What are the most common problems that Americans face when it comes to their PCs? They include everything from overheating to painfully slow operations, weird error messages to corrupted files or drives.
Some of these issues fall within the realm of a DIY fix, while others require a computer tech’s services. Knowing which category your current issue falls into can feel challenging, though.
When it comes to troubleshooting a computer repair, it’s vital to know what you can and can’t handle yourself. Keep reading for simple computer repair tips to help you get up and running again.
Simple Computer Repair
Our PCs have become such integral parts of our lives; we can’t get through a day without them. Many of us would have trouble even managing an hour without our laptop or other mobile devices.
They allow us to keep in touch with family and friends via social media and email. They let us stay up-to-date on the news and help us conduct consumer research before making purchases. Since the pandemic, they’ve also become a precious lifeline to work and income.
In other words, life without PCs is almost unfathomable. That’s why few events prove more frustrating than a malfunctioning computer. Of course, troubleshooting problems and knowing which fixes are easy enough for you to handle (versus a professional) can feel like a gray area.
This fact proves especially true when you factor in labor costs, time lost, and more. So, how do you know whether you should dive into a repair or send out an SOS signal? Let’s take a closer look at repairs every remotely tech-savvy individual can handle on their own.
Speeding Up a Slow System
Are you clocking more time trying to get your computer to function than you are getting work done? If so, you’re far from alone. Slow systems are among the most common complaints individuals have about their personal computers.
Most people assume computers slow down with age, but this presumption is far from the truth. When you’re dealing with a PC that feels as bogged down as Artax in the Swamps of Sadness, there could be an incredibly simple solution to your problem.
A Windows reinstall.
Yes, you read that right. What’s more, if you’ve noticed other problems, such as strange errors or issues with file corruption, then a reinstall represents your best bet for getting up and running ASAP.
Of course, you could go to all the trouble of changing out bad drivers and corrupted files. But why spend the time and money on this when you can reset Windows back to its factory state?
Fortunately, if you bought your laptop in recent years, it’ll likely have multiple factory restore partitions in place. Access these by pressing the correct key during the boot process. (Check your computer’s user’s manual for all the details.)
You may even have DVDs or CDs associated with restoring your computer. For example, if you installed Windows yourself, you may have a Windows installation disk handy. Before starting the process, make sure you back up all critical files.
Nix the Bloatware
Did you know that computer manufacturers get paid to include specific software programs on your computer? Unfortunately, not all of these programs are necessary, let alone conducive to a speedy machine.
Experts refer to these unwelcome additions as bloatware, and they charge customers to remove these insidious amenities thereby speeding up their computers. How much do they charge? Upwards of $99!
Instead of plopping down a cool C-note, learn how to remove these preinstalled programs. There are three easy ways to do this without sacrificing a Benjamin:
- Reinstall Windows
- Uninstall each piece of bloatware manually
- Rely on a program like PC Decrapifier
We’ve already discussed the wonders of reinstalling Windows. But it’s worth noting that many self-proclaimed computer geeks automatically do this every time they purchase a new machine. It ensures a blank slate and a fresh start.
You also have the option of uninstalling each program individually. To do this, go to the “uninstall a program” control panel and select each program you’d like to remove manually. If you’re doing this on a new computer, be careful to avoid uninstalling hardware drivers.
Programs such as PC Decrapifier also represent a great route to go. They automatically scan your machine on the lookout for bloatware. When they find it, they automatically uninstall it.
Say Goodbye to Viruses and Malware
What’s another problem easily tackled from the comfort of your home? Removing viruses and malware.
Many people still deal with infected Windows PCs regularly. If you’ve ever been in this situation, you understand just how frustrating it can be. But before you high tail it over to a computer repair shop, there’s something you need to know.
The professionals don’t have any fancy tools when it comes to removing these infectious agents. They rely on the same standard antivirus tools that consumers do.
Instead of choking up money you may not have, give DIY a try. Consult an antivirus test website to find out which antivirus software is best for you. Or, go with an old standard like Bitdefender or Kaspersky.
Both rank in the top of antiviral software for AV-Test and AV-Comparatives rankings.
Although these programs aren’t free, they’ll keep your computer in tip-top shape. Expect significant savings in the long-run. Investing in anti-virus software also means a secure PC, which is priceless.
Here’s the caveat, though. For a deep infection, you may still end up at the repair shop. Techs will likely dig through your autostart entries and registry by hand, removing malware as they go.
Yes, this process is as time-consuming as it sounds. And there’s no assurance it’ll remove all the malware.
For a nasty infection, reinstall Windows. As you can see, when all else fails, this step can solve multiple problems, making it a solution worth remembering.
Turn Back Time
Nope, we’re not referring to Cher’s 1989 megahit here. What we’re talking about is accidentally deleting something you shouldn’t have. If this has happened to you, you’re far from alone.
Fortunately, recovery may be possible if you act quickly. Why? Because deleted files don’t generally get erased immediately.
You may need to call in the experts, though. If you require in-depth forensic data recovery of vital business documents, get help. That said, expect to pay top dollar for this service, so only reserve this option for dire recovery needs.
Ramp Up Your RAM or Hard Drive
RAM is one of those areas that most consumers tend to skimp when buying a new system. Of course, this choice is unfathomable when you consider RAM’s the area where computer owners ALWAYS end up wishing for more.
After all, greater RAM stores equate with faster operations, and last time I checked, no one likes sitting around twiddling their thumbs while they wait for their PC to load.
What to do? If you’re in the throes of regretting the under-purchase of memory on your device, don’t despair! Speeding up your machine is as simple as adding more memory.
You might be surprised to learn that computer upgrades are within DIY reach. For example, adding RAM to your system is a simple process. The same goes for many laptops.
The only catch is you must make sure you purchase the right RAM for your PC.
It’s also easier than you think to upgrade your hard drive or add a new one. But you’ll need to reinstall Windows. Or you have the option of moving your existing operating system over when replacing the hard drive.
The ability to upgrade your computer’s RAM and hard drive will change how you view purchasing devices. Now, when you find a smoking deal, you’ll feel more motivated to make a purchase, knowing you can customize it with computer upgrades as you go along.
Find more info about fantastic machines now.
DIY Solutions to Fix Your Computer
The simple computer repair tips above will save you money and time. They’ll also provide you with peace of mind when you get an annoying error message or find your computer lagging. Instead of preparing to shell over your savings, get proactive with these DIY solutions.
You’ve also got handy information on recovering files when you get overzealous with the delete button. That said, there will be cases when it’s better to turn to professionals. But you’ll be amazed by how many things you can remedy with a simple Windows reinstall.
Are you looking for more great tech tips or other life hacks? Browse our blog now for the solutions you need to rock the day.