General Tips to Keep in Mind
Write down your steps
Take notes about error messages
Always check the cables
Restart the computer
Common Troubleshooting Strategies:
Problem: Power button will not start computer
Solution 1: If your computer does not start, begin by checking the power cord to confirm that it is plugged securely into the back of the computer case and the power outlet.
Solution 2: If it is plugged into an outlet, make sure it is a working outlet. To check your outlet, you can plug in another electrical device, such as a lamp.
Solution 3: If the computer is plugged in to a surge protector, verify that it is turned on. You may have to reset the surge protector by turning it off and then back on. You can also plug a lamp or other device into the surge protector to verify that it's working correctly.
Solution 4: If you are using a laptop, the battery may not be charged. Plug the AC adapter (or power cord) into the wall, then try to turn on the laptop. If it still doesn't start up, you may need to wait a few minutes and try again.
Problem: An application is running slowly
Solution 1: Close and reopen the application.
Solution 2: Update the application. To do this, click the Help menu and look for an option to check for Updates. If you don't find this option, another idea is to run an online search for application updates.
Problem: An application is frozen
Sometimes an application may become stuck or frozen. When this happens, you won't be able to close the window or click any buttons within the application.
Solution 1: Force quit the application.
On a PC, you can press (and hold) Ctrl+Alt+Delete (the Control, Alt, and Delete keys) on your keyboard to open the Task Manager.
On a Mac, press and hold Command+Option+Esc. You can then select the unresponsive application and click End task (or Force Quit on a Mac) to close it.
Solution 2: Restart the computer. If you are unable to force quit an application, restarting your computer will close all open apps.
Problem: The mouse or keyboard has stopped working
Solution 1: If you're using a wired mouse or keyboard, make sure it's correctly plugged into the computer.
Solution 2: If you're using a wireless mouse or keyboard, make sure it's turned on and that its batteries are charged.
Problem: The sound isn't working
Solution 1: Check the volume level. Click the audio button in the top-right or bottom-right corner of the screen to make sure the sound is turned on and that the volume is up.
Solution 2: Check the audio player controls. Many audio and video players will have their own separate audio controls. Make sure the sound is turned on and that the volume is turned up in the player.
Solution 3: Check the cables. Make sure external speakers are plugged in, turned on, and connected to the correct audio port or a USB port. If your computer has color-coded ports, the audio output port will usually be green.
Solution 4: Connect headphones to the computer to find out if you can hear sound through the headphones.
Solving More Difficult Problems
In your comment, be sure to outline it like I did above. Write the problem and a few possible solutions.
After having a bunch of problems and solutions in this comment section, I'll put together a document for our school community!