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Chapter 4 - Overview of Preventive Maintenance

4.0 Overview of Preventive Maintenance

4.0.1 Introduction >4.0.1.1 Introduction

The image on this page shows a technician working on a laptop installing a new stick of DDR3 memory.

4.1 Preventive Maintenance

4.1.1 PC Preventive Maintenance Overview >4.1.1.1 Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

The image on this page shows a surveyor using a laptop and mobile phone.

4.1.1 PC Preventive Maintenance Overview >4.1.1.2 Preventive MKaintenance Tasks

The image on this page shows the windows 7 update screen which allows you to install updates for various programs and operating systems.

4.1.1 PC Preventive Maintenance Overview >4.1.1.3 Clean the Case and Internal Components

Image 1 on this page shows a heat sink and fan covered with dust.

Image 2 on this page shows a can of compressed air which is used to clean dust from the computer motherboard and computer case.

4.1.1 PC Preventive Maintenance Overview >4.1.1.4 Inspect Internal Components

The image on this page shows a person checking various computer components within the computer case.

4.1.1 PC Preventive Maintenance Overview >4.1.1.5 Environmental Concerns

The image on this page shows an interactive picture of a laptop, a humidity gauge, a Celcius temperature scale, and a Fahrenheit temperature scale. When the mouse is moved up and down on the image the humidity and temperature levels move up and down. When the mouse is moved to the middle range between freezing cold and extremely hot the laptop screen turns on and windows XP home screen appears.

The message on the laptop screen says, "Between 10% & 80% Humidity. Between 45 & 90 degrees Fahrenheit.".

4.2 Troubleshooting Process

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.1 Introduction to Troubleshooting

The image on this page shows the Windows Backup and Restore Utility which allows a user to back up their files on the computer.

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.2 Identify the Problem

Figure 1 on this page is a table listing some of the important information to gather from the customer.

Step 1. Identify the Problem
Customer Information
  • Company Name
  • Contact Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
Computer Configuration
  • Manufacturer and Model
  • Operating System
  • Network Environment
  • Connection Type
Problem Description
  • Open-ended Questions
  • Close-ended Questions
Error Messages
Beep Sequences
LEDs
POST

Figure 2 on this page is an interactive activity that has questions that a technician might ask the customer to help identify the problem. The learner is asked to identify which of the following questions are open-ended questions and which questions are closed-ended questions.

  • Has anyone else used your computer recently?
  • Have you received any error messages on your computer?
  • What problems are you experiencing with your computer or network?
  • Can you reproduce the problem?
  • What software has been installed on your computer recently?
  • What were you doing when the problem was identified?
  • Have you changed your password recently?
  • What hardware changes have been made recently to your computer?
  • Are you currently logged into the network?

Image 3 on this page shows the Windows Event Viewer Utility.

Image 4 on this page shows the Windows Device Manager Utility.

Image 5 on this page shows the Windows Task Manager Utility.

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.3 Establish a Theory of Probable Cause

The figure on this page is a table listing probable causes.

Step 2. Establish a Theory of Probable Cause
  • Device is powered off
  • Power switch for an outlet is turned off
  • Surge protector is turned off
  • Loose external cable connections
  • Non-bootable disk in floppy drive
  • Incorrect boot order in BIOS setup

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.4 Test the Theory to Determine Cause

Figure 1 on this page is a table listing steps to determine cause causes.

Step 3. Test the Theory to Determine Cause
Common steps to determine cause
  • Ensure the device is powered on.
  • Ensure the power switch for an outlet is turned on.
  • Ensure the surge protector is turned on.
  • Ensure external cable connections are secure.
  • Ensure that there are no disks in the floppy drive.
  • Verify the boot order in BIOS setup.

Figure 2 on this page shows an image of a help desk support form which gives the problem descriptions and solutions tried as well as important information regarding the laptop or computer.

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.5 Establish a Plan of Action to Resolve the Problem and Implement the Solution

The figure on this page is a table listing actions to help resolve computer problems and implement possible solutions.

Step 4. Establish a Plan of Action to Resolve the Problem and Implement the Solution
If no solution is achieved in the previous step, further research is needed to implement the solution
  • Helpdesk Repair Logs
  • Other Technicians
  • Manufacture FAQS
  • Technical Websites
  • News Groups
  • Computer Manuals
  • Device Manuals
  • Online Forums
  • Internet Search

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.6 Verify Full System Functionality and if Applicable Implement Preventive Measures

The figure on this page is a table listing the steps to verify full system functionality and preventative measures.

