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General Troubleshooting

Few things are as frustrating as trying to narrow down the problem when your computer refuses to cooperate. This guide is by no means comprehensive, but it does cover some of the basic email and connectivity issues we have seen with our members. If you work through these to no avail, it may be time for a professional's help.

Any time your computer fails to do something that it did before, you need to consider the answers to these questions:

  • What have I added or removed from my computer since it last worked?
  • Have I shut down and restarted the machine since it failed?
  • Is everything plugged in and turned on?
  • Do I have up-to-date anti-virus protection on my computer?
  • How long ago did I last perform maintenance like running the Disk Defragmenter utility on my computer?
  • What software was I using? Does it fail with only certain programs?
  • What, exactly, did the computer do when it failed? What are the error messages telling me?

Next, you need to narrow down exactly where the problem lies:

  1. Dial in to CedarNet using the CedarNet icon. Did you get connected? Yes? then move on to step 2.
    No? Try these things:
    • Make certain you are using the correct phone number (232-4135), username and password (all lowercase, no "@cedarnet.org" or "%cedarnet.org").
    • If the error message tells you there is no dial tone, double check that the phone line is connected securely to your computer, in the right spot, and to the wall-jack. Remove any line splitters, and try a different cord if you can.
    • Check all of your settings, according to your operating system from this page.
    • Restart your computer after making changes to be certain they are in effect.
      >> If none of these things help, call the CedarNet office to confirm your username/password information.
  2. Now open a browser window. Did it open a webpage? Yes? Then move on to step 3.
    No? Try these things:
    • Type an Internet address into the Address field at the top of the page, then press the Enter key.(Try www.cedarnet.org)
    • Internet Explorer: Click on the Tools option at the very top, select Internet Options.
      • It opens under the General tab, make sure the Home page is set to a real address. (Try http://www.cedarnet.org)
      • Press the button for Delete Cookies and Delete files to clear the cache and temp folders.
      • Click on the Connections tab. Make sure your CedarNet connection is the only one present (unless, of course, you have more than one Internet provider). Click on any extra entries and then click on the Remove button.
      • CedarNet should be set as your default connection, with "Always dial my default connection" selected.
    • Netscape: Click on the Edit option at the very top, select Preferences.
      • Make sure Navigator is highlighted in the lefthand area, then make sure the Home page is set to a real address. (Try http://www.cedarnet.org)
      • Click on the small triangle next to Advanced in the lefthand area, then select Cache.
      • Click on the buttons for "Clear memory cache" and "Clear disk cache" to clear the cache and temp folders.
    • Check all of your settings, according to your operating system from this page.
  3. Now open your email program. Are you able to send and receive email?
    No? Click here to continue...

    * If you do not find the help you need here, call the CedarNet office (233-5675), and keep your notes handy since you will be asked many of these same questions.


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Last updated 04-Aug-2003

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