It would be hard to find someone who has never had a problem with his/her computer. From malware infection to not starting up at all, we all face with these problems every now and then. This can have devastating effect on your business, work or study. Imagine you have a very important meeting tomorrow 7am in the morning. You spent hours making this wonderful presentation. All of a sudden around at 8pm the night before the meeting, your computer goes all blue screen on you.
What do you do? Well, maybe money isn’t an issue for you and you can buy a new laptop anytime you want. But you need your presentation in few hours, a new computer won’t have that. So sometimes repairing is the only option you will have.
Now, there is a common misconception that you need to be a computer expert to repair or troubleshoot a computer. In reality, most of the computer problems can be fixed by people like you and me who has never done a course on computer repairing. This article will familiarize you with some common fixes and will also teach you what to do if you can’t fix it by yourself.
First of all, DO NOT PANIC. I know it can be scary to think that all your valuable data and collections might be gone for life. Luckily most of the data that you have in your computer are recoverable. But to ensure that you won’t lose any important data, should something happen to your computer, it’s a good practice to backup all your files. Preferably in a cloud storage such as Dropbox or Copy.com
So let’s see how we can fix some of the common problems by ourselves. We will talk about some basic things that you can do before taking your computer to a repair shop. But to perform these common fixes you need your computer to be able to start up for the least.
Restart Your Computer Yeah, I know you are probably thinking, Come-on I know that much. But in a stressful situation, when we are worried about our work because the computer isn’t responding, we often forget the most common thing. Restarting your system can fix a lot of temporary problems.
This clears out the random access memory and restarts processes. It works like magic sometimes. In case your computer has become ‘hanged’ and no clicks or keyboard shortcuts are working then you won’t be able to even reach to the restart button from start menu. But you can do this manually. For desktops, usually there is a rest button next to the power button. For laptops you have to press on the power button for few seconds until the screen goes black. Then you will have to press the start button to star the computer as you would normally do.
Internet Browser Problems
A lot of what we do in a computer these days, often involves the use of internet browser. Instead of using software a lot of work can be done by web based web applications. Browsers tend to remember and store certain data when you visit a website. This helps the browser to avoid unnecessary download of same thing again and again. In processes of doing so some temporary data may get damaged. That often causes problem browsing certain websites. No matter how many times you restart your computer, this problem doesn’t seem to go away. To bring things back to normal you will have to clear all temporary data that your browser might be holding onto. You can do this by going to the browser options and clearing cache and cookies.
Virus and Malware
It’s not easy to keep your computer completely virus and malware free. Especially if you don’t use an updated antivirus software. We often tend to skip buying antivirus software because we feel confident that nothing would happen to our computer. I mean, if you don’t download any unknown files or never visit any out of ordinary websites, you should be safe right? Well, unfortunately that’s not the case all the time. Your computer can be infected by simply downloading a harmless PDF file. So if you feel that your computer has become suddenly very slow or strange ads are popping up when you are browsing the internet, make sure to run a antivirus check before taking it to the repair shop. But there are some times when the damage caused by virus or malware is too severe. At that time you need help from a professional.
Do you know about or use every software you have installed in your computer? There might be some software that you don’t even know you have in the first place. Go through the list of all installed software and uninstall any unnecessary ones. Also if you have any particular application that is not running smoothly then you may try re installing it. Same applies to the operating system itself. If you could re install your OS at least twice every year. That way you would have a faster computer.
As you’ve noticed, I have only mentioned about how you can fix your computer yourself given the fact that you can still turn your computer on. What happens when it won’t start at all? Or maybe one of the hardware components inside has been permanently damaged. Well in that case, you will have to find someone who has professional expertise to help you on this. You can seek remote assistance where they remotely access your computer to fix problems. But if you can’t even get your computer to start then there isn’t much use of that service.
While searching for a repair shop don’t just walk in to any shop that has the word ‘computer’ on its signboard. Try to find a place where they specialize in repairing computers only. Just because a shop sells computers, that doesn’t necessarily make them good at fixing computers as well. On the other hand a repair only shop has only one objective. They repair computers and that’s the only service they are selling. So they would obviously put all their efforts to provide you with quality repair services in order to keep their business going.
You can in fact go to a repair shop and observe how other customers are being served. Are they walking out of the shop smiling or they are complaining about the service. Give your local repair shop a chance before going for a chain service provider. Avoid places that have well known bad reputation. Always ask questions. Don’t just accept of what they tell you about how much it will cost to fix your computer. Make sure to ask about how long exactly it will take to troubleshoot your computer.