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How to Fix Computer Problems in 3 Easy Steps (An Attempt at Humor)

Step 1.  Try to fix it yourself

If this step works, stop here.  Congratulations.  But frequently it doesn't work, and becomes known as the why-the-[expletive deleted]-did-I-think-I-could-fix-this-myself step.  We're all guilty of it because we think the solution is behind the next mouse click.  We just keep searching until we realize we don't know where else to look.

And then some of us will take the extra step of trying the same thing a second or third time expecting a different result.  There's a word for that, but let's not go there.  (Actually, this sometimes works.)

If you couldn't fix it yourself, go to step 2.

Step 2.  Call tech support

As a general rule, the amount of time it takes a support rep to solve your issue is inversely proportional to the amount of frustration you experienced trying to fix it yourself.  So if step 1 was an exercise in futility, the support rep would tell you to "just click on that thingy there," and you would click, and it would work (trust me, I have some experience with this phenomenon).

But if you skip step 1, you'll end up solving the problem yourself while explaining the issue to the support rep, and the call will end with you saying something like, "Ignore me, I'm an idiot."  Don't be an idiot—don't skip step 1 (I have more experience with this phenomenon than I care to mention).  But there's a lesson here: do step 1 as if you're on the phone with tech support.

If tech support couldn't solve your problem, go to step 3.

Step 3.  Turn it off and back on again

If step 1 and step 2 don't work, hit the power button.  And if you skipped step 1 and step 2, congratulations, you know the solution to 80%* of the computer problems out there.  Nice work.
*This figure was made up by the author, just like 73.2% of all statistics.

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