Thursday, March 16, 2017

What You Should Know Before Taking Your PC to a Computer Repair Shop

We have all been there. You finally carve out some time to work on that project, to locate and e-mail some files, or just to browse the internet in order to conduct some research into a possible purchase. But you can’t. Your PC simply will not cooperate. It fights you at every turn. You go right, it goes left. You end up chasing your machine around in circles until, finally, you are left just staring at a circling wait icon, a stack of error dialog boxes, or worse even, a blank screen. The next step seems to be crawling under your desk and fighting the dust bunnies to unplug dozens of cables before packing the whole thing up to be taken to an expert. Stop. That might not be necessary. These are the things you need to know before taking your PC to a computer repair shop.

Five Easy Fixes You Can Do at Home Before Paying for Computer Repair

Before you spend time, energy, and money, sending your computer out, try a few easy fixes. These do not require any technical expertise, so don’t worry.
  • Reboot Your Computer - Hitting Control+Alt+Delete will bring up your start screen and present you with a few options. Select power off. Wait a few minutes and turn the machine back on. Often, rebooting will shut down competing processes and applications causing your issue.
  • System Updates - If you have not been great about allowing updates to your computer to download, it may be running slower than normal, or not at all. Make sure all system updates are installed before panicking and calling for repair. Find your updates by locating "settings" on your home screen and then selecting "updates". This can take some time, but it is well worth it.
  • Check Your Internet Connection - Often, slow speeds are caused by unstable or poor wi-fi connections. This is not your PC's fault. Blame your router, modem and ISP (internet service provider) instead. Power down your router and modem for a few minutes and then start them back up. Wait for the blinking light sequences to finish and then check your performance.
  • Check for Malicious Software (Viruses) - We all know that the internet is swarming with bits of software designed to take over your computer and ruin your life. Did you know that your machine probably has a very capable defense system against this already installed? Locate "settings" on your home screen and then select "security". The pre-installed anti-virus software provided with major operating systems is really quite good. Run a full scan and see what is identified. The software will quarantine anything suspicious and delete the malware upon your request.
  • Clean Your Machine - Most of us take great care of our keyboard and monitor. Those are the things guests see. But what about inside your case? Computers generate heat. To cool the electronic parts air flow is created through a series of fans and vents. If those vents become clogged your machine will run very hot and begin to work more slowly before eventually just dying altogether. The case can usually be opened by removing two or three screws. Carefully vacuum all of the dust you find. Your machine will breathe more easily and perform better when needed.

Maintenance is Important

These are five easy steps you can take before taking your PC to a computer repair shop. Most likely, one of them will fix your problem, saving you money and time. The key is to remember that like a car or any other complicated machine, computers require maintenance to continue to run as quickly as the day they were purchased. Fortunately, this maintenance is free and easy to do.

This was a guest post by Garrett Tate of Don’t Panic IT Solutions - www.dontpanicit.com

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