The digital world in which we live, alongside the real world, is based on computers , tablets , smartphones and all kinds of connected objects that communicate and interact with each other. All these equipment must work in good conditions but are likely to fail at any time.
Computer Troubleshooting Mission
The mission of computer troubleshooting is to intervene to repair the computer that fails or equipment that malfunctions.
Even if, from one generation to the next, each piece of equipment becomes simpler and more reliable, the multiplication of software and applications, the increase in usage and the sophistication of interactions make computer troubleshooting even more critical. We all happen to be blocked one day by something that does not work as it should. An application that no longer starts, an object that does not connect, a computer that hangs, a smartphone that becomes very slow! The range of anomalies that can poison a whole day is limitless.
What exactly does computer troubleshooting cover?
But what exactly does computer troubleshooting cover? Which materials or equipment are affected? Are software programs also supported by computer troubleshooting? Is a watch, drone, speaker or console covered by computer troubleshooting?
Incorporating digital into almost any object could extend the spectrum of IT maintenance to almost anything. In a few years, we will certainly have a unique, easy-to-remember, four-digit phone number that can be called for any technical problem on any machine or equipment. A centralized service connected to all data banks will be able to troubleshoot and solve all technical problems!
In the meantime, computer troubleshooting concerns computers , servers , basic software , main equipment ensuring essential functions (printer, external hard drive, NAS, etc.) and everything that belongs to the internal network (box, router, etc.). Third-party applications, connected objects, and other devices benefit from technical support from the publishers and vendors who deliver them.
Without going into the traditional quarrel between the Apple , Microsoft and Google chapels, it must be admitted that iMac computers, iPhones and iPads are less consumers of computer troubleshooting than Windows or Android systems. Their evolution in a relatively closed environment as opposed to the opening of other platforms reduces conflicts and incompatibilities.
The intervention of a repair technician can be done in three different ways. Computer troubleshooting in the office or home of the user where a technician moves on site, computer troubleshooting in a shop or computer point of sale and finally remote computer troubleshooting where the user calls a support service to distance and where a technical advisor takes control of his equipment.
Computer troubleshooting at home or in the office
The computer repair of large companies is very organized for many years with IT services that intervene quickly on site. These services are also increasingly outsourced to IT companies as part of a global outsourcing movement.
Small businesses are served by a myriad of computer companies that provide hardware, software and a range of maintenance services including computer troubleshooting.
Individuals benefit from a tax benefit that reduces the cost of these benefits. This is the income tax credit equal to 50% of the expenses incurred for the provision of services to the person . Computer and Internet support expenses, which include computer troubleshooting, have a ceiling of only € 3,000 per year.
Individuals are generally served by the thousands of very small computer companies that span the territory. There are also networks of services to individuals (household, gardening, etc.) who have extended their activities to computer assistance such as Axeo Services or Viva Services . Finally, a brand present throughout the territory, Doctor Computer has specialized since 2002 in home computer troubleshooting, assistance, maintenance, training and installation of computer equipment.
Computer troubleshooting in a shop or specialized point of sale
It is of course quite possible to take your computer and have it repaired in a computer store . There are a few thousand specialty shops that sell hardware and software and provide computer repair services. However, it is necessary to move, carry his equipment and leave it on the spot for a few days in general.
There are large networks such as Fnac / Darty, Boulanger, Ldlc or Cybertek that instead troubleshoot the products they sell. There are also thousands of independent shops that have the flexibility to help with however a great heterogeneity in terms of quality.
Remote computer troubleshooting
It is now possible to troubleshoot remote computers . The tools for getting started with the Internet of a device work very well. A technician can intervene from a distance by telephone, establish a diagnosis and provide the right solution. After logging in, he can see the screen as if he is behind the computer, he can tune on his keyboard as if it was the equipment in trouble and he can move the mouse with his. But he is not in the same place. He is elsewhere in France or 12,000 km and he controls the computer as if he was there.
Super Geek has developed a unique skill recognized by its users to remotely troubleshoot computers.
Diagnosis of the computer failure
A good computer troubleshooting starts with a good diagnosis and this is not always easy. Difficulties of communication between a technician who masters the subject perfectly and a novice who is struggling to use the appropriate specialized vocabulary may sometimes lead to a misdiagnosis.
