2 OBJECTIVE The objective of this lesson is for each student to diagnose hardware and software problems-Part 2Sample(s) of Behavior (SOBs):Describe computer preventive maintenanceDescribe the FAB 4Identify steps in troubleshootingIdentify Beep CodesDescribe the importance of antivirus and security software
3 Computer Preventive Maintenance Wouldn’t it be great if your computer was programmed to perform preventive maintenance on its own? This would automatically prevent various computer problems and increase the efficiency and life of your PC. While many computer maintenance tools have become partially automatic, it still takes your initiative to install and use these programs.Moreover, preventive maintenance not only involves deploying and using the right tools, but also adopting the correct computer practices by the user.It is also a pity that computer manufacturers do not provide a manual or step-by-step guide for PC maintenance. They simply pre-install a few tools and assume that you will use them without bothering to know whether you know how to use them or not. This article provides basic PC maintenance tips that will help you prevent some of the most common computer problems.
4 Computer Preventive Maintenance Continued Keep your hard drive clean and uncluttered:This is one of the easiest tips to follow yet you may have ignored your hard drive for a while. If you find that your computer is slow and prone to errors, the starting point is to begin by cleaning your hard disk. You simply have to make frequent use of two tools that will quietly run in the background while you go about doing your work. These are:Disk Cleanup Utility: Main function of this tool is to eliminate unwanted files from your hard diskDisk Defragmenter Utility: Main function is to organize your files to make their access fasterIt is easy to ignore these two System tools provided by your operating system but if you make optimal use of these tools, you will be able to prevent a lot of computer problems.
5 Computer Preventive Maintenance Continued 2. Perform regular Registry Cleanup:You may not be aware but an unhealthy Windows registry is one of the main reasons for computer issues and errors. The Windows registry is extensively used to store critical configuration information of your system including operating system, computer applications, and hardware as well as user settings. Since the registry deals with huge amounts of information, there are always chances of unwanted information being left behind that may lead to problems.To clean your registry, you can make use of any of the good registry cleaners available in the market. These tools not only provide registry cleaning service, but also provide registry defragmentation, registry backup and restore facilities.
6 Computer Preventive Maintenance Continued 3. Protect your PC from external threats:Since the Internet became popular, your PC has become more vulnerable to threats from the outside, which includes malicious software like virus, spyware and online criminals trying to hack into your system. You need to install the following three tools to protect your PC from external threats:Anti-Virus: To prevent viruses, worms and Trojans from attacking.Anti-Spyware: To prevent Spyware and Adware from sabotaging your PC.Firewall: To prevent unauthorized people from gaining entry into your computer.
7 Computer Preventive Maintenance Continued These days many anti-malware manufacturers offer a common software suite that carries all these products in one pack.You must install tools of reliable brands only and always have them running in real time. You must also update them frequently so that they are equipped to protect you from the latest types of malware.4. Backup, Backup, Backup:Backup your data on a portable drive and secure it. These are the most important bits on your computer and can not be replaced!Remember the FAB 41. Clean Hard Drivea. Chkdsk /f (Disk Utility)b. Defrag (Disk Utility)2. Clean Registry3. Anti-Virus / Anti-Spyware (Security Software)4. Backup, Backup, Backup
8 Troubleshooting Steps Establish symptoms (Recognize there is a problem)Identify the affected area (Verify there is a problem)Establish what has changed (Analyze / Breakdown Problem)Select the most probable cause (Identify Problem)Implement a Solution (Replace / Repair Problem)Test the result (Test Solution)Recognize potential effects of the solution.Document the solution
9 Common Troubleshooting Techniques & Strategies Here are five common-sense techniques and strategies to solve common computer hardware problems. (1) Trial-and-errorPersonal computers are highly modular by design. The most powerful trouble-shooting technique is to isolate the problem to a specific component by trial-and-error. Swap compatible components and see if the system still works. Try different peripherals on different machines and see if the same problem occurs. Make one change at a time.(2) "It's the cable, s-----." More than 70% of all computer problems are related to cabling and connections. Ensure all cables are connected firmly. IDE and floppy ribbon cables and power cables can often go loose. Ensure microprocessor, memory modules, and adapters such as video card and sound card are inserted correctly and didn't "pop-up" during transportation.
