If you’re not very tech-savvy, computer repair can seem like quite the bugbear. That said, and this might seem strange coming from a home computer repair company, there is a lot of basic diagnosis and repair that can be done at home without a ton of work.
If you’re having trouble, review some of the repair tips we’ve detailed out below before you decide to call for computer repair services. While both we and companies like us will gladly take your work, we’d also like for you to save money if you can!
Tip #1: Many Issues Stem from Failing Drives
Computers tend to be more impermanent than we’d like to imagine. This is no more true than when discussing hard disk drives (HDDs).
For the uninitiated, an HDD is one of the most common ways we store files on computer devices. Some of these files can even be critical to your computer’s functioning correctly, especially those related to your OS.
The problem is HDDs don’t age well. They use rapidly spinning platters and magnets to store and read files. Like anything with moving parts, this makes them prone to wear and eventual failure.
Drives tend to develop issues in around 4-8 years. These issues can include:
- Strange noises
- Random blue screens and other crashes
- Files disappearing or becoming unusable
If you notice any of these issues, even if they randomly seem to fix themselves (as sometimes happens), the odds are very good a drive is dying. Back up the files and replace the drive, or you may lose every file on that drive permanently.
There is no good way to “fix” a dying drive. In essence, it has become e-waste. The only reason to keep it is to make sure you get the files on it and put them on a working drive.
If you have trouble pulling files from a dying or dead drive, get in contact with a professional service right away. Often companies like ours can still recover files that seem lost, but it can be a time-sensitive matter.
Tip #2: Bad (or No) RAM Can Seem Like a Disaster
To simplify quite a lot, RAM is basically a computer’s active memory. In essence, RAM is how a computer “thinks” about the tasks it needs to do.
The bad news is that when RAM is going bad or isn’t installed correctly, a computer can become almost (or literally) unusable. The good news is that replacing bad RAM is not all that expensive or difficult of a fix.
RAM going bad can be signaled by strange crashes, poor performance (notably when playing video games), your video card failing to load, or (worst) files getting corrupted.
Often these problems can be diagnosed by going into your system settings and looking at your RAM display. If the number doesn’t match the RAM you have installed, one (or more) of your sticks is bad.
Whether it displays correctly or not, you can check these issues by removing RAM sticks methodically and then running your computer. If the issues stop after a particular card is removed, that’s the bad one.
We’ll note that some of the issues bad RAM can cause overlap with other hardware problems, like a bad drive, but it’s often best to check your RAM first since it is easy to do and easy to fix.
Tip #3: A Failure to Turn On (Often) Means a Power Supply Problem
If your computer won’t turn on or suddenly shuts off without any crash message, that’s often a sign there’s an issue with your power supply.
Power supplies are finicky but essential components when it comes to computer function. Small issues with a power supply can render the whole device unusable. Because a computer needs power, a busted supply means the whole computer won’t work.
Unfortunately, power supply problems are common in areas that see electrical storms and other sources of power surges. These surges can fry computer power supplies and, in the worst cases, other components too.
If you press power on your computer (assuming the outlet you’ve plugged into is powered), almost any hardware or software issue except one involving the power supply should allow it to at least turn on.
If that button does nothing, or your computer randomly shuts off, check the connections on your power supply and try again. If there is still no response, either your supply is broken, or it is turned off.
Broken supplies should usually just be replaced. While a skilled electrician might be able to get it working again, the risk of harming yourself or connected PC components is too high for it to be worth it.
Tip #4: Check Your Connections (and Dust)
An amazing amount of computer problems resolve themselves if one only checks their various connections and dusts the inside of their PC. This isn’t difficult to do, even if it can be a bit annoying.
Firstly, a computer requires dusting at least every six months. While it’s undeniable the majority of computer owners don’t do this, dust can wreak havoc on a computer’s parts if left to build up.
Second, it doesn’t matter if parts are brand new if they aren’t properly connected. Even a light jostle or the constant pull of gravity can sometimes knock them just enough out of place to cause issues.
If you experience a computer problem of any kind, first dust and then check your connections. Make sure every wire is well-connected on both ends, your RAM is firmly in place, and that everything is actually connected where it is supposed to be.
This isn’t a magic solution; it won’t fix broken parts. What it will do, however, is make sure you don’t replace parts or pay for repairs the computer didn’t need. It’s also very easy to do; at most, you may need to spend 10-15 dollars for a can of compressed air.
When DIY Computer Repair Isn’t Enough
A good deal of computer repair can be done at home with only a little bit of time and effort. That said, even the most tech-savvy users sometimes need the services of a local computer repair business.
Here at Computer Revival, we have specialized software and trained expert than can do more extensive repairs on the hardware and software level than you can do at home. If you think you may need our help, contact us, and we discuss the best option for you!