1. Update your system.
Make sure that you are using the latest drivers for your hardware-and that you’ve installed all the Windows Updates-and check for updates to any applications you use, especially any that seem to be related to your current computer problem. Microsoft is always updating Windows with minor patches and bug fixes. Depending on whether you use Windows Automatic Updates, keeping the OS up to date may require some diligence on your part. In Windows XP, select Start | All Programs | Windows Update. (Other programs will often include update options on their Help or File menus.)
2. Check your connections.
This may sound obvious, but check all the cables to make sure they are plugged in securely. Don’t ignore this step. USB, printer, and serial cables have a way of working themselves loose and causing problems. Also make sure all the boards are seated properly and the cables connected inside your PC. If you get a beeping tone when you boot, and no video, start by opening the machine and reseating the graphics board in its slot.
Windows sometimes gets into a confused or panic state, and by simply rebooting you can clear the memory and set things straight. Similarly, if you’re having a problem connecting to the Internet, try rebooting your cable/DSL modem and router by unplugging and replugging them. But this isn’t something you should have to do often. If you find yourself rebooting your router once a day, the problem is a bit deeper.