Basic Troubleshooting Steps
When your computer starts to act up, you may be able to whip it into shape by implementing one or more of the following:
Restart the Computer
Restart the computer and/or peripherals (printers, scanners, cameras). Restarting clears the computer memory of stray electrical currents, bad data, etc. and may return your computer to normal functioning. If you have to restart more than once every 2 -3 days, there is probably a hardware or software conflict in your computer that needs to be resolved.
Shutdown the Computer
Shutdown the computer for 30 seconds and restart. Does the same thing as #1, but more complete.
Repeat the Error
Try to repeat the sequence of events that led to the "hang" or "lock". Write down the names of any programs that are running and the names of any documents that are open at the time the error occurs.
If a problem is predicatable and repeatable, we may be able to resolve it. Random errors and locks are nearly impossible to cure.
Record Error Messages
BEFORE you click "OK" or reboot your machine, write down COMPLETE error messages when they occur. If you will provide specific file names and hardware addresses, we can often search on the error message and find a resolution.
If the computer goes "blue screen", write down the error message. For example,
"swnfen.exe has caused an invalid page fault in module xe4dr.dll at 0147:ffcceedd"
can provide a lot of information in resolving a problem.
If the error message is in a Windows box, select "Details", and write down the complete error message. We don't need ALL of the hardware addresses, just the initial error message.
If you get several error messages, write them all down.