††††††††††††††††††††††††††HARDWARE OVERVIEW & PROBLEM CHECKS

 

Introduction

When using a computer system it is important for the user to have a good understanding of the equipment that they are working with.† Having knowledge of the Hardware equipment as well as the Software will enable the user to more efficiently and accurately use the system.† Once the user has a good understanding of the equipment they are working with this will assist them to better understand the process of a computer system.† It is not necessary for the user to be an expert on the Hardware equipment, but it helps to have a general knowledge of what each piece of equipment does and accomplishes.† In this section of the manual we will go over what each piece of equipment does and also provide an overview of what the software was designed to accomplish.† You will find that the more that you know about the systems, the more enjoyable, efficient, and time saving that the system will be for you.† Each piece of equipment has an effect of some form or manner on your overall system solution.† No matter how little of importance or how insignificant a piece may seem to be,† it may play a very crucial role in the every day processing of your system. Lets turn to the next pages to learn more about the various hardware equipment and the role they each play on the overall solution.

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† HARDWARE OVERVIEW

 

 


Computer

This is where all the logic and processing takes place in your system.† If you think of a human body you can consider the computer the Brain.† For any part of your equipment to perform a task the computer must first process it and then give the command to the specific piece of equipment.† In order for your legs to move, your brain must first process the request and then send the message to your legs.† Computers have special ways of communication with the human users.† The form of communication is through languages, which interpret, human like request into computer like analysis and tasks.†

 

 

C.P.U.

The C.P.U. (Central Processing Unit) is the center of your overall computer system in which all the logical processing and decision-making is done.† For example if you ask the system to add 2 + 2 and the system responded 4, this calculation was done in the C.P.U. of your computer.† All requests or processing that is done with your system must pass through the C.P.U for proper handling and decision making before any output can be registered.† Output can be in the form of a printout or display or perhaps storage of information.† With this in mind it is important that you understand the difference in speeds between your C.P.U.'s.† The following is some examples of C.P.U. speeds.† At the very beginning of digital computing speeds like 8086, and 8088 were considered fast computing, but since, speeds of computers like 80286, 80386, and 80486 C.P.U. have been developed and have revolutionized the industry by multiplying the speeds of processing by hundreds of times.† Therefore, allowing many new and advanced programs to run on your systems, which would have otherwise been impossible because of the lack of speed.

 

Keyboard

The keyboard of a computer is the link between the user and the computer.† Whenever you want the computer to perform a task you have to communicate with it through the keyboard.† The keyboard is based on a typewriter style construction.† When you use a keyboard you will notice that the keys are laid out in the same order as would the ones on a typewriter.† Although the computer keyboard has some special keys that a typewriter keyboard does not contain.† For example the Function Keys which are usually located at the top or left side of the keyboard.† You will learn more about these keys and their functions later in the manual.† You can consider the keyboard your means of communication with the computer.††

 

Monitor

So far we have discovered that through speaking to the computer by the means of a keyboard we can have the computer perform different tasks and jobs for us.† But how do we know when a computer is expecting a certain command?† Or how would we know that the command that we gave the computer is valid and the computer has accepted it?† This is where the monitor comes into effect.† The monitor is where your attention and concentration will be most focused on, at all times.† When you send a command to the computer, through the monitor you can see what the status of that command is.† The monitor is no more than a television like device with a screen in either a color or monochrome display that allows you to see what is going on in the system.† It displays the various commands for you to know what additional information needs to be entered.

 

 

Diskette & Diskette Drive

When working with the computer all the information that you have entered and all the processing that you have done needs to be stored in a specific place.† Therefore, allowing that when you turn the power off on your computer system the information is stored for further use at a later time.† There are different medias of information (DATA) storage.† One of them is a floppy diskette. There are two sizes of floppy diskettes (5 1/4 in & 3 1/2 in).† This floppy diskette has a magnetic track on the inside of its cover that saves the information on it through magnetic impulses.† The information on your system for daily use will never be stored on a floppy diskette.† Due to the fact that it would be an inconvenience to have to be changing floppy diskettes all day long on your system.† A hard disk drive is what is used and we will go over its functions following this brief overview of the floppy diskette and drive.† The only time you will use a floppy diskette for storage in our system is in the case that you want to do a backup of your system.† The Daily backup of your system will be covered in the Backup section of this manual.† Some systems use floppy diskettes to start the system.† The system when turned on reads special commands that are stored in a floppy diskette, in order to activate the system for use.† These diskettes will usually be labeled

 

"Boot-Up-Diskette"

 

File server or Workstation.† (See definition for "File Server", and "Work-station" in the glossary section of this manual.)

