The following are tips to help you
solve a problem before calling a Computer Services Technician for
assistance. Please choose a item number that relates best to your
Please see these specific
Floppy Disk Problems
Internet and Browser Problems
Installing and Uninstalling
Your screen locks up or freezes.
Step 1: Simultaneously press the CTRL, ALT & Delete
buttons on your keyboard.
Step 2: Click on End Task when a new screen option comes up.
Step 3: Click on End Task a second time, if necessary.
Your CD-ROM won't play or volume is too low.
Step 1: Single click the little speaker icon in the bottom right corner of
your screen (known as the "system tray").
Step 2: Increase the volume level by holding down your left mouse button
and sliding the volume level up.
Step 3: Increase the volume level on your computer through the speaker
Step 4: Double-click on the little speaker icon in the bottom right corner
of your screen.
Step 5: Make sure that none of the Mute boxes (such as Master or Compact
Disc) have a check in them.
You cannot print to your printer.
Step 1: Make sure your printer power or green light is on.>
Step 2: Make sure that paper is in the printer.
Step 3: See that there is not a paper jam. If there is, open the front of
the printer and carefully guide the paper through. Then close the printer
lid and try printing again.
Step 4: Double-click on My Computer. Then double-click on
Step 5: Double-click on Printers
Step 6: Right-click on the printer that you want to print to.
Step 7: Choose "Set As Default", close Control Panel windows and then try
Step 8: Make sure that the paper is pushed as far as it will go into the
You cannot stop printing pages.
Step 1: Double-click on My Computer.
Step 2: Double-click on Control Panel.
Step 3: Double-click on Printers.
Step 4: Double-click on the icon of the printer you are using.
Step 5: Go to the File menu, pull it down and choose "Purge Print
Documents" or “cancel all documents”
While typing a Word document, you receive the error message
"You have performed an illegal operation" and your document has to be shut
down. To see if the document can still be recovered:
Step 1: Double-click on My Computer.
Step 2: Double-click on "C" drive.
Step 3: Double-click on the Windows folder.
Step 4: Double-click on Temp folder.
Step 5: Search for the name of the document you were working on.
Step 6: Right-click on that document (if you find it) and choose "Send
Step 7: Send To a floppy disk or to your desktop (where you can find it
Step 8: Double-click on the document to open it.
Your floppy disk is "not formatted".
Step 1: Once in "My Computer", right-click once on 3 1/2" Floppy [A:]
Step 2: Choose Format.
Step 3: Under Capacity, choose 1.44 MB if you have an HD disk, and
choose 720 KB if you have a DD disk.
Step 4: Under Format type, choose Full.
Step 5: Click the Start button.
Step 6: When the disk is done formatting, click Close.
When starting your computer,
you see the error
message: "Invalid system disk. Replace the disk, and then press any
Step 1: Check your floppy disk drive.
Step 2: If there is a floppy disk still in the drive, remove it.
Step 3: Press any key to continue.
Step 4: You may need to power off and restart, or press the reset button
on the front of your computer.
Your computer goes into Safe Mode or it starts up in Safe Mode.
Step 1: Click OK and bring up your system in Safe Mode.
Step 2: Click Start, Shut down, Restart.
Step 3: It should come up in its normal mode.
If there is a list of numbered options, choose option #1 (Normal Mode).
Your monitor says "Check Signal Cable."
Step 1: Check to make sure your computer is on and that the power
button is pushed all the way in and not stuck.
Step 2: Check the monitor cable to see if it is plugged into the back of
You have no sound
coming out of your computer.
Depending on the type of computer you have--
For Dell Optiplex computers:
Step 1: See that one end of the speaker cord is plugged into the back of
Step 2: See that the other end of the speaker cord is plugged into the
back of the computer to the green port labeled "Speaker Line".
If these steps do not improve the problem, other options include:
Step 1: Click on the speaker icon in the bottom right corner of your
screen. See that the volume is turned up at least halfway. If it isn't,
then slide it up.
Step 2: If you have speakers connected to your monitor, either turn on the
Power button on the back of the speaker, or turn up the volume on the left
side of your monitor.
You cannot connect to the Internet.
Step 1: Make sure that the blue or gray Ethernet cable (which looks like a
fat phone cable) is tightly plugged into the back of your computer, and is
also plugged into the wall jack.
Step 2: Make sure that if your computer is at school, that it is plugged
into a Network jack and not simply a phone jack. Network jacks are often
orange or tan, while phone jacks are normally white. If it says Line
on the jack, it is for telephone only.
Step 3: If your Ethernet cable was not connected properly, after any
changes you make, restart your computer.
You tried to make a program shortcut on your desktop,
but the shortcut was put into the Program Menu instead. Now there are two
icons for the same program and no desktop shortcut.
Step 1: Go back to Start, Programs and find the program that you
Step 2: Right-click on the duplicated program that has the number 2
next to it.
Step 3: Choose Delete (to remove it from the program menu). Only
remove the one that has the number "2" next to it.
Step 4: To make a shortcut to your desktop, go back to Start, Programs
and find the program again.
Step 5: Right-click on the program you want (ex. Microsoft Word or Excel)
and click ‘copy’.
Step 6: Click on the desktop and find where you want to place the
shortcut. Position your mouse cursor in that area of the desktop.
Step 7: Right-click and choose Paste.
Your computer is running very slowly.
