Five things to try before calling tech support

 In Support

Do you find yourself wishing whenever some errant piece of technology is on the blink that, instead of picking up the phone, you could just fix it yourself?

Let’s face it, there are times that you resent the hassle of talking to tech support and waiting for them to look into it. This is especially true if it turns out to be a simple problem that you could have fixed yourself.

I’m happy to tell you that some IT problems may not need support at all. You can minimise the frustration, business interruption and expense by working through these simple steps before you call in the tech-heads:

1. Wait 30 seconds and try again

There are a few reasons for this, the first being that we’re all fallible; maybe you only thought you clicked that icon or pressed that button. Try doing it again – maybe there’s really no problem at all.

Sometimes, if the problem is software-related, or you’re working on a web-based platform, the problem can resolve itself.

2. Try turning your computer off and on again

It’s not just a joke from ‘The IT Crowd’. More often than not, a simple reboot can solve the problem. This works for computers, printers, routers and even personal devices like mobile phones and tablets.

3. Check that your time and date settings are correct

Your computer’s internal clock controls a number of important functions related to the operating system. Many software and backup utilities rely on the date and time, so if they are not set correctly, your computer may have missed the required system updates.

4. Unplug and re-plug all your connections and peripherals

Do this so you can check if all connections are properly and securely plugged in. The computer problem may have just been caused by loose cables and connections.

5. See if anyone else is having the same problem

This will help you to ascertain the scope of the problem. If you’re not the only one with the same issue, then it means your computer is probably not the root cause, and tech support can focus on looking at shared hardware or network settings. You can also seek the help of your colleagues, they might have encountered the problem before and already know what to do.

If pain persists …

Often, as users of technology, we’re not all that tech savvy. We just expect our devices to work, and we don’t give much thought as to how. Unfortunately this means that, when something breaks down, we don’t really know what to do.

If you follow these basic troubleshooting steps when it comes to your tech problems you can minimise your frustration and potentially lessen the business interruption. After all, you don’t want to be wasting your time waiting for tech support to arrive when a simple reboot can resolve the issue.

It can also help your tech support to identify the real problem if you’ve already applied these steps before calling them in; just be sure to let them know what you’ve done.

Of course, if you’ve tried these simple steps and the problem persists, or it’s getting worse, seek help immediately – sometimes there’s just no substitute for calling in the experts.

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