10 Common Troubleshooting Techniques & Strategies Continued (3) Don't be frustrated!Don't be afraid of computer problems. It is often the best opportunity to learn. Trouble-shooting is part of the fun of owning a computer. Imagine the satisfaction you could get by solving a problem yourself. Of course the fun could ran out quickly once you are frustrated and have spent too much time on the same problem. If you feel frustrated, it's time to leave it for a while and go back with some new ideas or call someone who can help. Rule of thumb: You shouldn't spend more than three hours on the same problem at one time. (4) Take notes! Take notes of what you have done and all the error messages. You may need to use them later. For instance, when you see an unusual blue screen with an error message, copy the entire message onto a piece of paper. In many situations, that message may point to the right direction in getting the problem solved quickly. (5) Take a look? It's OK to open a computer case and take a look inside. There is only 5V and 12V DC voltage supplied to the components outside the power supply. Those who have never seen the inside of a computer are often amazed by how simple it looks. Of course, still always power down and unplug the power cord first.
11 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE One of the biggest fears among new computer users is being infected by a computer virus or programs designed to destroy their personal data. Viruses are malicious software programs that have been designed by other computer users to cause destruction and havoc on a computer and spread themselves to other computers where they can repeat the process.Once the virus is made, it is often distributed through shareware, pirated software, , P2P programs, or other programs where users share data.
12 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued A computer virus is a software program that was first written Rich Skrenta in 1982 who was a 15-year old high school student. Known as The Elk Cloner this virus spread to other computers by monitoring the floppy drive and copying itself to any floppy diskette that was inserted into the computer. Once a floppy diskette became infected it would infect all other computers that disk was inserted into, each computer that was infected would then infect every floppy diskettes inserted into it. A computer that was infected would also display a short poem on every 50th boot.Computer users can help protect themselves against computer viruses, malware, and other computer security threats by installing an antivirus protection program.
13 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued In the past the majority of computer viruses were contracted from users sharing data using floppy diskettes. However, with the increased popularity of the Internet most computer viruses are contracted today through and by downloading software over the Internet or P2P sharing or file sharing.Below is a listing of some of the different properties a computer virus is capable of having and what the particular property is capable of doing. Keep in mind that not all viruses will have every one of these abilities.Your computer can be infected even if files are just copied. Because some viruses are memory resident, as soon as a diskette or program is loaded into memory, the virus then attaches itself into memory and then is capable of infecting any file on the computer you have access to.
14 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Can be Polymorphic. Some viruses have the capability of modifying their code, which means one virus could have various amounts of similar variants. This is also true with viruses that change the subject or body of the message to help from being detected.Can be memory or non-memory resident. As mentioned earlier a virus is capable of being either memory resident where the virus first loads into memory and then infects a computer or non-memory resident where the virus code is only executed each time a file is opened.Can be a stealth virus. Stealth viruses will first attach itself to files on the computer and then attack the computer; this causes the virus to spread more rapidly.Viruses can carry other viruses. Because viruses are only software programs a virus may also carry other viruses making the virus more lethal and help the primary virus hide or assist the primary virus with infecting a particular section of the computer.Can make the system never show outward signs. Some viruses can hide changes made, such as when a file was last modified making the virus more difficult to detect.Can stay on the computer even if the computer is formatted. Some Viruses have the capability of infecting different portions of the computer such as the CMOS battery or master boot record. Finally, if a computer is completely erased and the virus is on a backup disk it can easily re-infect the computer.
15 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Viruses can affect any files; however, usually attack .com, .exe, .sys, .bin, .pif or any data files - Viruses have the capability of infecting any file; however, will generally infect executable files or data files, such as word or excel documents that are opened frequently and allow the virus to try infecting other files more often.Increase the files size - When infecting files, virtues will generally increase the size of the file; however, with more sophisticated viruses these changes can be hidden.It can delete files as the file is run - Because most files are loaded into memory, once the program is in memory the virus can delete the file used to execute the virus.It can corrupt files randomly - Some destructive viruses are not designed to destroy random data but instead randomly delete or corrupt files.It can cause write protect errors when executing .exe files from a write protected disk - Viruses may need to write themselves to files that are executed; because of this, if a diskette is write protected, you may receive a write protection error.It can convert .exe files to .com files - Viruses may use a separate file to run the program and rename the original file to another extension so the exe is run before the com.It can reboot the computer when executed - Numerous computer viruses have been designed to cause a computer to reboot, freeze, or perform other tasks not normally exhibited by the computer.
