All of us are on our laptops or desktops during the day due to online classes, especially teachers.
And that means teachers are highly relying on their computers now more than ever as their main tool to teach.
But what if something unexpected happened and an error message pops up? Or your screen suddenly decided to not show anything but a blue screen, what would be your next step?
Before you go ahead and reach out to tech support and wait in call for hours, know what are the basic troubleshooting in computers that you can do to ease your situation.
Don’t worry they’re not that complicated as they’re simple solutions to common problems that you might encounter along the way.
What Are The Basic Troubleshooting In Computers? 9 Easy Fixes For Common Computer Problems!
The process of diagnosing the cause of a problem is known as troubleshooting. It is used to fix issues with hardware, software, and a variety of other goods relating to computers.
Generally, troubleshooting is the process of identifying and diagnosing “trouble” in a program’s management flow triggered by a breakdown of some sort.
The issue is first presented as malfunctioning symptoms, and troubleshooting is the act of identifying and correcting the sources of these symptoms to help the computer go back to its previous condition of operation.
And eventually, corrective action can then be made to avoid such failures in the future.
There are many steps involving troubleshooting problems in the operating system, software, or hardware of a computer. Although it is best to call tech support to deal with the problems, there are still some basic troubleshooting that people can do first on their own.
And by knowing these 9 basic troubleshooting techniques to solve common problems you’ll save both time and effort and lessen overall frustration from a computer that’s not functioning how it’s supposed to.
For Software Issues
1) Rebooting the Computer/Software
Reboot the computer if it is functioning strangely, is frozen, or is experiencing difficulties but can still boot. Many computer difficulties, including software difficulties, can be resolved by restarting the computer itself.
Software issues might arise as a result of a conflict with other applications or simply from difficulties with the software’s startup.
Shutting down and restarting the app might sometimes fix the problem. This also has something to do with the Random Access Memory (RAM) that every computer has.
The more software is running on your computer at the same time, the more RAM it consumes. This is especially troublesome if you’re working with older devices with little RAM.
If the software fails to launch or runs poorly, the first thing you should do is exit all other open programs.
In Windows, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete > then select Start Task Manager from the drop-down menu. > Click the Processes tab in the resulting window > then the Memory menu item.
This classifies all open processes according to how much RAM they use. The End Process button can be used to terminate a rogue process.
In macOS, Use the Activity Monitor on Mac OS X. Go to Applications > Utilities to get to the Activity Monitor > After you’ve opened the Activity Monitor, sort the apps by RAM consumption by selecting the “Real Memory” column.
2) Search the Error Messages on the Internet.
The basic principle of troubleshooting is to start with the broadest conceivable issues, then to reduce them down to more particular difficulties.
Eliminating probable sources of an issue is a step in determining the most likely cause. That is why troubleshooting necessitates proof that the remedy returns the product or process to its previous condition of operation.
To search for an error message on the internet is one of the easiest troubleshooting techniques that you can try. You’ll find a number of official and non-official forums with helpful fixes that have helped communities fix errors and straighten up their computers again.
To do this, just simply provide the software program’s name and version, the difficulty you discovered, and the circumstances surrounding the problem in your google search inquiry.
It will be better to search for a specific error message that you may have most likely encountered. Type the precise wording of the problem message, as well as the application’s name.
This is one of the most used troubleshooting tips especially for those who want to find a quick solution right away.
Most results on the internet concerning software-related issues already have easy solutions that you can readily implement. However, do read with caution especially those sites that are not as trustworthy as others. You can either take action on your own or consult with tech support.
3) Uninstall then Reinstall.
When critical program files have been removed, modified, or deleted, it can create software difficulties.
You can fully delete the malfunctioning software and then reinstall it to confirm that all required files are present.
Even if you use the application’s built-in uninstall procedure (if it has one), you should still examine your hard drive’s Application Files folder—normally found in the C drive—for any leftovers of the software and erase any files or folders you discover.
