3 Common Computer Problems

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upset_computer_womanThe three most common computer problems, in my experience, are: slow computers, random crashes, and strange noises. Here’s what causes each problem and where to seek help:

Slow Computer Problems

If your computer is running slow, it’s likely because you installed too many programs or you got hacked—or both.

Many programs today install helper applications which start when your computer boots. These applications each use a little bit of your computer’s speed and memory. Combined together, dozens or hundreds of these applications cut your computer’s speed in half or worse.

Over the course of using your computer for several years, viruses will almost certainly penetrate your security. (No anti-virus software is perfect.) These viruses use your computer for their own ends, so they also use up a significant amount of your computer’s speed and memory.

The cure for both problems is to remove the unnecessary software. Remove programs you aren’t using any more and use a startup manager to disable any startup applications you don’t need. Run a full disk scan with your anti-virus software to find and remove any viruses which got past your software the first time.

Crashed Computer Problems

Viruses are to blame for most computer crashes, but you can also have hardware computer problems. First run a full disk scan with your anti-virus software because removing a virus is easier than fixing hardware.

If the problem persists, try unplugging as much hardware from your computer as possible. If the problem goes away, start plugging one optional piece of hardware back in at a time until you find the damaged device. If that still doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace an essential piece of computer hardware. (In my experience, the most likely to fail and cause crashes is the computer memory, RAM. There are free RAM testers available for download.)

Noisy Computer Problems

If your computer starts making strange noises, turn it off and unplug it. If you have a significant amount of data which hasn’t been backed up, remove the hard drive, connect it to an external hard drive adapter, and back up your data. Now you can work on fixing your computer without worrying about losing anything.

The number one cause of strange computer noises is not that bad—it’s a clogged up fan. Buy a can of air from the supermarket or office supply store, open up your computer while it’s turned off, and blow out any dust.

If that doesn’t fix the noise, you may need to buy and install a new fan. Some fans on your computer are attached by screws—these are easy to replace. Others are attached with special heat-transferring glue; these are a pain to replace.

The next most common cause of computer problems with strange noises is hard drive problems. If your hard drive made the same noises while you backed it up, it’s time to buy a new hard drive to fix your computer problems.

Image credit: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo