How to Troubleshoot Basic Computer Hardware Problems

How to Troubleshoot Basic Computer Hardware Problems

Although there are potentially unlimited combinations of hardware settings, you can trace most hardware issues down to a relatively small number of causes. Here are some tips for troubleshooting some of the most common computer problems.
1. Your computer is suddenly silent. Make sure the sound is not muted. The sound card or adapter inside your computer is broken or no longer suitable for your needs.
Solution: Instead of opening the case, plug in an external audio adapter like Creative’s USB SoundBlaster Live! 24 bit external, which plugs into a USB port on almost any desktop or laptop computer.
2. Your computer needs new or better wireless capability. You want to give your computer the ability to connect wirelessly to other devices, or you need to upgrade an outdated or broken built-in Wi-Fi adapter.
Solution: Many manufacturers offer external Wi-Fi adapters and antennas that connect to your computer through a USB port. One advantage of using an external Wi-Fi adapter is that it usually comes with a larger antenna than its internal counterpart, and you can adjust the position of that antenna to get the best transmission and reception in your home or office. The latest Wi-Fi “N” adapters have a smaller footprint and provide better coverage than previous models.
3. You cannot install software on a computer without a CD/DVD drive. If you own a small laptop or desktop computer, small size and low cost often come at the expense of things like a CD/DVD drive. But without a CD/DVD drive, how do you install new software?
Solution: A couple of simple solutions are available. The first and most obvious solution is to download software or data over the Internet or a local network, or use a device such as a flash memory drive to transfer the content of the software to your computer. You can buy very large flash drives to store up to 256 GB of programs or data.
Another option is to install an external drive. Drives of this type are small units, similar to those used in full-feature laptops, that draw electrical power from wall current and connect to the computer through the USB port.