Any abnormality in the integrated components of a computer can prove harmful to its performance, but some general computer issues can be addressed without seeking professional IT help. Among the most common problems you may encounter are issues with the computer freezing and appearances of the infamous “no boot” or “blue screen of death.” To repair a computer, you’ll need to troubleshoot the issue and determine if the fix is something you can perform yourself; for more complicated problems, however, consider seeking the help of a professional.
Computers may freeze on account of any hardware or software issue, so here you need to understand the exact reason behind it. Notice if the issue started when you connected any hardware peripherals like a printer or scanner; then it might be due to a driver conflict. If the issue occurred after installing a new hard drive, then it might be due to insufficient power or too much heat. Follow the troubleshooting pattern below to repair your computer, if such problems occur.
Give your computer a bit of rest. If you leave your computer on all the time, you can often fix a problem by turning off the computer, then unplugging it (or remove the battery, if it is a laptop), then holding down the power button for 30 seconds while computer remains unplugged (this will often cause a light, or lights, to flash), then reinserting the battery, plugging the computer back in and powering it on. By cutting off the power to the motherboard, it allows the hardware to reset and the memory to clear.
Determine if your computer becomes too hot. You will need to take a look inside for this. Remember that any time you need to open up your computer cabinet, shut down your computer and unplug it. If you have long hair, tie it back. Take off any jewelry that might get in the way. Also avoid wearing any clothing that produces a lot of static, as a spark can damage hardware and cause intermittent, hard-to-troubleshoot problems.
Diagnostics. Many computers now come with built-in diagnostics which can tell you if you have certain issues. Two brands of computer that normally have diagnostic options are HP/Compaq and Dell. To access these diagnostic options:
- Power down the computer, wait a few seconds then turn it back on.
- HP – Immediately start pressing F2 on startup to access the diagnostic menu. Select Start Up Test, Quick, One Pass (if option is present) to begin the testing process.
- Dell – Immediately start pressing F12 on startup to access the diagnostic menu. Use the arrow keys to select Diagnostics from the menu.
- Write down any error codes and consult the internet, the computer manufacturer or a local technician for assistance.
Open the cabinet of your computer and check the temperature of the metal chassis. If it’s hot, then there may be a heat related issue. For laptops, you generally do not want to try to open the case, but you can still vacuum the fan ports. Some computers just run hot, particularly laptops, but heat is never good for electronics. Gently examine the front and rear fans and blow out any dust. You can apply a clean cloth to dust out hidden particles. Remember: Your computer must be shut down while you’re cleaning inside it.
- If you have more than one hard drive in your computer, avoid installing them right next to each other in the chassis; this makes them more prone to heat failure. To install an extra hard drive in a wide slot, such as the slot that holds your CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, you can buy mounting brackets at a store that sells computer parts.
- Even if your computer isn’t having problems, it’s a good idea to clean the fans regularly.
- Before you close up the case, check all the cables and make sure everything is still plugged in. If you have to reset a video card or a stick of memory, avoid applying heavy pressure to the motherboard as this can damage it.
Inspect your Device Drivers. Many times when doing a Windows Update, your system may download and install an incorrect driver, which may result in the computer freezing. You can check the status of drivers from Device Manager. Any devices with a yellow exclamation next to them are in an error state. Unplug any USB devices, if connected, and see if the error goes away. If so, that device is a problem. Power-on your computer and see if it works. If it does, good; otherwise you can restore your computer to an earlier configuration. System Restore will roll your system back to an earlier set of drivers.
Access System Restore at Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Restore to try to restore whatever settings you might have changed,
Inspect your Hard Disk.Your hard disk is a storehouse of information, so when it gets used for a long duration it might get cluttered and patchy; this slows down the performance of your computer. Hence, use your Windows utility CHKDSK to scan and remove bad sectors on regular basis. It is the best preventive way of maintaining computer health.
Install and run a good antivirus and anti-malware program.
Blue Screen of Death and No Boot
No Power. If your computer does not power on at all, the most likely culprits are either Power Supply (desktop only) or motherboard.
No Boot or Blue Screen. If your computer has power (you see lights, hear fans spinning), but nothing on the screen, or if the computer starts to boot up and then crashes with a ‘blue screen’, there are several possible issues. NOTE: Any hardware changes must be done while computer is completely powered down and unplugged / battery removed!!
- Try Safe Mode – if your computer will boot into Safe Mode, it is a software related issue.
- Test Screen – If you hear the computer running, but see nothing on the screen, try swapping monitors or plugging in an external monitor for laptops.
- Test RAM – try carefully removing the ram and powering on. Most computers, when functioning properly, will give a long, repeating ‘memory error’ beep. Power off and replace the ram, one stick at a time, powering on when ram is properly seated.
- Test Video Card – if your computer has a removable video card, try removing it and either replacing it or plugging your monitor into the built-in video port if available.
- If none of these things work, you are likely looking at a failed hard drive, corrupted operating system or failed motherboard. It is best to seek professional services at this time.
P C REPAIRS
PC Repair will provide computer and technical consulting (repairs, training, networking and upgrade service) to local small businesses as well as home PC users. The company will focus on marketing, responsiveness, quality, and creating and retaining customer relations.
PC Repair was initially formed as a sole proprietorship, but was reconfigured as an S Corporation in December of 2004. PC Repair will at first be a home office start-up, utilizing one studio room in the owner’s home and serving customers in the local Ramsford-on-Bitstream area. In the third month of our plan, we will move into a leased office space and hire a second technician. As sales increase, we will hire additional personnel.