Frequently Asked Questions - Windows

A device (monitor, printer, mouse, speakers, etc.) attached to my computer is not working. What do I do?

Answer: Check the cables of the device that is not working properly. A cable may not be plugged in at all or may not be plugged in tightly enough to make the necessary connection.

My computer is frozen or locked up. How do I fix it?

Answer:

  1. Press the Ctrl, Alt, and Del buttons simultaneously to pull up the Task Manager window.
  2. Select any programs in the Task Manager window that are described as not responding and choose the End Task button.
  3. If ending the tasks does not unfreeze the workstation, select Shut Down from the Task Manager window or through the Start Menu.
  4. If you are unable to display the Task Manager window or Shut down your computer through the Start Menu, hold down the power button for about 5 seconds until the computer shuts down power. Then turn your computer on again.
  5. If the system does not power down after holding down the power button, then unplug the computer from the wall (and also remove the battery if you have a laptop). Once the computer powers down, then reinsert the plug and/or battery and power on your computer.

How do I stop multiple copies of a print job from printing?

Answer: Simply turning off the printer will not cancel all print jobs.

  1. Click 'Start', 'Control Panel', 'Switch to Classic View' (if available at the left of the window), then double-click 'Printers and Faxes.'
  2. Double-click the printer to which you are attempting to cancel print jobs. This will open up the print queue.
  3. Right-click on the documents for which you want to cancel printing, then click 'cancel.'
  4. If this does not work or documents appear to ignore your cancel request, then restart Windows from the Start Menu.

My speakers are plugged in and they have power, but there is no sound. What do I do?

Answer: There are many reasons why your speakers may not work.

  1. Make sure that the speakers are plugged in properly - usually into a lime green port hole on the back or side of your computer. If you do not have external speakers but internal ones (like in most laptops), then skip this step.
  2. Make sure your Windows central sound settings are unmuted and the volume is set to a reasonable level. Click 'Start', 'Control Panel', 'Switch to Classic View' (if available at the left of the window), then double-click 'Sounds and Devices.' If the window that appears says "No audio device," then your speakers are not plugged in properly or are defective. If an audio device does appear, make sure the box next to 'mute' is NOT checked and that the volume level is not towards the low end.
  3. There might also be shortcuts on your keyboard that control your volume or there may be knobs on your external speakers or the speakers built into your monitor (if applicable), and you should also check these. Some knobs need to be pushed in first and then rotated. The volume control on keyboards usually look like small triangles followed by graphicsl "sound waves."

When I turn on or reboot my workstation, I receive the message “Non-System Desk Error.”

Answer: This could mean that there is a problem with your hard drive - either it has become disconnected from your computer, it is partially corrupted, or it is mechanically damaged beyond repair.

How long should it take for Windows to shut down?

Answer: It should take no more than a couple of minutes for Windows to shut down. If the “Please Wait while Windows is Shutting Down” message appears for longer than a couple of minutes, the shut down process has most likely hung.

  1. Hold down the power button for about 5 seconds until the computer shuts down power. Then turn your computer on again.
  2. If the system does not power down after holding down the power button, then unplug the computer from the wall (and also remove the battery if you have a laptop). Once the computer powers down, then reinsert the plug and/or battery and power on your computer.

One of my Bookmarks/Favorites is not working? How do I fix it?

Answer: Sometimes websites change their web pages and links. In some cases the sites will redirect you to a corresponding page, but other times those bookmarks/favorites simply will no longer work. If this is the case, try performing a search for the site and then create another bookmark.