1. Restart your computer.
You may think this is a little silly, but there are a lot of people out there who never EVER turn off their computers. I know because my dear mother is one of them. It just doesn't occur to them. You wouldn't leave your car on overnight idling would you? So why do the same to your computer? Many times problems can go away simply by restarting your computer so the system can un-gum all its pathways and start fresh.
2. Make sure your computer is on.
This might seem like a joke, but I've known enough tech support personnel to learn that it isn't, often monitors can get unplugged randomly so it's always a good idea to make sure everything is connected.
3. Make sure EVERYTHING is connected.
Your computer has wires. Lots of wires. Power wires, internet cables, USB plugs, mouse and keyboard connections... and quite often more. It's so easy to nudge something and a connection to come loose. Make sure everything is where it should be and in the right plug, and you'll avoid lots of headaches. My other articles will go into a little more depth on what to do for more specific problems.
4. Check for manufacturer's warranty because repairs are often covered.
Especially if you've bought your computer within the last 6 months to a year, repair will be covered on your warranty for unexpected glitches. Then it's just a matter of putting it into a box and letting FedEx take care of the rest, because good manufacturers will take care of all those costs too.
5. Backup your data if you can.
These days more and more people are storing very sensitive information on their computers. Even at a repair shop, things can go wrong and your information can be lost. It is an EXTREMELY good idea to backup your important files whether by burning them to CD or DVD, or transferring them to an external memory drive. External Hard Drives are excellent for this, and they're getting cheaper all the time. They plug into a USB port, and you can store all your information on these so if your computer goes out you won't have to worry about anything going wrong and losing your information.
6. Delete anything you wouldn't want someone else to see
This is similar to point number 6. Don't blindly trust strangers with your information. If you have anything on your computer that anyone could use against you, make sure it isn't there when you take it in by backing it up somewhere else and deleting it from your computer until it's fixed.
7. Organize any system info you have, papers ect.
When you first buy your computer it comes with a lot of things. Warranty papers, system info, driver CD's, stickers with model numbers ect. If you can have all of this stuff handy when you take it to your repair guy, it will make your life, and his, a LOT easier, and the time he doesn't spend figuring out that information without the papers, is money that's not coming out of your pocket.
8. Check this website!
There are lots of useful tidbits in the articles on our site (see resource box), and more are being added as they're thought of. If it can solve even a tiny problem for you, then your life is that much easier and I can be content with the knowledge that I've made someone's life a little bit better.
9. If you know of anyone more tech-savvy then you, ask them about it.
Now I'm going to put an asterisk on this one. If you have a friend who knows what they're doing, let them take a look at it and they might be able to help you. However, you should not let them take apart and do any real fiddling unless you know they really do know their stuff. As in they've taken courses on computer repair or are actually techs themselves. There are so many times a simple problem was made worse because a friend took a look and "fixed" the problem. It's a balance between saving on labor and potential for more damage. Even repair shops can break computers. The difference is, the shops have to reimburse you.
10. Check around.
Not all repair shops are created equal. Do your research, otherwise you may be stuck with a shoddy hack job while paying through the nose for it. Think of them like mechanics for computers. Some of them are good and honest, and some of them will do whatever they can to get more dollars out of you. I go into more detail about this here.
Well there you have it. These 10 simple rules have saved many people I know a little money and a lot of stress, so I hope that in putting this up, they can help out that many more. Tell your friends, they may just thank you for it. =)
To get more tips on computer repair, visit http://fasteasycomputerrepair.com/ where you will find this and much more, including how to remove viruses and find out which companies are scamming you!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Zach_Hill