Your personal computer (PC) or computer system is valuable and indispensable which well maintained and care for to get the best out of it for personal or business use. However, no matter how well maintained the PC or system is, we all encounter problems which is minor and temporary and sometimes catastrophic. However, existing are abundant resources to walk us through the issues and the purpose of this article is to show how to access them. Consider the following guides:
- Help Files: We often get carried away forgetting that we can access solution to a problem through the help files that came with every program installed in the computer, even the operating system has its help file and that’s is the first place to access in case of trouble. Help files designed not only to guide the usage of a computer; they’re also designed to solve problems. Inside a help file, look for a section called, “Troubleshooting” (or something similar) when you need to resolve an issue. This section is for solving problems specific to the software or hardware that you’re using.
- Product websites: If you’re having a problem with a piece of software or with a hardware part, try the website of that software’s or hardware’s manufacturer. Most (if not all) manufacturer’s reserve a portion of cyberspace and dedicate it to support the products that they build. Microsoft’s help desk is good example.
- Users Forum: through the user’s forum also known as ‘fan sites’ you can find websites that dedicated toward supporting the users of a particular software program or piece of hardware. They are the maintainers of these sites even though they have no affiliation with the manufacturers that they support! They offer immeasurable free help and unique problem solving techniques that we have today. PC support groups or user groups are another option for help. These are groups that meet in libraries, computer stores, or other local areas and they discuss all sorts of issues related with a particular product. Even if you aren’t experiencing a computer or software problem, user groups are fun to participate in and they can help you network into other interests such as job or teaching opportunities.
- Usenet Newsgroups: Another underused resource on the Internet, Usenet newsgroups have hundreds of discussion groups dedicated to some of the most popular computer systems, operating systems, hardware manufacturers, and individual software programs. Sometimes, the representatives of these companies participate, but most of the time, the support in this group is user to user, which is just as valid because you’re working with a team of experienced people.
- Support Lines: Another source for help that we shouldn’t forget is the support systems of various manufacturers. You can reach these systems by calling the phone number associated with the product that you’re having trouble with. Calls are free (1-800 or 1-877 number), or they may cost a small fee (1-900).
- Sales Person: it is surprising to know that you could obtain helps from the sales rep or salesperson at your local computer store. However, don’t make this the first option to explore otherwise it may discouraging if you don’t get the help required from them, but we don’t recommend that you rule this option out altogether either. Often, these kind folks can help you resolve an issue over the phone and prevent you from having to buy a costly solution.
Obviously, help is easy to find – You’ve just got to know where to look for it. Most of the contacts within these resources are extremely friendly and willing to take the time to walk you through a problem at little to no cost. From online discussion groups to the files on your own computer, help is often just a click away.
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