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Instead of blind searching, your best course of action is to
ask for advice from real people in a community-moderated forum
Some people blame computer crashes or boot failures on gremlins. Or
kids installing toolbars and viruses that came with free computer
games. Chances are your window registry is corrupted or a computer
shutdown or blue screen has caused unknown and unfixable errors.
My Windows 8 PC has 116,218 files and my Mac has 1.3 million files.
For dozens of reasons including software or hardware failure (or
even cosmic rays penetrating your hard drive and flipping bits on the
disk) your files can become randomly corrupted.
If you've read some of my previous TAFE Bytes
articles you may now have a data
backup plan that will withstand theft, fire or hardware failure.
You may now also have strong
passwords for most of your online accounts and you feel safe from
hackers breaking into your accounts. You may even have been motivated
to kick a few new projects into gear. And I'd hazard a guess that
you're storing or creating all of this work on your computer.
But beware - your computer may well be plotting to test you.
Unless you're a geek, or married to a geek, or have a geek friend or
are willing to pay a minimum of $200 to apply a digital bandage to
your computer, you should savvy up and learn how the IT geeks get help
when computers fail.
The internet is awash with free advice. If you dig deep enough you
can find any opinion to back up any theory. Or talk yourself into any
reasonable or unreasonable explanation of a problem. Most people jump
straight onto Google and the results are full of buttons that offer a
quick fix (usually downloading a fix-it program). IT geeks know that
most of these "quick fix" download buttons will only make
the problem bigger. Instead of blind searching, your best course of
action is to ask for advice from real people in a community-moderated forum.
The best place to start is on the Australian forum Overclockers. They have
a newbie lounge forum section where you can ask just about any dumb
question and not get laughed at (flamed). More detailed
troubleshooting questions can be asked in the troubleshooting section.
There are over 10,000 active members in this forum and usually people
are there 24/7 to chat and help.
Another good Australian broadband and IT news forum is Whirlpool.
This is where I go for help whenever I have a broadband or mobile
issue. The tech support staff of most Australian internet service
providers (ISPs) respond to customers in dedicated forums for ISPs and
mobile carriers. Whirlpool has 518,611 registered members with over
17,000 visiting the site in just the last 24 hours.
Also before posting a tech support question on Overclockers please
use the forums search engine to see if the same question has been used before
If the humans working for these sites are still unable to help, you
have my permission to use Google.