Fixing Your Computer Absolute Beginner’s Guide

Book description

Fix your own computer—without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to save money on computer repairs, avoid unnecessary frustration, and keep using perfectly good equipment instead of throwing it away! Even if you’re completely non-technical, you’ll learn how to get the job done, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Computer repair and maintenance has never, ever been this simple!


Who knew how simple fixing your computer could be?


This is the easiest, most practical beginner’s guide to fixing your own computer… simple, reliable instructions and crystal-clear pictures that show you exactly how to do it yourself! Here’s a small sample of what you’ll learn:

•¿¿ Maintain your computer so it’s less likely to break in the first place

•¿¿ Perform simple “ounce of prevention” tasks now, so it’s easier to fix problems later

•¿¿ Learn simple troubleshooting techniques for figuring out what’s wrong

•¿¿ Find the right tools (you might already have them!)

•¿¿ Buy the right parts without spending more than you have to

•¿¿ Fix aggravating Windows startup problems

•¿¿ Smoothly recover from PC crashes

•¿¿ Perform basic hardware repairs or upgrades at home, often in minutes

•¿¿ Install a new hard disk, CD/DVD drive, or Blu-ray drive

•¿¿ Speed up your computer by adding memory or upgrading its processor

•¿¿ Troubleshoot and fix network and Internet connection problems

•¿¿ And much more…


Paul McFedries is a full-time technical writer and passionate computer tinkerer. He has authored more than 80 computer books that have sold more than 4 million copies. His recent titles include My Office 2013 RT, Windows 8 In Depth, Microsoft Windows 7 Unleashed, Microsoft Home Server 2011 Unleashed, and Tweak It and Freak It: A Killer Guide to Making Windows Run Your Way. He is also proprietor of Word Spy (, a website that tracks new words and phrases as they enter the English language.


Table of contents

  1. About This eBook
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents at a Glance
  5. Table of Contents
  6. About the Author
  7. Dedication
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. We Want to Hear from You!
  10. Reader Services
  11. Introduction
    1. FIY: Fix-It-Yourself
    2. Who Should Read This Book?
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
  12. Part I: PC Maintenance
    1. 1. Maintaining Your PC
      1. Cleaning the PC
      2. Checking Free Disk Space
      3. Dealing with Hard Disk Errors
    2. 2. Maintaining Windows
      1. Deleting Unnecessary Files
      2. Defragmenting Your Hard Disk
      3. Repairing, Updating, and Uninstalling Programs
      4. Checking for Windows Updates
      5. Installing a New Device
      6. Uninstalling a Device
    3. 3. Preparing for Trouble
      1. Backing Up Your Files
      2. Setting System Restore Points
      3. Creating a Windows 8 Recovery Drive
      4. Creating a System Image Backup
      5. Creating a System Repair Disc
  13. Part II: Troubleshooting and Repair
    1. 4. Understanding Basic Troubleshooting
      1. Determining the Source of a Problem
      2. General Troubleshooting Tips
      3. Troubleshooting Startup
      4. More Troubleshooting Tools
    2. 5. Troubleshooting Device Problems
      1. Troubleshooting with Device Manager
      2. Troubleshooting Device Driver Problems
    3. 6. Recovering from Problems
      1. Restoring Backed-Up Data
      2. Accessing the Windows 8 Recovery Environment
      3. Booting Up in Safe Mode
      4. Recovering Using System Restore
      5. Refreshing Your Windows 8 PC
      6. Resetting Your Windows 8 PC
      7. Restoring a Windows 8 System Image
    4. 7. Troubleshooting Your Network
      1. Repairing a Network Connection
      2. Checking the Connection Status
      3. Checking Connectivity with the PING Command
      4. General Solutions to Network Problems
      5. Troubleshooting Cables
      6. Troubleshooting Wireless Network Problems
  14. Part III: PC Upgrades
    1. 8. Basic PC Repair Skills
      1. What Tools Do You Need?
      2. Setting Up Your Work Area
      3. Playing It Safe
      4. Opening the Computer Case
      5. Making Cable Connections
      6. Working with Expansion Cards
    2. 9. Buying PC Parts
      1. Researching Parts Online
      2. Researching Retailers Online
      3. Buying Parts Online
      4. Returning Parts Online
      5. Buying Parts Offline
    3. 10. Replacing the Power Supply
      1. Getting to Know the Power Supply
      2. Buying a Power Supply
      3. Removing the Old Power Supply
      4. Installing a New Power Supply
    4. 11. Upgrading the Hard Drive
      1. How a Hard Drive Works
      2. Understanding Hard Drive Specs
      3. Buying a Hard Drive
      4. Removing the Old Hard Drive
      5. Installing a New Hard Drive
      6. Finishing Up
    5. 12. Upgrading Your CD or DVD Drive
      1. Choosing a CD or DVD Drive
      2. Buying a CD or DVD Drive
      3. Removing the Existing CD or DVD Drive
      4. Installing the New CD or DVD Drive
    6. 13. Adding More Memory
      1. Understanding Memory Specs
      2. Determining How Much Memory Is Installed
      3. Determining What Type of Memory Is Installed
      4. Determining How Much Memory You Need
      5. Buying Memory
      6. Pulling Out the Old Memory Modules
      7. Installing the New Memory Modules
    7. 14. Updating the Video Card and Monitor
      1. Assessing Your Video Card Needs
      2. Understanding Video Card Specs
      3. Buying a Video Card
      4. Choosing a Monitor
      5. Setting Up a Multimonitor System
    8. 15. Improving the Sound System
      1. Understanding Audio
      2. Understanding Sound Card Specs
      3. Buying a Sound Card
      4. Connecting Speakers or Headphones
    9. 16. Upgrading the CPU
      1. Understanding What the CPU Does
      2. Intel or AMD?
      3. Understanding CPU Specs
      4. Keeping It Cool: Fans and Heatsinks
      5. Buying a CPU
      6. Removing the Old CPU
      7. Installing the New CPU
    10. 17. Changing the Laptop Battery
      1. Understanding Laptop Batteries
      2. Getting More Out of Your Battery
      3. When Should You Replace the Battery?
      4. Buying a Battery
      5. Installing the Battery
    11. 18. Upgrading Your Network
      1. Understanding Wireless Networks
      2. Learning About Wireless NICs
      3. Putting It All Together with a Wireless Router
      4. A Buyer’s Guide to Wireless Networking Hardware
  15. Index

Product information

  • Title: Fixing Your Computer Absolute Beginner’s Guide
  • Author(s): Paul McFedries
  • Release date: July 2013
  • Publisher(s): Que
  • ISBN: 9780133408140