How to best use the Internet to resolve computer problems, finding the right support web page, using online forums, locating a manufacturer or developer phone number
- [Instructor] For instant help with technology trouble, most people turn to the internet. It's a good choice, but it's also important to know how to best use the internet. Simply typing a question into the address box may not yield you the best results, and because the internet lacks fact checking, you have no guarantee that any solution presented is the best one, or even appropriate. In this movie, I cover using the internet as a troubleshooting resource. You can use the internet to find support in four areas: documentation, downloads, user forms, and technical support.
The best source for this support is the manufacturer's or software developer's website. In fact, most companies prefer to offer support on the web as opposed to providing printed documentation, discs, or toll-free support lines. I know I'm dating myself, but kids, that's the way things worked back in the olden days. You had a printed manual, and an 800 number to call in times of distress. The manual's ancestor today comes in the form of a pamphlet or a single slip of paper. It lists the online location where you can go to get more support, such as the manufacturer's website.
As an example of using the internet for support, suppose that you have an HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 printer. To look up detailed documentation, you search Google for the make and model number. Here, the first result is the product's support page on the HP website, drivers, and downloads. I'll choose that search result. Here I can see that I am on the Hewlett-Packard support website. This is important. The address shown is support.hp.com.
This isn't some other site pretending to offer me drivers. This is the manufacturer's own website. It's important to pay attention to the website, because some sites are bogus. They may purport to offer what you need, and they may indeed have the proper downloads, but they may not, or in addition to the drivers or other software, they may install malware. That's why you must check the website name to ensure that it's where you want to go. Support items are listed right on the page.
You can search all support, here's a Troubleshooting item, User Guides, Software and Drivers. The Software and Drivers link takes me to the location where I can obtain programs that are needed to setup and install the device on my computer. On some support websites, you may have to choose which computer you have, the operating system, and other information. This website is smart, so only one link is available, Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Windows 10, which is what this computer uses.
Some sites also feature user forums. You need to scroll down on the HP site to find them. Forums provide a great resource. Your question might have been asked before, so you use the forums to search for your issue, and then see what other users have done as a solution. You might also see a link to technical support. This support could be a live online chat, e-mail, or a phone call, and I know it can be an ordeal to locate a phone number for technical support, but it's online somewhere. On the HP site, you can choose Contact HP, then work through the menus to find a contact number for phone support, but do keep in mind that plenty of resources are available to help you.
Phone support need not be your first choice. Not every manufacturer's or developer's website might be as useful as this HP site, but it remains your first and best resource for online troubleshooting, help, and support.
- Diagnosing the causes of PC issues
- Troubleshooting hardware and software
- Performing startup and system restore steps
- Accessing the Task Manager
- Using the Registry Editor
- Fixing Windows
- Maintaining storage drives
- Restoring network connectivity