Computer Troubleshooting Guide 101: When Is it Time to Call the Pros?

Computer Troubleshooting Guide 101: When Is it Time to Call the Pros?

When your business is dependent on computers to operate, it is never a good time for one to go down. Computers are vital and are a major component of business operations. If you do not have an IT department downtime can begin to accumulate losses, not only in productivity but also in revenue. 

As great an asset as computers is they do malfunction at some of the most inconvenient times. Computer troubleshooting comes in handy because a lot of the issue you face is usually minor. In these cases, you can do the repair yourself and save time and money.

Today, many employees work remotely. This could be an added burden if employees cannot get to the office. For this reason, it is vital that everyone knows the signs of a malfunctioning computer.

 

Keep reading for tips on troubleshooting computer problems to know when to call in the pros.

Before Starting Computer Troubleshooting

As more and more companies are opting for cloud storage, performing routine backups have become easier and more reliable. Broken hard drives is a risk to your data. It is imperative that you have a recent backup of your hard drive as it may be required to restore your system.

If you know you haven't performed a backup recently now is a good time to do one. Before starting any repair or if you need to take your computer to a professional attempt to save your data first.

Has the Shutdown?

Before panicking try rebooting the system. It is possible that you missed an alert about a scheduled computer update. If this is the issue when you reboot the system you will be able to get back in with no problem.

A system that shuts down unexpectedly should ask if you want to proceed in safe mode to investigate the problem. Once you are back into the system run a diagnostic test.

The diagnostic test should reveal if there is a problem with the hard drive. If this is not the problem you could have an issue with your power source, the Computer Processing Unit (CPU) fan, or even a virus. 

Are You Getting Sufficient Power?

If your laptop computer suddenly shuts down your battery could be dead. Grab the power cord and recharge it. You should also check the health of your battery if you're finding that it isn't lasting as long.

It sounds like a no-brainer but if your desktop computer loses power it's possible that your computer cord isn't properly inserted into the power outlet? Or perhaps there is a short in the outlet.

Other common power issues can be found in the cord itself. Sometimes the cord has been bent and pulled to the port to the point where it has experienced internal damage. Try using a different cord to see if that fixes the problem.

Another source is the computer port. A loose or broken electrical port could prevent the computer from receiving power.

The Computer is Overheating

Your computer's internal fans are designed to keep the unit cool so it performs correctly. If you find that the fans are running nonstop or louder than usual there may be a problem. Most common is the unit is overheating causing the fans to work overtime.

There are different reasons why a computer will overheat. Common issues are leaving a laptop in a car or using it in direct sunlight. It can also overheat if the vents at the bottom of the laptop are blocked. 

A Little More About Computer Fans

For desktop computers, you can have multiple fans depending on the age of the computer. These fans are focused on different components like the CPU, hard drive, graphics card, and power cord.

Troubleshooting an issue with a fan requires knowledge of the fan location and the inner workings of the unit.

The only fan in a laptop is used to keep the CPU cool. Blocked vents are usually the culprit here.

Noisy Computer

Are you hearing strange noises coming from your computer? It's possible your hard drive is damaged or going out. These noises could be a clicking sound or very loud humming.

Computer systems are relatively quiet so any type of noise is cause for concern. Sometimes cleaning the fans can fix the problem but this requires opening the unit. If you are uncomfortable doing this or aren't sure what to do consult a computer technician.

Downloads are Super Slow or Abort

The first step for addressing slow downloads is to check your internet connection. If you are paying for a data plan you may experience a slowdown as you reach your monthly maximum. To correct this issue you may need to upgrade your internet plan.

Other troubleshooting steps for slow speeds include doing a system clean-up. If you're using an older computer you may have a lot of files that you no longer use. By deleting these files or moving them to an external drive you free up much-needed space.

If your business requires uploading and downloaded sizeable files you may want to invest in cloud storage solutions

Scan Your Computer for Viruses and Malware

A slow running computer or one that shuts down without warning can be signs of a virus. To protect your computers and the data on them you need to have premium anti-virus software loaded on each computer.

Network troubleshooting steps begin with doing a virus scan. You will also need to run diagnostic testing to search for malware. Removing both can be difficult if your computer has been infected by numerous bugs.

Cleaning the system could require human intervention to locate and remove the viruses.

Is It Time to Call In a Pro

After going through these tops on computer troubleshooting you may realize your computer needs more than a simple fix. If your computer needs the help of a professional you will want to do your research.

Preactive IT Solutions is here to help. Contact us for innovative IT solutions for your small or medium size business.