our everyday life

Job Functions of a Computer Technician

by Mark Applegate, studioD

When many people have computer downtime, they call their cousin Eddie. Eddie, possibly a plumber or landscaper by trade, is "good with computers" and can fix anything. If you choose, instead, the professional path, you will call a computer technician. These technicians can assist with all aspects of a computer emergency and often can get you computing again quickly, by performing several job functions.

Troubleshoots Your Problem

Computer technicians keep computers operating at the best possible speed given the system's age and hardware and software configuration. When the computer lags in performance, you will typically call your office help desk, which will dispatch a computer technician or computer support specialist to address the deficiency. When he arrives, he will ask diagnostic questions to try to ascertain the origin of the problem. He will test the hardware and software and, using best practices, determine the viability of the repair.

Repairs Computer Systems

Once the computer technician has garnered approval to move forward with the repair, he orders replacement parts or draws from his local inventory to mitigate the problem. He may have to perform simple hardware repairs such as replace a video card, or he may have to overhaul the system with a new motherboard or hard drive. He may also have to remove a virus or reinstall the operating system on a heavily-infected machine. Sometimes he may merely reinstall a driver or tweak the system's registry software to get it back to its desired state.

Provides Preventative Maintenance

A technicians uses preventative maintenance procedures to keep a system running at its optimum performance level and to prevent the downtime of a major outage. Simple preventative maintenance includes updating the operating system and third-party software, cleaning the registry, removing cookies and physically cleaning the inside and the outside of the computers. Most technicians will blow out the power supply and all fans in the system to reduce stored heat and enhance air flow. The tech will look at the system's event viewer console to determine if the system has had any frequent errors or locks and will address any software or hardware issues from this search. He will also use diagnostic software to scan for hardware weaknesses or failure and will replace any part necessary in advance of downtime.

Other Functions

A computer technician may be called on to install, maintain or repair such peripherals as printers, scanners and monitors. The network administrator may delegate to the technician the job or connecting a system to the network, especially after he replaces an Ethernet card or other piece of essential network hardware. End-users may lean on the computer tech to assist in operating the computer. Techs may operate a trouble ticketing software suite to efficiently schedule repairs and follow up on issues while ultimately making sure all tickets are closed to the satisfaction of the user and the company.

About the Author

Based in Bolivar, Mo., Mark Applegate has been a professional writer since 2003. An experienced Christian entrepreneur, Applegate work covers business, careers and technology as well as religious topics. He has primarily published in print in the "Cedar County (Mo.) Republican" and the "Republic (Mo.) Monitor" along with an host of online publications. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and currently serves as the information technology director at a local public school.

Photo Credits

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