After deleting the program’s files, be sure to check the latest version of the software before installing it again.
Sometimes there are applications wherein it does not work properly when it is an older version that is why it is important to check the app developer’s updates and patches in order to avoid this problem.
Most software issues can be resolved through this basic troubleshooting that is why it is worth a shot.
4) Check for any security conflict.
There are many programs that can be easily blocked by security applications, most applications are always blocked by personal firewalls.
A firewall is a computer’s line of defense against any virus or malware, however, that can cause some problems when running some applications.
Frequently, firewalls show notifications asking whether an application should be allowed to run or blocked. As a result, it’s easy to instruct the personal firewall to stop a program from executing by accident.
Examine the firewall’s settings to determine if the troublesome software has been added to the list of applications to block. If this is the case, adjust the firewall’s settings to enable the program to execute, and then double-check the results.
This can also be helpful for you especially if you are not aware that the software you have installed contains malware. In doing this, you are able to prevent any malicious software from running on your computer.
Is your computer running a bit slower than usual? Then this troubleshooting technique might be of help.
Defragmenting reorganizes the data format on your hard disk to improve system performance. Because defragmenting is designed to help your entire system perform quicker, it will be much more effective if you’re encountering overall slowness on your computer.
It’s important to note that defragmenting a hard disk is only applicable to Windows-based PCs.
A built-in disk-defragmentation program is included in most current Windows versions, including XP, Vista, and Windows 7. And below are the steps to follow:
Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter to activate it.
Defragmenting a hard disk can take a long time, so do it when you are not going to use your computer for a few hours.
6) Backing up your files
For precautionary measures, you should always make frequent backups of your files because data loss is quite inevitable. There might be instances where your hard drive might crash and if something bad happens and all copies of your important document and files get deleted, there’s no way for you to get them back unless someone else saves them for you to make new copies from old one, but alas, no one does that!
It’s always a good idea to be one step ahead. If you have important files that are in danger of being lost or corrupted backing up your files is crucial. Backing up your files is pretty straightforward and here’s how you can do it:
- If you’re using Windows 10, all you need is an external hard drive. The first step is to connect the external hard drive of your choice, then go to Settings > Select “Update&Security” > then choose “Back up” > click on “Add a drive” and it will automatically search for your external drive > just select your external drive and you’re all set and good to go! You can also opt to customize the frequency of your backup and then you can go ahead and choose the files you want to get backed up.
- If you’re using a Mac computer, your first step would be the same, and it’s to connect an external hard drive of your choice. After that, you can opt to use the “Time Machine App” which is a built-in backup feature on Mac computers. It automatically makes an up-to-date copy of your files and stores them on an external storage device. To back up using this app, just open up System Preferences > then choose “Time Machine” > if it’s your first time using the app, you’ll get additional prompts depending on how you want your backup to proceed > after that “Time Machine” will automatically back up your files leaving you assured that your files are always backed up and ready to go at any given time.
For Hardware Issues
7) Overheating PC
Overheating occurs when a computer or electrical gadget creates more heat than it is built to manage.
A machine that overheats may shut down without notice to protect its hardware, particularly the CPU, from irreparable harm.
A computer’s memory, hard drive, video card, and power supply are all susceptible to overheating. A broken or insufficient fan, poor ventilation, a broken cable, dust, grime, an inefficient hard drive, or an insufficient power supply can all contribute to overheating.
Here are some steps you can follow in order to solve Overheating:
- Inspect to see whether the fan is operating
If your computer’s fan isn’t operating properly or can’t ventilate air for whatever reason, the outcome will be an overheated computer.
Whenever you turn on your computer, the sound of fans activating will be heard. That’s the sound of the fans within the PC, which first spin at maximum speed before slowing down when the computer powers up.
You may check if the fans are operating by opening the PC. If you don’t feel at ease opening the PC, look inside the ventilation holes for operating fans using a flashlight. If you don’t see any motion, you should take it to a service center right away before the heat begins to melt the vital components of your computer.
