CompSolvers Technical Support

Before calling us for service, look through this list of common problems and solutions


Hardware-Related Problems

“The CD-ROM drive does not appear accessible from Windows.”

  • When the computer powers up, check to see if the CD-ROM light flashes. If so, let the computer finish booting.
  • Now, click on the “Start” button. Choose “Settings” then “Control Panel,” and double-click on the “System” icon.
  • Click on the “Performance” tab.  If the message indicates that the computer is using “MS-DOS Compatibility Mode,” then your computer may be infected by a boot-sector virus. Try using your anti-virus software.
  • If you have a Windows 98 Startup Disk, boot with it and see if the CD-ROM Drive is found.  If the problem persists, contact us.

“When I turn on the computer, nothing happens.”

  • As simple as it may seem, check the power cord and make sure it is properly connected.
  • Check the Power Strip, Surge Protector, or UPS and make sure that they are turned on, properly connected to the power outlet, and that the power indicator is not flashing.  A flashing light on a power surge protection-equipped device often signifies failure of the power surge device itself.
  • Try unplugging the power cord from the surge protector and plug it directly into the wall.  If the computer now powers on, then the surge protector is defective.
  • Also, check the voltage switch on the rear of your computer near the power cord, if so equipped.  It is usually a small red switch that indicates either 115v or 230v.  Set the switch to 115v.
  • If the above does not isolate the problem, then there may be a hardware failure of a component within the computer.

“I don't hear any sound from my computer.”

  • First, check to make sure that the speakers are receiving power. Look for a power light on the speakers, and toggle the position of the power switch until it lights.  Then, make sure the speakers are plugged into the correct jack on the sound card.
  • Move the computer so you can clearly see the back of it. The connections on the Sound Card are usually marked as Line In, Mic In, Line Out, and sometimes Speaker Out.  The speakers plug into the Line Out. If you have Speaker Out, use that.
  • While you are back there, check that your Microphone (if you have one), is plugged into Mic In.  Note that some modems also have Speaker and Microphone jacks.   If your speakers are plugged into the modem, you will hear the modem dialing, but no other sounds from your computer.

“My modem cannot find a dial tone.”

  • Move your computer so you can see the back of it. The telephone line coming from the wall needs to plug into either Line or Telco.
  • If the line is plugged in, trace the line away from the computer. If it goes right into the wall, try another telephone in that jack.
  • If you have a dial tone on the phone, use another cord between the wall and the computer.
  • If the line coming from the computer plugs into a Surge Protector, temporarily bypass it, plug the line straight into the wall, and try the computer again.
  • If your modem now finds a dial tone, then your Surge Protector may have saved you from a power surge.
  • If you still cannot get a dial tone, and you do not have a Surge Protector, then your modem may have been damaged by a power surge or lightning storm.

“The printer acts like it is printing, but the pages coming out are blank.”

This is often a sign that you are out of ink or toner.  Ink Jet printers often do not give you any indication that they are low on ink; they just stop. Laser printers will typically fade from black to grey as they get low on toner.

“When I power up the system, the machine sounds like it is booting, but the display remains blank.”

  • There are two cords coming from the back of the monitor: the power cord and the signal cord. Check and make sure the monitor is turned on and the power cord is plugged into a good source of power.
  • If you are using a surge protector, bypass it and plug the power directly into the wall.
  • Check if the signal cable is properly connected to the back of the computer.
  • Try turning the monitor off then back on again.
  • If you still have no video, check the brightness/contrast controls to make sure they are set correctly.
  • If this does not solve your problem, contact CompSolvers.

“When I turn on the system I hear a number of beeps then nothing shows on the monitor.”

If you've just moved the computer, the Video Card or a piece of Memory may have loosened.  Please contact CompSolvers.

“The colors of my display appear faulty.”

  • If the images on your display are tinted in a certain color (all shades of blue for example), one or more electron guns in your monitor may have failed, or the signal cable may have loosened.
  • Turn the monitor off, check the connections, and turn the monitor back on.  If the problem persists, contact CompSolvers.
  • If the image on your display seems to shift colors as you open programs, the color palette may be set to 8 bits or less.  To increase the number of colors available for use by the display, move the mouse pointer over any free space on the desktop, which is the default display of Windows 95/98.
  • Right click and choose “Properties” from the drop down context sensitive menu. Select the “Settings” tab.
  • Left click on the color palette and choose 32k, 64k, or True Color.  This will give you more colors if your monitor and video card are capable. Note that graphics performance generally decreases with higher color depth.
  • Choose the settings that best fit your system’s hardware.

“Upon turning on the computer the message ‘Missing operating system’ appears then nothing happens.”

  • This message indicates that the boot routine cannot find a boot sector, partition, or basic operating system files.  This may be caused by a hard drive failure, file corruption or a boot sector virus.
  • Turn off your computer, and contact CompSolvers immediately...


Software-Related Problems

“Whenever I run a specific program, I get an error message.”

  • Write down the error message.
  • Try running “Scandisk” from the “System Tools” group off of the “Accessories” group under the “Programs” group.
  • If this does not work, first remove the software via the “Add/Remove Software” option, which is located in the “Control Panel” (the "Control Panel" is available from “Settings” via the “Start” button).
  • Then try reinstalling the software.
  • If this does not solve the problem, try contacting a technical support representative of the software's manufacturer.
  • If the problem still is not resolved, get in touch with CompSolvers.

“Windows takes a long time to boot and/or specific programs take a long time to load.”

  • If your computer seems to have gotten slower over time, try using the “Disk Defragmenter” located within the “System Tools” group within “Accessories” off of the “Programs” option from the “Start” button’s menu.
  • If loading Windows or your programs takes a very long time, you may have a serious problem with your hard drive.
  • Run "Scandisk" from the "System Tools" group off the "Accessories" group under the "Programs" group.
  • Select the "Thorough" option before clicking Start.  Let this test finish.
  • If the computer reports that it has found physical damage to your hard drive, try to backup any important information you may have and then contact CompSolvers.
  • Insufficient RAM or Hard Drive space may also make your computer system "crawl."  Windows needs both sufficient RAM and adequate Hard Drive space to operate efficiently. As technology advances, new software will require increased amounts of RAM and Hard Drive space.
  • To see how much RAM you have, click on "Start," "Settings," "Control Panel," and then double click on "System." On the first page near the bottom you will see how much RAM your computer has installed.  If you have 16MB or below, you should seriously consider upgrading to 32 or 64MB of RAM.  Depending on what programs you are running, you may even want more.
  • To check the amount of Hard Drive space you have, double click on "My Computer," right click on the icon for your C: drive, and choose "Properties" from the pop-up menu.  You will see a pie chart illustrating the Used Space, Free Space, and Total Capacity of your hard drive.
  • If you have less than 100MB of Free Space, you will be experiencing slow performance as Windows struggles to swap programs in and out of memory.  You should upgrade to a larger hard drive.  As an additional benefit, newer hard drives can transfer information to the computer faster than old drives, so you may experience an overall performance increase.