Do-It-Yourself Common Troubleshooting Solutions

DIY Tech Support

Simple Solutions To The Most Common Tech Problems.

Troubleshooting IT is something we all must deal with at some point in our lives. Whether working with an old computer or a new one, you will encounter a problem sooner or later. But fear not! We’ve gathered some of the most common tech problems and provided step-by-step solutions so you can be your own tech support.

Note: Some of the most common problems can be resolved by restarting your computer. If that option does not resolve your issue, scroll down for alternate solutions.

My computer is really slow

Depending on the operating system you’re running, there are several solutions to getting your computer back to speed.

1. Uninstall unused programs

This should be your first option. Click Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features. When you see the list of installed programs, right click on the programs you and click Uninstall.

2. Run a disk clean-up

3. Delete temporary files
Internet ExplorerGoogle ChromeFirefox
Press Ctrl + Shift + Del on your keyboard. Click Delete to remove your temporary files. Restart Internet Explorer.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Del on your keyboard. Select the beginning of time from the drop down menu at the top. Click Clear browsing data to remove your temporary files. Restart Google Chrome.
Press Ctrl + Shift + Del on your keyboard. Click Clear Now to remove your temporary files. Restart Firefox.
clear-cookies-cache-history-on-firefox
4. Get more hard drive storage
If your hard drive gets too full, it will affect your computer’s speed. Running processor-heavy tasks with a full hard drive will slow your computer tremendously. It’s best to either purchase more storage, or move your photos and movies to an external hard drive. This would free up storage space on your computer. Today you can buy over 1TB storage space at an affordable price. We recommend looking into these options.
harddrive
5. Get more RAM
If you run multiple applications at once, such as Outlook, internet, and Microsoft Word or Excel, and you notice long delays when alternating between them, you likely do not have enough RAM, or random access memory. This memory is used by your computer to run these programs. 8GB of RAM is today’s current standard and should the average user. PC’s with 4GB of RAM or lower will likely experience this lag.
ram
6. Run a disk defragment
Disk Defragment will optimize your hard drive’s efficiency. Go to My Computer > right click on My Computer and select Properties. Click the Tools link, and find the link that says Defragment Now or Open Disk Cleanup.
Disk-Defragment

My WiFi keeps dropping

Does your wireless connection drop when you leave your computer for a while? It’s likely due to your wireless router and/or network card. Try these steps to resolve your WiFi connectivity.

Set Router To Specific Channel
Does your wireless connection drops out seconds at a time? Here’s what to do:

If you are using a router, go to wireless settings (usually under “setup”), and specify a channel. Try using a different channel than the default, and make this settings for both of your bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) if you’re using a dual bound router. Note: do not use the “auto” setting. We noticed this is the main reason why WiFi disconnects. Try setting a higher channel. If that doesn’t work, try different channels until one works.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

Check your wireless power settings
First, check if your computer is managing your wireless card’s power. It may shut off your wireless connectivity after a certain amount of idle time goes by. If you have system specific utilities, make sure that the wireless power management isn’t set to shut off the card if your computer is idle for a certain period of time. Then, you’ll want to check the settings on your wireless card via your device manager. To do that:
• Right-click on My Computer > Properties
• Select Hardware and click on Device Manager
• Find your wireless card under Network adapters and double-click it.
• Verify that there aren’t any auto power management settings enabled that might be shutting your card down prematurely.

Here’s a tip that can get your wireless connection from dropping out repeatedly. If you are using a router (particularly a dual band router), you’ll want to go into the wireless settings (usually under “setup”), and specify a channel. Try using a different channel than the default, and make this settings for both of your bands (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz) if you’re using a dual bound router. Definitely do not use the “auto” setting. From our troubleshooting it appears that this is the main culprit. Try setting a higher channel, and if that doesn’t work, try different channels. It’s very possible that there are enough networks in your immediate area on the same channel that they’re conflicting with each other.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

Power cycle your hardware
Another thing to try is to simply shut down all your hardware – ie. your PC, your modem, your router, your laptop, etc. – anything on the network. Then power them back on in the following order: modem -> router -> PC (wired) -> laptop (wireless) and see if that fixes the issue. If not, proceed to more potential solutions below.
Update your router firmware and wireless card drivers
If all of the above hasn’t prevented your wireless connection from dropping, you’ll want to update the firmware of your wireless router, and you’ll want to update your wireless card drivers. This should solve the problem most of the time. With any firmware or driver update, please make sure you are retrieving the update directly from the manufacturer’s website.

