Laptop Information During COVID-19

The Lake Area Tech IT team has created a help page for common laptop issues. We hope to help guide you through common troubleshooting practices to help fix the issue you are experiencing. 

*Please note, if we are unable to help solve your computer issue through this page, a laptop drop off location will be available. (See the bottom of this page for drop off information).

Looking for an Internet Source?

**Information on how to tether your android phone or iphone to share internet connection with other devices.

Common Laptop Issues Q&A: 

Laptop Won’t Turn On

1.) First, see if you get a charging light. The charging light, depending on the model of the computer, will either be right next to the charging port of the laptop or by the palm rest on the left-hand side.

  • If you plug it in and the light is orange, or starts white then goes to orange, it means the battery does not have a charge and your system is trying to charge it. This could mean a bad charger.
  • If the light stays solid white, it means the laptop either does not see the battery, or that it is fully charged. This could point to a bad battery.
  • If no light comes on at all, it could be a bad charger or an internal issue.
    • Also, if no light comes on check your chargers end to make sure the pin in the center is not bent or that your charging port on the laptop is not broken.
    • Things to look for in the charging port would be the center pin’s plastic is broken or missing.

2.) The next step is to try performing a hard battery reset. To perform the reset, first make sure your charger is NOT plugged into the laptop and hold down the power button for 20 seconds.  After you have done so, release the power button.

  • You should see either the power button light or the caps lock light, or both turn on for a few seconds.
  • When the lights turn off, plug in your charger and wait five seconds, then try turning on the laptop.
  • If the system boots up, sign into the computer and check to see if your battery is charging.
    • If it is, let it charge 30 minutes and see if the percentage goes up.
    • If the system does not boot up or if the battery does not charge even a couple percentage after 30 minutes please contact the IT department to setup a time to bring in the laptop.
Videos (YouTube, Netflix, etc) are Green or Pixelated
  • First right click on the Windows start menu button on the desktop.
  • Look for Device manager, once found click on it and then look for display adapters.
  • Double click on Display Adapters.
    • Depending on what model of laptop you have you may have one or two drivers that are displayed below Display Adapters. Elitebooks should only have one driver and Zbooks should have 2 drivers.
  • Right click on the first one you see and click on the options that says, “update driver.” From there a window should pop up with two options, click on the one that says “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
  • Let your computer search online for the updated driver. Do not close out of the screen until it either says, “the best drivers for your device are already installed” or “Windows has updated your driver to the newest version.”
    • If you have a Zbook do the same for the other driver.
  • If you continue to have issues after updating your drivers please contact IT to setup a time for you to bring in the laptop.

           ** Side note: If you have an Elitebook 755 G5 when you update your driver it may or may not Blue Screen after the update.  If this happens please follow through the steps again to update it.

Computer Makes a Beep Sound Followed by a White Screen with Text (Elitebook 850 G6)

This is an indicator that you will need to contact IT to setup a time to bring it in.  The system will run fine but does need a Bios update ran on the system.  This update can be dangerous to run if the system were to shutoff or be turned off mid update. Please do not attempt to run it yourself.

How to Run Windows Updates
  • Click on the Windows Start Menu button on the bottom left of the screen.
  • From there click on Settings, looks like a gear or cog.
  • Once you are in the settings screen look for Update and Security.
    • This will be the last option on the list.
  • Once you have clicked on that it should bring you to a new window with a column on the left.
  • Look for Windows Update.
    • It should be the first one on the list.
  • On the right side you should see a check for updates button.
    • Click that and let Windows check for any missing updates you might need on your computer.
  • If you have issues or your computer keeps throwing an error please contact IT for further help.
Wireless Connectivity Issues
  • Check to make sure your laptop is not in airplane mode. The easiest way to tell is to look at your keyboard and find the airplane mode key.
    • Depending on the model of your computer it may be in a different location but should be somewhere on your laptop’s keyboard, typically it will be one of your function keys (f1-f12). The icon should be an airplane.
  • If the light is one it means you are in airplane mode. Turn it off and see if you are able to connect.
  • If you are still having issues, on your laptop, go to your known networks.
    • This is where your computer stores all the wireless networks it has been connected too.
  • To get to your known networks click on the Windows Start Menu button on the bottom left of the screen.
  • From there click on Settings, looks like a gear or cog.
  • Once you are in the settings screen look for Network and Internet. This will bring up a new window.
  • There should be a column on the left, look for WiFi and click on it.
  • On the right side you should see in blue text Manage known networks. Click on it.
  • Locate the WiFi you are trying to connect to, click on it and click forget.
    • (Please note: doing this will make is so you have to type in the password to your homes wireless.)
  • Once you have forgotten the network go back to your desktop and try connecting to the wireless.
  • If you still are having issues are there any other devices in your home that are having issues? If so, try restarting you’re wireless.
    • To do so, locate your modem and router. In some homes you might have a modem/router combo that you are renting from your internet provider.
    • Once you have located the device(s) unplug them from power and wait 30 seconds.
    • After the 30 seconds plug them back in and wait 5-10 minutes. See if you are connected after that.
  • If you continue having issues after that please contact IT to schedule a time to drop off the laptop.
Issues With Online Homework