16 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Below are different issues you may experience when you are infected with a virus. Keep in mind that you also may be experiencing any of the below issues by another computer related issue and not a virus.Deleted files.Various messages in files or on programs.Changes volume label.Marks clusters as bad in the FAT.Randomly overwrites sectors on the hard disk.Replaces the MBR with own code.Create more than one partition.Attempts to access the hard disk drive, which can result in error messages such as: Invalid drive specification.Causes cross-linked files.Causes a "sector not found" error.Cause the system to run slow.Logical partitions created, partitions decrease in size.A directory may be displayed as garbage.Directory order may be modified so files, such as COM files, will start at the beginning of the directory.
17 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Cause Hardware problems such as keyboard keys not working, printer issues, modem issues etc.Disable ports such as LPT or COM ports.Caused keyboard keys to be remapped.Alter the system time / date.Cause system to hang or freeze randomly.Cause activity on HDD or FDD randomly.Increase file size.Increase or decrease memory size.Randomly change file or memory size.Extended boot times.Increase disk access times.Cause computer to make strange noises, make music, clicking noises or beeps.Display pictures randomly.Different and/or undocumented types of error messages.
18 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued The recommended method of detecting and cleaning the computer from any computer viruses or other malware is an antivirus protection program.
19 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued On the next slide is a complete list, in alphabetical order, of companies who provide antivirus programs and the platforms they provide protection for. Clicking on the company link will take you to information about that company, including their web page. You can also purchase many of the below virus protection programs through our products page.
21 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Below is a listing of different review sites we suggest looking at to know what may be best antivirus program for you. We suggest these review pages since they're updated frequently and run through a complete test with each program. Click on Link or ReportReport Click on Report
22 IMPORTANCE OF VIRUS AND SECURITY SOFTWARE Continued Below are come comments we've come across that are common misconceptions when it comes to computer viruses and other malware."If I download a file onto a disk, I don't have to worry about a viruses." - This is not true, just because you've placed a file on a diskette or moved a file from a diskette to your hard drive does not mean that your computer cannot be infected. Many viruses are memory resident and capable of loading themselves into memory once a diskette is placed in the computer."If I buy sealed software I don't have to worry about viruses." or "If I just buy registered software I don't have to worry about viruses." - This is not always true, just because the program may be surrounded in plastic doesn't mean that it cannot be infected with a virus. When a software program is saved onto a diskette or disc if that computer or program is infected the virus will attach itself. Although this issue very rarely occurs it is still a possibility."If I don't download anything off of the Internet I don't have to worry about viruses." - This is definitely not true. Although most companies and web sites will scan the files for viruses before they make them available to download some may not. In addition many people create a site or a file to download with the intention of spreading a virus, spyware, Trojan horses, or other malware."If I just read my , I will not have to worry about viruses." - Not true; there are viruses out there that are distributed through ; also, files can be attached with and if executed can infect the computer. Today this is one of the most common ways computer viruses spread around the world."If I don't get on the Internet I don't have to worry about viruses." - This, unfortunately, is not the case. Although many viruses are spread over the Internet today it is still possible to contract a computer virus form any diskette or disc you put in the computer."You can contract viruses from just looking at web pages." - Not true. However, you can contract a virus if you download and execute a file from that web page. In addition spyware and other scripts can be executed from just viewing a web page. Although these programs are not designed to delete files on your computer they should be considered a privacy violation.
23 COMPUTER POST / BEEP CODES The computer power-on self-test (POST) tests the computer to make sure it meets the necessary system requirements and that all hardware is working properly before starting the remainder of the boot process. If the computer passes the POST the computer will have a single beep (with some computer BIOS manufacturers it may beep twice) as the computer starts and the computer will continue to start normally. However, if the computer fails the POST, the computer will either not beep at all or will generate a beep code, which tells the user the source of the problem.For more on beep codes, please visit the following website:
24 Summary Computer Preventive Maintenance Troubleshooting Steps Common Troubleshooting Techniques & StrategiesImportance of Virus and Security SoftwareComputer Post / Beep Codes
25 Computer Supporting Sites Computer Help and Support SiteComputer Help and Support for Drivers, Firmware and SoftwareBuying a Computer TipsComputer Software Questions and AnswersBasic computer troubleshooting