Has your desktop or laptop computer been slow, lagging, crashing, or freezing up?  With your entire business and personal life revolving around your machine, there is never a good time for it to go down.  Why is it crashing?  Is there anything you can do to fix it?

We’re going to review a few common computer issues, their causes and if there is anything you can do before you’re too tempted to throw it out the window.

Basic Trouble shooting:

Before we look at all the common problems, there a couple of staple trouble shooting first steps you can take.  In many cases, these simple steps will clear the problem right up for you.

  • 1) Check all the physical connections.  The means making sure everything is plugged into the computer, power strip, and monitor properly and securely.
  • 2) Reboot your machine.  Sometimes turning it off and on again will fix a little glitch.
  • 3) If both of those fail, try removing anything extra.  This means removing SD or other media cards, taking DVDs or CDs out of the optical drive, and unplugging any USB connected devices such as a mouse or printer.  After you’ve done this, repeat Step 2 and reboot your computer.

 

The Problem(s):

  • “My Computer is Rebooting, Extremely Slow, Freezing, Hanging Up, or Crashing.”
  • “Operating System Not Found”
  • “Primary Device or Drive not Found”
  • “Drive Not Formatted”
  • Blue Screen of Death

 

The Possible Causes:

All of these problems can have multiple causes.  The four most common reasons are malware, driver conflict, operating system corruption or hard ware failure, most likely the hard drive.

After you go through the basic trouble shooting found above, there are a couple other things you can check.

Malware and Viruses:

Making sure you have an up to date anti-virus, being mindful of your browsing habits and regularly running scans are your only protection from these nasty things.

Visit our Helpful Software page for our recommendations.

Just be sure you only have one anti-virus at a time, or they will conflict with each other and leave you wide open.  There is a difference in anti-virus and anti-malware programs.  For example, we recommend using both Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) and Malware-bytes Anti-Malware but would not recommend have MSE and Avast or AVG.

Driver or Device Conflict:

If you suspect a driver conflict, you can check that out in the Device Manger.  The easiest way to get there is click the Start Menu.  That is the Start or Windows button usually located in the bottom left corner of the screen.  Search for Device Manager and it should be your top result.  After clicking on it, you will see a box pop up with all the devices your computer uses to function.  If there are any yellow warning triangles next to anything on this list, you will want to click to open that device and try to update the drivers.  If this doesn’t work you can try uninstalling and reinstalling the drivers from the factory website, but it may be less of a hassle to bring it into our office.

Operating System Corruption:

In this case, it is going to be best to completely reinstall a fresh copy of Windows.  There are repair installation and other things that can be tried, but these can be tricky and don’t always solve your issues.

Remember, this will basically make your computer a clean slate removing all programs and data you had.  Make sure you have a backup of your data before hand and access to any programs you may have installed.  This is also something you can have us perform, with or without a data backup and transfer.  We can even sometimes recover product keys for your programs, making reloading easier if you’ve misplaced the load discs.

Hard Drive Failure:

Hard drives are just like any other mechanical device and will eventually need to be replaced.  If you hear a clicking or grinding sound when your machine is on and there are error messages, chances are you will need a new hard drive.

If ever prompted, DO NOT reformat your drive.  This will completely wipe everything including the operating system.  This is definitely something you will want to bring into our office if there is any data you would like recovered.

To replace your hard drive, the drive itself will have to be physically removed and swapped out with a new one.  Then the operating system will have to be loaded onto the new drive.  Last, your programs will need to be reloaded and data transferred from the device or service you backed it up with.

Even knowing the basics, we all need a little professional help sometimes.  If you have any questions or need to bring your machine in, you can give us a call or drop by our office located at 88 Burnt Mtn Rd in Jasper next door to Domino’s Pizza.  We’re open Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5:30pm. 


PC Co-Pilots is a comprehensive computer and web services company located in Jasper, Georgia founded in April 2008 by Justin Bowers. If you have any questions, comments or need any assistance with your computers or web presence, call (706) 253-6362 or email info@pccopilots.com. Ongoing tech tips and tidbits can be found on our Facebook page.

Jessica runs PC Co-Pilots with her husband, Justin, as an Office Manager and head of Marketing. She graduated in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Kennesaw State University and regularly participates in local business and non-profit events. To contact her directly, email Jessica@pccopilots.com.