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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | General Troubleshooting Techniques | Troubleshooting and Your Mental State ]

It Isn't Personal...

OK, this section hits me very close to home. Before you take umbrage at any of the comments that I make here, I will start by saying that I am one of the worst people I know in doing all of the things that I say in this section one should not do. :^) I have a pretty bad temper and tend to take things too seriously in general, so it's not surprising that I tend to lose it sometimes when I am stuck with a particularly enigmatic situation with a PC.

What I am saying here is that despite the fact that it may seem otherwise when you are feeling frustrating about some sort of difficulty, the PC is not doing whatever it is doing intentionally to annoy you. It is not alive, it has no feelings, no motivations, no agenda. There is a logical reason for everything that a PC does--it is just hard sometimes to understand what it is. It can seem like the PC is "out to get you", and then to start feeling very frustrated and angry. Usually when this happens your ability to actually solve the problem will drop pretty close to zero.

During the throes of particularly frustrating spells, I personally have at various times yelled at PCs, kicked PC case covers, slammed the desk with my fist, crunched up floppy disks in my hands, smashed keyboards, smacked the side of a monitor, and hit the power switch rather hard more than once. As a result of this foolishness, I have on rare occasion damaged a component or two, and even hurt my hands. This is one area where I definitely do not recommend that my readers follow my example. :^)

Try as much as possible to keep your cool when working on your machine. If you feel yourself getting really pissed off, this is likely a good signal that you've been working on the problem too long. Take a break, do something else for a while. A fresh look the next day will be better for both you and the PC.

Next: Steps to Do First When Troubleshooting

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