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Upgrading and Fixing Computers: Do-it-Yourself For Dummies® by Andy Rathbone

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Chapter 22. Ten Cheap Fixes to Try First

Before you spend any money at the shop, try the quick fixes in this chapter. You might get lucky. If you're not so lucky, flip back to Chapter 19 for some more labor-intensive exploratory surgeries.

Plug It In

Sure, it sounds silly. But industry experts get paid big bucks to say that unplugged equipment is the leading cause of "electrical component malfunction." Check your power cord in two places: It can creep not only out of the wall outlet but also out of the back of your computer or whatever you've plugged into one of your computer's ports.

If you use a uninterrupted power supply or a surge protector, check three places: Check the back of your computer, check that your computer's power cord is plugged firmly into the UPS or surge protector, and check that the UPS or surge protector is plugged into the wall outlet.

Sometimes a yawning leg stretch can inadvertently loosen the cord from the wall. Rearranging a computer on the desk almost always loosens cables that aren't pushed tightly into the back of the computer.

And, uh, the machine is turned on, isn't it? (That's the leading cause of printer malfunction, by the way.) Some surge protectors have an on/off switch, so make sure the switch is in the on position.

Turn Off the Part, Wait 30 Seconds, and Turn It On

Before going any further, try closing the troublesome program and restarting it. Doesn't cure the problem? Then log off from Windows, and log on again.

If that doesn't fix it, shut down ...

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