Basic Computer Troubleshooting Guide

Computer Troubleshooting

Is your computer giving troubles? Try these troubleshooting tips before you call for a professional help. It’s easy to fix most of the issues on your own, try these…

Common hardware issues

My computer freezes or not responding

  • Wait for few minutes and if your computer doesn’t respond for a long time then try to restart your computer. Most probably your computer will start functioning normally after restarting it.
  • If first solution doesn’t work then it means one of the ongoing applications or program is taking a lot of RAM space. When you open a program or window in your computer they consume some space in RAM in order to keep it running. If you open a lot of applications at a time, there will be more possibility of freezing the computer.

To make sure your computer doesn’t freezes you should press CTRL+ALT+DEL keys from your keyboard together at the same time.  This will show you the menu in which you have to go to “Task manager”. In “Task manager”, switch to application tab and check which application is taking a lot of memory, you will get to know about it by checking all non responding programs, end all such programs.

  • If all of the above solutions fails and you cannot restart your computer then hold the power button on the machine until it switches off. Now, wait for few minutes and switch on the computer again.

My computer doesn’t turn on / switch on

  • When your computer doesn’t turn on it means one of the cables is not working or may be not connected properly. So, do check all of them first.
  • Check if the power cable is plugged into power socket and ensure that switch is turned on.
  • Check if you replace the power cable with another one then do your computer turns on? If yes, then your power cable needs to be replaced for sure.
  •  If there is light on the machine but not on the front of monitor then it is monitor issue, if there is no light on machine and but on the monitor then it is a machine issue.  If none of them have lights then it means there is issue with power supply.
  • If you have this issue with laptops then try connecting the charger first, may be your laptop battery is discharged. And then after some time you can switch on your laptop.

Nothing is shown on the monitor when turned on

  • You should ensure whether the CPU and monitor are showing power light or not.
  • Make sure all the cables attached with monitor are connected properly and are not damaged.
  • Check if the monitor is attached with any of the port of CPU, if it has multiple ports then insert the monitor cable in the correct port. Now, restart the computer and it should work now.
  • If all of the above solution fails then check if the monitor is showing the status windows when you turned on. The status windows means the screen is working fine and the issue is with either CPU or the video cable from monitor.
  • Check if the brightness and contrast levels of the monitor through menu button, to make sure it have not been set too dark.
  • Move the move or press any key from the keyboard to make the computer is not on sleep mode.

Non-system disk or disk error at boot

  • Try removing the floppy disks, CD / DVD discs or any external devices and reboot the computer again.

Keyboard/ mouse does not work

  • First check whether the keyboard or mouse is attached with the computer or not. Check if the cables which attach them with CPU are working or not.
  • Now, insert the keyboard/mouse with different ports and restart the computer to see if it is working now or not.
  • Replace the keyboard/mouse with another one which is working fine and check if you need to change it or not.
  • See if under the mouse the light is shown or not when you turn on your computer. Also ensure there is no dirt either the optical laser or the roller ball on the underside of your mouse. It may require a clean.
  • If you are using a wireless mouse/keyboard then try restarting your mouse/keyboard or change the batteries if needed.

Common software issues

Windows displays a blue screen during startup

  • If blue screen is displayed then windows will automatically start after the few minutes. You may see a reboot menu and from there you should choose ‘start windows normally’ and then problem will go away. But if it does not start then you can try restarting the computer.

Windows does not start successfully or repeatedly displays a blue screen

  • When you turn on the computer press F8 repeatedly until your screen shows a startup menu. Choose to start Windows in ‘safe mode’.  If windows boots up and you can login then restart windows and wait for windows to start and it will resolve the problem.
  • If the above solution does not work ten you can again try to restart the computer and press f8 at the same time repeatedly, now wait for the startup menu and choose ‘ Last known configuration’ and this will load windows with settings that worked fine in last state.
  •  Boot with a bootable CD/USB drive and for this you have to use Media Creation Tool which will allow you to troubleshoot the blue screen in minutes. To learn more about it you can check here.

Running a system restore

  • System restore allow you to restore the previous snapshot of the system when you were facing problems. It will not delete any of your personal files or documents and you will be able to get back to previous working state.
  • If you cannot boot into windows either normally or through safe mode then you can run system restore by going on Start> All programs> Accessories> System tools> System Restore.

Cannot login to Windows

  • Check if you have entered the right password as much as you remember.
  • Check if the Caps Lock/ Num Lock are not on by mistake.
  • Try logging on to another computer and if your account works or not. Ask someone else if they are able to login to your computer to see if their account works on your computer or not.

Cannot access the Internet or web browsing is slow

  • Check your internet connection on another working device and if that is working fine then may be issue with your computer. Delete all cookies from your browser and then restart it, it should work now.
  •  The problem can be malware installation in your computer. Such programs stop your computer from running internet services. In this case you should take help of malware detection software available in the market.

Cannot access e mail

  • Restart your e mail application and then check again by logging in. If it does not works then check your mails through website of e mail application.
  • If all the above solution does not work then wait for some time because there will a problem with the e-mail servers.

Speeding up a slow computer

Run fewer programs at the same time

  • When you open multiple programs at the same time, the computer stops responding for few seconds. So, always open few programs in a safer side so your computer will not be slow when you are working on one application while other applications are running in background.

Restart your computer

  • Several times are resolved when you restart your computer. If you always put your computer on sleep and have not restarted it for several days then you should try doing it. This will clear the memory in your system and all the ongoing applications will be closed.

Remove viruses and malware

  • You may face slow processing because your computer may have virus or malware in it. You should try to remove them by using anti-virus software.
  • Always ensure your anti-virus software is upgraded and you don’t use obsolete version of any software because it increases the chances of malware attack.

Free up hard disk space

  • Use any cleanup tool to clean your disk space which has not been used for a long time. The tool will scan your current directory and will show you the large files which can be deleted to free the disk space, you can choose any of the file or applications which are irrelevant for you.

Verify windows system files

  • You should use the System File Checker tool to scan for and fix corrupted windows system files.

Uninstall unnecessary programs

  • You should uninstall all those programs which are installed in your computer but you do not use or don’t need. You can uninstall in windows by going on settings > apps and features > select the app you want to remove and then select uninstall.

Adjust windows visual effects

  • Windows provides you numerous visual effects and they may seem pleasant to the eye but they take up your memory space and slow your computer a little. So, turn them off and computer resources will be free for other programs who want to use.

In windows Vista/7, you should go to start > control Panel > Performance information and tools> Adjust visual effects > select ‘Adjust for best performance’> click Ok. This will take few seconds and changes will be applied.

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