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How to troubleshoot a laptop

If you own a laptop or a netbook, you’ll know the feeling of frustration when any kind of error message pops up and you have no idea how to fix it. Sometimes you’ll even be faced with a blank screen with no warning of what’s gone wrong.

 

Before you run to your nearest computer shop and fork out for a laptop repair, there are a few things you can do at home to rule out simple errors. Read on to see what these quick fixes are and how they can help you.




Simple tips for computer problems

 

There could be a hundred things wrong with your laptop, however before you pay for a technician to undertake a computer repair it’s a good idea to rule out some issues that can be easily fixed.

 

Is your computer turned on?

This may seem like you’re being taught to suck eggs, but even the most proficient tech users can fall at this first hurdle. Make sure you’ve tried to turn your laptop on properly.

 

Is your battery properly connected?

A lack of power may be your issue here. Make sure that your laptop battery is properly connected and attempt to power up again.

 

Is your screen operating correctly?

Even though your display is dark, your laptop might be working just fine. To check if the problem is your computer screen, try turning the CAPS lock on and off. There should be a light operating on your keyboard to tell you when CAPS lock is on. If this is flashing as usual, you know the problem is not with your laptop, but with your display screen.




Troubleshooting bigger issues

 

If you’ve made sure that there aren’t any simple problems causing your laptop to break, and your laptop still isn’t responding, you’ll need to try to fix some of the bigger issues.

 

Overheating

As your laptop uses a lot of power to operate, you can expect that it’s going to get hot. However, if your machine is overheating, this can cause issues such as crashes, screen freezes and slow performance.

 

Dust and bits of fibres can become lodged in the air vents of your laptop, causing the small fan inside to stop operating properly, and therefore fail to cool down your machine. You can solve this by simply cleaning out your air vents with a small cloth. To prevent a dust build up happening again, make sure to monitor your laptop’s fan and vents, and clean regularly.


Spyware or Virus attack

In this digital age, it’s unfortunate that virus’ are all over the internet. Every time we download a file, we’re putting our hardware at risk of an infection.

 

You’ll usually notice straight away if a virus has taken hold, as your laptop will start to become sluggish, and you’ll be faced with constant pop-ups. The best method of defence in these situations is prevention. Install an anti-virus service to protect your machine. You can find a number of both free and paid for versions of anti-spyware, so make sure to read reviews before you purchase.




Frozen screen

Have you been staring at the same screen for hours, and no matter what button you press, nothing happens? Sometimes, an application you’re running can become stuck. The quickest way to fix this is a forced application quit.

 

On your keyboard, press the Ctrl, Alt, Del keys simultaneously to open up the task manager. This is a programme which displays every application currently running. Once the task manager is running, you can simply select your frozen application from the list and click End Task. Your laptop should be up and running as usual in a few minutes.

 

No internet connection

Probably one of the most frustrating problems of modern day is when our internet connection disappears. Whether you were midway through watching your new Netflix show, or your daughter needs to finish her history project, there is never a good time for the internet to go down.

 

The first thing you need to do is check the power on your router. If that seems to be working fine, it’s best to restart your router. You should find a small button on the machine itself, which you need to hold in until you see all the lights turn off on the router. Power your machine back up and see if your connection returns. Failing that, it may be best to check with your internet provider as they may be experience network issues.

 


So, there we have it, an explanation of some of the simpler computer problems and how you can fix them at home. Next time you find yourself at the tech shop asking for a laptop repair, why not read our tips and see if you can troubleshoot the issue yourself!


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