If you are having issues with online homework try using a different browser.  For example, if you are having issue viewing your homework on Google Chrome try using Firefox instead.  We typically recommend that you use Google Chrome of Firefox, you can try and use Internet Explorer but we only recommend that for diagnostics purposes. If you are having issue with a web browser you can also clear the cache and cookies from the browser. To do so follow the links below:

Google Chrome: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/32050?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en

Firefox: https://support.mozilla.org/gu-IN/kb/how-clear-firefox-cache

*If you continue to have issues please contact IT for further instructions.

Issue With Taking Lockdown Test

We recommend that you use Google Chrome to take tests using Lockdown Browser. You can use Firefox if you need too but we would recommend Google Chrome. Prior to taking the test make sure you first restart the computer then run the lockdown browser test page.  That can be located above the download links for lockdown browser.  As long as the confirmation page has a green checkmark saying the configuration page loaded corrected, you should be good to take the test. 

If it does not load or does not give you a green checkmark make sure you download and install the lockdown browser from the links supplied on the page. Make sure after it has been installed you restart your computer and run the configuration page again.  If you continue to have issues after that please contact IT for further help.

My Computer Turns on but the Screen Remains Blank

**If you turn on the computer but the screen remains off or blank try the following.

1.) Check to see if you have any images on the screen. You can use your phone’s light or a flashlight to do so.

  • If the back light, what illuminates your screen, has died you should still be able to see an image on the screen.
    • The issue might be a loose cable or a bad screen.
    • If step 1 is the experience you are having please contact the IT Department for further instructions.

2.) Another thing to check would be when you turn on the system. Does the backlight come on but no image?

  • You can check that by shutting off the system, by holding the power button down for 5 seconds, then turning it back on. Watch to see if the screen lights up. It might be faint but you should be able to see the difference.
  • If step 2 is the experience you are having you could be running into a couple different issues:
    • Windows Updates ran and are working in the background.
      • Leave the system on for 30 minutes and if it continues to stay blank after that, contact IT for further instructions.
  • The other issue is that there may be a loose cable on the computer that needs to be re-seated.
    • Do not attempt to fix this yourself. Please contact the IT department for further instructions.
Does My Computer Have a Virus?

**If you think your laptop may have a virus check for these:

1.) Pop-ups

  • These might appear on your desktop’s home screen
  • In Web Browsers
    • Depending on the virus also check to see if your Web browser’s home page, the website that first pops up when you open it, has changed.
      • For example, if it was set to www.lakeareatech.edu and now it is set to www.searchpro.com
      • If you are using Google Chrome also check your extensions.
        • These are located up in the top right-hand side of your web browser.
        • Check to see if any new icons have appeared there

2.) New Programs Installed

  • Check your desktop for any new icons that may have appeared.
  • If you don’t see any on the desktop check your computer’s Apps and Features
    • To do so, first right click on the Windows Start Menu button. (bottom left button)
    • Located Apps and Features, should be the first option on the list. Click on it.
    • A new window will appear with all the software installed on your computer.
    • Locate the “Sort by:” option.
      • It should be defaulted to Name
    • Click on “Sort by:” and choose install date
    • Check to see if any recent programs were installed that you are not aware of. For example:
      • Bytedefence
      • Weatherbug
      • DriverPro
      • PC Optimizer Pro

3.) Run A Virus Scan

  • Click on the Search box next to the Windows Start Menu button.
  • Type in “Virus and threat protection” and hit enter
  • A new window should appear.
  • You should see a button that says quick scan. Click on quick scan
  • Let the scan run and once it is completed check the results.