- Clean your PC
Spring cleaning anyone? If you’ve not cleaned your computer for a while, dust is most likely to blame for the overheating.
A desktop is simple to clean, while laptop owners may choose to take their machines to a service center to be cleaned. If you wish to clean your PC on your own, then follow these steps:
>Turn off your computer and unplug it.
>When you open the lid, you should see visible dust. A can of air compressor or a leaf blower can be used to clear it up, keeping in mind to keep it at a slow speed. Blow air into the major computer parts, particularly the fans, from both the front and rear sides.
>Cotton buds can also be used to clean out the tight places. Don’t worry if you can’t get it sparkling clean; we’re only aiming to clear out any dust-related blockages.
8) PC not booting
There was this one time when I was all amped up to work and I already got all my essentials in place and only one thing was left to do—to turn on my PC. But then just my luck, I pushed the power button but there was no response from my computer.
I already tried pushing the power button countless times but it was not responding. Why now?!
My heart was already racing because I knew I have to start working in a few minutes but my PC won’t cooperating, only for me to find that the power supply cord was loose and needs a bit of a push to get back in place.
A PC that won’t turn on can absolutely get you all nervous, but before you have a breakdown try these simple troubleshooting techniques, and maybe you just have the socket unplugged!
- Instead of using a circuit breaker or a battery backup that may be malfunctioning, unplug your computer and plug it straight into a wall socket that you know is working.
- Check that the power switch on the back of your power supply is switched on and that if the outlet is linked to a light switch, that switch is also turned on.
- If you’re using a laptop, double-check that if your charger is inserted properly and to the correct port—if your laptop charges through USB-C, only certain USB ports may deliver power.
If these troubleshooting tips will not be able to resolve your problem, it is time to replace your computer’s power supply.
9) Monitor not displaying
You won’t be able to use your computer without your monitor and it can be a hassle if you’re only getting a blank screen from your computer when you need to get a ton of work done for the day.
You can try out these steps to see and resolve what seems to be the issue as to why a monitor is not showing any display.
- Verify that the data transmission line from the display is properly connected to the computer. It should be fully inserted and securely held in place. Most modern monitors use a DVI or HDMI cable and connector, whereas older monitors use a VGA cable.
- Next, check for a blue, green, or orange light to see if the display is powered on. This light can be seen on the monitor’s front or lower bezel.
- Ensure that the monitor is plugged into a functional power outlet if there are no lights on it. Replace the power cord with another power cable if it is detachable from the back of the display. If you still can’t get the monitor to switch on after trying another wall outlet and cable, it’s broken and has to be replaced.
- If you have power to your display but no image, the problem might be with the data cable. With your monitor, try a new DVI, HDMI, or DisplayPort cable.
10) No audio output/input
Last but not least, another one of the most common issues that we face when using computers is the “can you hear me now?” segment.
It’s really a hassle especially when you’re starting the first class of the day but your students can’t seem to hear you or vice versa you can’t seem to hear them. And to help resolve that here are some steps that you can take to move forward:
- Check your computer’s volume control. The sound icon is normally seen on the taskbar in Windows, and the audio choices may also be found in the Control Panel. Sound choices on Macs may be accessed in System Preferences or at the top of the screen.
- If you’re using external speakers, make sure they’re switched on.
- Ensure that external speakers are plugged into the appropriate audio or USB port. The audio output is normally green if your pc has color scheme ports.
- Plugin your headphones to the appropriate audio port and check if sound can be heard through the headphones.
Troubleshooting computer issues might seem like an endless maze, and there will always be instances where we have to troubleshoot more often than others. But not all hope is lost as we can always reach out and seek professional help, especially whenever the situation is beyond our control.
The bottom line is that the more you do it, the more you’ll learn and improve your problem-solving skills.
Always keep in mind that if there are some problems that you cannot do on your own, do not hesitate to call tech support to help with your problem.
Hoped this piece of mine today helped!
Until our next one, peace out!