For many of us now, in fact arguably the vast majority of us, computers are an essential item. Most of us could not operate successfully in many of our day to day tasks without a computer and we often feel as though we are unable to get on with our work or many of our social correspondence when our computer goes down even just briefly. This means that it’s a nightmare when our computer seems to break or get a virus and we are left without it. Fortunately in nine out of ten cases it is possible to fix the computer on our own and relatively quickly and to return to normal practice once this is done.
Of course the nature of the problem is going to dictate whether or not you are capable of fixing it and of course it would be folly to suggest that you would be able to repair every problem that your compute may have. This is most true of hardware problems – for example if your hard drive were to break or if your monitor were to pack in then you would likely need a degree in electronic engineering to stand any chance of repairing it. However if the problem is software based – I.e. if it is based on the programming and the files on your computer, then you will usually be able to repair it yourself. Here we will look at some common ways to fix your computer.
1. Search Online
The internet is the ultimate resource for knowledge of any kind and contains solutions for almost every problem ever conceived or ever experienced by mankind. When it comes to computers this is no different, and in fact as the internet was mostly written by those familiar with using computers it is arguably even more the case. If you search in Google then for your problem such a ‘windows XP makes a loud noise when it loads up’, or ‘mouse intermittently stops working’ then this will normally be able to provide you with a solution and an explanation. Even if you think that you are not ‘computer literate’ as long as you are ‘literate’ then you should be able in most cases to follow the instructions that are usually laid out in layman’s terms for you to follow. The worst that can happen is that it doesn’t work…
2. Use a System Restore
‘System Restore’ is a very useful piece of software that comes packaged with most versions of Windows. If you have Windows then chances are that you also have System Restore and to find it you will just need to look in the Start Menu under Programmes > Accessories > System Tools. Once you find this then you will be given the option to reset your system settings to how they were at an earlier point so long as there is a system restore point available, which will usually be available automatically.
3. Run Anti Virus Software
If you suspect that you have a virus, then you should install antivirus software and then run it. This will search your computer for malicious files and programmes and if it finds them it will hopefully delete them. Again use Google to find out what the best free antivirus software is and where you can download it. You should do the same with anti spam ware which will remove other kinds of problems. Between them if your programmes are up to date they should be able to fix most well-known viruses an also remove malware and repair changes to the registry etc.
4. Run MSConfig
A lot of computer problems are a result of your computer running too many things at once. If your computer takes a long time to load up the this is almost certainly the case and you might find that you have a large number of programmes running in the ‘background’ in the system tray or utility tray. To prevent this, run MSConfig by typing ‘msconfig’ into the ‘run’ or “search” bar after clicking the Start Menu. Once you run this click on the ‘Start Up’ tab and un tick anything that doesn’t seem necessary. Un-ticking MSN messenger for instance will help your computer to load up faster and then you can just select to run it when you need it. This way you can also remove programmes that are causing you problems or sending error messages on start up.
Failing these options you may have to reboot your computer to factory settings. First make a backup of any files that you wish to keep by using an external hard drive, a large SD card or online storage, and then look up the instructions online. Normally resetting your computer will just be a case of holding one of the ‘F’ keys while the computer loads up and then selecting ‘reset to factory settings’. In ten minutes to an hour your computer will be exactly as it was out of the box meaning it will probably run faster than it has for years. As you can see then this is a very simple and easy process, but were you to try and get a computer shop to do it for you you would likely end up paying large amounts of money for the service.