Basic Classroom Troubleshooting

Basic Troubleshooting
in the classroom
By: Ryan Ukno & David Citulsky
In this session, we will show you basic
troubleshooting techniques in the
following areas:
• A typical PC desktop/notebook system setup
• Peripheral equipment connected to a
desktop/notebook system
• Smartboard and Mimio equipment
• Networking – wired and wireless
• Software (MS) troubleshooting
• Fixing software errors/viruses etc. using free
easy-to-use tools
Sec 1
Desktop PC system setup
A Desktop PC (Personal Computer) consists of a
Computer Case box that contains the following
Video card
Sound card
Power supply
DVD/CD & Floppy drive
Case fans (optional)
Desktop port
On the back
Notebook system setup
A notebook (or laptop) PC is a mobile/portable
version of a desktop PC. It contains the same
internal components as the desktop but in a
smaller compact form-factor.
The main components are:
• Display
• Keyboard
• Touchpad
• Power adapter
Typical ports on a notebook system
Let’s look at a few common
problems you might encounter
with your notebook or desktop.
It won’t power ON!
• Check that your power
cord is firmly plugged
in and the switch on
the power supply
switch is ON (1).
• Check that lights are
ON and you hear the
fans working inside.
Problem may be a bad
connection – i.e. video
• If there are no lights or
fans check that the
power outlet works!
• Check that there is
lights (indicate power
or battery)
• Check that your
battery is charged
otherwise plug in
your adapter directly.
• Disconnect your
battery and plug the
AC adapter directly. If
it powers on, your
battery may need
No display!
• Check video cable
connections to
• Check that your
contrast/brightness is
not set too low
• Make sure monitor
has a green light. If
it’s orange, recheck
connections. If
connections are good,
video card may be bad.
• Check that nothing is
plugged into the VGA
port .
• Try Fn+Fx (depends
on model) to enable
primary display and
disable ext vga output
• If there is lights but
nothing comes on,
hold power button for
5-10 secs to
completely power off.
Wait 30 sec and
power it back on.
No operating system!
• Make sure there is NO floppy in the
floppy drive when you are starting
up the computer.
• Make sure there is NO DVD/CD in the
DVD/CD drive when starting up.
• Make sure there is NO USB drive
plugged in when starting up.
• It may try to boot off these drives
• Make sure floppy/dvd/cd/usb drives
are empty and restart the computer.
Keyboard/mouse not responding
• Check keyboard connection. Press
Numlock or Capslock key – light
should be on keyboard
• Check mouse (optical only)
connection. Optical light on bottom
should be lit.
• Unplug/re-plug connectors to the
ports and restart the computer.
• For wireless, check the batteries and
replace if necessary. Synchronize the
mouse/keyboard with the CC button.
Sec 2
Peripherals in the classroom
Printers (laserjet, deskjet)
Monitors/LCD projectors
• These peripherals will typically use
the same cable interface – USB 2.0
• All should plug into the USB port of
the computer
USB Type A Male
To computer
USB Type B Male
To peripheral
Speakers/Microphones setup
• Both are color coded and should be
easy to identify.
Monitor and LCD projector setup
• Can be connected together with one
VGA cable or with two VGA cables
• The most common in classroom
desktops is using two VGA cables
• For notebook computers, only one
VGA cable is necessary to connect to
the LCD projector.
Let’s look at a few problems you
might run into with peripherals..
Scanner/printer/webcam is not
• First check your connections,
windows should make a “sound”
when a USB device is plugged in.
• If it doesn’t make that “sound” you
may have a bad USB cable.
• If it does make the “sound” and
cannot be recognized, reinstall the
software. Obtain the CD software
drivers CD or find software online.
Printer is on but will not print!
• Check the status lights of the printer
If it is blinking, printer has error.
• If no lights on printer, check the print
queue of the printer and delete old
• If the printer is network shared,
make sure the computer connected
to the printer is turned ON.
Microphone troubleshooting
• If your mic doesn’t receive sound
make sure it is set as the default
recording device in sound options.
• Adjust the sound level input options
• Can use third-party apps such as
Skype to configure the microphone
so it is ready to be used.
Speakers doesn’t have sound!
• Check there is power to the speakers
• Plug in a set of headphones to test
the sound card
• Check sound levels – not set to mute!
• Try speakers on a different computer
• If it works on another, reinstall the
device driver software for your
Monitor-projector shows no input
• Check connections, back of
computer/monitor and projector
• On projector select correct source
i.e. VGA or computer1 or 2
• Some systems will have a video driver
utility where you specify to output to
a second monitor (LCD)
• For notebook, use the special combo
Fn+Fx (different by manufacturer) to
output to projector.
Sec 3
Interactive whiteboards
What are they?
- interactive display units that connect as an
input device with your computer while showing
the computer’s full desktop.
We will be looking at two specifically
How do they connect and what
hardware is involved?
Uses a proprietary
interactive whiteboard
display and uses a USB
2.0 interface which
connects to the PC.
A projector will send the
video output of your PC
to the smartboard
Display can be mounted
or be on a stand.
Uses an existing
whiteboard along with a
mimio stick and receiver
that plugs into your PC’s
USB port.
A projector will send the
video output of your PC
to the whiteboard.
Mimio’s are portable and
can used anywhere
there is whiteboard!
Smartboard issues... Check light status
No light on the smartboard!
- Check USB connections on back of PC
Flashing Green light!
- PC is searching for or installing required
device drivers. In some cases this happens
when software is already installed – simply
unplug and replug the USB cable.
