If you feel that fixing your computer problem — either simple or complicated, is not your cup of tea, you still need to figure out exactly what your problem is and how to communicate that problem to whichever computer repair professional you have decided to get help from.

Or maybe you have more guts and decided to fix the problem yourself but still need some guide along the way. Simply saying “My computer isn’t working” isn’t good enough and won’t help the repair technician in diagnosing the problem at all.

So here are some simple steps that you can follow to ensure that the person you’re paying to fix your computer, the person you’re asking nicely to help you for free, will clearly understand what the actual problem is:

Be Prepared

Before you post for help on social media sites or tech support forums, or start unhooking your computer so you can get service on it, make sure that you’re prepared to explain your computer problem clearly. This is important because the repair person will be able to easily pinpoint the source of the problem, which means you’ll spend less time and/or money in getting your computer fixed.

The exact information you should be ready with will vary depending on your problem, but here are several things you need to keep in mind:

    • If you are getting an error message, what is the exact error message on your screen?
    • If you aren’t getting any error messages, what is the computer exactly doing?
    • When did the issue start happening? Is it after you installed a program or updated the drivers of one of your hardware?
    • Did anything else happened at the same time the problem started like blue screen of death, smoke coming from the computer, virus warning, etc.?
    • What are the things you have already tried?
    • Has the problem changed since it first started happening (computer shuts off more frequently, error message appears at a different time now, etc.)?

It’s best to write down your answers to these questions so that you’ll be able to answer them quickly when the repair tech asks you.

Be Specific

You may be well aware of the trouble your computer has been having but your computer repair guy is not. You need to tell the whole story from the time your computer started malfunctioning to the present situation, giving as much detail as you possibly can.

For example, saying “My computer just quit working” doesn’t help anything at all. There are tons of ways a computer “might not be working” and the ways to fix those problems can vary tremendously. It is always recommended stepping through, in great detail, the process that produces the problem.

Also important with most problems, at least when getting help online or over the phone, is to let the expert talking to you know the make and model of your computer as well as what operating system it is currently running.

Be Clear

As always, communication is always the key to properly describing your PC issue to a computer repair professional. The entire reason for your post, visit, or phone call is to communicate to the person helping you what the problem is so he or she can properly fix or help you fix the problem.

If you’re getting help online, be sure to re-read what you have typed to observe clarity, avoid using ALL CAPS, and saying “thank you” goes a long way considering the help you are getting is for free.

When you’re getting help in person, observe proper basic communication: speak slowly, enunciate properly, and of course, be nice! If you’re describing the problem over the phone, be sure you’re calling from a quiet area. A barking dog or a screaming child is unlikely to help anyone understand your problem more clearly.

Be Calm

In reality, no one likes computer problems. Even tech professionals tend to hate them at one point, even if it is his or her job. Therefore, getting emotional will not solve anything. Try to keep in mind that the person you’re talking to didn’t design the hardware or program the software that’s giving you problems. The computer repair expert you’re asking help from simply knows about these things — he or she is not responsible for them.

Even more importantly, always try to keep nice and be thankful with whatever support they offer you. These folks help other people simply because they are knowledgeable in this particular field and are happy to share it with others. Being rude or getting frustrated with them won’t help you achieve your goal of getting your computer fixed, and most of all, you might won’t get any help in the future.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, January 7, 2016 at 6:32:47 AM and is filed under Mixellaneous.

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