If your computer should suddenly decide not to play nicely any more, it could be a symptom of something seriously wrong. Often though, the underlying cause is something pretty simple that, with a little knowledge, you can deal with yourself, rather than rush off to your nearest computer repair center. The tips presented here will help you with the knowledge you need. None of the following tips require you to open up your computer and expose its delicate innards. They are just 8 simple remedies for some of the common issues can make a Windows computer misbehave.
#1 Restart Your Computer
Maybe you already knew that, but it’s a piece of advice always worth reiterating. Many glitches can be quickly cured with a restart. If your computer fails to respond to the restart selection, simply turn off the power at the mains, it won’t do any harm. With a laptop you may have to take the battery out and then replace it.
In any case, a restart should always be the first step when you start troubleshooting your computer. By shutting down your machine and restarting it, you are starting work on a blank canvas. From there you can start to work through some of the possible issues. Even your local computer repair technician will perform a restart as the first course of action.
#2 Back-up Your Computer Files
Perhaps this should have been tip #1, but just in case you forgot to do it before you restarted your computer, do it now before going any further. If your computer does turn out to be heading for a major malfunction, you don’t want data recovery charges adding to the cost of a professional computer repair.
#3 Perform a Security Scan
Use your antivirus or security software (you should always have this software on your computer) to check if you have any malicious software attacking your operating system. This is one of the most common causes of computer freezes, crashes and general slowing down. If your scanning software identifies any problems, you may need to purchase an application to rid your computer of the problem. In serious cases of viral attacks, you should call in the services of a computer repair expert to remove the offending virus or malware.
#4 Uninstall Any Recently Installed Programs
If your computer starts misbehaving shortly after you’ve installed a new program. Use your operating system’s uninstall function to remove the program. If your computer then begins to behave normally, there’s a good chance the last program you installed was the cause of your problems. This can happen if an installed program contains malware (a common issue with internet downloads) or if the program didn’t install correctly. Having fixed the issue, you can try reinstalling the program.
#5 Make Sure You Aren’t Running Duplicate Programs
Another cause of computer misbehavior can be when you inadvertently install two versions of the same program. For this reason it’s always advisable to use a program’s “update” function rather than making a full installation of a later version. If you have a Windows computer, check your programs by selecting the “uninstall programs” option in your Windows Control Panel.
If you find any duplicate programs, uninstall all the program versions. You can then reinstall the most up-to-date version.
#6 Make Sure You Are Only Running One Antivirus Program
If you have more than one antivirus program on your computer, you should only ever have one of them running. Having more than one antivirus running can cause conflicts. This will result in your computer slowing down and possible freezing or crashing. If you find you have two antivirus programs running, just de-activate one of them.
#7 Make Sure Your Windows Updates Are All Installed
If you have your computer configured to download Windows updates automatically, it can be a bit tiresome when your Windows OS starts begging you to shut down and restart. It’s even more tiresome when you miss the prompt and your computer shuts down while you’re in the middle of something. Windows updates though, are provided for a reason. It’s not in your best interests to prevent your system from running them.
You can check for uninstalled updates in your Windows Control Panel. If you’ve switched off your automatic updated at some point in the past, be prepared for a long wait while they all install. The benefit is that your computer may start to run normally again once everything is updated.
#8 Restore Your Computer to an Earlier State
If you still haven’t found the source of your problems, don’t panic. It’s still possible you don’t need a computer repair. Use your system restore function to roll Windows back to an earlier state. If something that you’ve installed or changed, or that has installed itself is causing your problems, a system restore will often cure the issue.
For the Uninitiated
All the above tips assume you are reasonably familiar with Windows and know how to follow the prompts for tasks such as a system restore. If you do have difficulty with any of the remedial tasks, you can easily find step-by-step guides on the internet. Just google “Windows system restore”, for example and you’ll find a list of guides that you can follow.
These tips also assume that your computer is able to boot up. If your computer won’t start, all you can do is check the power connection (and the battery if it’s a laptop). If the power supply is fine, you can also try booting the computer in “safe mode”. Do this by repeatedly hitting the F8 key as soon as you have pressed the power button on your computer. Safe mode allows you to start your computer without loading anything such as drivers which may be causing problems.
Once you have the computer running in safe mode, you can start to look for the problems. Realistically though, at this point your safest bet might be to get in touch with a computer repair pro. If you’re in New Jersey, Dave’s Computers will take a look at your computer and fix any issues they find. If it turns out to be something simple that you can resolve yourself, they will let you know and advise the steps to follow. Give the team a call on 908-428-9558.
by David Molnar