Axia College Material Appendix B Troubleshooting Computer Hardware In this worksheet, you must identify solutions for three separate computer hardware problems. For each solution, you must prepare an answer of at least 150 words within each of the following Answer boxes. Part One: Troubleshooting a Failed Boot |Problem | |The computer fails to boot. | |Details | |Error messages and beeps occur during Power On Self Test (POST) startup.
Note: You have not recently upgraded the memory. | |Question | |What are four possible sources for the error messages, and how do you troubleshoot them? | |Hint: You may look at Figure 3-45 in A+ Guide to Managing & Maintaining Your PC. | |Answer | |Four possible problems that could be indicated by error messages and beeps on POST include a dead CMOS battery, hard drive failure,| |video card problem or memory failure.
These problems are also listed in the order of the easiest to the most difficult to fix. | | | |CMOS Battery – Power on the computer and press the required key (such as F2) that is required to enter the BIOS program. Upon | |entering the BIOS make a note of the settings, especially the date and time. If they are set at some point in the past it’s likely| |that the battery could be dead. Also, set the time, turn the PC off, and then reboot. If the time has reset then the battery is | |likely dead and should be replaced. | | |Hard drive failure – If upon boot the screen indicates a message such as No Operating System found it’s likely the hard drive has a| |problem or is not being recognized. Check the BIOS to see if the correct drive type is listed. If not it’s likely the hard drive | |has a problem and a diagnostic tool provided by the manufacturer would be the best solution. | | | |Video card failures – If the computer has no video output check the connections and try the video card in another slot if possible. |You can also try removing and reinserting the card to see if the machine will recognize it. | | | |Memory Error – Typically a series of beeps can indicate a problem here or some type of error message relating to a failure to read | |at a particular address. You can try removing the memory modules one or two at a time depending on the configuration and try | |booting with the memory in a different slot or without part of the memory to try and deduce which memory module may have failed. | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Part Two: Troubleshooting Memory |Problem | |Error messages indicate a problem with memory. | |Symptom | |Recurring error messages about illegal operations and/or general protection faults appear during normal operation. Note: You have | |not recently upgraded the memory. | |Question | |How might memory be the cause of this problem? How would you go about testing the memory? |If you use a testing utility and determine that memory is not the problem, what are three other things you would suspect to be the | |source of the problem? Describe what you would do to eliminate each possible source. | |Answer | |If there is a problem with the memory it’s likely only at a certain location within the memory module itself and not the entire | |module. Since information is randomly written t different addresses in memory the computer may not always indicate an error | |message. Truly random error messages indicating a problem with illegal operations would likely be a good indicator of the problem | |if no other symptoms exist. | | |There are many tools available for testing memory. These tools will attempt to read/write to all locations on the memory chip to | |find out if any particular address in the memory chip is failing. Another possible way to troubleshoot would be to try the memory | |in a different computer. | | | |If a memory test concludes that there is not a problem with the memory then likely causes could be the memory in the video card, a | |bad program instruction from a particular program or a problem with the OS installation.
If the memory is not the problem then | |additional troubleshooting is required including finding out if the problem only occurs in a certain program. It could be an OS | |issue if it’s when the computer is booted or shut down. Troubleshooting a video card problem may be more difficult and a different| |video card could be tried | Part Three: Troubleshooting a Hard Drive problem |Problem | |The computer shuts down immediately after startup. |Symptom | |When you turn on the computer, the lights on the front panel light up and you hear the fan spin for a moment, but then it shuts down | |immediately. You have urgent data on the hard drive that is not backed up. | |Question | |What is the quickest and easiest way to solve the most urgent problem, which is recovering data from your hard drive? List the major | |steps you must complete to recover data. | |Answer | |The first step would be to attempt to boot the computer using a boot disk that contains core operating system files and then running | |a scan of the hard drive to find out where the errors exist.
Sometimes these errors can be fixed or the offending location can be | |erased to prevent the problem. Each of these steps involves risk and if this is for a consumer they should be informed of the risk. | |If a scan of the disk finds the issue and is repaired the computer should be booted and the information backed up immediately. | | | |Another option would be to put the hard drive in another computer as the non-OS drive and attempt to access it from a working OS. | |This may provide the opportunity to retrieve the critical data by directly copying it to the other hard drive or other storage media. | | |If both of the above attempts are not successful then there are programs that attempt to recover data from the hard drive. A boot | |disk should be used or the drive should be placed into another computer. A recovery tools can scan the entire contents of the drive | |and may be able to recover all or at least some of the files if they are not damaged. If the information is highly critical it can | |be sent to a data recovery professional in order to have the data extracted. While this is not always successful depending on the | |type of failure it’s at least necessary to try and recover the data if possible. |