Computers can seem like the best invention in the world until your computer starts having problems. Slow load times, unresponsiveness, or the dreaded blue screen of death. All of these common computer problems can cause no end of stress.
Luckily most of them have easy fixes and won't require you to spend your hard-earned money at the repair shop.
In this article, we will look at the most common computer problems and give you some quick fixes and easy-to-follow tips that might help you get out of them.
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Common Computer Problems (How To Diagnose & Solve)
Some of these problems are easy to fix, and some of them are a bit harder:
Blue Screen Of Death
Let's start with perhaps the scariest problem on the list. The blue screen of death is the nickname for a severe error message that crashes your computer and means you have some kind of problem with your software or hardware. In the majority of cases, it happens due to a hardware problem.
Firstly, if you have had a recent Blue Screen Of Death, then you should download BlueScreenView. This is a great piece of utility software that will give you some information regarding the problem that caused the error.
Here are the most common reasons for the Blue Screen Of Death error message.
If one of your drivers corrupts unexpectedly, this is one reason a BSOD message might appear. To figure out if this is the problems, follow these steps:
This should search and locate the correct drivers from the internet and update them, fixing the problem.
If you work your RAM too hard by opening too many processes for it to handle, you may run into the BSOD. This happens in order to protect the RAM from damage and also makes it last longer.
To fix this, you should simply install stronger RAM or manage your programs better. If you are the kind of person who has many tabs open on Chrome, this may be your problem.
If your hard drive is on its way out, you may run into the BSOD as processes try to access it. We will discuss this in its own section later on.
If your computer is running too hot and the cooling system cannot handle it, you may run into the BSOD as it tries to save you from damaging your computer. We will discuss this in its own section too.
The computer won’t Turn On
If your computer simply refuses to switch on, it can be really frustrating. There are many reasons why this might happen, but the most common fixes are:
If you are using a laptop, it could simply be a battery problem or a problem with the power cable/supply. The first step you should take is to leave it charging for 24 hours and trying again. If that doesn't work, try a replacement charger. Most laptops come with a light that switches on when power is connected and the laptop is charging.
If you are using a desktop, make sure that the cable hasn't been damaged and is connected to the mains securely.
If your computer seems to be powering up but still won't turn on, make sure that it isn't, in fact, your monitor that is having problems. We discuss monitor problems later on in this article.
If your computer is taking longer to turn on, then there could be a number of reasons why. The first thing you should look at is how many startup programs you have running. These programs open when you load up your computer, and reducing the number that does so will increase your boot-up speed.
On Windows 10, there is a specific settings tab on the task manager that you can use to manage this. Press CTL+Shift+Escape and open the task manager. Head over to the startup tab, and you will see a full list of all the programs that are set to automatically load on boot-up.
You may also have a virus or malware that is loading in the background. The best way to deal with this is to use a good malware blocker/ anti-virus that you can run a scan on to detect the virus.
USB Port won’t Work
There is nothing more frustrating than a USB port malfunction. You might not be able to use your keyboard or your mouse simultaneously, or your USB flash drive might not load. Here is what we suggest to fix the problem.
The thing we highly suggest you start with when you run into this problem is to restart your computer. This will reload the drivers and software and will fix the problem often.
If you have tried restarting your computer and it hasn't worked, then the next fix is to reinstall the Drivers.
To do this:
- 1Head to the device manager and find the driver titled Universal Serial Bus Controllers. This is the USB driver. Uninstall it.
- 2Next, restart your PC. Your computer will automatically detect what has happened and reinstall the relevant drivers, hopefully fixing the problem.
One of the most serious computer problems that can cause computer freezes or worse is when the temperature gets too hot inside the computer. It's important to fix the overheating problem before it causes permanent damage.
This can happen for two main reasons.
Firstly, your computer's cooling system isn't working correctly. This might happen if your computer is older. Dust can build up inside the cooling vents and fans, causing them to disperse heat less efficiently, and thermal paste can begin to degrade.
If this happens, then you should look inside your computer. If you find a lot of dust, you should clean it out straight away using an aerosol cleaner and products designed not to cause damage to PC parts. If the fans have stopped working, replace them, likewise with replacing the thermal paste around your CPU.
