Pew Pew Laser Blog

Code. Glass art. Games. Baking. Cats. From Seattle, Washington and various sundry satellite locations.

Blogs about troubleshooting

The Laying On Of Hands.


The father of a childhood friend always started fixing household devices by opening doors, re-seating cables, and just fiddling with the equipment. It was reasonably effective, and he referred to this process as "the laying on of hands".

Since I rebuilt my computer a few months ago, it was intermittently failing to find the hard drive on boot up. I figured it was a hardware failure, since there were no boot problems when the drive was found. I cracked the case, poked around a bit, and reseated the SATA cables. I've had no problems since!

The laying on of hands wins again.

The "What Changed" Method of Troubleshooting.


Last month at the office, Photoshop suddenly became very very slow to launch and open new documents. It was really quite unbearable. In fact, I had even noticed that Word was slower to launch, but that wasn't as much of a problem as Photoshop, which I use all the time. I happened to complain of this to our Creative Director, and he said that it was the new printer driver for the brand new office copier/printer, and I should set my default printer driver to the PDF Writer.

I never would have figured out that the new printer driver was causing all of my trouble. Even when I was doing tech support for printers, if a customer had complained to me of a slow computer, I never would have thought to try a different driver.

But I did switch the default driver to the PDF Writer, and then Photoshop continued zipping along as it had in the past. Until the next day, after I rebooted the computer. Sadly, it turns out that our IT group sets a user's default printer each time a user logs in. So I had to remember to re-set the default printer to the PDF Writer each time I logged on, or suffer with a very slow Photoshop.

After two weeks of this, I wrote a ticket to IT, asking that if they could not fix the new printer driver, to please stop messing with my default printer setting. The response I got back indicated that fixing the issue was a low priority item, and I should not reboot my computer so often. Sigh.

The good news is that just yesterday (3 or 4 weeks after I wrote the ticket), we have a new company printer driver. I am happy to report that both Photoshop and Word launch acceptably fast with this new driver.