Many people each day attempt to perform their own computer support by trying to fix either software or hardware issues on their computer without completely knowing how. Doing this can lead to irreparable data loss and hardware damage which may result in the necessity of reformatting a hard drive, or, at worst, having to buy entirely new computer parts. There are many common errors that are easily avoidable with just a little bit of knowledge and safety training. Making sure to be aware of the following basic protocol when attempting to fix your own computer can save you time, money and injuries to your computer or yourself.
Fixing Software Issues Safely
We will begin with software repair. When a computer begins to run sluggishly and experience software errors, many people automatically assume that this is because there are too many files stored on the computer. While this is sometimes the case, it is far more often possible that the computer is infested with a virus or spyware. One popular anti-spyware program finds in excess of 70,000 viruses per day. In order to fix the problem, a trusted anti spyware and anti virus program should be run to remove the files. Under no circumstances should any files aside from non-essential documents be deleted. Deleting important files in system folders can lead to the system being unable to function. This can necessitate reinstalling the entire operating system from scratch and losing all of your data.
Fixing Hardware – Unplug It First!
When fixing hardware, one of the most important things to remember is that your computer should be unplugged at all times if you are planning to touch anything on the inside of the case. This is for the protection of both you and your machine. If your computer is plugged in while you are working on it, you can easily get a dangerous electric shock. Furthermore, electricity and static electricity are bad for computer parts, particularly the hard drive. An electric pulse can completely wipe a hard drive, once again necessitating an operating system reinstall and causing the loss of all your data. It is also extremely important to keep your computer away from anything magnetic while fixing it, no matter how big or small. This means no using magnetic screwdrivers or screws that could potentially have a magnetic charge. Magnetic pulses can also damage the contents of a hard drive, once again leading to catastrophic data loss.
Preventing Static Data Loss
If you are planning on disassembling your computer, you must always store a hard drive in a static safe sleeve. A much smaller static discharge than can be felt by people is capable of destroying data on a hard drive. Most computer repair stores and technology stores will sell sleeves or cases like this. If you buy a hard drive new, it will come in a static bag. It is a good idea to always save that bag just in case you need it to store the hard drive sometime in the future. While fixing your own computer isn’t foolproof, it can be pretty simple if you follow basic safety guidelines and make sure to research what you do before you do it. You can function as your own computer support team with just a bit of knowledge and skill, and save yourself tons of money on paying a tech to repair your system.
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