Solid Red light
- Means there is a connection between
Smartboard and PC but no software installed!
Smartboard pens won’t work!
• First check to see that nothing is blocking the
sensors on the pen tray
• Also check back side of the board, you will see a
“telephone” wire. If disconnected, the pen tray
will not work!
Smartboard issues cont’d…
Hard to write with the pen tool!
• If you are finding that pen writing is not
accurate, re-orient your board.
Delay in writing OR difficulty moving
objects around (select tool)
• If you are running windows 7, this may
corrected by unchecking “single finger
panning” from the control panel, pen and
touch and panning tab.
Basic Mimio troubleshooting
Status lights
Solid Green light – OK
OFF light – check power on Mimio
Orange light – unplug and replug
connections to power and computer
For orientation – press orientation
button on the mimio button
Sec 4
Let’s look at a wired connection:
• You will find wired connections in
most classrooms - usually 2 ports per
A wired connection will have:
• Cat 5 network cable(s)
• A network switch
Internet or network is down!
• First, always check cable connections
in classroom! Check your systray
network icon. These indicate an
unplugged cable
Be sure to check the switch (if available) and
network port on PC. A link light should be lit
on both ends.
Also, make sure the switch has power.
All else fails, try a different CAT5 cable!
Wired network problems cont’d
If connections are ok but still no network access
• Check first that entire network is not down
Limited connectivity errors can sometimes be fixed by
restarting your computer and/or network switch.
Network switch in classroom
• Make sure that every cable plugged into the switch
has a link light.
Be aware of
connections in
your classroom
Wireless connections
• wireless connections are made up of
scattered wireless access points
sometimes found in classrooms.
• They connect to wireless clients
using secured or unsecured
Wireless network connections
Not connected?
Check that you are connected by viewing the
wireless status icon:
This shows disconnected
Right-click to view available wireless networks
If you do not see a list of wireless networks, check
that your wireless adapter is enabled!
Problems connecting to the wireless??
• Make sure the passphrase is correct.
• If passphrase is wrong or changed, go into
control panel, wireless connection
properties, wireless networks tab and
remove a network.
Find the network again from the list of
available networks and reconnect using the
correct passphrase.
Wireless troubleshooting cont’d
In Windows XP you might see the
following error:
Network troubleshooting cont’d
• This can fixed by making sure “use
windows to configure my wireless..”
is checked.
Sec 5
Software troubleshooting
Most newer computers are designed to
multitask (run more than one program
at a time).
However, there may be times where a
program (or two) will stop responding
or freeze up!
Software troubleshooting cont’d
In some cases, you may not get a chance to end a
program or shut it down at all.
Here’s what you can do:
Right-click the taskbar and select “task manager or
“start task manager”
Find the program
under task and click
“End Task”
Sometimes you may
have to find the
program under
processes and click
“end process”
Software errors
Diagnosing errors can be a frustrating
Documenting the exact error
message would be one of the
first steps you should take.
Most of the time, you can find solutions to error
messages by searching online – either a support
website or knowledgebase.
It’s always good to keep track of when the program
worked and when it didn’t.
- Did the error occur after an update?
- Did it occur after installing a different program?
You can always “undo” the update or installation as
a quick fix
Software troubles cont’d
• For uninstalling troublesome software, you
would go through the control panel and
add/remove programs or Programs and
Software toubles cont’d
• In some cases, finding an update for
a program can cure certain
bugs/errors for that program.
• Updates can usually be found from
their help menu and check for newer
version or updates.
Software troubles – other solutions
Find an alternate program as a workaround
Eg. Adobe reader crashes constantly – use
alternate pdf program like Foxit Reader.
Using windows “system restore”
Use as a last resort.
Be sure to restore to the most recent and last
working restore point. This method not
recommended for first time users.
Software – file deletions?
If you’ve accidentally deleted a file, always check
first if it’s in your recycle bin.
If it’s a file on the network, always ask your network
administrator or technician as they should have past
day backups that they can recover.
We’ll also show a freeware file recovery software for
you to try if files were deleted on the hard drive.
*Need to recover a word document file?
Check your word options where auto file recovery is.
Software – malware
When surfing online, you may get pop ups or
programs showing up where it shows an antivirus
or protection program that claims to clean your PC.
If you see these types of programs, find it under
task manager and end task.
To clean spyware, you will need an antispyware
tool which will be covered next and is also free!
Sec 6
Tools – spyware cleaning
Continuing from the last section, the
commonly most used tool for spyware
removal is Malwarebytes – which is free
to download.
Once you download the program,
install it (use defaults) and make sure it
checks for updates.
Run a full scan on all your hard drives.
Scans can be anywhere from 15-60
mins depending on size of hard drive.
After it is done, show list of items,
check all and click remove selected.
Software tools - CCleaner
Want to clean up disk space/delete
unneeded files?
A good free program for that is CCleaner
Download the program and install using
default paths/settings.
Run the program and click analyze.
This will show you the list of unneeded
files and the size it’s taking on your hard
drive. Click run cleaner to clean them up!
File recovery
A good freeware recovery program you
can try is “recuva”. It can recover files
from any hard drive, flash usb or
memory card!
Maintenance and security
Making sure your PC has the latest
security updates is very important.
Updates will fix any security flaws or
exploits that hackers can gain access to.
Verify you are receiving auto upates by
going to control panel, system and
windows update.
Also, check that your antivirus software
is up to date and set to auto-update.
Make sure it is always enabled and
scanning in real time.
Url Links
Hopefully these tips will make you
better at diagnosing common
computer issues.
And this concludes our session
Any questions?

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