Identify and Solve Common PC Problems
Edited by Clifford, Alma, Eng
Many of us one time or another have experience how difficult it is when we are about to use our computer and suddenly it crash or start to act abnormally. Fortunately there are ways we can detect or identify the problem, whether it is a software issue or a hardware issue. Here are common signs that will tell us what the problem with our PC.
- 1The first step should be to identify whether it is a hardware or software problem we are dealing with. One major clue is the notorious blue screen of death. A BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) error usually means that a software problem is detected by Windows and was able to shut down the computer to prevent any further harm in your system. One cause could be a faulty driver. You could confirm this by simply watching what happens when things go wrong, e.g. your computer crashes when you change your desktop resolution. This could mean that your graphics driver have a problem. You could try to visit the manufacturer's website and download an updated driver. Another way that you could try is to download an old driver. This sometimes works but not all the time. Another trick that you could try is to use System Restore to try to roll back your system to an earlier state.Advertisement
- 2On other times Windows may crash and give you a Blue Screen of death without a driver problem. If this is the case you could suspect a memory problem. This seems to be the culprit when you have an intermittent computer crashes. A faulty memory could give your computer seemingly random crashes on your computer. You could check this by replacing your memory with a known good one. If you are fortunate enough to run a computer with dual memory, you could temporarily remove one of them and check if this solves the crashes. Just expect that your computer will be not as fast as it used to be when running on half your memory. If this solves the problem you could then buy a new RAM preferably with the same specification as your old memory.Advertisement
- 3Another problem could be Hard disk failure. This sometimes gives a Blue screen of Death error. But more commonly occurrence when you encounter this kind of trouble is that your computer suddenly hangs or freezes and then restart. A permanently dead Hard disk will prevent you from booting again your system. A more difficult situation is when it restarts again smoothly as if nothing happens. This prevents you from correctly diagnosing the problem. For mechanical drives, a telltale sign is a whining noise in the drive or a regular clicking sound. If you ever experience this, it's time to back up your important files to another hard drive or external memory disk/drive. If you are not sure if it is your hard disk, there are many free applications on the internet that could test the reliability of your Hard disk aside from the SMART (Self- Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) feature that is installed on most BIOS. You could also test your hard disk by connecting to another system if it could be read by another system installation of Windows.
- 4A problem that we could encounter when using our computer is overheating. We could tell this is our computer suddenly freezes and restart but after a few minutes it begin again to reboot. Sometimes we encounter this when running a system intensive application, wherein the processor would need to work more and thus, generate more heat. Sometimes dust and other dirt accumulate on the processor's heat sink(the large block of square or round metal usually made of aluminum with a small fan on it). The fins could accumulate large amount of dust and dirt that could prevent it from dissipating the heat away from the processor. You could clean this by spraying clean compressed air on it. This would clear most of the dust and debris that deposited through the small slots in the fins of the heat sink. There is great application that you can use to monitor your system temperature giving you warnings in the onset of an impending system failure due to high system temperature. One of these is "Core Temp" which you can download free from w w w.alcpu.com.
- 5If an external display unexpectedly changes color, or appear and disappears, this can simply be caused by a loose connection. You could check the cable connecting to your monitor to your PC. This cable sometimes will come loose or in most extreme cases some connection inside the cable is broken. Try to use another cable from your PC to your monitor. Or if your video card supports multiple connection port you could try another port e.g. VGA, DVI or the new HDMI. Another problem could be that the video card came loose inside the PC. You could try to open it up and reinsert the graphic card into the slot. A problem that could also affect LCD monitor is a busted back light. This problem came as if you suddenly loose display on your monitor. You could confirm if it is a back light problem by turning off all the light in the room and shining through the LCD panel a bright light or flashlight. You should see the actual image of your desktop display in the monitor. This kind of LCD problem could be fixed by replacing the inverter chip or the actual back light in the panel. But for practical reason it would be better if you buy a new monitor.
Tips Tricks & Warnings
- If you encounter a Blue Screen of Death error, pay attention to the application or task that you are running when this happen. Usually this will indicate what kind of computer problem you are facing with.
- If you are about to send your PC for professional service, it would greatly help the technician if you would note the actual problem of your PC, the application you are running when the problem seems to appear.
Categories : Hardware
Recent edits by: Alma, Clifford