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Home Troubleshooting Tips for Simple Computer Issues

Home Troubleshooting Tips for Simple Computer Issues

Home Troubleshooting Tips for Simple Computer Issues

At PC Laptops, it's our pride to provide quality laptop and desktop computer repairs to clients with a wide range of needs. We're here to help with any problem your computer is having, from screen damage and water damage to port issues, charging problems and many others that may be at play.

At the same time, we're here to tell you that for many minor issues, there are troubleshooting methods that even total computer amateurs can usually handle from home. Here are some simple tips on these troubleshooting methods, plus when it might be time to stop these efforts and bring the machine in for professional repairs.

General Tips

Firstly, here are some of the most general troubleshooting themes to be sure you're considering:

  • Take notes: Especially if your computer is having an issue it's already had in the past, one of the key things you can do is document what's happening. This will help you remember the steps you took to try and fix it, and also give our technicians a better idea of the problem when you eventually come in for repairs.
  • Check cables first: It's an old adage, but one that's still relevant today: check your cables. This includes the power chord, external drive cords, etc. Unplug them and plug them back in to make sure they're seated correctly, as this is often the simplest explanation for a wide variety of issues.
  • Restart: Another seemingly simplistic method, but one that can work wonders on ailing machines. A restart will often clear any small software glitches that might be bogging down the machine.

In many situations, just utilizing these simple tips will get your machine up and running again like new. If you're still having trouble, however, it might be time to try some of the more specific methods below.

Process of Elimination

Most of our readers aren't computer experts, meaning they don't necessarily know how to connect a given issue with its likely culprits. In these kinds of situations, however, one good method is process of elimination: work through different potential causes one-by-one until you find the real problem. This might include:

  • Checking for malware: In many cases, a slow computer or one that's displaying strange behavior is the victim of malware or viruses. You can usually take care of these problems by running a virus scan with your chosen security software.
  • Checking the hard drive: A slowly loading computer might just have a full or fragmented hard drive. You can check to see if this is the issue by opening the "My Computer" or "This PC" menu and checking how much free space is available on your main drive. If it's under 20 GB, it's probably time to clean things up.
  • Investigating startup programs: A computer that takes forever to boot up might just have too many programs set to start automatically. You can check which programs are starting up by opening the "Task Manager" on Windows (right-click the taskbar and select "Task Manager") or "Activity Monitor" on a Mac (open Finder and go to Applications > Utilities).
  • Trying different browsers: If your internet is loading slowly or certain pages are displaying incorrectly, it might be a problem with your browser rather than your connection. Try opening the same page in a different browser to see if that makes a difference.

As with the general tips above, these methods will often get your machine up and running again with little effort on your part. If you're still having trouble, however, it might be time to bite the bullet and bring it in for professional repairs.

Certain Specific Issues

Delving into specifics a bit more, here are a few common computer issues and how you can look into them on your own before bringing them to our team (if needed):

  • Frozen device: A common issue, especially with laptops. If your computer screen is frozen and unresponsive, try holding down the power button until the machine shuts off. Once it's restarted, things should be back to normal.
  • Water damage: This is one of the most common issues we see at our shop. If your computer has been exposed to water, the first thing you should do is turn it off and unplug it. Then, remove any removable parts (like the battery, hard drive, etc.) and dry everything off as much as possible. Next, place the machine in a bucket of rice or silica gel packets overnight to try and draw out any remaining moisture.
  • Mouse or keyboard disconnected: If your mouse or keyboard seem unresponsive, make sure they're properly plugged in to the right port. If they are and the issue persists, try plugging them into a different port to see if that makes a difference.

When to Bring the Device In

There are two distinct situations in which you should likely abandon your at-home troubleshooting and bring the device in to our team of repair specialists:

  • You're not comfortable: If you're not confident in your ability to troubleshoot the issue or don't feel comfortable opening up your computer, it might be best to let us take a look.
  • The problem persists: If you've tried all of the above methods and the issue is still present, it's likely that something more serious is going on. In these cases, it's always best to have a professional take a look to avoid causing any further damage.

At PC Laptops, we're always here to help you with your computer repair needs - no matter how big or small. If you're having trouble troubleshooting an issue on your own, don't hesitate to bring it in or contact us at your nearest convenience!