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Computer Help for Dummies: Your Options

written by: KateG•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 11/7/2009

So you have a problem with your computer, and the idea of spending 6 hours arguing with technical support makes you want to gag. This article aims to help you to find the answers and fix it yourself.

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    So, it happened to you once again, for some reason which may or may not be the result of an action you took or failed to take, or just because the universe is a random place: your computer has a brand new problem.

    You do have options on how you go about getting that problem fixed.

    You could:

    • Call the tech support hotline for your computer. Of course, you have two different possible support numbers, one for the Windows operating system, and one for the maker of your hardware. This is a real option if you love to spend a lot of time on hold and sift through 3 or 4 different levels of techs to get someone who actually knew what they are talking about. Depending on your support provider you may also have to pay, either by the call or by the minute for the pleasure.


    • Take it to a repair shop, either a local place or one in a nationwide chain like the Geek Squad over at Best Buy. That, however comes with its own set of hassles. You have to find a place and find an appointment time that works with your life. After that you have to either let a stranger into your home or drag the computer into the store. Then you get to wait while you pay someone to examine the PC.


    • Get a friend or a family member that is a bit more tech savvy to go and poke around inside the machine. This option could save you some cash, but you have to trust your PC to that person completely. After all if they accidentally do any damage to the machine you can’t really hold them responsible, they were just doing you a favor. What this option comes down to is how much do you trust the person with the PC.


    • You can do it yourself. A lot of people balk at this idea initially. There is a certain amount of fear that can come with opening up a case or playing with your settings. Of course, if you just go in and start poking around or changing your settings randomly you are bound to mess things on an epic level eventually; but you are smarter than that. You are going to follow instructions that have been written by experts and that you will follow step by step in order to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

    That is exactly what this series will help you with: some common issues that you may encounter during the life of your computer and solutions for them. Once you find your problem you can save both time and money.

    Disclaimer: Before you go with a do it yourself option you should be sure to read any warranties that your computer system came with. These actions may or may not void your warranty. Also, I am not responsible for any damage to your system.