How to Fix a Dell Computer

by Contributor

Depending upon what is wrong with your Dell computer, there are a variety of ways you can go about having it fixed. Dell computers are nice because they have built-in alerts that pop up in your taskbar (on the bottom of the screen) when it senses a problem. This can often alert you to a problem before it becomes worse.

Determine the problem. Pay attention to any pop ups you are receiving. Go to the Dell website if you need to troubleshoot the problem further (see Resources below). Make sure your computer is no longer under warranty before you start working on it.

If you hear a scraping or whooshing noise when a CD or DVD operates or the hard drive spins, most likely one of those parts will need to be replaced.

Insert the help or resource CD that came with your computer if you need further instruction or need the computer to run a utility to further investigate what the problem is with your Dell.

Touch the side and pop open the computer case by applying slight pressure on the top and towards the bottom. It generally has a hinged opening, especially on the black or gray cases. It works best if you place the computer on its side.

Inspect the contents. Make sure you know where everything goes. Slide out the part, such as the CD or DVD-ROM or hard drive, and slide in the replacement part. If you need to replace memory, make sure it is seated securely within the casing (black thin silicone chip) and it is the same speed and type of memory. If the computer will not boot after you replace it, or if it makes beeping noises, you do not have the memory seated properly or do not have the proper type or speed.

Format the hard drive if you replaced it (see Resources below). If not, your CD/DVD drive should be ready to go. Pop in a CD to see that everything is installed correctly. The green or yellow light should turn on and you should hear it operate.

Tips

  • check Do not put everything back together again and replace cords until you know the replacement part functions properly.
  • check Have your service tag handy (on the computer) if you need to call Dell or visit their website. You will need this info so they can identify your computer.

Warnings

  • close If it is a motherboard problem and you need to spend more than $100, it is probably not worth fixing. You can keep or sell your Dell for parts.
  • close Unplug all power to your computer before servicing.
  • close Never open or attempt to fix a computer that is still under warranty. Call Dell if you are unsure if the warranty is still in force.
  • close Always save your original CDs and know where they are stored.
  • close Work in a low static area and always wear your anti-static wrist strap.

Items you will need

Photo Credits

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