Stay Clear of Driver Robot!
There’s quite a bit of marketing being done by the company Blitware around software such as Driver Robot which is supposed to help you find and update drivers that match your hardware configuration. It has been brought to our attention that the software, while not a virus, may install so-called adware, that may slow down and prevent your computer from functioning correctly.
A rule of thumb with drivers is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Driver updates should only be installed if you are currently experiencing issues and told by the manufacturer that updating your driver will help resolve the problem. Finally, make sure that you are only downloading drivers from the manufacturer’s website, and not from a third-party.
If your PC is already infected by adware, you can download Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware for free to remove it.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

Adjust your wireless router settings
Lower the MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) from 1500 to 1492 or less (usually found on your router’s main/ basic setup page)
Adjust the following advanced wireless settings:
Lower the beacon interval from 100 to 50
Lower the fragmentation threshold from 2346 to 2306
Lower the RTS threshold from 2347 to 2304
That should solve your wireless connectivity problems and should prevent your wireless connection from dropping.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

wireless connection dropping every couple of seconds
Does your wireless connection connect, then disconnect, then connect again, only to disconnect two seconds later, and so on and so forth? It could be that your PC is trying to find an IP address and the DHCP server (which hands out IP addresses) isn’t cooperating or isn’t finding one. If you’re using Windows, open a command prompt by browsing to Start -> Run -> and type in “cmd.exe”
In the command prompt window, type the following: “ipconfig.exe /release” followed by “ipconfig.exe /renew” You’ll get a status message that may help you pinpoint the issue.

Wireless connection drops in WPA mode
If you can get your wireless adapter to connect without security encryption set (ie. WEP or WPA), but it drops every couple of seconds when you use WPA mode, try updating the network card driver’s firmware.
We had a similar experience on a Dell Inspiron laptop. The included Intel Pro 2200BG network card worked for a couple of years, but then every time we’d take it to a public Internet location, connect via WiFi, then bring it back home to connect to our WPA network, the connection drop issues would resume.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you will need to reset your router.
Resetting your wireless router to factory default settings
Resetting your router can usually be done by inserting a pin (like the end of a paper clip, not a knife or mechanical pencil) in a little hole at the back of the router, and holding it down for 10 seconds or so. You should see all the lights on the front of the router flash, signaling that the router has been reset to factory default settings. After this, power cycle all your equipment.
You’ll then need to reconfigure your router’s security settings. I recommend using WPA2/TKIP+AES this time around, and setting a new password. If you were cloning your MAC address this setting should be disabled, which means you’ll be assigned a new IP address.
Restart your laptop, select the wireless network in range you want to connect to, select “advanced settings” at right, and in the list of networks, edit the properties of your network. In the properties dialog, you’ll want to specify the new security protocol (in Windows XP, you’ll only have WPA/TKIP available – this will work for WPA2), enter your new password, and save your settings. We also recommend clicking the advanced button and opting to not have Windows automatically connect to the network.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

IP address already allocated message
Does your wireless connection connect, then disconnect, then connect again, only to disconnect two seconds later, and so on and so forth? It could be that your PC is trying to find an IP address and the DHCP server (which hands out IP addresses) isn’t cooperating or isn’t finding one. If you’re using Windows, open a command prompt by browsing to Start -> Run -> and type in “cmd.exe”
In the command prompt window, type the following: “ipconfig.exe /release” followed by “ipconfig.exe /renew” You’ll get a status message that may help you pinpoint the issue.

If, when running ipconfig, as described above, you get an IP address already allocated message, it means the DHCP server is unable to assign you a new IP address. You can try logging in to your router (usually by going to http://192.168.1.1) and enabling the DHCP server (if it isn’t already), and then increasing the Maximum Number of DHCP Users.
If you’re going to set up a static IP address as described below, you’ll also want to define two static DNS addresses. Check your router’s DNS addresses for ones to use (on our Linksys WRT54G router they can be found by going to Status -> Router).

Assign a static IP address to your Computer
If your computer is set to retrieve its IP address automatically, try to give it a static IP address instead. Here’s how you do it:
• Browse to Control Panel > Network Connections
• Right-click your wireless connection and select “Properties”
TCP/IP protocol Windows | Quikteks
• Select the TCP/IP protocol, and edit its properties.
• Set your static IP address as follows:
IP: An IP address within the range assigned by your router (usually defaults to between 192.168.1.100 and 192.168.1.149) that is not taken by another device. To see which device IP’s are in use, check the DHCP clients table in your router (oftentimes the client table can be found by browsing to Status -> Local Network))
Subnet Mask: 255.255.255.0
Gateway: 192.168.1.1
DNS: Assign DNS records corresponding with the ones specified in your router’s static DNS settings (described above)

Press Save and restart your PC. See if your connection works. If not, open the command prompt window, type the following: “ipconfig.exe /release” followed by “ipconfig.exe /renew”. You’ll get a status message that may help you pinpoint the issue.

If you get an IP address already allocated message when running ipconfig, it means the DHCP server is unable to assign you a new IP address. Try logging in to your router and enabling the DHCP server (if it isn’t already), and then increasing the Maximum Number of DHCP Users.

If you’re going to set up a static IP address as described below, you’ll also want to define two static DNS addresses. Check your router’s DNS addresses for ones to use (oftentimes they can be found by going to Status -> Router).

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

Diagnose using Windows network diagnostic tool
The Windows network diagnostic tool analyzes the different components of your network connection and report any problems it finds. If it’s not installed by default, download the tool and run the program.

If you are still having difficulties, please give us a call at (973) 882-4644 or fill out our form.

My machine keeps restarting

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Pop-up ads are appearing on my desktop

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Search Engines Don’t Display Properly

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I can’t open email attachments

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Common Problem 1

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Common Problem 2

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Common Problem 3

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dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Common Problem 4

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