 

 

Hard Disk Drive

We have been talking about the different types of medias that exist to store information.† The one in which your information for daily use and storage will be kept is on a Hard Drive or Disk.† The hard drive works much like the floppy diskette except it can hold much more information and it is easier to access, due to the fact that the hard drive is fixed (mounted) in the computer system itself.† The information that is processed and stored throughout the day is constantly being updated and stored on the hard drive.† Although the information that is stored on the hard drive is permanent and can be used daily, it is very important that your practice has a daily backup of all the information stored on the Hard Drive.† The daily backup process will be covered in the Backup section of this manual.† The hard drive can be considered the permanent memory or permanent storage of the system.

 

 

CD-ROM

A CD-ROM is a form of storage of data similar to a Hard Drive.† CD-ROM drives are relatively new technology, therefore they are only being used to read information from the CD (Compact Disks) into your computer system.† The equipment that handles saving information into the compact disk has already been developed but at a very high price to the consumer.† This type of equipment alike other new technology will be developed at a more efficient and less expensive fashion therefore allowing the consumer to be able to purchase the product.† CD-ROM will probably be the form of storage of the future as it is more reliable and definitely more flexible than a hard drive as you can have one CD-ROM drive and various CD-ROM disks to store your information.† Similar to storing music into tape cartridges, you only need one tape player/recorder but you can use multiple tapes.

 

 

RAM

RAM, which is an abbreviation for Random Access Memory, is another form of memory storage, but with a totally different goal, and result than that of a Hard Disk or a CD-ROM.†† Like the abbreviation says it is Randomly Accessed Memory.† This memory is used by your system to store information temporarily for the purpose of later processing or to not have to go to the hard disk every time that a program or request needs certain information.† This of course can make the speed of a program increase in processing time, as the system would only have to request data at specific periods of time from the hard disk.† It is like taking an open book test in which you have memorized almost the whole book therefore you do not have to refer to the book as often.† You would finish your examination much faster.† With this in mind the more RAM memory that a system has available to use, the faster that the programs used will run.† Most systems have the capability of upgrading the RAM memory by adding additional Memory Chips.

 

Note:† The ability for a software program to use RAM memory in advanced and efficient methods is strictly controlled by the entity that has created the software program, which you are using.† Therefore we make no expressed or written guarantee that additional RAM will increase the speed of certain software programs that you may use.

 

 

Scanner

A scanner is a device, which is used to take visual images and translate it into computer digital data form.† For example you can take a picture of a forest and scan it into your system, and have it come up on your screen.† At which time you could edit such picture and add or remove anything that you wish.† And then have the system reprint the image on paper.† Scanning of images is highly used for publishing, such as creating brochures, forms for business and for presentation of proposals or projects.

 

 

Printers

Printers are devices or peripherals that are used to put output from the computer onto a paper.†† When you request a report from your computer system, the computer processes the report, and then sends the output to the printer.† At which time the printer analyzes the request and begins printing what you have requested.† There are various types of printers.† They range anywhere from the practically obsolete Daisy Wheel printer to the new, fast, and technologically advanced Laser Printer.†† The printer is necessary for the user to obtain organized output, in the form of a report on paper form, for future review.† The printer is also responsible for printing insurance claims, generating patient statements or any form of paper communication.† Without a printer you will have no means to output information on paper.

 

 

Modem

The modem on a computer system is used to communicate with other computers that are outside your office.† The modem uses phone lines to speak to other modems.†† When submitting insurance claims electronically the data will be sent via the modem.† The modem is a piece of equipment that translates computer language and human request into audible signals, and then transfers them through the phone lines.† Once the modem on the Host computer receives the signals, it re-translates these signals back to computer language so that the receiving computer can analyze and process what the request of the other computer was.† In summary you can connect computers through telecommunication; therefore, allowing the user to work on another system that is located elsewhere without the need for the user to be physically present at that other site.† Modems vary in speed of data transmission.† There are modems that range in speed from 300 Baud to 9600 Baud.† Although, it is practically obsolete to use anything slower than a 56k Baud modem, because of their price and overall performance.† A modem of 56k-baud rate is as fast as if you were sitting in the office you are communicating with, but at this time are expensive.† Depending on how often you will be communicating through the modem, the proper speed is for efficiency and productivity is required; regardless of cost.† After all, this is a one-time investment which cost would be recovered on the long run.

