Trouble Shooting
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Basic Trouble Shooting

by Terry E. Mercer (c) 1997-2017

Having Problems, trying to help a friend, just can't quite solve the problem? No where to turn?
You have done everything you can think of... even looked through the manuals (which you probably don't understand - because they were written by someone that doesn't even speak your language... but worse yet, written in some hybrid technical lingo, something commonly referred to as "Computerese") and no matter what you do, that %#$#  computer still doesn't work. So what are your options?

One of the first rules to remember is "Don't Panic."

Most problems are minor, caused by something not configured correctly, a driver disabled, over written, or otherwise messed up. Maybe it was a cable not being properly attached, or lossened in transit (if it was shipped). We assume the system passed the burn in, the stress test. If it didn't, maybe it's as simple as a jumper not set correctly, or a device not being "powered-up".
The following list contains many common problems and the corresponding solutions, usually in the order of most common occurrences.

Disclaimer & Warranty:  (the legal & technical stuff I'm told I must have in here):

The content, opinions, and suggestions contained within this web site, the CD-ROM disc, and printed pages are the personal copyrighted property of Terry Eugene Mercer. This information is displayed here for the sole purpose of assisting people in personally and individually solving problems. Just like a medical issue or health concern, it's quite challenging to IMPOSSIBLE to remotely diagnose a serious issue without 'seeing the body' - 'doing the tests' - and being able to 'interact.' It's nearly impossible to replace experience and keen observations with novice guessing. Not all of the solutions will fit or will otherwise work at all times or on all systems; therefore, the end-user of this information assumes all liability or responsibility of its use, implementation, fulfillment, etc.
This information may NOT be distributed OR copied without the written authorization of Terry E. Mercer. The information is for personal individual use ONLY. Mercer retains all distribution and commercial rights. Government agencies, Businesses, Corporations, Schools, and any "group" of more than one person (including "user groups") using this information is strictly prohibited without written permission for the copyright holder (another words, it is NOT to be used for classroom's or educational purposes without purchasing an educational use license from Mr. Mercer.
Warning: If you do not feel comfortable attempting to fix the problem yourself, or cannot quite solve the problem and are getting a little frustrated by it, do not be embarrassed to call in a "smart" friend, or a local computer technician, or to take your computer to a local service center for assistance. After all, we all need help every once in a while, and seldom can the understanding of any reading or video replace the reality of experience the professionals already have. Even those of us that have grown up with computers and eat and drink the latest upgrades, versions, and "toys sometimes need help with some things."

There are basically four sections, which all common symptoms fit:
SECTION #1: When you first power the system on;
SECTION #2: After the computer is on and started correctly;
SECTION #3: Computer is running fine, but this new program doesn't work;
SECTION #4: For those that just don't understand computers or don't like them.

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Copyright 1993 - 2017 T.E. Mercer, all rights reserved. This page was last updated 17 April 2000

Copyright 1993 through 2017 T.E. Mercer and PBG, All rights reserved.
No part of this site maybe copied, reproduced, distributed, sold or given away, except as a standard link to the home page (, by any person, business, school, governmental agency, etc. without the express written permission from PBG and/ or T.E. Mercer.

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NOTICE: Parts of this site may appear out of date (regarding the latest "flavor-of-the-month" CPU, motherboard, etc.), but the logic and problem solving information is better than 99% correct, valid, and accurate. If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to email us directly.  
This site was developed by PBG (Pacific Buyer's Group) and T.E. Mercer.  
This site was last updated on 03/31/06