Signs you’re in need of computer repair that you could be missing
Often, we will receive computers in for repair with multiple problems. During our intake, we’ll run the owner through a short quiz to help us determine the best way to help. One of those questions is “How long has this been acting up?”
The answer will be relayed and I’m often struck by the inaccuracy of the answer to that question. Usually there was a show stopper that caused them to require a repair that brought them in. Perhaps the power supply failed, perhaps the you called tech support at the bank and they blocked your online access and told you to take it to a repair center. Either way, we’ve found that the time when this started for them is actually how long it’s been since the problem came to a head.
During our comprehensive PC and MAC repair process, scanning for malicious items and security threats is standard operating procedure, regardless of the problem you came in with. The reason we go the extra mile and check for security issues is because, more often than not, a PC that was ‘working fine’ before the power supply failed likely had malicious software installed on it – with the owner being completely unaware of it. Sometimes this persists for years without the victim having a clue. It isn’t unusual to find out this ‘two-week’ problem has been ongoing for years. This is very troubling from a security standpoint, primarily.
I’m going to run down a list of common signs that something isn’t right – hopefully you’ll be able to identify problems and resolve them before it stops the show.
What are some signs that your computer is crying out for a repair?
1>The computer is LOUDER
Often the first sign of trouble is a fan spinning a bit faster, a bit louder than usual. This is potentially caused by a few issues. It could be caused by inadequate airflow around and through the computer. It could be caused by dust obstruction in cooling equipment on board. It could be that the cooling is perfectly adequate, as well. The cause of the excessive fan speed might be unwarranted system load due to malicious or otherwise malfunctioning software.
2> The computer is HOTTER
This one is particularly evident among notebook computer users. Sitting on the lap, this obstructs airflow, and being against your body, will heat up. This is going to be caused by the same issues as the first point.
3> Strange noises from your PC
Your computer did not gain any extra functionality over the years. If you’re hearing new noises out of your computer it isn’t normal. It could be fan bearings grinding on the track. If you’re hearing clicking or scraping noises – look out – I hope you have a backup and are not in need of data recovery services. This could be a sign that a hard disk is failing. Your data is stored on this device and any unusual behavior or noises is a huge cause for concern. If you have a clicking or scraping hard drive, you should power off that system and bring it to someone experienced in data recovery processes.
4> Blue screens stop you in your tracks
Modern computers are very reliable. Crashing with a bluescreen is not a normal event. If you see a blue screen error more than once in the span of a year, you’ve probably got an actionable problem on your hands that can be fixed. These can be caused by faulty hardware, to defective and outdated device drivers and regular user-mode programs. It’s never normal and can result in data and productivity loss.
5> Lockups and freezes
If your computer is locking up hard, this is a similar situation to the blue screens. You’ll know its locked up hard by pressing the caps lock key. Does the LED toggle? If not, you’ve got yourself a hard lockup on your hands.
6> PC Slowdowns
Computers do not slow down with age. Computers slow down with increased demands placed on them beyond their capacity. Over time, programs are installed and updated along with their bundleware hitchhikers – this is the likely cause of your slowdown. Hardware can also be failing to cause a slowdown, but typically its just overburdened with malware and other garbage.
7> Random restarts
Did you leave a window up and come back to find it gone? Your computer probably rebooted itself, after a blue screen error. It’s time for hardware diagnostics and I’m suspicious of the power supply right away!
8> Difficulty powering on
Perhaps you need to press the power button more than once. Perhaps you need to jog it or press it very quickly. Does it light up, spin up and power off? Does it not respond at all? This should be fixed before the defective power supply fries your motherboard or CPU.
9> Startup error codes
These can flash by very quickly, but a hard disk, for instance, often gives ample warning of impending failure. This is not ignored by the end user, but is often just flat out missed.
10> Pop up ads
Pop up ads, or pop under ads, are not used often in legitimate commerce these days. Not only are that, they’re generally blocked by modern browsers. Which means that because they’re not coming from a web page, they’re probably coming from a program running on your computer instead. That program will never have your best interests in mind, and may just advertise to you, they may lock your files and demand a ransom, they may steal from you – and sometimes they’ll just do it to be a jerk, though that is pretty rare.
Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two, and it prevents you from using a computer that is not performing optimially at best or, at worst, victimizing you with myriad of criminal enterprise.
If your computer isn’t running well, bring it by and we’ll fix it right up for you – quickly, and accurately – the first time. If you’re concerned, bring it by and we’ll evaluate it at no charge.