Common Computer Problems and How to Fix Them

by HSG on May 09, 2013 in Articles from Software Fans

Technology is wonderful. It helps us run our businesses and connects us to the world. But when computer problems get in the way of getting what you need to get done, you can go from easygoing to mad-as-a-hornet in 3 seconds flat. Before you panic or give in to the temptation to throw your computer out the window, try these easy fixes.

5 Common Computer Problems

  1. Sluggish PC

A sluggish PC often means low disk space caused by an accumulation of temporary Internet files, photos, music, and downloads. One of the easiest fixes for a slow PC is to clear your cache.

The way you’ll do this will depend on the Internet browser you use:

  • Chrome– On the top right-hand side of the screen, you’ll see what looks like a window blind. Click on that. Click on ‘History’ and hit ‘Clear Browsing Data’.
  • Safari– On the upper left-hand side, you’ll see a tab marked ‘Safari’. Click on that. Scroll down and hit ‘Empty Cache’.
  • Internet Explorer– Click on ‘Tools’ and scroll down to ‘Internet Options’. Under ‘Browsing History’ click ‘Delete’. Delete files and cookies.
  • FireFox – At the top of the window click ‘Tools’ then go to ‘Options’. Select the ‘Advanced’ panel and click on the ‘Network’ tab. Go to ‘Cached Web Content’ and hit ‘Clear Now’.

You can also speed up a sluggish PC by doing a disk cleanup. To do this, left click on the ‘Start’ button on your computer. Go to ‘All programs – Accessories – System Tools – Disk Cleanup’. This will remove unnecessary temporary files and condense existing files to free up more space on your hard drive.

  1. Frequent Crashes

When your computer crashes, it can be caused by a few different reasons: Computer viruses, an outdated device driver, memory problems or a corrupted driver.

To check if computer viruses or spyware is causing your computer to crash, download a few free virus and spyware scanners: 

  • AVG Antivirus – Up-to-date software that protects your PC and scans for viruses that may be causing computer problems.
  • Super Anti-Spyware – Top-rated free spyware program that hunts for and destroys malware and spyware.

If memory problems are causing your computer issues, you can correct the problem by investing in an external hard drive or deleting unnecessary programs from your computer. To delete files from your PC, go to ‘Start’ – ‘Control Panel’ – ‘Add or Remove Programs’. A list will pop up. Look it over carefully and delete programs you no longer use.

Outdated drivers can also cause frequent crashes and can be fixed with a few updates. SlimDrivers is a simple, free tool that uses cloud computing to scan your computer and find the new drivers you need.

  1. Blue Screen of Death

The “Blue Screen of Death” can happen at any time. You’re typing away when all of a sudden, boom, it goes blue and your computer just shuts itself down. Before you panic, try restarting your computer in safe mode. Hit the ‘on’ button as you normally would then hit the F8 key several times as it loads.

From there, you can do a ‘System Restore’, meaning your computer will go back to a save point from before the problem occurred. Once you get the computer up and running again, scan for viruses and spyware. Also, if you’ve recently installed a program right before the crash, delete it as this is likely the cause.

  1. “Missing” CD/DVD Drive

The “missing” CD or DVD drive is one of those computer issues that doesn’t seem to make sense. The physical hardware is there but your computer has suddenly stopped reading your drive. Your best bet for fixing this is visiting a reputable software download site like Cnet.com to install free software that repairs registry and driver errors.

  1. Slow Start-Up/Boot Time

Slow start and slow boot time can leave you feeling frustrated when you’re ready to work. Oftentimes, this is caused by an excessive amount of programs running all at once at start-up time.

To fix this, hit your Windows button and the letter ‘R’ at the same time. A little box will pop up. Type ‘msconfig’. Scroll over until you see a tab called ‘Startup’. Click that. Uncheck any items you’re sure you won’t need to load at Startup. (If you’re confused about any of the items, don’t uncheck them).

If you’re on a Mac, you’ll do this a bit differently. Go to ‘Apple’ - ‘System Preferences’ – ‘Accounts’ – ‘Login Items’ to bring up your auto load list. Click on Launch Daemons and Startup Items. Again, only delete items you’re sure you can’t live without and do a backup first just in case.

These fast fixes can solve your computer problems so you can finally get back to work.

other blog entries

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How do top programmers work?
How to check if a directory exists in Python
What are a few unique pieces of career advice that nobody ever mentions?
Hiring a Good Programmer as a Non Techie Hiring Manager
What Are New Career Choices in Information Technology In The Last 10 Years?
Communication Barriers in the World of Big Data
Are 3d Printers the Next Bastion of Piracy?
What little habits make you a better software engineer?
Cloud Computing: What It Means and How It Could Threaten the Traditional Outsourcing Model

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