Basic Computer Troubleshooting Tips

When your computer suddenly stops working it is frustrating, to say the least! Would you know what to do if your screen goes blank? Or cannot hear any sound from your speakers? Whenever you have a problem with your computer, do not panic!

There are many basic troubleshooting techniques you can use to fix issues like this and get you back up in running quickly.  You may think I’am stating the obvious, but the below checks can often be overlooked.

Always check the cables

Simple I know, but often we forget to check all cables are plugged in securely. If you are having trouble with a specific piece of computer hardware, such as your monitor or keyboard, an easy first step is to check all related cables to make sure they are properly connected. Too often a monitor cable or USB device has come loose.

Restarting the computer

When all else fails, one of the best things to try is to restart the computer. Restarting can resolve a lot of basic issues you may experience with your device, especially with unresponsive software.  For example, the Windows blue screen of death is usually caused by a low-level error and can be fixed when you restart because the problem code can start over again.

Essentially, when you restart your device, you are clearing off the current state of your software and starting over again.

My famous line is: it is amazing what a restart it can do!

My Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting

Spotty wireless connections can be a challenge. Is it your computer? Your router? Your ISP? Try a few things before calling your Internet service provider.

  1. Firstly, check to see that your computer is within the range of your wireless router. Weak signals mean weak connections.
  2. Make sure your PC’s wireless card has the latest drivers. Try letting Windows troubleshoot for you by right-clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the taskbar and selecting Troubleshoot problems.

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Downloads are taking forever

Speedtest.net is very handy when you are having connectivity problems. Run a speed test to see what your download and upload speeds are, ideally they should be at least 50 percent of your Internet service provider’s advertised speeds, with a ping under 100 milliseconds. A download speed of over 30 Mbps and upload speed for at least 10 Mbps is recommended.

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My machine keeps restarting

Hardware problems are hard to diagnose and solve. First, confirm that you are not just getting the latest wave of Windows updates, which can automatically restart your computer during installation. Then work on updating all of your critical system drivers. Your graphics card, motherboard, and network card drivers are crucial.

It can be hard to pinpoint as sometimes it can be viruses; sometimes it can be adware. Sometimes it can be overheating. And sometimes it can be something as simple as making sure your video card is updated.

Is your computer making weird noises? If you are lucky, all you’ll need to do is give the machine a thorough cleaning. Modern computers have safeguards that shut down the system if a component is overheating, which can be the cause of frequent restarts when you are running resource-intensive programs or video games.

Pop-up ads are appearing on my desktop

If you are not running your Web browser and are still getting pop-up ads on your desktop, you’ve most likely installed adware, a program that displays unwanted ads. The majority of time adware is up to no good. Getting rid of adware is not easy.

Avoid downloading programs that offer to speed up your PC or clean up your registry. Instead, use a trustworthy adware scanner like the free version of Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware tool.

Running a full scan with credible antivirus software such as Malwarebytes is your first step. Just make sure to disable your standard antivirus software before running it.

Depending on the situation, if all else fails, there is always the nuclear option: a complete system reinstall. It might take a long time, but it is the only guaranteed way to remove adware or spyware. Remember to back up all important business file, cannot stress this enough. If any nasty virus gets installed on your machine and hold you to random, which in this day and age happens far too often to many businesses, having a backup in place, ideally online backup you can get back up quickly.

My printer won’t print

Let us assume that your printer’s drivers are up-to-date and that it has enough paper and ink or toner to print. Try turning the printer off and on. Unplug the printer and plug it back in. Check your printer’s print queue by looking for the printer icon in the system tray and double-clicking it. The print queue shows you the status of each job as well as the general status of your printer.

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Ensure that ‘Use Printer Offline is not checked. Sometimes, printing while your printer is turned off can cause Windows to set your printer to work offline, and that can stall jobs sent later.

 I can’t open email attachments

If you have ever encountered an attachment that you could not open, it was probably because you did not have the software necessary to view the file.

The usual suspect is the .pdf file, for which you can download a free PDF reader. If your problem involves a different file format, a quick search on the attachment’s file extension (the three letters after the period in the filename) should tell you what type of program you need. If the attachment lacks a file extension (which might happen if it was renamed), adding it back should set things right.

My program isn’t working on my new PC

Make sure that the software you are trying to run is compatible with your operating system. Older software might not function on new operating systems such as Windows 8 and 10, and an app created for Mac OS X definitely won’t run on your Windows PC. A 32-bit program might run on your 64-bit operating system, but it does not work the other way around.

 

Of course, we are here to help and are only a phone or email away. For support phone 0508 LAYER3 [529373] or support@layer3.nz

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