This website was originally started to supplement one-to-one help sessions. When an issue comes up with a user, it often is of interest to others. The website helps me cover more ground with users.
So here goes with the latest fixes.
First, if a wired device, pull the plug from the wall and plug it back in after a few minutes
Next, try the process of elimination. If you have a problem with a peripheral, try it with another computer. Or try another like peripheral with your computer.
Search for a solution from internet---just Google it. Someone else may have had the same problem. Change that "may" to "will".
"FaceBook" it. Though targeted for privacy problems, FaceBook can air your problems so that they are seen. They can be posted wiith complete privacy (anonimity) for you and read by the world without giving up privacy on either end.
Another unsuspected source of help..if a device gives trouble, is to search and read Amazon comments. Lots of help there.
Read the instructions. Google for a manual. Keep solutions on Evernote---you may need them later.
Sleep on the problem. Present all the facts to your mind and let your mind work on it free of your mental micromanagement. Give your subconscious mind a chance. It is smarter than your conscious mind.
Try online support. It is better to chat on-screen than try to understand someone unintelligible. But if you do need to phone, use Skype. Better sound.
Newly, Google offers a program to remotely operate your computer so that an expert can deal with the problem from afar, such as your kid(s).
Then, try prevention. Use the internet "cloud" next time you create content or need storage. Backup your files online. Automatically, if possible, as via Carbonite.
Once, carrying an old 1992 H-P printer, I lost control of it and it went bouncing down the stairs at Lumberton. Never had any trouble with it since. But DO NOT TRY THIS. With another one I took all 1,000 parts apart and replaced the scanner motor. Still works. Don't try this either, though. Get a cheap new all-in-one or laser.
If totally frustrated with your PC, go buy a MacBook Air. No mechanical parts and great for toting around, but make sure someone does not steal it. If the price bothers you, consider it artwork, which it is. You get Apple help and training with it. Look at an iPad first, though, and maybe an Amazon Fire when it is available. Use the latest technology. Keep informed and use the best equipment for your needs. The lowest cost new equipment may be far better than the best expensive old stuff.
From a cable company, you might rent your internet router and access point initially and use the provider's equipment until you have configured your own. Configuring these devices yourself can be a challenge. Read Amazon comments before buying equipment.