 

Surge Strip

The surge strip is similar to a regular electrical outlet, except that it has a mechanism to cut off power to the system, in the case of a power surge.† This functions of the surge strip is very crucial, as your systems may be destroyed if a large power surge hits your electrical lines, and no surge protector is in the line between your equipment and the power outlet.† All your system should be plugged into the a surge protector.

 

U.P.S.

A U.P.S. is also known as an Un-interruptible Power Supply.† This piece of equipment is the one, that at any time that your regular source of power fails to feed the computer, your U.P.S. will kick in and maintain the power feed for a moderate length of time.† This feature is very important, thus allowing you to properly turn your system down, in the case that the power has gone out for a period of time.† The U.P.S. is especially important in network environments, which in the case of a power loss to the main system, much information could be lost.† With a U.P.S. this would not be the case, as you would have a chance to shut down your system in the proper fashion.

 

Single User

A Single User system is one considered to only consist of one computer system.

 

 

Multi-User

A Multi-User system is considered a system that has more than one computer processing at the same time.† Multi-User systems are also called Networks or LANs.† Networks allow multiple users to share the same information in a way that they do not conflict with one another, therefore creating an almost perfect sharing environment.† Network systems have practically become the theme of the future as you can incorporate many systems sharing the same information from a central source without the need to have multiple central storage unit.

 

SUMMARY

Remember that your practice is a place that people rely on for good care of their health, as well as being a business.† The Doctor's Management System has been designed to assist you in improving the personal care of your patients, along with assuring that your practice is a productive and profitable place of business.

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

HARDWARE PROBLEM CHECKS

 

Computer / Monitor Problems:

 

1. Monitor screen is black.

 

A. Make sure monitor and computer are BOTH turned on and plugged into an electrical outlet.

 

B. If the monitor or computer is plugged into a surge protector make sure the surge protector is turned on and plugged into an electrical outlet.

 

Note: Some spike protectors have a circuit breaker on the side, if this is the case try pressing the button on the breaker to try to reset it.

 

C. If the monitor or computer is plugged in to a UPS (Battery backup) Make sure the UPS is turned on and plugged into an electrical outlet.

 

D. Test the outlet by plugging in something else, such as a lamp, to it.

 

E. Make sure the brightness control is properly set.

 

F. Make sure all the cables behind the computer and monitor are plugged in tight.

 

G. Try pressing a key on the keyboard, since the system is set up to shut the screen off after a while without using it.

 

 

 

2. Monitor screen is dark and there is a faint image on it.

 

A. Make sure the brightness control is properly set.

 

3. Monitor screen is white and there is no image on the screen.

 

A. Make sure all the cables behind the computer and monitor are plugged in tight.

 

B. Make sure the computer is turned on and plugged in.

 

 

 

4. Screen colors are not correct.

 

A. Make sure all the connections behind the computer or monitor are plugged in tight.

 

B. Check to make sure the brightness and contrast controls are properly set.

 

C. Make sure there are no magnets next to the monitor. (Some common magnets are found on things like motors, fans, electric pencil sharpeners, paper clip holders, etc...)

 

D. Check if somebody has gone into the section for "Set screen colors" in system management, if so contact Budget Computer Systems to get instructions on how to set the colors back properly.

 

 

 

5. Some areas of the screen cannot be seen or are hard to read while others are correct.

 

A. Check to make sure the brightness and contrast controls are properly set.

 

B. Check if somebody has gone into the section for "Set screen colors" in system management, if so contact Budget Computer Systems to get instructions on how to set the colors back properly.

 

 

6. A message saying "File server could not be found" appears on the screen.

 

A. This means that the connection with the main computer has been lost, if it gives you an option to "Abort or Retry" try pressing "R" to re‑try the connection.

 

B. Check to make sure the main computer is operational, if its not, all the computers need to be shut down and back up again (See question on how to turn off the computer in the section of this manual labeled "Often asked user questions"). If the main computer is operational then the computer with the message needs to be shut down and back up again (See question on how to turn off the computer). If the message continues to appear then all the computers need to be shut down and† back up. Remember you can never just shut down a file server, make sure to do the shut down in the proper form.

