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How to Troubleshoot Your Technology

If your computer is not working properly, you don’t have to spend a ton of time and money to fix it. Tech Talker shows you the best ways to troubleshoot your gadgets.

By
Eric Escobar,
February 21, 2013
Episode #066

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This podcast will be the first in an ongoing series on the best way to troubleshoot your tech devices. I will be answering specific listener questions and explaining how to go about solving them in the easiest way possible.

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In today’s episode, I will talk about the different components of your computer. If you haven’t done so already, check out my earlier episode on the inner workings of your computer in order to get up to speed with what certain parts do.

The question for this episode comes from listener Peggy. She has been having problems watching any type of video on her computer, whether it’s on YouTube or a on a DVD. No matter the source of the videos, they consistently stutter or have momentary pauses, making watching them a totally unpleasant experience.

Now, I realize that you may not share this exact problem. But the steps I use to solve Peggy’s computer issue can be used across a broad range of tech problems.

Step #1: Google It

I’m going to be honest with you guys, when someone comes to me with a broken [insert your device her, one of the first things that I do is Google the problem. Even if it’s something I already know how to do, Googling the issue will refresh my mind! Much of my tech expertise actually never came from something I learned in the classroom; rather, I learned it from the mean streets of the internet.

If you are only a casual internet user, I suggest checking out my episode on How to Use Google like a Pro. It will speed up the time it takes for you to search for the solution to a problem.

Now back to Peggy’s issue. I searched Google for a simple fix to her problem. A few websites suggested that maybe her software wasn’t updated. Given Peggy’s computer problem, I didn’t think that this was the issue, but I checked just in case.

Step #2: Mind Map It

The next step is to break down the problem and isolate the causes for concern. For example, if only YouTube videos were stuttering, I would say to check your internet connection. Or if it were just a DVD that was causing the problem, then I would look more into the DVD player. However, in this situation it is both.

So what does that leave us with? Well we know that any type of video is affected, which leads me to believe it is a problem with the graphics card or the hard drive. The graphics card seems to be the main suspect because it is what controls what appears on the screen. The hard drive might also be a problem, but if Peggy hasn’t been experiencing any problems doing any other functions on her computer, then I would keep this as my secondary item to check.

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