PC Troubleshooting 101                         By: Kevin Mabe

A computer can run into many problems over its lifetime. There are many things that go wrong, it can be hardware or software related. Usually the signs of what the computer does or doesn’t do are a good indication to what is actually the problem. A good example would be as follows, suppose the computer won’t power up and there is no sign of life whatsoever. The problem could be as simple as the power supply or as complicated as the main board in the system. The best thing to do first is to look for obvious reasons why the computer may not be working. You may be able to see blown capacitors on the main board of the system or you may notice burnt smell coming from the power supply. These are some of the things that keep the computer from powering on properly.

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You should always take the proper steps to determine what the actual problem is. Always ask what someone was doing on the computer or what took place such as a power outage. That could be a contributing factor to the power supply failing or the motherboard capacitors blowing. It is very important to gather all the information you can about what led up to the problem. Always start with a test of the power supply using the proper tools conduct a test such as the power supply tester for testing the voltages of the pin out from the power supply.


In my experience it is very important to test all voltages of the power supply to be sure that it is working properly. The slightest variance in current can affect hard drive or CPU or any of the components in the computer system.

If the computer does power on but will not boot properly, crashes before Microsoft Windows finishes loading this could be a sign of bad RAM or corrupted system files due to virus attack or a bad Hard Disk Drive. Make sure you test all of the components and backup the system before making any changes to the hard drive, if it is possible to do so.

Systems Hard Disk Drive


If you have more problems and suspect the Hard Disk Drive, there are a number of disk checking programs and Bootable disks that are free to download. I would recommend HIREN’S BOOT CD.


Hiren’s BootCD is a bootable software CD containing a number of diagnostic programs such as partitioning agents, system performance benchmarks, disk cloning and imaging tools, data recovery tools, MBR tools, BIOS tools, and many others for fixing various computer problems. HBCD can be considered a valuable tool for use in troubleshooting and recovery of computers.

As it is bootable, the operating system of the computer need not be available for the tools to be usable. All that is required is that the computer is able to run Microsoft Windows and Linux (but it does not have to have either of these installed at the time of use). Most of the tools are also available when the operating system is already started.

I myself have used Hiren’s BootCD for years and it makes troubleshooting a lot easier.

The tools you need are vast when diagnosing and cleaning your computer, you can check our website regularly to keep informed and our recommendations on helpful products.

If you are a developer and want to feature your software on our website please feel free to contact kevin@briskpc.com

Thank you

Kevin Mabe

Brisk PC



PC Troubleshooting 101

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About The Author
- Kevin has been a Computer Service Technician for over 30 years. He has seen many changes in the industry and encountered many problems to find answers for along the way. Kevin was also involved in teaching Computer Service and Support, Along with Network support and Electronics for CDI College of Business & Technology.

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