Generally, you don’t necessarily have to be a computer guru with decades of experience to solve a netbook problem. But, you should have a structured, problem-solving, common-sense approach.
1. Collecting the evidence.
Treat the netbook problems like a crime scene. When solving a mystery, you should collect enough evidences. For example, writing down error messages accurately, determining what events or sequence of steps caused a problem to occur, and determining whether it is caused by new programs, modified a system configuration, a bad Web site, or an infected e-mail attachment. Think of yourself as a crime scene technician. When collecting evidences, you could have those “ah-ha” moments that will allow you efficiently solve a case. If not, ask an expert for a help.
2. Referring to online help and user manual.
This may sounds trite, but very often the remedy of common problems. Study the manual whether it mentions anything that can solve your problem. (If you don’t have the user manual, go to the manufacturer’s Web site and get a PDF copy.) Always allocate enough time to solve your problem. It would be useless to beat your head against a wall every time you fail. You should know when to stop and immediately ask for help.
3. Search for Solution Online
If you can’t solve a problem on your own, you may need to pay a visit to popular hardware forum and find a netbook section, if available. You’ll find those Web sites useful for troubleshooting many kinds of netbook problems – choose forums that have a lot of activity and high number of posts. If possible find a forum that discusses products released by your manufacturer. Those user forums are free – but you need to register before participating. Use the search feature in a forum to see whether there are old threads related to your problem: Enter a couple of key words that explain your troubles. If there is nothing useful, create a thread in a related subforum. Give a clear explanation of your problems and list the evidences you’ve collected. Over the next few hours or days, check the thread to see whether you get any responses. If your problem is particularly unusual and leaves experts in those forums scratching their heads, you need to proceed to the final solution.
4. Contact the manufacturer.
In many troubleshooting process, contacting the manufacturer is considered as the final step. Although popular Web forums often provide quicker and occasionally better-quality information – it doesn’t mean you should ignore manufacturer support, though.
Manufacturers typically offer a smorgasbord of support features on their Web sites, for example, lists of FAQs, searchable resources, forums, and phone number and e-mail address of technical support. If you contact the manufacturer, prepare the evidences nearby. The more clues support personnel have about your problem, the better they will be able to determine what’s going on and provide the most effective solution.