 

C. Check the connections behind all the computer to make sure that none are disconnected, and that there are no cables wish look damaged or broken.

 

 

 

 

7. The UPS (Battery backup) beeps constantly.

 

A. First thing to do in this situation is to shut down the computer (See question on how to turn off the computer in the section of this manual labeled "Often asked user questions"). Note: If after determining that there is a problem with the UPS you wish† to use the computer temporarily without it, it is possible to do so by plugging in everything that is currently plugged in to the UPS to a spike protector and plugging the spike protector directly to the wall outlet. Be aware that by doing this if there was a power failure the computer would not stay up since it would no longer be††††† connected to the UPS.

 

B. If after shutting down the computer the unit stops beeping this is usually a symptom of the batteries being discharged. Leave the UPS plugged into an outlet and the computer disconnected from it for several hours, in order for the batteries to charge up again.

 

C. If the beeping continues after the computer is shut off, this usually means that the outlet into which the UPS is plugged in is not receiving power or the voltage on that outlet is very low. To check if there is power on the outlet, plug something into it, such as a lamp, and see if it works. If there is no power on the outlet check the circuit breaker or fuses in the office.

 

 

 

8. When the computer is turned on, it beeps and a number is displayed. Check the number bellow and follow the recommendations.

 

301-‑ Keyboard error:

 

A. Check that the keyboard is connected properly and all cables are tight.

 

B. Make sure nothing is pressing a key on the keyboard.

 

C. Make sure that none of the keys on the keyboard are stuck in the down position.

†††

601-‑ Diskette error:

 

A. Take the diskette out of the drive and place it back inside. Try to reboot the computer.

 

B. If a backup copy of the diskette is available try using the backup copy.

 

1701 ‑ Hard disk error:

 

A. Turn the computer off and then back on again, if it continues giving the error contact Budget Computer Systems.

 

 

 

9. When the main computer is turned on it gives the message "You must boot DOS before executing Non‑dedicated NetWare."

 

A. Make sure the diskette is inserted properly into the drive. Then reboot the computer.

 

B. Check that the diskette in the drive is the correct one. (Usually itís labeled "File server boot disk").

 

C. If a backup copy of the diskette is available try using the backup copy.

 

 

 

10.† When the main computer is turned on it gives the message "Non‑system disk or disk error, Replace and press any key when ready."

 

A. If your computer requires a diskette to boot‑up then make sure the diskette is inserted properly into the drive. Then reboot the computer.

 

B. If your computer normally boots from the hard drive, remove any diskette in the drive then reboot the computer.

 

C. Check that the diskette in the drive is the correct one.

 

D. If a backup copy of the diskette is available try using the backup copy.

 

 

 

Keyboard Problems:

 

1.† When entering a number on the numeric keypad, after entering 1 or 2 numbers the system goes on to the next question.

 

A. Make sure the "NUM LOCK" light is turned on, if its off, press the "NUM LOCK" key, next to the keypad, to turn it on.

 

 

 

2. When entering an ID number, the computer keeps a "0" after the number that is being entered.

 

A. This means that the computer is in "Insert mode", to turn this off press the key on the keyboard, which says "INSERT". To reactivate the Insert mode simply press the "INSERT" key again.

 

 

 

3. The print screen key does not work.

 

A. Check to make sure the printer is turned on and ready. ("On‑line" or††††† "Ready" light should be on).

 

B. If you are trying to print the screen on a network it will only work on the workstations, it will NOT print on the file server, this in not a problem, the reason is that this key is reserved for other purposes.

 

 

 

4. The keyboard seems to be locked, no matter which key is pressed it does not respond.

 

A. Check to make sure the cables behind the computer are plugged in tight.

 

B. If the screen says "Processing occurring, please wait.", it might be doing a process, which cannot be interrupted, in which case you have to wait for it to finish.

 

C. If the screen is at a point where it should respond to the keyboard and it still doesn't then the computer must be shut down and back up again. (See question on how to turn off the computer in the section of this manual labeled "Often asked user questions").

 

 

Printer Problems:

 

1. After changing the paper the first page prints properly but the following pages start printing lower on the page.

 

A. The printer keeps track of where the paper is positioned, if the paper is changed, the printer must be told were the new paper is positioned prior to printing on it.†††† There are two ways of doing this:

 

††††††††††† A1. Align the paper to the top of the form and turn the printer off then back on again.

