7 Things I Learned From Working As A Technical Support Representative

Lori Ann Imdad
Oct 19, 2019 · 5 min read

Don’t you hate it when things go wrong? Your boss or your editor is waiting and nothing is working! What could be worse?

Here are a few tips I gained working a technical support helpdesk. Most days I enjoyed everything I did. I like helping people and I like learning technology. For me, it was a great job.

It takes a lot of patience to work on a help desk. Even though these tips won’t solve everything, they could help you know what is wrong.

Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

1. Cold Boot Your Computer

Don’t panic, there is usually a solution. When your application won’t start first try a cold boot.

Do you know the difference between restarting your computer and shutting down completely? In technical terms, we call shutting down and starting again a cold boot.

Here’s the process to cold boot your computer:

  1. Shut down
  2. Wait 2 minutes
  3. Turn your computer back on

I compare restarting a computer to this clothes dryer scenario. When you are drying clothes sometimes you forget the dryer sheet. When you remember, you pull the door open and toss it in. The dryer continues in its cycle as if nothing happened.

A computer restart is similar. Restarting changes nothing.

The drivers for all the software and hardware don’t reload, they remain the same.

When you cold boot, everything loads fresh. From the drivers to the software — it’s all-new. This often corrects driver related problems.

2. What To Do With Error Messages

Error messages are the clues to solving the mystery. Take a screenshot if possible. If it is a bluescreen message and your pc keeps rebooting write it down. Even if it takes 20 reboots to get it all do it. If you do need to call someone they will need this message.

Google Search It

The first thing I do with an error message is Google search it. This helps me understand what the message is telling me. You can’t undersand what those 0x########### on a bluescreen are unless you search on them.

Even if you find out your disk has failed don’t give up. I have saved data by connecting the drive as an external disk using a USB connector. A technician may be able to do this for you.

If it is another kind of error. Search that and see what the internet tech gurus suggest. Make sure you are checking current advice.

Filter Your Search

In Google Search click on tools. Then make sure you are only searching within the last year. Things change very fast, even fixes for common problems.

If it seems nothing is working and you have the software installation disk or files. Uninstall it, cold-boot and install the software again.

3. Process of Elimination

The process of elimination is a very important troubleshooting skill. It is also another thing I learned working as a technical support representative.

What process of elimination entails is removing related software, one at a time. This is to determine the source of a problem.

Software Problems

  • Close/shutdown all other applications if this is a software problem. If after turning off all the other software you still are facing the problem refer to point 2. This includes browsers and all their tabs and windows.
  • Did you install any new software? If yes, remove it.
  • Did your computer install any updates to windows or other applications? Updates can render other software incompatible.
  • Search the support site for the software for any known conflicts.
  • Open a support ticket with them if needed and possible.

Connectivity Problems

  • Turn your wifi completely off on your computer and wait 2 minutes.
  • Shutoff your wifi device for 2 minutes and turn it back on.
  • If you are on a wired connection, try changing the cable. Cables degrade over time.

4. Use a Different Computer

I know not everyone has this option, but if you do try it. Install the same software on a different computer to see if it also has the same problem. Problems can be device-related.

Once you know it works or doesn’t by using a different device it solves the is it the software or computer question.

5. Microsoft Office Solutions

If your problem is a Microsoft Office application, there are possible solutions.

1. OneDrive — Here you get online versions of Office apps like Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Notes, and Forms. Upload your document to One Drive and open it to continue editing. You can then either download or email if you use Hotmail or Outlook as your email.

2. Google Drive — Goes beyond backing up your documents. You can also edit them in Google Docs Googe Sheets and others. Then download them for saving the updated version or email if you use Gmail.

6. Scan For Viruses and Malware

Other issues that cause problems are viruses and malware. These are common when computers are shared. Your family members may not know their visit to a website left a surprise behind.

Do a full deep scan of your computer. If you don’t have an Internet Security or Antivirus Suite on your computer I recommend AVG. I don’t recommend Avira if you are sending business email. The force their signature line in your emails.

Make sure you Antivirus has a scheduled scan at least once a week. This will make sure your system stays clean.

7. Always Keep a Backup

Keeping a backup is often a lifesaver. I am compulsive about my backups. I keep one on an external drive, then in my Google Drives (yes, I said drives and that means more than one) and in One Drive.

There you have it, my 6 tips from my experience working technical support. I hope I have helped you today. Give a clap if I have! Need more advice, contact me at loriwritez@gmail.com. Also, visit my blog at www.thegistandpostscript.com

About the Author

Check out her blog at thegistandpostscript.com and her portfolio at loriimdad.com. @loriwritez on Twitter #blogger #freelancer #techcontentwriter #loriwritez #loriimdad #techsupporttips #troubleshooting #computers #Windows #contentwriter

Lori Ann Imdad

Written by

Lori Ann Imdad is a freelance content writer & blogger for digital brands. Check out loriimdad.com. #loriwritez #loriimdad

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