4.) If you have seen any of the following, Pop-ups, New programs installed, or if your virus scan comes back positive, please contact your IT department for further instructions.

  • If none of the signs come back positive but your computer still seems to be acting up please contact your IT Department for further instructions. Your computer may still contain a virus but might be hidden somewhere on the system.
Computer Randomly Shut Off

**If your computer randomly has shut down check the following.

1.) Temperature

  • If the computer is getting too hot the system will shut off to protect the components inside from being damaged.
  • If you had your laptop sitting on something other than a hard surface it could have been blocking the fan from pulling in fresh air.
  • Typically, you can tell if it is a cooling related problem because you will hear the fan running at max if it is struggling to keep your system cool.
  • Other signs would be any part on the laptop that is too hot to touch.

2.) Windows updates

  • If the computer was waiting to install windows updates on your computer. It may or may not do force your computer to restart during “non active” hours. Most computer default from 8:00am – 5:00pm for Active hours and should not force updates during those times.
    • However, if the update is far enough behind or is a “critical” update it will force the updates when it gets a chance.
  • You can tell if Windows updates caused the shut down by booting up the computer and see if a screen comes up saying is this getting ready to install updates.

3.) Driver issues

  • If a driver becomes corrupt/incompatible for various reasons it can cause the computer to blue screen.
    • A Bluescreen is a screen that pops up if Windows ran into a problem and crashed. It will typically state that it ran into a problem and an error code will be displayed.
  • Windows Updates again, might push and update that causes issues with a driver on your system that could cause the computer to bluescreen as well.
  • If your computer has bluescreened please contact your IT Department for further instructions.

4.) Hardware failure

  • Components inside the computer may fail for a variety of reasons, including:
    • Wear and tear
    • Mishandling/Neglect
    • Water damage
    • Shock damage
    • Bad components from factory
  • Typically, if that happens your computer on the next boot will tell you that the computer is having issues booting. Some examples are:
    • Cannot find a bootable OS (Operating System)
      • This means your hard drive is no longer readable and might need to be replaced.
  • Computer may not boot back up but will beep or blinking lights will appear either at the power button or Caps Lock button.
  • The computer may boot back up but words are misspelled, missing, or characters.
    • This would indicate a bad stick of RAM.
  • HP has some built-in Diagnostic Tools that you can run to see if you have any bad components.
    • First shutdown the computer if not already off.
    • Hold down the F2 key on the keyboard and turn on the system.
    • This should boot you into the HP tools.
    • From there click on component test.
    • You can run a mem test (RAM test).
    • You can also run and HDD test (Hard Drive test).
      • There is a quick and extended variant of this test. Typically, you can run the short/quick test to see if you have a bad Hard Drive.
  • If there is any question of Hardware failure please contact the IT department for further instructions.
HP Diagnostics Tools

1.) HP has some built-in Diagnostic Tools that you can run to see if you have any bad components

  • Hold down the F2 key on the keyboard and turn on the system.
  • This should boot you into the HP tools.
  • From there click on component test.
  • You can run a mem test (RAM test).
  • You can also run and HDD test (Hard Drive test).
    • There is a quick and extended variant of this test. Typically, you can run the short/quick test to see if you have a bad Hard Drive.

2.) If there is any question of Hardware failure please contact the IT department for further instructions.

Backing up Your Computer

1.) Why would you need to back up your computer?

  • Data redundancy is the main reason you would want to back up your data.
    • If your computer were to run into problems, for example:
      • Hard drive failure
      • Power loss
      • Electrical surge
      • Malware
      • Natural disaster
      • Spills
  • If you back up your computer you would never be without the data you consider important.
    • Resumes, homework, or pictures to name a few.

2.) What should I use:

  • You can use any type of media that you can store data on. The more common ones today are:
    • USB flash drives
      • These come in many different sizes ranging from 2GB-1TB+
        • 1TB=1000GB
  • USB external hard drives
    • If you have large amount of data to move over an external hard drive might be the route, you’d want to take.
    • They also come in a large variety of sizes.
  • Cloud storage
    • Google Drive
    • Icloud
    • Dropbox
    • Onedrive
    • All of the cloud storage options are a great idea but most give you a small amount of space to start with for free then start charging for additional storage.
  • CDs/DVDs
    • Not as common anymore, especially since most laptops do not have an optical drive (CD Drive).

