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Walden Computer: Computer issues


Some people find the idea of troubleshooting a computer problem intimidating, but there are a few basic steps that can resolve a number of issues.  And even if these steps don't resolve your issue, they may help you (and Frontline) narrow down what is causing the issue. 



Frontline provides computer support for Walden staff and full-time faculty.  They do not provide student support. 

You can contact Frontline via phone or e-mail.  Do not use both methods for the same issue.  This results in duplicate tickets and will delay their response.  Contacting Frontline via e-mail is the fastest way to get help.

When you contact Frontline, be prepared to provide the following information.

  • a detailed description of the problem: include what you were doing when the problem happened, what you clicked on, any error messages, and what you tried to resolve the issue
  • a screenshot/s of any error messages, if appropriate
  • your network user name
  • your contact information (including preferred method of contact and availability, if outside normal business hours)
  • your computer name (located on the laptop lid or in the computer's properties).


Frontline contact information:


Software and resources NOT SUPPORTED by Frontline:

  • all Springshare products and associated websites: LibAnswers, LibCal, LibGuides, LibStaffer, LibSurveys (all CAE student-facing websites)
  • ILLiad/Document Delivery Service (Library)
  • SARS
  • Techsmith products: Camtasia, Jing, SnagIt
  • Walden Library databases

Basic computer troubleshooting

There is a general process to follow when troubleshooting any kind of technical issue.  This process may not lead to a solution, but it will at least collect the information needed to further investigate the issue.

The idea behind a troubleshooting process is to identify the issue, collect information about it, and then eliminate possible causes starting with the most common issue and working towards the strange obscure things. The same concepts apply whether you are trying to figure out why your computer is running slowly or why your car won't start.  This is a critical thinking process that can be mastered by anyone.


Some things to keep in mind.

  • It helps to start the troubleshooting with a clean working system.  This is why techs make you reboot your computer as the first step in the process (YouTube).  A newly booted computer is the closest you can get to a clean working system.  This is also why clearing the cache and closing a browser often resolves website issues.  The cleaned browser removes all the other things that may be causing a conflict, and lets you get down to the actual issue.
  • Too many open programs makes your computer cranky.  Try to work on one thing at a time, and close the program before you move on to a new thing. I know.  We are multitasking crazy people.  Try to keep the programs under control.  And that goes double for Chrome tabs. :)
  • Error messages are important.  Read them.  Your computer often tells you what is wrong, if you listen to it.  It is tempting to mindlessly click past error messages.  This is the curse of program installers and user license agreements; we are trained to click, click, click past the meaningless language.  Read those error messages, and then Google them.  The Internet has already solved 9.7 out of 10 computer issues you will encounter.
  • Relevant troubleshooting xkcd comic.

Wikipedia has a fascinating (to some) article on troubleshooting.


The troubleshooting process:

  1. Collect information.

What is the issue?

Is there an error message?  What is it? Make a note of it.  Even better, get a screenshot of it.

Is the issue happening in one place?  In multiple places?  Is it consistent?  Is it random?

If the issue is with an online program or website, what browser are you using?  Does the same issue happen in a different browser?

Are other people having the same issue?


  1. Start clean.

Close the program and re-open it.  Did that resolve the issue?

If it is a web issue, clean the browser cache and then close the browser. Did that resolve the issue?

Learn how to clear your browser cache.

Re-boot the computer.  Seriously, rebooting resolves a ridiculous number of issues.  It does for your computer what a good night's sleep does for you.  It shakes out all the cobwebs and lets you start fresh.


  1. Narrow down the issue.

Eliminate factors to see if you can identify the culprit.

If you are a typical multitasker, you probably have a number of programs open, as well as a bunch of browser tabs or windows. Or both.  Start closing things and see if that makes a difference. Close everything except the program you need.

Windows login


Unable to log in to your computer because the password isn't being accepted or the account is locked.


Things to try:

Unlock your account or reset your password through the Walden University Self-Service Portal (LSSP):

  1. Open LSSP. It's a great idea to bookmark this portal or e-mail the URL to a personal e-mail account so that you can easily access LSSP from another computer if you're unable to log in to your work computer. You can even use it from your smart phone.
  2. Reset Password or Unlock Account, depending on the problem. Accounts are locked after 3 failed login attempts.
  3. Log in to your work computer with your new password (if you reset it) or current password (if you unlocked the account).

If that didn't work, now what?

Contact Frontline. Sometimes unlocking your account or resetting your password through LSSP is not successful. Frontline can resolve this.

Computer is slow

There are a number of reasons why your computer may be running slowly.  Here are a few things to try or consider before calling Frontline.

Kaseya update:  

Are you online? Then Frontline may be pushing an update through Kaseya.

It seems that every time my computer is really slow, eventually a "Do you want to reboot?" message pops up, and I know I've been updated.  Updates are pushed out throughout the week and even on weekends.  It could happen at any time.

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell if an update is going out and, other than completely disconnecting from all Walden networks (including VPN), there is no way to stop an update. 

There are a few indicators that slowness may be caused by an update.

  • Is the slowness worse when on the Internet or using web-based programs?
  • Does taking your computer off the Internet resolve the slowness?


Too many open programs:

If you are a typical multitasker, you probably have a number of programs open, as well as a bunch of browser tabs or windows.  Or both.  While our computers are good, they are not high-end machines.  You can overwhelm them.

Closing unneeded programs can go a long ways towards speeding up your computer. 

Chrome needs a special note.  Chrome is a known resource hog. The more Chrome tabs you have open, the slower your computer will be.  If you are one of those people who keep dozens of tabs open all the time, it is time to learn the joy of bookmarks.  Only keep tabs open that you are actively using.  Bookmark the rest. You can always go back.  And you may consider using a leaner browser such as Firefox.

PDF issues

Nine times out of ten, PDF issues are caused by a problem with the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Upgrade the Adobe Reader and see if that resolves the issue. 

Slow Internet

There are three main reasons for a slow Internet connection.  They are:

  • a Kaseya update is in progress
  • too many concurrent connections (lots of browser tabs open, streaming music, and working in web-based programs all at once)
  • a problem with your Internet connection, wireless router, or modem.


If your Internet is slow, close all the programs using the Internet.  Restart your browser.  Log out of VPN, if you are on it.  Now go try to stream a video.  A nice baby animal YouTube video is a good choice.  How does that play?  Any problems?  If the video spins and spins, if the video stops and starts, or if the audio is a mess you probably have a bad connection. 

Go to Speedtest and test your Internet connection. It should be at least 1.5Mbps (which is the Walden student requirement and the Netflix recommended speed for basic streaming).  3.0Mbps is better (standard streaming on Netflix), and anything over 5.0Mbps rocks (HD streaming on Netflix).  If your internet is slower than 1.5Mpbs, check your modem/router/Internet connection at home or call Frontline if you are in the office.