Step 5. Verify Full System Functionality and if Applicable Implement Preventive Measures
  • Reboot the computer
  • Ensure multiple applications work properly.
  • Verify network and internet connections.
  • Print a document from one application.
  • Ensure all attached devices work properly.
  • Ensure no error messages are received.

4.2.1 Troubleshooting Process Steps >4.2.1.7 Document Findings, Actions, and Outcomes

Step 6. Document Findings, Actions, and Outcomes
  • Discuss the solution implemented with the customer.
  • Have the customer verify that the problem has been solved.
  • Provide the customer with all paperwork.
  • Document the steps taken to solve the problem in the work order and in the technician’s journal.
  • Document any components used in the repair.
  • Document the amount of time spent to resolve the problem.

4.2.2 Common Problems and Solutions for PCs >4.2.2.1 PC Common Problems and Solutions

Figure 1 on this page shows a table listing common problems and solutions for storage devices.

Common Problems and Solutions for Storage Devices
Identify the Problem Probable Causes Possible Solutions
The computer does not recognize a storage device.
  • The power cable is loose.
  • The data cable is loose.
  • The jumpers are set incorrectly.
  • The storage device has failed.
  • The storage device settings in BIOS are incorrect.
  • Secure the power cable.
  • Secure the data cable.
  • Reset the jumpers.
  • Replace the storage device.
  • Reset the storage device settings in BIOS.
The floppy disk drive will not read media or the drive light stays on constantly.
  • The power cable or data cable connection is loose.
  • Pin 1 on the data cable is not connected to Pin1 on the drive.
  • The FDD settings in BIOS are incorrect.
  • The disc is bad or not formatted.
  • The disc is inserted upside down.
  • Secure the power cable or the data cable to the drive and the motherboard.
  • Correctly connected the data cable.
  • Reset the FDD setting in BIOS.
  • Try Another disc or format the disc.
  • Re-insert the disc correctly.
The computer fails to recognize an optical disc.
  • The optical drive is faulty.
  • The disc is inserted upside down.
  • There is more than one disc inserted in the drive.
  • The disc is damaged.
  • The disc is in the wrong format.
  • Replace the optical drive.
  • insert the disc correctly.
  • Ensure that there is only one disc inserted in the drive.
  • Replace the disc.
  • Use the correct type of disc.
The computer will not eject the optical disk.
  • The optical drive is jammed.
  • The optical drive has been locked by software.
  • The optical drive is faulty.
  • insert a pin in the small hole next to the eject button on the drive to open the tray.
  • Reboot the computer.
  • Replace the optical drive.
The computer does not recognize a SCSI drive.
  • The SCSI drive has an incorrect SCSI ID.
  • The SCSI termination is not set correctly.
  • The external SCSI drive was not powered on prior to booting the computer.
  • Reconfigure the SCSI ID.
  • Ensure that the SCSI chain is terminated at the correct end points.
  • Turn on the drive before booting the computer.
The computer does not recognize a removable external drive.
  • The removable external drive is faulty.
  • The removable external drive is not seated properly.
  • The external ports are disabled in the BIOS setting.
  • Replace the removable external drive.
  • Remove and re-insert the drive.
  • Enable the ports in the BIOS setting.
A media reader cannot read a memory card that works properly in the camera.
  • The media reader does not support the memory card type.
  • The media reader is not connected correctly.
  • The media reader is not configured properly in the BIOS settings.
  • The media reader is faulty.
  • Use a different memory card type.
  • Ensure the media reader is connected correctly in the computer.
  • Reconfigure the media reader in the BIOS settings.
  • Install a known good media reader.

Figure 2 on this page shows a table listing common problems and solutions for motherboards and internal components.

