October 2005 HelpLine
Diagnosing Computer Problems
* Software Problems Are Hard
* Card Readers
* JPEG Revisited
Software Problems Are Hard
Q) The first time I downloaded photos from my camera to computer, everything was fine. The second time, I got a "system error" message on the camera and it closed down. I've tried the camera on a friend's PC and all is well. I've reinstalled the software, rebooted, tried all my USB ports, etc., without success. Can you help?
A) Generally, it's difficult to troubleshoot issues remotely. I've included this letter to point out a possible solution to software problems, however, and to give some hints for trouble-shooting. First, let's deal with the hardware. You did the right thing in checking out the cable and camera on another computer. On your own system, there are a couple of things to try:
• Are you using a USB hub? If so, disconnect any other device that's plugged into it. There might be a conflict with another device. If your hub is powered, unplug the power, wait 20 seconds and plug it back in. Some hubs will turn off ports that are causing problems. Repowering the hub can switch all of the ports back on. Finally, try removing the hub and plug your camera directly into your computer.
• If you're not using a hub, test your USB ports with another device to see if they're working.