Computer Maintenance & Troubleshooting


EDIT: ONLY those who are currently employed as an SE or CE (depending on the company) are authorized to view this. Besides......it's HIGHLY technical.

  1. Approach the problem machine in a confident manner. Let it think that you don't care if it works or not. Like dogs, computers can smell fear.
  2. Always act as though you know what to do. Never let the machine know you're baffled or it will only try harder.
  3. Always be ready for a machine to start working of its own accord. Do something as soon as you reach the machine and always have a hand touching some part of it. This is because you want to be able to say something like, "There! I thought that would work" if it suddenly starts working.
  4. Wave the reference manual at the machine. If you don't have one, use any technical manual you have available. This has the effect of invoking spirits friendly to your cause and may convince the machine to give up without a struggle.
  5. Continuing the black magic, recite Ohm's law to the machine. It may add to your arsenal if you learn to say it backwards - it can't hurt.
  6. Try percussive maintenance. This involves gently lifting the uncooperative device about l00mm above the desk as though looking for something underneath. You then suddenly drop the beast. This often completely fixes the fault. Scientists are divided over whether the shock knocks something back into place or just frightens the machine. Whichever, remember to say something suitable about "needing to know just the right way to do it."
  7. If the item is relatively untraceable (such as a printer that other departments also have) do one of the following:
    [a] Arrange to borrow a working machine from the other department 'for operational comparison,' and during the test, swap yours for theirs. Pretend that yours is still broken for a day or so until they get theirs fixed, or if in a hurry, put a blown fuse in your broken machine before you give it to them so that they don't realize it has an identical fault.
    [b] Get in early in the morning and simply swap your broken machine with a working model in a different department. If there's a danger that serial numbers are kept somewhere, make sure you've swapped all of your machines long before they break. That way when you swap them back after yours breaks, you now have the one you should have and no one can point the finger.
  8. If all else fails, try bribing the machine with a good cleaning: a new ribbon, a hard disk clean up, an extra 10 volts of main voltage.
  9. If none of the above works, consider taking out a contract on the machine. $100.00 slipped to the office cleaner will usually arrange a suitable 'accident' such as falling down the stairs or into the fish tank in the reception area.
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