 

††††††††††† A2. Press the "Form feed" button on the printer in order for the paper to feed, then using the knob on the printer position the paper to the top.

 

 

 

2. After printing several pages the paper starts to jam.

 

A. Make sure the paper is being fed to the printer directly from underneath, if the paper is coming in at an angle it will cause it to move un‑evenly and eventually jam.

 

B. Make sure that the paper, which has already been printed does not fall on top of the blank paper coming into the printer.

 

C. Make sure the tractors (the wheels with pins which feed the paper) are keeping the paper tight, if the tractors are too close together the paper tends to snag and jams with the print‑head.

 

D. Check that the paper is aligned straight in the printer, if the paper is at an angle it will eventually come off the tractors and jam.

 

 

 

3. Pressing the Print Screen does not work.

 

A. See #3 under "Keyboard problems"

 

 

 

4. The printer does not print at all.

 

A. Make sure the "Ready" or "On‑line" light is turned on, if itís off then press the "Ready" or "On‑line" button on the printer.

 

B. Make sure the printer is plugged in to an outlet, which has power.

 

C. Check the cables behind the printer and behind the computer to make sure they are all connected tight.

 

D. Try printing a different report, the report being requested might not have any information to print or might have been requested incorrectly.

 

 

 

5. The "READY" or "ON‑LINE" light does not come on.

 

A. This usually means that the printer encountered an error. Make sure the paper is being fed properly, and that there is nothing blocking the path of the print head. After that turns the printer off and then back on, if the light still won't come on, shut down the computer (See question on how to turn off the computer in the section of this manual labeled "Often asked user questions") and try it again.

 

6. The printer is printing too light and the letters are hard to read.

 

A. Replace the ribbon with a new one.

 

B. Check the head gap adjustment and move the print head closer to the paper. On the DOT MATRIX this is a lever located on the left side of the platen and numbered 1‑6, moving the lever towards the paper brings the print head closer.

 

C. Make sure the ribbon is properly mounted and that it turns as it prints.

 

D. Check that the ribbon turns freely by manually turning the knob on top of the ribbon, if it feels tight the ribbon might be defective or jammed. (Even NEW ribbons can be defective, compare it to the old one removed and see if the old one turns easier.)

E. If it is an Online Laser Printer, make check the cartridges.

 

7. Computer gives message "Printer not ready, please check".

 

A. The printer does not have the "READY" or "ON‑LINE" light on. See #4 above for possible solutions.

 

 

Communication Problems:

 

1. Computer gives message "Unable to configure COM port"

 

A. Check "Set Communication Parameters" under system management and make sure it has a communication port defined. (Contact Budget Computer Systems for assistance).

 

B. Shut down the computer (See question on how to turn off the computer in the section of this manual labeled "Often asked user questions") and try it again.

 

C. Make sure the computer being used is the one that has the modem attached to it.

 

 

 

 

2. Computer acts like its dialing but never gets through to host computer.

 

A. Check "Set Communication Parameters" under system management and make sure it has a correct phone numbers defined. (Contact Budget Computer Systems for assistance).

 

B. Make sure the modem is connected to the telephone line and the telephone line is active. If possible test the telephone line with† a regular, single line, telephone to make sure it works.

 

C. Check all the connections behind the modem and behind the computer and make sure everything is connected tight.

 

 

 

3. Computer gives message "Unable to configure the modem"

 

A. If the modem has a power transformer(small box which plugs into the power outlet) make sure itís plugged in and that there is power on the outlet.

 

B. If modem is not inside the computer, make sure that it is turned on. (It should have several lights on in the front)

 

C. Check all the connections behind the modem and behind the computer and make sure everything is connected tight.

 

 

 

4. Modem connects and seems to transfer but then gives message saying "Unable to complete receipt of report from the host".

 

A. Print the "Transmission exceptions report" since after accumulating approximately 30 reports the system fills up and won't receive any more. After printing try the transmission again.

 

B. Try the transmission again. Any noise or disruption on the telephone line will cause the computer to disconnect.

 

C. If escape was pressed while receiving the reports, the line will be disconnected and the message displayed.

 

 

 

5. Computer keeps giving message "Line busy ‑ trying to dial again".

 

A. Check "Set Communication Parameters" under system management and make sure it has the correct phone numbers defined. (Contact Budget Computer Systems for assistance).

 

B. The computer will try several different numbers, if after trying all the numbers the lines are still busy, try the call again at a later time.