3.) How do I backup my data

  • By far the easiest way is to copy and paste.
    • After you are signed into your computer open file explorer.
      • This is the folder icon located on the bottom Taskbar.
    • A new window will appear with a column on the left with a list.
    • From there plug in your media and make note of what drive letter it chooses.
      • More than likely it will take dive letter E: or higher.
    • Once you have located your media of choice, on the left column right click on desktop and click copy.
    • Once the desktop has been copied right click on your backup media and paste
    • Continue the same steps for:
      • Downloads
      • Documents
      • Pictures
      • Videos
  • If you only want to backup a single item, like a word document, then right click on that specific item, copy, and then paste onto the backup media.
Computer Running Slow 

1.) If your computer is running slow check the following.

  • Windows Updates
    • Windows Updates, depending on how many there are, can cause the computer to run slower while the download and install.
    • You can check to see if there are any windows updates running by, first going to the Windows Start Menu button on the bottom left of your screen and click on it.
    • Then click on the settings button.
      • It looks like a gear or cog.
    • A new window should appear and look for update and security.
      • It should be the last one on the list, click on it.
  • Once you are taken to the Update and Security page on the left column there should be an option called Windows Update, click on it if you are not already on that page.
  • Check to see if there are any running Windows updates.
    • If there are allow them to finish downloading and installing. Once they are done restart the computer.
    • If there are no updates click the check for updates button and allow windows to search for updates.
  • Programs running in the background
    • Sometimes when software is installed it is setup, by the manufacturer of the software, to start at startup.
    • When enough software is installed onto the computer and they are all setup to start at startup it can take quite some time to not only boot the computer but to also use the computer.
    • To check to see if you have any un-needed programs starting at startup try right clicking on the Windows Start Menu button located in the bottom left corner of the screen.
    • Locate Task manager and click on it.
    • From there a new window should appear with tab running across the top of it. Locate the tab that says startup.
    • Once in the startup tap check to see if you have any un-needed programs starting at startup.
      • Simply click on the program and then click disable on the bottom right of the window.
  • Viruses
    • Virus on the computer can cause the computer to slow down.
    • To check for viruses please refer to the “Do I have a Virus” question on our Q&A.
  • Hardware malfunction
    • In the unlikely chance of failing hardware, it can cause the computer to slow down.
    • Components inside the computer may fail for a variety of reasons, including:
      • Wear and tear
      • Mishandling/Neglect
      • Water damage
      • Shock damage
      • Bad components from factory
    • You can check the “health” of your computer components by running the built-in diagnostics from HP.
      • First shutdown the computer.
      • Then hold down the F2 key on the keyboard and turn on the system.
      • This should boot you into the HP tools.
      • From there click on component test.
      • You can run a mem test (RAM test).
      • You can also run and HDD test (Hard Drive test).
        • There is a quick and extended variant of this test. Typically, you can run the short/quick test to see if you have a bad Hard Drive.
  • After checking these areas and the computer is still running slow please contact the IT Department for further instructions.
Need to Bring Your Laptop In? Or Have Questions?

Contact our Information Technology Department at 605.882.5284 ext 330 or email service.desk@lakeareatech.edu

Laptop Drop Off Procedure
  1. Call 605-882-5284 ext330 before bringing in your computer.
  2. We will direct you over the phone on what doors to drop off your laptop off at.
  3. There will be a cart with a form to fill out when you drop off your computer, please fill out the form and place the form inside of your laptop.
  4. Place your laptop on the cart.
  5. Be aware that due to COVID-19 we will need to quarantine the laptop for a minimum of 72 hours prior to working on the computer.
  6. We will be in contact with you about the status of your computer once we have finished working on it or have questions for you.

If you have any questions feel free contact us at the information below:

Email: service.desk@lakeareatech.edu

Phone: 605-882-5284 ext 330

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00AM-4:30PM

Covid-19 lifespan on surfaces:

Lives on some plastic, glass, and metal up to 9 days unless properly disinfected. Some can even hang around for up to 28 days in lower temperatures. NIH study found it can live on cardboard up to 24hours and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces. CDC does not give a time line but is considered low risk since that is not how the main virus spread. Livescience.com says up to 72hrs (pulled from the NIH study)