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  • RTFM – The answer may be closer to home than you think!

    25th September 2017 | Blog | steve
  • I recently had an exchange of emails with a customer that we had not seen for about 10 years. Apparently help was needed with a single desktop that just would not connect to the internet.

    The customer explained that all the other machines in the house, it was a residential customer, worked fine but her son’s desktop just would not connect to the internet.. So a visit was arranged for one Saturday afternoon after I shut up the shop.

    Upon arriving at the address I was met by the customer who I could vaguely remember and was led upstairs to the offending machine. The customer sat on the bed and kept an eye on what I was doing. Always in case like this you check the most obvious things first and I had a look to see what wireless networks were being seen. I then pulled out my mobile and checked on that as well and surely enough there were a lot on my mobile and only one on the desktop.

    The customer explained that it had been working although had always been patchy but now just would not work. She had in her own words “spent hours on the phone with Microsoft” with no joy although I am unsure as to why Microsoft would offer free support on a 12 month old computer that could not connect to the internet.

    Anyway I carried out a few other basics tests and re-booted the machine. Whilst doing so I wanted to check what sort of wireless device the computer had and  proceeded to pull the desktop out slightly so that I could see the back of it.

    No obvious signs of a USB dongle but then I spotted the problem!


    I felt that when I told the customer that I knew what the pr

    oblem was she might jump out of the windows and so I calmly asked her if when she had the computer b

    uilt and when it was delivered if anything else cam in the box?

    The mother


    board box was on a shelf behind me and she passed it over to me. I rummaged through it and then discovered what I needed.

    The two aerials that you are supposed to screw on to the WiFi card when you set up the desktop!. Manufacturers never screw them on because there is a risk of them breaking in transit.

    So I screwed them on and tested the wireless again and hey presto about a dozen wireless networks came in to view. I connected to the clients and ran a speed test. Not bad 12Mb down and about 2Mb up.

    Job done!

    It is likely that the manufacturers don’t actually give you instructions that you should fit them and so you cannot really blame the customer but you only had to look at the back to see that there were two female threads showing.



  • 1 comment

    This RTFM story reminds me of the very old tale of the lady who complained of lurching and excessive fuel consumption from her new Ford Anglia. After many fruitless trips to the repair shop the dealer decided to sent a technician out with her in the to see what she was doing. All was going well until she dropped her handbag on the extended chock cable. When questioned if she knew what the knob was for, the lady replied that she assumed that it was a convenient place to hang her handbag. A brief verbal lesson ensued and all was well. RTFM indeed!

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