It usually runs programs much faster than this. What can you do to speed
Step 1: Close and save any programs you are currently running.
Step 2: Restart your computer by clicking Start, Shut Down, Restart. By
doing this, your computer will often solve many of its own problems as it
restarts its memory and processor.
You want to remove
(uninstall) a particular program from your computer and want to know
the least dangerous way to do it.
Step 1: Go to My Computer and double-click.
Step 2: Double-click on the Control Panel folder.
Step 3: Double-click on Add/Remove Programs.
Step 4: Find and click on the program that you want to remove.
Step 5: Click on the Add/Remove button.
Step 6: When you see the "Are You Sure You Want to Remove…" message,
Make sure that you do not remove any shared files.
An hourglass has been on the screen for a long time
and nothing is happening.
How do I get rid of it?
Step 1: Simultaneously press the following keys on your keyboard: Ctrl,
Alt & Delete.
Step 2: Wait a few seconds.
Step 3: Then choose "End Task".
Step 4: You may see this come up again. If it does, click "End Task"
You are about to download a program
and you get two options: "Save this program to disk" or "Run this program
from its current location." Which should you choose?
Step 1: For most program downloads, it is practical to choose "Save
this program to disk." You will then be prompted to choose a location to
store the installation file. This installation file may have a long
abstract file name. So you need to store it in a place where it is easy to
find. The best place is your desktop. So choose Desktop from the
choices in the Save in: box.
Step 2: After saving the installation file to your Desktop, you need to
run it in order to actually install the program to your computer.
So, double-click this file and it will automatically display a (normally
blue) Setup Wizard on your screen.
Step 3: Most of the choices will require you to "Accept" a license
agreement and click "Next", just like any other program
installation. After you do this, you will eventually choose Finish,
and then Restart your computer before running the program for the
Step 4: When your computer has restarted and your desktop screen is back
up, click Start, Programs, and then find the program you just installed
(from the list of Programs) and click on it. This should begin your new
The E-mail message you just sent has been returned to you with an error
message, such as:
"Undeliverable Message", "Mailer Daemon", or "Message Could Not Be
Step 1: Near the top of the returned message should be the address you
typed into the To: box when you sent the message. Look closely to
see if there is a comma in the address instead of a period (dot).
Step 2: After close inspection, if you discover that you have made a
mistake in the address, simply click NEW and retype a new address with the
proper corrections made, such as a different spelling, different
punctuation, etc. And then either retype your letter or highlight
your message and go to Edit, Copy, and in the New Message with the
correct address, click Edit, Paste to paste the old message into
the message box of your new message.
Returned E-mail is almost always related to a mistaken or mistyped
reasons for returned E-mail are as follows:
The user may not be in the School District's E-mail system (such as a
substitute or newly-hired teacher)
There was a space in the e-mail address
Punctuation was used, such as ; : / , \
One or more of your toolbars has disappeared.
In WORD, EXCEL or POWERPOINT:
Step 1: Click on View at the top of your screen.
Step 2: Choose Toolbars.
Step 3: Make sure that Standard, Formatting and Drawing all
have check marks next to them. If they don't, then click on any these, and
this will add them to your screen.
*In Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator, click View
and choose either
(in Explorer) or Show (in Netscape), and then choose
Buttons, Address Bar
and Links. This should add the appropriate toolbars.
Step 4: A shortcut that allows you to do the same as above is to hover
pointer over the menu bar and right-click. This will bring up the Toolbar
click on the type of toolbar you want.
When using Microsoft Word 2000,
you have somehow gotten
into Overwrite mode instead of Insert mode, and the
words you type are deleting other words when you try to insert. How do you
get back into Insert mode?
Step 1: Look at the Status Bar toward the bottom of your screen, and see
if OVR is lit up. If it is, move on to step 2.
Step 2: On your keyboard, pressing the Insert button will take you
back and forth between Insert and Overwrite.
Your screen has frozen or
locked up, and pressing Ctrl, Alt
has not shut down the computer. What is the next step? Should you
Step 1: A much better alternative to unplugging your computer is to
press the Reset button on the base of your computer. It's the little
button next to the Power button on most Dell models. However, if you have
a Hewlett Packard computer, you might not have a Reset button. In this
case, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Simultaneously press and hold down the Alt and F4
keys on your keyboard.
Step 3: If neither of the first two steps allows you to shut down your
Step 4: Press in the Power button on the front of your computer. You may
have to hold the button in for five seconds before it actually shuts off.
Step 5: Wait 10 seconds and press the Power button in again to turn it
back on. Let it go through Scan Disk until your normal desktop comes back
screen has frozen or locked up, and pressing Ctrl, Alt
has not shut down the computer. What is the next step? Should you
Step 1: A much better
alternative to unplugging your computer is to press the Reset button
on the base of your computer. It's the little button next to the Power
button on most Dell models. However, if you have a Hewlett Packard
computer, you might not have a Reset button. In this case, go to Step 2.
Step 2: Simultaneously press
and hold down the Alt and F4 keys on your keyboard.
Step 3: If neither of the
first two steps allows you to shut down your computer…
Step 4: Press in the Power
button on the front of your computer. You may have to hold the button in
for five seconds before it actually shuts off.
Step 5: Wait 10 seconds and
press the Power button in again to turn it back on. Let it go through Scan
Disk until your normal desktop comes back on.