The diagnosis works with two steps: the first is summary and often allows a first filtering. The second is more detailed but is not always necessary if the first one has succeeded. The case of the power button is off is a classic summary diagnosis followed by almost immediate computer troubleshooting.
The diagnosis includes the description of the anomaly and the determination of the hardware and software concerned. The technician who intervenes must help the user to express his problem: what kind of anomaly (complete blocking of the computer, slowdown , non – performance of a task or a feature, etc.), when or how frequency (always, from time to time, rarely, randomly, depending on certain actions, etc.), how long, what has changed, etc.
Diagnostic tools are often used by computer repair technicians who know what questions to ask based on previous answers. Some of these tools are available to the general public in simple cases of diagnostic assistance. It is likely that in the next five years, sufficiently advanced tools will carry out most of the diagnosis upstream.
Breakdowns and hardware failures
The technological progress of the last ten years has focused much on the robustness of hardware equipment. Equipment failures can of course occur, but their frequency has decreased considerably.
The second major development is influenced by economic considerations: a faulty material is increasingly replaced by new equipment instead of being repaired . Sophistication of equipment and lower costs often make the cost of repair greater than the cost of replacement to nine.
The development of e-commerce and fast delivery has also changed some of the practices of computer troubleshooting during equipment failure. Internet ordering of the defective part followed by delivery in less than 24 hours has become a reality.
Finally, the standardization of the connections and the standardization of the parts make the change of the defective part accessible by non-technical users.
The needs of individuals in computer troubleshooting
The needs of individuals are quite diverse but the majority of problems are not solved through a computer repairer. Everyone who is lucky to have a geek around them do not hesitate to consult him. Many spend time on sites and forums trying to find the solution to their problem. Often also, for legitimate economic reasons, the user gives up the difficulty and circumvents the problem.
Here are the broad categories of the most common problems typically dealt with by computer troubleshooting.
How to restart a blocked computer?
The most classic situation of computer repair and that of the computer which is blocked and which refuses to start . The diagnosis after a few tests determines the nature of the problem and the extent of the resolution. Simple cases are resolved through a safe mode restart , and the more complex cases require reinstallation of the operating system with laborious gymnastics for data recovery.
How to get rid of viruses and other malware
It often happens that a poorly or poorly protected computer is exposed to viruses or more generally malware. The recent period has seen the proliferation of ransomware that encrypts the data and demands ransom. A fairly common action in computer troubleshooting is to eliminate these attacks, install an antivirus and explain to the user what are the good practices to protect his computer and data.
How to optimize and clean a slow computer
A computer can become slow for a variety of reasons. The hard disk may be close to saturation, the number of software that runs as background tasks is too high, malware may be present, corrupted files may disrupt the operating system, and so on. The causes of slowdowns can be diagnosed fairly quickly by Windows tools or by third-party software like ccleaner. Cleaning a computer is an action that needs to be done regularly. Technicians involved in technical support can show the user the usual operations to undertake.
How to recover lost data
Not everyone has a regular backup of their data . Everyone does not store their data in the cloud where they are naturally preserved. Sometimes unfortunate actions, mishandling or even viruses destroy files and directories. Technicians who intervene for computer repairs are often faced with the drama that can be the loss of expensive or critical data . Data recovery interventions are probably the most delicate and uncertain tasks in the field of computer repair. Some companies have specialized in recovering data from a damaged hard disk or a USB stick that has become unreadable. A technician who intervenes in a service of this nature ends his service by recommending the best solutions for storing and saving data.
Install, reinstall or update Windows
Whether upgrading to a new version of Windows (such as when upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 10) or reinstalling the operating system , a computer service provider is required does not feel comfortable with this operation.
Installing, reinstalling, or updating Windows is a relatively heavy operation during which the user must be able to respond to requests from the operating system. All technophiles are generally doing well but others may find themselves disarmed at one stage of the process.
How to solve a problem of Internet connection and Wi-Fi
In our ultra-connected world, the loss of the Internet connection can become as dramatic as a power outage. Difficulties in finding a Wi-Fi signal can undermine a day’s work. Computer troubleshooting includes troubleshooting connection problems when they become frequent or when they last a long time. Sometimes interactions with the ISP are necessary.