Common Problems and Solutions for Motherboards and Internal Components
Identify the Problem Probable Causes Possible Solutions
The clock on the computer is no longer keeping the correct time or the BIOS settings are changing when the computer is rebooted.
  • The CMOS battery may be loose.
  • The CMOS battery may be failing.
  • Secure the battery.
  • Replace the battery.
Retrieving or saving data from the USB flash drive is slow.
  • The motherboard does not support USB3.0.
  • The USB flash drive does not support USB 3.0.
  • The port is set to full speed in the BIOS setting.
  • Update the motherboard or USB flash drive to support USB3.0.
  • Set the port speed in the BIOS settings to high speed.
After updating the BIOS firmware, the computer will not start. The BIOS firmware update did not install correctly. Contact the motherboard manufacturer to obtain a new BIOS chip. (if the motherboard has two BIOS chips the second BIOS chips can be used.)
The computer displays the incorrect CPU information when the computer boots.
  • The motherboard has incorrect jumper settings.
  • The CPU settings are not correct in the advanced BIOS setting.
  • Bios does not properly recognise the CPU.
  • Set the appropriate CPU jumper settings on the motherboard.
  • Set the advanced BIOS settings correctly for the CPU.
  • Update the BIOS.
The hard drive LED on the front of the computer does not light.
  • The hard drive LED cable is not connected or is loose.
  • The hard drive LED cable is incorrectly oriented to the front case panel connections.
  • Reconnect hard drive LED cable to motherboard.
  • Correctly orient the hard drive LED cable to the front case panel connection and reconnect.
The built in NIC has stopped working on a computer. The NIC hardware has failed. Add a new NIC to an open expansion slot.
The computer does not display any video after installing a new PCIe video card.
  • The BIOS settings are set to use the built in video.
  • The cable is still connected to the built in video.
  • The new video card is faulty.
  • Disable the built in video in the BIOS settings.
  • Connect the cable to the new video card.
  • Install a known good video card.
The new sound card does not work.
  • The speakers are not connected to the correct jack.
  • The audio is muted.
  • The sound card is faulty.
  • BIOS settings are set to use the on board sound device.
  • Connect the speakers to the correct jack.
  • Unmute the audio.
  • Install a known good sound card.
  • Disable the on board audio device in the BIOS settings.

Figure 3 on this page shows a table listing common problems and solutions for power supplies.

Common Problems and Solutions for Power Supplies
Identify the Problem Probable Causes Possible Solutions
The computer will not turn on.
  • The computer is not plugged in to the AC outlet.
  • The AC outlet is faulty.
  • The power cord is faulty.
  • The power supply switch is not turned on.
  • The power supply switch is set to the incorrect voltage.
  • The power button is not connected correctly to the front panel connector.
  • The power supply has failed.
  • Plug the computer into a known good AC outlet.
  • Use a known good power cord.
  • Turn on the power supply switch.
  • Set the power supply switch to the correct voltage setting.
  • Correctly orient the power button to the front case panel connector and reconnect.
  • Install a known good power supply.
The computer reboots, turns off unexpectedly; or there is smoke or the smell of burning electronics. The power supply is starting to fail. Replace the power supply.

Figure 4 on this page shows a table listing common problems and solutions for CPUs and memory.

Common Problems and Solutions for CPUs and Memory
Identify the Problem Probable Causes Possible Solutions
The Computer will not boot or it locks up.
  • The CPU has overheated.
  • The CPU fan is failing.
  • The CPU has failed.
  • Reinstall the CPU.
  • Replace the CPU fan.
  • Add fan(s) to the case.
  • Replace the CPU.
The CPU fan is making an unusual noise. The CPU fan is failing. Replace the CPU fan.
The computer reboots without warning, locks up, or displays error messages.
  • The front-side bus is set to high.
  • The CPU multiplier is set to high.
  • The CPU voltage is set to high.
  • Reset to the factory default settings for the motherboard.
  • Lower the front-side bus settings.
  • Lower the multiplier settings.
  • Lower the CPU voltage settings.
After upgrading from a single core CPU to a dual core CPU, the computer runs more slowly and only shows one CPU graph in the Task Manager. The BIOS does not recognise the dual core CPU. Update the BIOS firmware to support the dual core CPU.
A CPU will not install onto the motherboard. The CPU is the incorrect type. Replace the CPU with a CPU that matches the motherboard socket type.
The computer does not recognise the RAM that was added.
  • The new RAM is faulty.
  • The incorrect type of RAM was installed.
  • The new RAM is loose in the memory slot.
  • Replace the RAM.
  • Install the correct type of RAM.
  • Secure the RAM in the memory slot.
After upgrading windows, the computer runs very slowly.
  • The computer does not have enough RAM.
  • The video card does not have enough memory.
  • Install additional RAM.
  • Install a video card that has more memory.
A computer with both DDR2 and DRR3 RAM installed only recognises DDR3 RAM. The motherboard does not support the installation of both DDR2 and DRR3 RAM. Check the motherboard manual to see if the computer will support both types of RAM simultaneously.

4.3 Overview of Preventive Maintenance and Troubleshooting

4.3.1 Summary >4.3.1.1 Summary

The image on this page shows a picture of an IT technician replacing the laptop built in network wireless card.

End of Chapter 4: Overview of Preventive Maintenance.

Next - Chapter 5: Operating Systems.

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Page last modified on March 23, 2015, at 01:21 AM