You might think computers are modern technology, but some of the earliest were built in the 1800s.
We’ve come a long way since that time, but one thing is true. As long as there have been computers, there have been issues you’ll need to troubleshoot. Some of the first computers had to have air conditioning or they would overheat and meltdown.
Today, troubleshooting computer problems and solutions are often tougher than turning down the temperature. What’s the best way to deal with some of the most common IT problems? This guide will help you discover how to troubleshoot more effectively.
Make Sure It’s the Machine
First things first. You should make sure the problem you’re trying to solve is originating from your machine.
Many common IT issues actually stem from the user. A great example is a user who is unable to login. While it’s possible the system is down, it’s more common to forget a password or enter it incorrectly.
Other common issues may be user-based as well. A blank screen may actually be that someone has forgotten to turn on their monitor. A strange whirring sound could be that they inserted a disk into a drive.
Once you’ve made sure the problem is actually with the computer, it’s time to start troubleshooting.
Troubleshooting Computer Problems and Solutions for Hardware
Some of the common computer issues you’re likely to encounter are:
- A blank screen
- The computer failing to power on
- The computer failing to boot up
- The computer shuts down without warning
When troubleshooting computer problems, it makes sense to start with the simplest answer.
If the screen is blank, the computer won’t power on, or it shuts down without warning, power may be the problem.
The first step is to check that power is actually connected to the machine. Check for loose cords. A computer that shuts down without warning may have been pulled out of the wall.
In the case of the monitor, you should also check to make sure it has power and that it’s connected to the tower. A monitor that isn’t connected to the computer won’t display anything.
If the power supply is connected, it’s time to dig a little deeper. A blank screen, for example, may have damage to the screen or circuit boards. You can test the screen and the computer by hooking them up to different machines.
In the case of a computer that won’t boot up, there may be damage to the hard drive. If you can, try to start the machine from a recovery mode or an external backup.
There are other reasons a computer may shut down and restart repeatedly. In some cases, it could be Windows updating itself. In other cases, you may need to update a hardware component, like your graphics card.
A computer may shut down without warning if it overheats. You’ll want to check the computer’s internal cooling system, including fans. You may also want to move the computer to a cooler location or set it up off the floor to get proper air flow.
Common Issues with Software
Blank screens and machines that won’t start up usually show a problem with hardware. What about software issues?
You may find yourself troubleshooting computer problems and solutions like:
- Unwanted programs or malicious files being opened
- Browsers being hijacked and pop-up ads
- Getting locked out of a program or system
- The computer runs slowly
A slow computer may have issues with hardware or software. An older computer may not be using its memory efficiently, so it takes more time to access files. It may also not have enough RAM memory, or it may be using older hard drive technology.
Sometimes, the problem is the software. A laggy computer may be infected with malware or a virus that’s slowing it down.
When you’re troubleshooting this problem, it usually makes sense to start by diagnosing software issues. If the machine is connected to a network, it’s likely being bogged down by a malicious bit of code.
If you run anti-malware and virus detection software and don’t find anything, look at different computer solutions. Tidying up the hard drive may help.
If the computer is still pretending it’s a snail, it’s time to look at hardware issues.
When Software Goes Bad
Programs acting up usually indicates something wrong with the software side of things. You may have a virus, ransomware, or other kinds of malware on your hands.
A browser hijacker may be the culprit if you head to Google and discover that the page doesn’t look quite right. Pop-up ads may be another sign of a browser hijacker.
Other forms of malware may open unwanted programs on your computer. Some malware will corrupt legitimate software, allowing it to open harmful files. In other cases, program functionality may be limited.
When dealing with ransomware, you may be locked out of an entire program or system. In this case, disconnect the machine from any networks. You may need to call in a remote team to help remove the ransomware and restore the compromised computer.
Just because someone calls the help desk saying they’re locked out doesn’t mean ransomware is at fault. They may have forgotten their login and password.
Call in the Experts
Some common computer problems are easy enough to troubleshoot on your own. Checking to see if a computer is plugged in and its monitor is connected doesn’t usually require a support team.
If you’re dealing with more serious issues, then the right IT team is crucial. Solutions like Microsoft pay per incident can help you get the support you need, at a price that fits your budget.
Tame Your Technology
Troubleshooting computer problems and solutions doesn’t need to be difficult. By understanding common computer programs, you’ll able to overcome these challenges.
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