Technology Troubleshooting 101

Thank science for the internet.

Temporarily felt the pain of not being surrounded by a team of brilliant IT techs to jump to my aid and solve my technology challenges instantly…

… after 10 minutes of clicking around with my blood pressure rising, and a half second of feeling that all is lost, I hit Google and tracked down the fix – documented with annotated screenshots by a random fellow on a support forum.

The experience reminded me why blogging about solutions to all the technology challenges I come across is so important. If I can help even one person with a post that takes away the feeling of frustration and anxiety that I just went through, it’s been a good day.

There’s a great trick to helping with technology troubleshooting that was shared with me by Sean Wallbridge. I call it “the rule of three”. If you find three different sources saying the same thing, you’re probably on the right track to a solution.

Here’s how I used it to find a solution when my new Dynex monitor stopped working correctly and

Here are some technology troubleshooting 101 tips:

  • (IMO) Start with Google. Bing or Yahoo will return different results.
  • Search using keywords. If it is hardware or software related, include brand names.
  • Don’t be afraid to use the “wrong words” in your search.
  • If you don’t know the technical name, use your best guess.
    • For example, my search was: “dynex screen edges cut off”.
    • The page that contained the answer was called: “pc-to-dynex-40in-tv-via-hdmi-screen-got-cropped-on-4-sides-help”
    • The answer was listed under the heading: “Overscanning – when sides of picture go beyond border”
  • Be prepared to click through a half dozen search results.
  • You will likely have to dig through each page to the end to find clues.

PS – Kudos to wildfire who posted the solution to my Dynex screen issue on the overclock forum here.