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The first thing to do in every case is to turn off your computer for a few minutes, then restart it and try to do whatever you were attempting to do. During boot up, look for any error messages that come up on the screen. Bad memory is known for causing myriad problems, while letting your PC boot up in seemingly fine form. Make sure all cables are plugged in snug on both ends. Run scandisk weekly, and disk defragmenter monthly. Delete your Temp files and your Temporary Internet files weekly. Most computer problems relate to software / configuration issues.

If you need to look inside - Turn off your computer and all connected devices. Touch an unpainted metal surface on the computer before touching anything inside to ground yourself. Remove your shoes / slippers. If you have to walk away for whatever reason, repeat this process again. In order for you to feel static electricity discharge, it must be around 2,000 volts. To toast a semiconductor in a computer, it only takes about 20 volts.

Check all internal connections. Loose or improperly connected cables can be the source of problems with your computer. Check all your ribbon cable connections and make sure they are snug.

Check all your cards ( video, audio, modem, network, etc. ) and make sure they are seated properly. Cards inside a computer have a tendency to work their way out of their slots. When they heat up, they expand, when they cool down, they contract. When you turn your computer on, the hardware heats up. When you turn your computer off, the hardware contracts. This constant heating up and cooling down, expanding and contracting, tends to make cards work their way up out of their slots.

Take the memory out and reseat it. Check the Power Supply fan for air flow. Remove the case cover and blow the dust off the internal parts to avoid heat build up and hence error messages. Check your CPU fan. If the CPU fan is dead, a CPU can overheat in less time than it takes to boot up. If the CPU does overheat, serious damage can occur. Not only look for a dead CPU fan, look for a CPU fan that is barely turning or is spinning irregularly. This can be a sign it's wearing out and if the fan isn't turning fast enough, the CPU can overheat.