success. Next I used the old fashion method of replacing files by getting the file from another computer with the same OS system by copying the file to a floppy disk and then using that disk to replace the file in the non functioning system. I ran a virus scan on the floppy before installation to insure safe setup and then restarted the system and Walla, a working system again. When replacing system files it is important to remember that most system files of such magnitude as the NTLDR has the hidden attribute attach to them as a safe guard to protect them from such corruption or deletion on the part of the user. Therefore you first have to change the attribute of the file so that you can locate the origin of such files, and then you can replace them thereby making them functional, also remember to change it back to a hidden file attribute when you are done. Go to Start- Settings- Control Panel- Folder Options-View tab- then check Show Hidden files and folders.
Computers have a special way about them that makes them appear larger that life. And I found this to be ever so true; when I talk to many of my customers they have a sense about them as if they are talking to a doctor or something. To me computers are fun, they are exciting and they can be tremendously productive provided you are willing to invest your time in learning what those many capabilities are and how you can best utilize them. The art of repair is not just the manual labor or the investigative diagnosis that a tech must undergo, but to be successful as a computer repair technician there are many valuable specifications that you must learn, and you must lean to retain that information. What Iâ€™m talking about is book savvy, educate yourself in all the specifications of computers because the more specs you can remember the faster and easier you will be able to diagnosis and repair any system. Sounds easy doesnâ€™t it ; but I assure you in this area of computer study it is not painless, because there is so much to learn in the way of computer academics and computer science your head just might spin off. It is certainly not for the squeamish, however anybody can learn computer repair provided they are willing to devote the essentials (study time and practical learning applications) to succeed in this educational training itinerary. There are so many different types of specifications that you need to familiarize yourself with, and the reason for this information is so stunning in and of itself. The differences varies from IRQs (Interrupt Request) which allows a computer the ability to temporarily interrupt its current actions and request a moment of its CPU (Central Processing Unit) time so that a certain part of the computer device can perform a job for it or DMA (Direct Memory Access- an action performed using direct memory of a certain device in order to activate that device). This is done so quickly and quietly that this function (IRQ) goes virtually unnoticed. Incidentally each device in your computer is assigned an IRQ number (and DMA assigned numbers) which your computerâ€™s internal function-ability utilizes to interrupt other devices while calling in the service of another device. (Related example)-For instance if I wanted to play a movie on my computer I would request it by using my mouse and clicking on a particular program to open the operational program which plays these movies for me. Essentially I made a personal request from my computer to play that movie, keeping in mind that at any given time the computer is running several programs in the background even when you think that the system isnâ€™t doing anything, the system runs TSR (terminate and stay resident) programs. Well IRQ operates internally by organizing all the devices in you computer and giving them each a IRQ number and then uses that number to call on a device when the system needs its abilities, the TSR programs operates by organizing programs and service operations which control these many devices, that means these TSR programs must maintain its program operations even when the devices is not being used so that these device's programs can be called upon at any given time to start its apparatus or its services. So as you can see each one of these specifications link together in its operation of the Computer infrastructure. The fact that these programs and services are constantly running gives the computer the appearance of a fast request response when any action is call upon to be performed during a users input.
While not visibly seen or appearing to be running these TSR programs perform various duties in a effort to maintain many other functionalities like the operations and maintenance of your network connection, local disk management, or many other services which performs different duties to assist the moment to moment maintenance of your computer system. Recognize that all of these actions such as hidden programs that continue to run unnoticed in the background use CPU as well as memory energy and gradually slow down the general operations of your computer subsystems. So now we know that when a client or customer complains about a slow running system that it could be due to many conditions, like a over stuffed hard drive (too much information has been saved to the hard drive, its like eating too much and trying to jog or swim on a heavy stomach) or too many TSR programs running in the background, we can deal with this problem by opening the Systems Configuration Utility simply click on Start-Run- and them type in Msconfig (Microsoft Configuration utility) click OK and the utility will show itself. In this utility we see six tabs as follows from right to left a Start Tab, a Service Tab, a Boot.INI Tab, a Win.INI Tab, a System.INI Tab, (INI stands for initialization files) and a General Tab. Under these various tabs you will see all the programs and services currently running on your computers system and you can also notice the computerâ€™s general configuration while you are at it. This utility presents you with an opportunity to alter safely the configurations of your computers infrastructure without causing any substantial harm to its registry and it permits you the ability to control the TRS, startup, and many services or programs giving you more memory and freeing up CPU operations so that your computer can start and run faster. I like my system to start up as fast as possible and this option allows me to shut down all the programs that start when the computer starts, alleviating these programs from the start up menu also relieves the computer from having to start them when the computer is turned on, which in turn frees up memory use and CPU use. Remember the more memory and CPU functionality the faster and smoother your system functions, but this theory as well goes hand in hand with the more hard drive space available, this is a plus also for your computerâ€™s perfect operations.
Thanks for your technical ear hope I didn't bore ya.
Copyright © 2010 Credo
Computer Repair Problems and Solutions
Copyright © 2010 Credo
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