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Repair The Problem Yourself

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Do it yourself? Don't let these words strike fear into your nerves or wallet. Use the many resources available to diagnose and resolve the problem. At the very least, you'll be a more knowledgeable owner if you do finally have to take the equipment to a repair facility.

Begin by consulting the manufacturer's technical support.

Read Using the Manufacturer's Technical Support for more information. Don't despair if you don't find the answer from the manufacturer's information, there are many other resources available.

Next use the many online resources.

Help sites. The Internet is full of computer help sites. Some are free, some require an annual membership fee, and others charge a fee for each consultation. To find sites, you can start with a directory like Yahoo!'s Computers and Internet directory, particularly the Technical Guides and Support listing. Or you may want to use a search engine like Google—with search terms such as "pc help," "mac help," "computer tech support," and "computer troubleshooting."

Select the sites that appear most useful to your need. Many sites will also have links to other sites.

  • If you own a PC, PC911 has how-to's, tips & tweaks, reviews, and links to other sites. The one drawback to this site is the number of ads on both sides of the page.
  • If you own a Mac, a good place to start is Applelinks. This site has news, reviews, and how-tos.

Forums, newsgroups, and social media. Another online source of support is discussion groups also known as forums or newsgroups. In these you can read through the existing discussions to see if your question has already been answered. You can also join in and post your own question or answer. Many computer support sites host forums. You can also look for computer support on social media sites.

Consult a book!

Last but not least, books. There are many books written to help everyone ranging from the novice to the expert. Check out the computer section at your local bookstore or browse the shelves at one online.