Don’t Let Your Technology Get the Best of You

Posted on March 12th, 2012 by

By Devin Markle

I have mentioned previously that I work at a popular electronics retailer, and more specifically work on the end of fixing the broken and misbehaving gadgets that come back through my door on a daily basis. In doing so, I end up performing quite a few of the same simple, corrective procedures over and over again and end up feeling bad that my customers have lugged their large, desktop towers in for nothing more than a simple five-minute fix on my end.

So if you are one of those customers- fear not! I have compiled a list of a few quick and easy fixes you can try on a few different, commonly used, electronic devices, that could possibly save you a trip out of the house. I can’t promise that these will fix everything, but they are generally good to try before resorting to assistance from tech-support or unhooking your contraptions and hauling them off to someone else.

…and no, hitting your computer will not be on the list as a viable solution.

The Problem: My PC will not connect to the internet!

The Solution: Start at the source. If you are using wireless internet, go unplug your modem and router both for a few seconds, then plug them back in- first the modem, then the router. This will give your internet a chance to reset itself and can fix a lot of little buggy issues. Still not working? Try right clicking the connection icon in the bottom right of your screen and go to “troubleshoot problems.” Often times that will automatically fix any other problems for you as well.

The Problem: My iPad/iPhone/iPod is randomly closing apps, won’t connect to the internet, etc.!

The Solution: Perform what is called a “soft reset” by holding down both the power and home buttons at the same time. Hold both buttons until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears. This will not erase any of your data, but fixes probably 99% of any glitches you will face with an Apple device.

The Problem: My Android phone is possessed! Apps aren’t working, I am not receiving text messages, the phone itself keeps freezing, etc.

The Solution: Since there is no option to “soft reset” an Android device, your first step is to perform a battery pull by popping off the back of your phone and doing just that- pulling out the battery. Reinsert the battery after a few seconds, then continue using the phone as normal. If this doesn’t help, the next step is to back up all of the information you have stored on the device (contacts, pictures, music, etc.) and completely wipe it clean. Restoring it to a factory condition can take care of most issues faced by Android phones, but is obviously more time consuming.

The Problem: My computer is running slow.

Solution: With this issue, there is never an easy solution. This is because a slow computer could be caused by about a million different issues: Virus problems, data corruption, overheating, a corrupt OS, bad hardware… The possibilities are endless, and without having somebody that knows what they are doing test your computer there is no way to determine the source of the problem for sure. There are two fairly simple things you can do on your own, however, that might solve this common problem: One, you can physically clean your computer. If the insides of your computer are clogged with dust and who knows what else, that can cause overheating issues, among other things. Two, you can erase everything on your computer and start over. Backing all of your important files up and restoring your computer to its original factory setting can fix many issues associated with viruses, missing updates, missing drivers, or a buildup of excess junk on your computer that could be causing it to run slowly.

Of course, us techie-types are around for a reason: I would never suggest troubleshooting anything if you and technology really don’t get along, or if everything I have just said sounds as if it’s been written in a different language. In the end, it really is okay to ask for help once in a while.

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