What To Do When Your Computer Isn’t Working

When your computer refuses to do as you ask, or it crashes—at least you think it crashed, your first thought might be to ask the one person you know who works with computers. Don't fret when the person looks at you with a blank stare. It's not an antisocial stare.  It's just that he way to diagnose a computer problem is often a process of elimination.

Get The Latest Updates

Buggy software and drivers can cause your computer to perform inefficiently.  So, make sure you're running the latest updates for all applications on your system. The same goes for hardware drivers. Developers update software applications and system drivers to improve performance and fix bugs that might make the application or diver malfunction.

Figure Out If It's A Software Or Hardware Problem

Software problems are sometimes easy to spot. For example, if you attempt to complete a command and nothing happens, you might bang on the keys in frustration. A bell might eventually start ringing, indicating that the software has a glitch or it's frozen. In this case, closing the application and then restarting it might get you going again. Or if the software problem is more extensive, and restarting doesn't cure the problem, you might try uninstalling and then reinstalling the application. 

Know That Hardware and Software Issues have Copycat Symptoms

Sometimes, hardware problems mimic the symptoms of software issues. And, as if to thoroughly confuse you, software issues might prevent your hardware from working. For example, the reason your system froze might have nothing at all to do with the software you were using. Instead, your hard drive might be going bad or a part or component in your system might be loose or faulty.

Be Ready To Pay The Price

Hardware problems are often a bit trickier to figure out and often harder or more expensive to solve than software problems. So, when you're told to restart your computer, hope with all your might that this works. Sometimes a restart helps to cure your computer of minor hiccups.  If restart doesn't do the trick, you might need to buy new hardware and have a repair person fix the issue.

Try A Process Of Elimination

Figuring out what's ailing your computer often requires a process of elimination. If you're working in an application when you experience a problem, try working in other applications. If you can work in other applications, you probably have a software issue. If you continue to have problems, try removing your peripherals one by one. Peripherals are external components, such as the mouse, digital camera or printer.

If after removing a peripheral, your computer starts working, the problem might be with the hardware you removed. Other troubleshooting steps include the following:

  • Computer is slow: You might need to delete unnecessary applications and data or upgrade hardware.
  • Clicking noises: Backup up your data immediately, because you might have loose components or the hard drive might be dying.

Visit your local computer store (such as McMurray Computer Experts) today. You can get advice on your computer problems, as well as stock up on computer components and software applications.