You Can: Fix Some Simple Computer Problems Yourself
Bleep. Bloop. There goes your computer — yet again. Time to call the technician, right? Maybe not. Did you know you can fix most common computer problems yourself? You can. Here’s how.
Speeding Up A Slow PC
Computers naturally slow down over time, especially PCs running any version of Windows. A lot of times, you don’t have to do anything but update your PC and it will slow down because of the updates. Want to know why?
It has to do with the way Microsoft’s registry system works. When you install a fresh copy of your operating system, everything is fresh and new. All the system files on the computer have a “direct line” to shortcuts and icons on your desktop.
So, when you click on them, you get fast response times. With each successive update, there may be multiple redirects between the icon you click on on the desktop and the program “underneath” it.
Sometimes, parts of the registry become corrupted. Other times, there is bloatware and other software that came with the PC that starts slowing down your computer. You will want to uninstall all of your non-factory software programs. Meaning, anything that came with the PC that you don’t use, uninstall it.
Another program that helps speed up a slower computer is CCleaner. This tool looks through Windows, your web browsers, and other third party programs and finds unwanted clutter. It then deletes it. You can authorize the deletion process before it happens so that nothing important gets erased.
It also fixes Windows’ registry errors.
Make sure you allow it to backup the registry before making any changes, and you should be fine.
Finally, grab a copy of Duplicate Cleaner and remove duplicate files that might be clogging your system. Limit your file hunt to documents on your computer. You don’t want to delete system files accidentally.
As you uninstall programs, you might notice that Windows leaves fragments scattered around your hard drive. You can get rid of those with Revo Uninstaller.
The Blue Screen of Death
Windows’ “blue screen of death” is a rare event these days, but it still occurs. And, when it does, it’s not very helpful in helping you hunt down the issue. The problem can be traced to bad memory modules most of the time. Thankfully, memory is cheap. And, buying new RAM is usually worth it for the performance boost.
Installing memory modules isn’t hard. Most PCs allow you easy access to the motherboard so you can snap them into place.
This one is something you want to be on the lookout for. If a message pops up on your screen repeatedly, and it informs you to buy a security program or tells you are in violation of some federal law for viewing a particular web page, then you have just been blessed with zombieware.
It happens more often than most people admit. Your gut tells you that this is a rip-off, and your gut is absolutely right. This message is generated by malware — software that often tries to trick you into doing things that you really shouldn’t do.
If you do happen to download and pay for the security program, you’ll often end up with more malware or fraudware. Regardless of how many times you run the program, it always finds the same problems and tries to get you to spend more money. Before you buy any alleged security app, make sure you can verify it’s real.
SD Card Stuck
If your SD card gets stuck, accidentally, in your CD or DVD slot, then you’re in for a night of fun trying to dig it out. The two slots are usually right next to each other on the right side of the computer, so it’s easy to mix them up.
You often do not need to take it in for service, because the fix is easy. Just cut an L-shape out of cardboard and use it as a “fishing hook.” Slide it in, then pull out the SD card. And, you’re good to go.
You’re Having Network Issues
If your wireless network dies on you, then the problem is either your router, cable or DSL modem, or the ISP’s outside line.
It happens a lot more frequently than you might think. Reboot all your gadgets and unplug them for at least 30 seconds. Then, plug them back in again. Usually, this solves the problem.
Jason Silverglate has been in the IT industry for over 15 years. He got his first computer in 1984 from his parents. This sparked his interest in computers prompting Jason to start a web design company at the age of 16. Jason attended Rutgers University with a double major in Computer Science and Finance. By age 19, Jason’s web design business changed into the predecessor of Continuous Networks and has been growing since then. Jason is constantly looking for and learning about emerging technologies, keeping his pulse on the industry.