The second reason is that you are putting too much strain on your cooling system. If you never turn your computer off, run highly demanding programs, and have multiple tasks open at once, you might be running your computer into the ground. Try to remember to close any applications you aren't using when not in use and turn your laptop properly off each night.
Can’t Connect to WiFi/Keeps Disconnecting
If you are confident that your WiFi is running smoothly, but your computer is having problems connecting to it, then you should try the following fixes.
If your computer is in power saving mode, your device will limit its power to the networking card. To stop this problem, you need to disable this option.
To do this:
- 1Go to your settings panel and head to advanced settings.
- 2Open the Power Saving Mode tab.
- 3Disable it by enabling Maximum Performance.
The second fix is to reinstall your network card drivers. In order to do this, you will need your laptop or desktop to be plugged into your router via Ethernet cable.
Installed RAM Not Working
When you upgrade the level of RAM that your computer sometimes uses, you need to change the windows settings in order for it to utilize it properly.
This is an easy fix:
- 1Press Windows + R keys and type MSConfig into the box that appears. This will open System Configurations.
- 2Click on the Boot tab and head over to Advanced options.
- 3Now click on the box next to Maximum memory and enter the maximum amount of RAM you have inside your PC.
- 4Click on OK and restart the PC to let it take effect.
Noisy/Failing Hard Drive
If you are running into the BSOD and you have figured it out, it might be your older hard drive, or you can hear a grinding sound coming from your computer; these can all be signs that your hard drive is failing.
Unfortunately, your Hard Drive has a tough job and has a certain lifespan. As it nears the end of this life span, it might run into problems or failures. When this happens, your hard disk will start to struggle and get louder.
The only way to fix a hard disk that is close to the end of its life span is to replace it. Make sure that you back up all your data before you do so.
Printer won’t Print
This is perhaps the problem that has caused me the most problems over the years. If you have successfully been using a printer and, for some reason, it has stopped printing black, try the following:
The first fix is to hard reset both your computer and your printer. Usually, this will require you to hold the power button on your printer down until it turns off, then wait 30 seconds before turning it back on. Do the same with your PC, although you should press restart instead of using the power button.
Every printer comes with its own set of drivers. If restarting did not fix them, then you should uninstall the drivers from the device manager before following the initial instructions for installing your printer. This will reinstall the relevant drivers, hopefully fixing the problem.
No Display on Monitor
If you have plugged in your monitor but nothing displays on the screen, this could be a sign that your graphics card may need replacing or upgrading.
First, check to see if you can connect to another display; if not, then you know the problem lies with your graphics card.
In most cases, this will require you to replace the card.
MacBook Restarted Because of a Problem
If you are on a Mac and not a Windows PC, you may run into different problems. Here are some of the most common ones and how to fix them:
The first fix you should try if your Mac has restarted because of a problem is to check to see if your Mac is updated. If you had skipped a couple of updates because you were busy when they popped up, you should update your software immediately. Failing to update your Mac can cause software and hardware problems and leave you open to cyber attacks.
If you are the kind of person who installs a lot of different useful apps from different developers, one of these apps could be the problem for your computer crashing.
If your Mac detects code that could be potentially harmful, it will go into what's known as "kernel panic". This will force your Mac to restart and give you the error box. When this pops up, look at the more info button and find what the problem was. If it was a piece of software that you installed, simply uninstall it.
Sometimes it isn't software on your Mac that causes the problem. Occasionally, using a new peripheral can make the error appear too. When the error box appears, try unplugging all of your devices from your Mac before restarting.
Sometimes your Mac doesn't really have a problem. If you have had it for a while, there may just be a lot of corrupted junk inside the system. This means a simple settings reset might be the perfect fix.
When you can't fix the problem through any of the methods above, you might be better off resetting your Mac to factory settings.
These are the most common problems that frustrate computer users every single day. Remember, always listen when your computer tells you it needs a windows update. This is the most common cause of problems. If you keep your operating system up to date through the Windows update, you will avoid many of the issues listed here.
I hope you found this article useful!
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.