10 Common Tech Support Issues
- 11th October 2016
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Technology
Working in tech support can be frustrating at times, especially when offering support to users with a limited knowledge of IT. What may be utterly confusing to them may seem like a simple and obvious fix to someone who is a little more tech savvy. But it is important to remember that their role in the organisation is considered to be an important one and getting them up and running should be top priority, no matter how simple or how complicated the fix may be.
Below we will take a look at some of the more common tech support issues and what their most common causes are. It may also be a good idea to educate the users in your organisation about these common issues if for no other reason, to help them feel more comfortable with their systems.
1. Blue screen of death
Before we delve into the various issues that users commonly encounter, be sure that all users know that there is a very easy way to solve some of the smaller issues, including the BSOD. Simply switching their computer off for a few seconds and then on again will often solve many of the problems that are regularly the cause of complaint. Although this may not always be the correct long term solution, it should however help the user get back on to working in the short term. It seems like common sense to someone that is familiar with troubleshooting, but may not occur to someone that is a casual user.
2. My computer is slow
Working on a slow computer is extremely frustrating when trying to get your work done, especially when you are working according to a deadline. There are, however, multiple reasons why your system may be slower than usual. The usual culprit is an overload of open windows or tabs. Having too many of these open will cause your computer to attempt too many tasks at the same time, causing it to slow down considerably.
Windows System Configuration Tool
A more serious cause could be that the system is infected with malware. This could obviously be a severe problem and needs to be addressed very quickly by an IT professional who will check the system for any viruses that may be present and deal with them in the appropriate manner.
Using Microsoft’s System Configuration tool, check to see which programs are set to start as soon as you boot up your system. You can access this feature by pressing (Windows-R) and typing msconfig and Enter. Click on the startup tab to see which programs start automatically. If too many programs are being automatically opened upon startup, your computer’s speed will be negatively affected.
3. I keep losing my wireless connection
There can be a number of reasons that may cause you to be unexpectedly disconnected from your Wi-Fi connection. The most common reason is that the router has been overloaded and needs to be reset. First, ensure that the router is securely connected. Once that has been done, connect to the router and modem once again and then to the internet. If the problem persists, it is best to contact the ISP (Internet Service Provider) to ask for additional assistance.
4. I can’t log in
If you are having trouble logging onto your computer, the problem may be as simple as a misspelt password, accidentally having Caps Lock on or simply entering the wrong password. Another solution is to check whether your account has been suspended, whatever the reason may be. Failing all of the above, you will need to contact an administrator to ensure that you are logged back on to your system.
5. My E-mail attachment doesn’t open
If you have downloaded an attachment from your e-mail account, but cannot open the file, it is most likely because the necessary software has not been installed on your computer or the file has not been associated to the software. Focus on the file extension which can be found after the period in the file name. This will give you a hint as to the software that you need to open the file. By double-clicking on the file, you will be able to search your computer and online for the software that is missing.
Windows File Association Tool
6. Problem with this website’s security certificate
This is a very common issue which can usually be sorted out fairly quickly. If you encounter a window stating “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate”, the likely cause is that your system’s clock is incorrect. This can be caused by a run-down CMOS battery, which runs the clock on your system. Have the battery replaced and set the correct time and date on your system.
7. I can’t print
This issue may also be caused by multiple factors. Start with the obvious – is the printer plugged in and switched on? Is there enough paper in the tray? Has the toner or ink run out? Failing all of these fixes, check the print queue to see if there are any outstanding print jobs and the status of each job and your printer. Also ensure that the “Use Printer Offline” is unchecked.
Checking the printer queue
8. My system keeps restarting
Run through the following list of possible fixes if you are encountering a system that keeps restarting:
- Check to see if Windows is installing updates. These can often cause your system to restart.
- Ensure that your system drivers, such as your graphics card, motherboard etc. are up to date.
- Give your system a thorough clean, or have an IT professional clean it in order to ensure that it is free of dust and debris.
- Make sure that your computer’s fan is working. A malfunctioning fan can cause your system to overheat and shut down.
- Run your antivirus program to check for any viruses that may be causing the problem.
9. My USB device is not working
If your USB device is not showing up when it is inserted, try inserting it into a different USB port. If that has not worked, insert a different USB device and check if it shows up. You can also try inserting your USB device into a different computer to see if it will show up on another system.
10. The internet is very slow
Slow internet speeds can be caused by a virus, or by spyware. These are usually contracted from visiting websites that are untrusted and can cause serious damage to your system. Ensure that you have effective anti-virus software installed. This will usually warn you when a site is untrusted, or when viruses or spyware have made their way onto your computer.
Checking broadband speed with the Ookla Tool
If you have an interest in gaining a certification and starting a career in tech support, these are issues that you will encounter on a regular basis. Following the steps above will usually help users sort out some of the problems that they encounter, however, there are issues that can only be addressed by a qualified professional.