I have often heard people complain that, when they call for support they are always asked to turn the machine off and on again.

Why is this? Why do IT people always say this?

There is a really good reason for this.

Sometimes a program can become corrupted, confused if you like, and runs into a situation where it can’t run any longer.  There is usually no long term problem, just a need to start again.

This is why it is important to save your work regularly.  I have heard from people that they don’t like to keep saving the work because they don’t want to fill up their hard disk with fragments of files. 

This is not the case, there will still only be one copy of the file which you add to.

I remember a person who had typed an entire thesis, leaving the computer switched on for several weeks in the process.  The inevitable happened and the computer crashed, the document had not been saved and all the work was lost.

  I recommend that you save you work each time you complete a point, at least three times per page. 

Take a look at the front fascia of the CD ROM drive.  You should be able to see a small hole in it. 


Take a paper clip, unbend it  and push the end into the hole.  It should release the manual catch on the drive, allowing you to retrieve whatever is jamming the drive.  If the drive has failed it is relatively cheap to install a new one and there is no need to lose the disc that is inside it.

The unbent paper clip is one of the most useful tools in the PC repair man’s toolbox.