Things to try when technology doesn’t work

Posted on: February 4, 2015 | By: Ryan Gay | Filed under: Tech Tips

It 3941048713_876093906f_ohappens to everyone. One moment you are using a computer or classroom equipment as always, and the next moment nothing seems to work. In some cases, there is no choice but to contact the Technology Service Desk to file a work order for a technician to repair the problem. However, there are always a few basic troubleshooting steps you may take that could resolve your issue without needing assistance from a technician.

Unable to login?

If you find yourself unable to log into any of your university accounts, the simplest way to resolve the issue is by resetting your password for the account in question. While at Elon, you’ll have two accounts you’ll utilize on a regular basis: your OnTrack account and your email account. In both cases, your username will always be the same. However, your OnTrack account password is managed differently from your email account (which are also the credentials you use for a wide variety of applications on campus including, but not limited to: Moodle, the wireless network, the Technology Wiki, and E-Net). To reset your OnTrack password online, visit the OnTrack website and click the ‘What’s My Password?’ link at the bottom right-hand corner of the page. To reset your email password, sign up and use our Self-Service Password Site. If you are unable to reset your password through either of these sites, contact the Technology Service Desk at 278-5200 so we may assist you.

My computer won’t connect to…

Many times, users contact the Technology Service Desk with issues involving the inability to access various applications or tools from their university computer. Here are some things to try if you are unable to access the internet, VPN, certain websites, or if your computer just isn’t acting quite right.

  • Restart your computer—Perhaps the most overlooked solution, some issues with your computer are generated by simple glitches in operation. By restarting your computer, you allow everything to start again, which might repair a simple computer glitch mucking up your productivity.
  • Clear your browser cache and history—If you find yourself having problems accessing certain websites, it’s always good practice to clear out your internet browser cache and history. You can reach these options in most browsers by navigating to Settings -> Options and locating options to clear cache and history. Alternatively, you can also press CTRL + SHIFT + DELETE in most web browsers to quickly bring up the window to clear out history and cache.
  • Unplug your machine—Sometimes, for whatever reason, power plays a factor in computers not working. If the above steps haven’t resolved your issue, try one last approach and unplug the power cord from the back of your computer (not the wall itself). Leave the cord unplugged for 30 seconds, reconnect, and restart your computer.

Numerous popups and slow processing speeds

If you notice that you are receiving a large amount of popups on your computer, or if your computer processing speed as slowed to a crawl, you may have problems with viruses or malware. Some problems are remedied by running simple scans on your computer.

  • Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection—This is a program by Microsoft designed to target viruses on your computer. All university-owned computers should have Forefront installed already. To find this, click the Start button and look for Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection in the shortcut list above the actual program files.
  • MalwareBytes—MalwareBytes is the preferred malware program used by Campus Technology Support. While this program should already be on your computer (click the Start Button and search form the MalwareBytes AntiMalware folder for the program). If not, you can download it for free by clicking here. Just make sure that upon installation, you update the malware files before running a full scan.

When all else fails…

Some problems you just won’t be able to resolve on your own. In these cases, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 278-5200 to report your issue with as much detail as possible. We will need the AV# of the computer in question, as well as other information pertinent to your problem (e.g., if you are calling about a printer, please have the make and model number available).

Additionally, Campus Technology Support will be implementing our FootPrints Customer Portal, which will allow university members to report issues through a website, rather than having to call in your request. While the portal is not quite ready, stay tuned for more information regarding availability and instructions for use.

Image by Flickr user Search Engine People Blog

Ryan Gay

Ryan Gay

Ryan is the Manager of Service Management & IT Project Lead for Instructional & Campus Technologies. He has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from UNC-Greensboro.

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2 responses to “Things to try when technology doesn’t work”

  1. GemPundit says:

    helpful tips for everyone.

  2. Stella says:

    We should clear temporary files too if system works slowly.