While I&TS will assist with software problems on student computers, due to warrantee and other issues (e.g., we don't stock computer parts), we cannot fix hardware problems with a computer.
But how do you tell? Here are some simple ways to help narrow the issue down.
- If the computer can't get to the login screen, it's usually a hardware issue. It could be a bad hard drive or power supply, or something else, but this is usually a sign that it's just not running any software.
- If something is physically broken -- cracked screen, water on keyboards -- than clearly it's hardware. But this also applies to things like being unable to plug in your USB drive (I've seen broken USB ports).
- If you've installed the drivers for a peripheral device -- printer, iPod, etc., and the device isn't recognized or does not work, there may be a problem with the device, not the software.
If you have a hardware issue, contact your manufacturer. If you bought a Dell computer under the Siena Purchase Program, the computer will be covered by a warrantee. Dell will fix it. Often they will come to visit you, but they also may want you to send it to them. It will only take a few days.
Other computers also may have similar programs.