Set up a computer and install the basic software
IT support covers the initial stage of bringing a computer into service. Even though many users are doing this initial installation themselves, some people, especially seniors, do not feel comfortable with the configuration of a computer . A fairly standard service at many computer resellers is to deliver a turnkey PC with all the basic software. This service can even be extended to the setting of the messaging and the office suite and a small training including the handling of the machine.
Install and configure software
Installing and configuring software is not really part of computer troubleshooting. These are tasks that are more about computer assistance and that a professional can do to help a new user. In some cases, the installation and configuration of software are provided by the software publisher who accompanies its customers.
The needs of professionals and small businesses in computer repair
The needs of professionals and small businesses naturally meet the needs of individuals. Whether it’s a virus problem, a slow computer, a reinstallation of the operating system, an Internet connection or Wi-Fi, computer troubleshooting in a business can rely on the same processes than those that are deployed for the individual.
The use of more sophisticated networks with multiple connected devices or the existence of servers that must remain operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, naturally makes computer troubleshooting more complex .
Installation and configuration of workstations
Even though the installation and configuration of a workstation is close to the installation and configuration of a computer for the individual, this is a classic in the professional environment and hardware suppliers usually include it in their benefits. When the number of identical computers to be configured is high, the service passes by the production of a duplicate main disk then identical on all the stations.
Server maintenance and monitoring
Many professionals and small businesses have servers that have to work continuously. Computer troubleshooting of a server has similarities to computers. Operating systems (Linux or Windows NT family) are however different and introduce additional complexities. Operation in 24 × 7 mode is more restrictive and interventions must generally be done without interruption of services. Server monitoring or monitoring is an often automated action that detects incidents before they occur.
One of the first applications within a company was historically messaging . Its central nature and its strategic side in communication make its normal functioning vital. Threats and malfunctions can sometimes weaken it and make it critical .
Most professionals and companies subscribe maintenance contracts in which the provider undertakes to intervene in case of computer failure. However, its mission is primarily to anticipate problems by putting in place the appropriate infrastructure so that incidents occur as little as possible. Preventive maintenance aims to reduce any calls to a technical hotline and to avoid emergency computer repairs.
Computer troubleshooting tools
The tools of the computer troubleshooter are very numerous. First, there are all the administrative tools and drivers that come with the Windows operating system. Software for antivirus and computer security vendors are also very often used because they identify potential threats and very often include utilities to boost performance . A very common tool for cleaning computers and troubleshooting is ccleaner from Piriform.
Teamviewer is also a very common tool because it allows the remote control of a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. It is essential in remote computer troubleshooting and also allows remote monitoring of a computer network.
Many computer troubleshooting situations actually reveal the user’s lack of computer literacy. Some interventions do not require any repair but end with a training session and explanation.
For many novice users, there is a confusion between a real dysfunction and a misunderstanding of normal operations, but probably too complex.
Training in new technological tools and information technology needs to be further developed in our country. Its weaknesses make it frequently interact with computer troubleshooting.
Support and IT support
Support and IT support fall into the broad category of computer maintenance as well as computer troubleshooting. However, they cover broader issues including installation and configuration, training, answering general questions disconnected from any failure, helping users discover tools and software, and so on.
The computer hotline
Most large companies make computer hotlines available to their employees from which they can turn for their IT needs or failures.
Computer builders, software publishers and large distributors also make computer hotlines available to their customers to help them in their use or to troubleshoot them.
Super Geek is a hotline independent of any hardware, any software or any distributor. Its mission is to troubleshoot individuals , professionals, and small businesses that have problems with their computer users. Super Geek is the remote computer troubleshooting solution.
Security and privacy issues
A troubleshooter who intervenes on a computer can have access to its contents. Between emails, Internet browsing, saved passwords, folders and files, whole areas of life can be accessed.
One must be very careful before entrusting the troubleshooting of his computer to a computer scientist. It is important to ensure reputation and belonging to a structured organization that guarantees the confidentiality and security of its interventions.
During remote troubleshooting, the user can stay behind his screen and follow the technician’s handling. If he does not have the time, he must know that the entire intervention can be recorded and that he can posteriorly visualize the manipulations that have been carried out.