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Tech Tip: Gather Your Information Before You Call for Help
Tech Tip: When You Need Help, Gather Your Info PDF Print E-mail

From time to time, we all run into problems with our computer and need assistance. Get your problem resolved more quickly and save money too… Just follow a few simple guidelines to help the technician get the job done more quickly and reliably.

Often, a problem will present messages or other indications on the screen. This information is invaluable to solving problems, especially those that aren’t easily reproducible, or random in nature. The best way to gather this information is using the Print Screen button on your keyboard or a screen capture utility to take a screenshot of your computer at the time of the error. When the problem occurs, press the PrtSc button to take a screenshot. The PrtSc button is usually located above the Ins, Home, and PgUp keys on most keyboards. When pressing the PrtSc button, you will not see any change or response. Now, open a Word document, new email or graphics editor of your choice and press Ctrl-V to paste the screenshot into the document or image.

For great screen capture utilities, check out Gadwin Printscreen, Greenshot, or Screenshot Captor.

Now, gather more information by considering the following:

1)    What were you doing when the problem occurred? This will help narrow down the source of the problem.

2)    Is the problem reproducible? How?

3)    Are there any other similar events where the problem occurs? For example, the problem occurs when you have many windows (programs) open, or perhaps a specific program.

4)    How often does the problem occur?

5)    Does the problem occur at a certain time of the day or specific times of the day?

6)    Any other information you may think relevant to the problem.

Once you have gathered your information, present this to your technician for review. Collecting information in advance will save time when trying to locate the source of the problem and get things running smoothly again.