- Programs acting buggy all of a sudden? Remember that old stand by, reboot the computer. First close and reopen the wonky program and if things don’t get better, then reboot. It may work 50% of the time.
- If some part of the computer, like the printer, speakers, mouse, is not working, check all cables. Fully unplug, undock, un-whatever each cable and carefully plug it back in. Power cables often work loose as you move a monitor around.
- Internet down? Try restarting the cable modem, dsl modem, and/or router. Often these don’t have on/off switches, you just pull out the power cable from the back of the unit, wait 10 or so seconds, and plug it back in.
- Check for software updates, the software vendor actually fixes some things. And, make sure you have the latest updates for your operating system at this time.
- Can someone else make the same problem happen on your computer? Extra dragging fingers on a laptop touchpad makes things look broken.
- Disable add-ons, those extra helpers that creep into web browsers like Firefox and Internet Explorer. Add-ons can slow down opening your web browser.
- Lithium-ion laptop batteries last longest if they are run down at least 50% once a month. See batteryuniversity.com for more information.
- Remember Safe Mode as a way to test how broken things are. When you start up a PC, tap the F8 key a few seconds after turning on the power. Pick the Safe Mode choice. On a Mac, you hold down either Shift key as you start it up. Some devices, especially USB, may not work in Safe Mode.
- Clean a gummy looking LCD panel with a 50/50 mix of distilled water and vinegar. Use a microfiber cloth, spray the cloth and wipe gently.
And, finally, when in doubt, RFTM, Read The Fine Manual. Consult your favorite search engine, if you don’t have someone to call.