How to Troubleshoot Your Broken PC With ChatGPT – MUO – MakeUseOf

ChatGPT is incredibly useful, but can it guide you through a PC fix?
Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has taken the online world by storm. The seemingly omniscient chatbot is used to create content, provide customer support, and even trick real people. But ChatGPT has many more uses than that and has the knowledge to guide you through issues relating to your computer when it breaks.
So, how can you use ChatGPT to solve your computer problems?
Troubleshooting a broken PC often involves many searches and dives into help pages and forum posts, which can take time. Thankfully, though, it just so happens that ChatGPT is an expert in scouring information online. It can even present it in a consolidated, concise set of instructions.
To showcase ChatGPT's ability to troubleshoot computer problems, we will use ChatGPT-3.5 to solve five of the most common PC issues users face. ChatGPT-3.5 is the free version of the generative AI tool, which means anyone can give it a try.
Head to ChatGPT and either log in or make a free account if you don't already have one. From here, you can start talking to ChatGPT-3.5 and ask it how to fix your PC. We've used ChatGPT to fix three common PC hardware issues. However, it's just the tip of the iceberg and illustrates ChatGPT's range and how to apply it to your machine.
Whether it is stuck in a boot loop, powers on but doesn't boot, or won't start at all, plenty of issues can cause PC startup failure. In this case, our PC won't start because the power supply switch is off.
This is an easy issue for a human to resolve, but how quickly will ChatGPT give us the correct answer? Let's say, "My PC won't start" to OpenAI's ChatGPT 3.5 free chatbot.
As you can see from the results, ChatGPT casts a fairly wide net when it comes to PC troubleshooting. This isn't a bad thing, and all of the suggestions it has provided are worthwhile. They are even presented in a sensible order.
In the case of our problem, ChatGPT has gotten quite lucky here, solving the problem with its first suggestion. But what if it has something more complicated to solve?
A slow PC can be almost as bad as one that won't start, causing endless frustration as you try to complete your daily tasks. Faulty hardware, fragmented drives, malware, and various other problems can cause a PC to run slowly.
In this case, our PC is running slowly because it is old and hasn't been maintained very well. There are several steps that you can take to improve the speed of an old PC, but you will need to be more specific with ChatGPT than in our last request to get relevant results.
Let's try "How can I make an old PC run faster?" with OpenAI's ChatGPT 3.5 Chatbot to see how well it does.
Once again, ChatGPT provides a list of solutions to our problem, and it's up to us to assess how well they will work. As before, ChatGPT has done well in identifying some of the key causes of slow PCs, but it has also made some suggestions that aren't so sensible.
For instance, completely reinstalling your operating system can make an old PC faster. This is because of compounding issues, like fragmented drives and loads of programs running on startup, but you can solve these issues without starting fresh. In fact, ChatGPT has given you loads of suggestions that should mitigate the need for such action.
It would be unreasonable to expect ChatGPT to be able to correct this, but it shows that you have to be a little bit careful when following advice from an AI chatbot. Upgrading your hardware, cleaning the machine, and many other suggestions are well worth trying if you have a slow PC.
ChatGPT is great for questions like this. It can give you prompts you would never have thought of, making it far more obvious when you have issues slowing down your PC that you aren't aware of.
While they aren't as scary as they used to be, blue screens are difficult to deal with and cause a lot of frustration when they occur repeatedly. Many issues can cause a blue screen crash, but you won't always get an error code to help you find the solution.
Asking ChatGPT, "How do I fix a PC that keeps blue screening?" will yield a long list of general solutions. It will usually suggest noting and researching the error code provided with the blue screen, along with a range of other solutions that are largely helpful.
One of the common solutions ChatGPT provides for blue screens is, once again, reinstalling your operating system. This is also not the best solution in the case of blue screening, but it could help if a software issue is causing the error.
If your blue screen does come with an error code, you will have a much easier time figuring out what is wrong with the machine. You can find lists of BSOD error codes around the web, with 0xC0000218 serving as a good example. This error only shows when Windows can't load a registry file that it needs.
Let's see if ChatGPT can figure out how to fix this issue by asking, "How do I fix a PC with a 0xC0000218 blue screen error code?".
As you can see, ChatGPT does know what the error code means. Despite this, the solutions it suggests remain relatively standard troubleshooting steps and lack nuance compared to similar questions.
Fixing blue screen errors is challenging if you don't have the right guidance. Alongside using ChatGPT, it's well worth reading a real human-written guide to solving blue screens in Windows to help you through this process.
As you can see, ChatGPT is a powerful tool, but it struggles to go beyond answering simple troubleshooting requests. This doesn't mean that it isn't helpful for jobs like this, though, and there are many ways to use ChatGPT to help you when you have a broken PC.
One of the first steps is to make sure that you view ChatGPT as an assistant rather than dedicated tech support. It can guide you and help you find the correct answers in some cases, but it can't solve problems for you directly.
There are several things to keep in mind when you are asking ChatGPT questions.
It's also worth prompting ChatGPT for a PC fix, then heading back to regular PC hardware forums to check what it said is accurate before implementing its suggestion.
ChatGPT will improve as time goes by, and this means its ability to solve computer problems will only get better. This AI chatbot can help you fix a broken PC when you use it correctly, but you will still have to do all of the real work.
As with many ChatGPT uses, having even a rough understanding of what to ask and how to interpret ChatGPT's results is vital to succeeding.

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Samuel is a UK-based technology writer with a passion for all things DIY. Having started businesses in the fields of web development and 3D printing, along with working as a writer for many years, Samuel offers a unique insight into the world of technology. Focusing mainly on DIY tech projects, he loves nothing more than sharing fun and exciting ideas that you can try at home. Outside of work, Samuel can usually be found cycling, playing PC video games, or desperately attempting to communicate with his pet crab.