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    How To repair a PC 3/3/2004  
It's bound to happen sooner or later: you turn on the old computer,
and something that was working fine before is no longer working at
all, or is having weird problems. Whether it's your modem, your
sound card, a scanner, or some other device in or connected to your
PC, there are a few things that you can do to get it working again.

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  Resolving Device Conflicts

To find out exactly how you should go about troubleshooting your
computer, choose which one of the following scenarios describes your
situation:

1- I just installed this device. This is the first time I've ever
  had this kind of device in my computer.
2- I just installed this device to replace an old device of the same
  kind.
3- I haven't changed anything. This device just stopped working.
Regardless of which situation describes you, ask yourself a few key
questions:

-Did I install the driver for this device?

Almost all new hardware will require you to install a "device
driver". A device driver is a program that tells Windows how
to control, or "drive" the device.

-After installing the device, did I check for conflicts in the
Device Manager?
Just because Windows appeared to install the device just fine,
doesn't necessarily mean that it's not conflicting (that is,
getting in the way of) another device in your computer.

If you have not installed the driver, do that first. Your hardware
Should have come with a How-To guide (sometimes called Getting
Started) that will explain how to install the driver. If it did not,
or if you no longer have the manual, see 'Scenario [3]' for
instructions on how to reinstall the driver.

If you have installed the driver, but don't know how to check for
conflicts, see the section further down entitled "Resolving Device
Conflicts."
Scenario -1:

I just installed this device. This is the first time I've ever
had this kind of device in my computer.

After having installed the driver and checked for conflicts with
other devices, if your device still is not working properly, there
are two things you can do:
-1- Go to the manufacturer's website (which is usually shown in the
device's documentation), and download the latest driver for the
device. You will usually find driver updates in a section of
the website called "Support" if there is not a specific section
on the main page for downloading new drivers.

-2- After having installed that latest driver, if the device still
does not work, try installing the device in a friend's computer.
If it does not work in another computer, either, you might have
gotten a bad device. This does happen. We occasionally receive
equipment here that was tested before it left from the vendor,
but may have been damaged during shipping. Hopefully you kept
the receipt and can return the item.

Scenario -2:

I installed this device to replace an old device of the same
kind.

After having installed the driver and checked for conflicts with
other devices, if your device still is not working properly, ask
yourself the following two questions:

[1] Did I remove/disable the old device before I installed the new
one?

When installing a new modem, for example, it is always a good idea
to remove the old one, especially you are working with an old
computer, because the old modem may not be Plug-N-Play, and so that
could cause trouble.

[2] Did I remove the old device driver before installing the new one?

Even if you took the old device out of the computer, or unplugged it
from the computer, you may still need to remove the drive for the
old device to avoid hidden conflicts. Do the following:
- Right-click on 'My Computer' on your desktop and choose
'Properties'.
- A window will appear that says 'System Properties.' Click on
the tab at the top of the window that says 'Device Manager.'
- Double-click on the type of device that is giving you problems
(i.e., if you installed a new modem, double-click on the
'Modem' icon, if it's a sound card, double-click on the
'Sound, video and game controllers' icon.)
- Single-click on the driver for the OLD device, and then click
the button that says 'Remove'.
- Restart your computer.

If that does not solve your problem, follow the two steps outlined
under 'Scenario [1]' above, downloading and installing the latest
driver from the manufacturer and trying the device in another
computer.

Scenario -3:

I haven't changed anything: the device just stopped working.
After having installed the driver and checked for conflicts with
other devices, if your device still is not working properly, you
will want to remove the driver (see 'Scenario [2]' above for detailed
instructions on how to remove the driver), and then reinstall the
driver from off of the diskette or CD that came with the device.

DO NOT LET WINDOWS JUST FIND AND INSTALL ITS OWN COPY OF THE DRIVER.

If, after rebooting the computer, Windows "finds" your new hardware
and installs the driver for it (which you don't want it to do in
case there is something wrong with the driver), do the following:
If your device came with a CD-ROM, put the CD-ROM in the CD-ROM drive
and wait for a few seconds to see if a menu will pop-up. A menu
should pop up because Windows has what is called an 'Autorun' feature
that will automatically run the program on the CD (or play a music
CD) once you put it in the drive. When the menu appears, see if
there is an option to install the driver. If you cannot find one, or
if the device came with a floppy diskette, do the following:

- Right-click on 'My Computer' on your desktop and choose
'Properties'.
- A window will appear that says 'System Properties.' Click on
the tab at the top of the window that says 'Device Manager.'
- Double-click on the type of device that is giving you problems
(i.e., if you installed a new modem, double-click on the
'Modem' icon, if it's a sound card, double-click on the
'Sound, video and game controllers' icon.)
- Single-click on the driver for the OLD device, and then click
the button that says 'Properties'.
- A window will appear that has the name of the device on it.
Click on the 'Driver' tab at the top of the window, and then
click on the 'Update Driver' button.
- The 'Update Device Driver' wizard will appear. Click 'Next'.
- Make sure 'Search for a better driver' is selected, and then
click 'Next' again.
- If your device came with a floppy diskette, click the box next
to 'Floppy Disk drives' so that there is a check-mark in it.
If your device came on a CD-ROM, click the box next to 'CD-ROM
drives' so that there is a check-mark in it. If it is located
somewhere else, click the box next to 'Specify a Location' and
type in the path to the driver.
- Be sure that you have the diskette or CD-ROM in the drive
before clicking 'Next' again.
- If there is more than one driver on the diskette or CD-ROM,
Windows will ask you to choose which one you want to install.
Select the one that you need (it will usually match the name
on the box for the device) and then click 'Next'. If you are
not given a list, but Windows tells you that it is ready to
install the device, then click 'Next'.
- Windows will now install your device. You will probably have
to restart the computer after it is done.

Check now reinstalled device for conflicts.



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