Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts Third Edition
Copyright 2013 by Morris Rosenthal
All Rights Reserved
Eight of the troubleshooting flowcharts for PC hardware from my book "Computer
Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts Third Edition" are excerpted on this site
and linked below. The non-active links are for charts that are included in
the book but not available online. The Third Edition is 170 pages and includes
seventeen flowcharts for troubleshooting PCs plus explanatory text for every
decision symbol on every flowchart. The troubleshooting process is the same
for an expensive Sony or IBM, or a cheaper eMachines or Acer. Dell and HP
(who purchased Compaq) manufacture desktop PC's in a wide range of price
points, but you have to go through the same troubleshooting steps for the
cheap ones as the expensive ones if you want to correctly identify and repair
Computer Repair with Diagnostic Flowcharts Third Edition: Troubleshooting PC Hardware Problems from Boot Failure to Poor Performance, is not for absolute beginners, as you can see from looking at any of the diagnostic charts. There are no photo-illustrations in the book, no history, nor explanations of basic computer part functions, like "What's a hard drive?" The focus of the book is teaching a structured approach to PC repair. The intended audience is hobbyists who already have some experience repairing computers or beginning computer technicians. The book has been adopted as a class text in several technical colleges and vocational training programs. A free evaluation copy is available to instructors of PC repair courses who can demonstrate they are on the faculty of recognized educational institution in the U.S.
The PC diagnostics apply to ATX computers, which displaced the old AT standard beginning in the mid-90's. Although I included a few "live power" troubleshooting procedures for advanced techs with their insurance all paid up, the rule for ATX systems is to unplug the power supply before working in the case. The general approach in the diagnostic flowcharts is to try to push parts swapping off until the end, so that readers without a large stock of spare parts will have a chance to fix the problem without spending money. Flowchart critics please note that my main design approach was to avoid crossed lines, which I believe make flowcharts useless.