Three Useful Tips

How to Keep your FCPS Laptop in Tip-Top Shape

By Mr. James
Science & Technology
January 21, 2021

With our latest distribution of new devices, we’ve already issued over 200 new computers to Haycock students. We’re ironing out the inevitable wrinkles and certain that we’ll get them sorted out. I received an email last week with one comment that really made me think: 

“I can’t imagine the tech challenges you’ve had to address this year!”

We’ve been working hard in our distance learning environment for over 10 months now. Very few problems are new; now it’s just a matter of diagnosing the issue and finding the last message we sent with the solution. The three most useful things that you can do to prevent or troubleshoot issues are as follows:

Restart the computer daily.

This simple maintenance task can keep your school laptop performing throughout the school year. It ends processes running in the background and installs available updates. More explanation can be found in this Readers’ Digest article: Shut Down vs. Restart. In regular school years, we can easily do this on a regular basis; it’s not as easy when all of our computers are being used remotely this year!

3 steps for how to restart a computer: 1) click the windows icon, 2) click the power icon, 3) click restart.
How to restart a computer in 3 steps; 1) Click the Windows icon. 2) Click the power icon. 3) Click Restart.

Clear your browser cache.

The majority of sites that we’re using this year perform best in Chrome. Some will work in other modern browsers like Edge or Safari, but the default on our devices is set to be Chrome. Clearing your browser cache can solve a lot of problems, especially login issues. You can see how to do it here: Clearing the Cache in Chrome.

Sign in at school.

Some login problems simply can’t be fixed or prevented by the two steps above. Because our devices now live off of our network for months at a time, the only remedy to sync the computer is to log in at an FCPS school with the device. Bring the computer up to Haycock (or whichever FCPS school is closest to your house) at any time. No need to schedule an appointment--our wifi is always on!

When you arrive, sign in with your child’s credentials, wait a few minutes, and restart the computer. Repeat that cycle two or three times, and head home. If you or your child change a password at any point this year, you will also need to come up to school with the device to sign in so that all passwords sync correctly. 

Additional Help

More help for troubleshooting other issues you may experience can be found on FCPS’s website: Tech Support for Families. Bookmark this site, as it can help solve many common problems. 

If all else fails, please Call the Parent Technology Help Desk at 833-921-3277 (833-921-FCPS).  This will be answered by staff members between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., seven days a week.  Please specify if you need an interpreter when you call. You can also submit a request online: IT Support Help Desk. We do our best to resolve them as quickly as possible.